The Palm Pre has been generating buzz based not only on the revival of the Palm brand, but because it was designed by Jon Rubenstein, the father of the iPod. Now Sprint is readying the initial release of the Pre to subscribers in the U.S. in early June.
With 8GB of internal memory, the Palm Pre stacks up very nicely against the 8GB iPhone which sells at the same price. While Palm may not carry quite the brand influence of Apple, Sprint customers may swarm to the Pre as the iPhone is only available from AT&T.
With the Pre, Palm is also launching its new mobile operating system called WebOS. This next generation Palm platform has been redesigned from a usability perspective and includes a multi-touch interface and multimedia capabilities.
The Palm Pre also comes outfitted for business use with support for Microsoft Outlook and Direct Push. The Pre is one of the first designs to hit the market with a vertical slider to reveal its blackberry-style keyboard, an essential for business users.
Palm hired Jon ‘Ruby’ Rubenstein away from Apple in late 2007 and he’s been working on the Pre ever since. Ruby is best known as the creator of the original iPod and Palm has pinned its hopes on his design talent.
Now the Pre is finally ready for launch after almost two years. The device has been generating a lot of buzz online and is expected to be highly in demand.
In fact, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse announced that he expects to have a hard time meeting the initial demand for the Pre. Whether this is a clever ruse to boost sales or driven by a smartphone-starved Sprint customer base is anyone’s guess.