Saturday, June 6, 2009


The Sprint Nextel Corp Palm Pre is being touted as the biggest competitor yet to Apple's iPhone, and it goes on sale today through Sprint Nextel Corp. Investors are counting on the handset to win customers and reverse sales declines.

Customers lined up as early as 5 a.m. at Sprint’s flagship Manhattan store while Pre fans in Boston and Cherry Hill, New Jersey got in line yesterday. Sprint, which has trained staff for weeks and held promotional events with the likes of Jerry Seinfeld, may sell almost 200,000 phones this weekend, some analysts estimate.

The Pre, selling for $199 with a two-year contract and mail-in rebate, has an operating system that combines calendars, contacts and messages from different accounts. It synchronizes with Apple’s iTunes music store and has a screen that lets users zoom in and flip through applications without closing them. Customers can pay $70 more for the wireless Touchstone charger.

Palm aims to win back customers for smart phones, a market it helped create, after devices from Apple prevailed with newer features and operating systems. Palm hired retired iPod chief Jon Rubinstein in 2007 to develop the Pre. Palm’s shares have quadrupled this year and Sprint’s have almost tripled in anticipation of its release.

Which do you prefer, iPhone or Palm Pre?


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