Take this one with a grain of salt, but a guy named Jim Van has apparently gotten his hands on a Palm Pre for testing purposes, and he recently tweeted some of his initial impressions which included, “Battery’s going strong after 8 hours of mixed use” and “Pre seems 2 work so well w/ Facebook. Can’t seem to get it 2 play w/ Twitter yet.”
8 hours of battery life? That sounds too good to be true! I sure would like to be proven wrong, though.
But the juiciest nugget of info sheds some light on a possible release date for the Palm Pre. In a tweet sent 2 days ago, Van stated,
We do a lot of betas 4 Sprint. Also testing WiMax fones. Not sure if Pre is final. Release dte of 4/30, so I’m told.
Well this sure is interesting. Palm has thus far been extremely vague regarding launch dates for the Pre, and has only said that it would come out sometime in the second quarter of the year, which at the very latest implies a late June release. Palm continues to bleed money, and they desperately need the Pre to get off to a fast start. That said, a June release would pose a number of problems for Palm as Apple is poised to make a few big announcements of its own this June.
Specifically, Apple’s new iPhone OS will most likely go “live” sometime in June, and there are also rumors that Apple is planning on announcing a significantly upgraded iPhone at this years WWDC, which takes place in early June.
If the launch of the Pre coincides with Apple’s announcements, there’s a good chance that it might get lost in the shuffle. It therefore makes sense for Palm to aggressively try and launch the Pre as soon as possible. At the same time, Palm is keenly aware of what a botched or buggy launch might mean for the company, and Palm executives have repeatedly stated that the Pre will not launch a day before its actually ready.
So will April 30th be D-day? Possibly, but if that’s the case, will Palm have enough time to initiate an advertising campaign to support the launch? I suppose they might already have a number of ad spots roaring to go, and are just waiting for the OK to let em loose.
UPDATE: In a recent tweet, Van wrote that a source told him the Pre will sell for $299 with a 2 year contract. Thoughts?