With one month down, the countdown until the end of the first half of 2009 is underway. Why do I say that? Because that’s the stated launch window for the Palm Pre. And some new information today may narrow that window a bit further.
Sprint, the Palm Pre’s exclusive U.S. carrier, has sent out its End of Life (EOL) list, which the blog Boy Genius Report has obtained. The list indicates when some of Sprint’s current devices would stop being stocked in its warehouses and, in some cases, what the replacement will be. That latter part is what pertains to the Pre, because it’s the device that’s slated (at least on the list) to replace the Palm 744P, which has an EOL of “Late May.”
Late May is right before the middle of the year, but interestingly, the list has a “target in-stock” date for the Pre set at March 15. Note, though, that “in-stock” means the device is stocked in Sprint’s warehouses, not necessarily in stores. And while Boy Genius Report initially said it believed the launch would be somewhere around this date, it has since updated its post to say that a May/June launch may be more likely.
Meanwhile, another report from CNET indicates they’ve received a tip that the Pre will be in stores February 15 — as in 11 days from now. The tipster claimed to have gotten the information from a Sprint customer service representative (and included a screenshot of the online exchange). But to me, that basically means nothing, since in my experience, customer service reps know about as much about future products as anyone on the street does. And given the amount of hype this device has gotten and that there has been absolutely no fanfare surrounding a launch yet, I’d say there’s no chance this happens.
The tip also claims that the Pre will have a suggested retail price of $549.99 but will be $150 with a two-year contract and after a $100 rebate. That number is in line with earlier reports suggesting that Palm was considering a price point of either $149 or $199 with a contract. But again, given the source, who knows.