If being an early adopter means anything to you, we hope you pre-registered for a Pre. We’re hearing that, along with the Palm Pre launch party, those who pre-registered for the new device will be able to buy one on June 5 at 6:00PM. We know that major cities will be having a party for Sprint Premier customers, but not every location will host one. We’re also told that things could change, but this is the official word for now: If you pre-registered for the device, you will be able to buy one the evening before its official launch. So, that leaves us wondering – did any of our readers sign up for this?
And so it begins. Not even 24 hours after the Palm Pre announcement, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse assumed the roll of Buzz Killington when he explained Sprint’s lack of high-visibility Pre advertising to investors. According to Hesse, Sprint “didn’t intend to advertise [the Pre] heavily early on because we think we are going to have shortages for a while” and that it “won’t be able to keep up with demand for the device in the early period of time.” Okay, so let’s get this straight. Sprint didn’t heavily advertise the Palm Pre — the handset that is supposed to turn things around for the company — because Hesse & Co. are afraid of pissing people off if they might have to wait a few weeks for their phones to arrive? Hesse, buddy, shortages can often be an amazing way to pique the general public’s interest. It worked with the first iPhone, it worked with the Storm and it sure as hell worked with the Wii. It won’t work for the Pre however, if no one knows the handset exists. Ugh.
This morning Sprint announced that the highly anticipated Palm Pre will be launched on June 6 for $199.99 with MIR after a two-year contract. Just now we got word that a special launch party will be hosted by Sprint for the coming handset, which arrives at retail stores the very next day. If you’re a Sprint Premier customer and you’re in the Los Angeles area, be sure to register and catch all the action! You know how these events usually are: lots of celebs, live music, drinks and of course, the guest of honor, the Palm Pre. If that’s not enough to get you going, you’ll be able to grab a Palm Pre a day before everyone else by purchasing one at the event! Let us know if you’re going — it’s being held at a Sprint store, so space is limited.
We all know the launch of the Palm Pre will be unlike any other at Sprint. It will launch on a Saturday instead of the typical Sprint Sunday launch, giving the carrier one full weekend to move units before Apple’s big announcement the following Monday. Thanks to one of our ninjas, we now know the carrier is apparently making some nationwide changes to Sprint Store operating hours as well. Firstly, our ninja says stores will be closing early at 4:00pm on Friday, June 5th. Employees will likely have to stick around for a while to set up Pre displays and whatever else Sprint plans to deck out retail locations with. Then on Saturday, Pre launch day, stores should be open bright and early at 8:00am and employees will be ready and waiting to trade you a shiny new Pre in exchange for $299.99 plus taxes ($100 comes back via MIR). So — anyone planning to line up early or do you think Pre hype is just that, and buyers can take their time getting over to local shops?
It seems like all the Pre minutiae is hitting the Internet like a ton of bricks but here’s some more news indicating its release isn’t far off: Palm Pre handsets are making their way to Sprint stores specifically for the store advocate, or the one who will be the Pre pro. Images surfaced recently with a number of Sprint employees holding up their handsets (luckily made anonymous by bloggers) and as you might expect, people are psyched; reviews are nothing short of what is expected based on what we’ve seen so far. The device is small, the screen is responsive and the keyboard is like a mix of Centro and Treo Pro goodness (or “badness” if you hate that bubbly plastic feeling). Managers will be undergoing mandatory device training soon and we’re expecting them to give you the hands-on shortly after that in store.
Courtesy of PPC Geeks forum member orionsbuckle, live shots of the Sprint-branded HTC Willow have emerged. The Willow is the CDMA version of the HTC Snap and shares similar specs which include a 528MHz Qualcomm processor, 256MB ROM, 128MB RAM, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, 320×240 display, 2 megapixel camera and Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard. Externally, the handset shares the front-facing QWERTY keyboard of the Snap but has slightly different button layout. The Willow is expected to launch for a mere $149 on June 7th in what is shaping up to be a very big launch day for Sprint. Hit the jump for a few more closeups.
It looks like Verizon Wireless wasn’t the only company that took a liking to the sleek design of Novatell’s MiFi 2200 mobile hotspot. Beginning the first week of June, Sprint customers will also be able to pick up the snazzy little device online and in stores. If this is the first time you’re seeing the MiFi 2200, it’s essentially a personal Wi-Fi access point that uses Sprint’s data network for connectivity. Any Wi-Fi enabled device can connect to it just as with any other Wi-Fi access point, giving users the freedom to roam and retain connectivity across several devices. Security is covered as well, as the unit makes use of WPA2-PSK, WEP and an SPI Firewall. The MiFi 2200 from Sprint will run $99 with a 2-year contract after a $50 mail-in rebate and will require a data plan of $59.99 per month or a Simply Everything plan of $149.99 per month (both plans carry a 5GB data cap and will cost 5Ã‚Â¢ per megabyte for overages). Hmm.
We just got a tip from a very proven tipster who informed us that Palm and Sprint were set to make a big announcement in the Wall Street Journal on May 19th. They said that there’s a very good chance of Palm and Sprint announcing the Pre release date then. Confusing, eh? Well, if we were betting boys, our money would be on Tuesday the 19th. We will soon see!
Remember those disastrous spy shots of the Sanyo SCP-2700 from back in March? Well luckily for the budget-conscious message addicts out there, the real thing is nowhere near as hideous as those pics made it out to be. Beginning immediately in both “impulsive pink” and “deep blue”, Sprint’s latest QWERTY messaging phone is available for an extremely reasonable $29.99 on a 2-year contract after $50 mail-in rebate. This his and hers duo sports a QWERTY keypad beneath a 2.5-inch 65K color QVGA display. Other notables include a 1.3 megapixel camera with geotagging support, navigation, Bluetooth, voice control and 4.8 hours of talk time. No, its specs won’t knock you out of your chair but for younger users looking to break the one-month SMS record, the SCP-2700 might be just what the doctor ordered. Too bad that pink one missed Mother’s Day.
As we weigh our options in seeking out an alternative to the USB modem that completely and utterly failed us in Vegas, a new option has just presented itself in the form of a nifty little hybrid broadband card from Sprint. Announced this morning, the Sierra Wireless AirCard 402 features a unique design that allows Sprint to cover users with PC Card slots and ExpressCard slots in one swing. The design places a broadband ExpressCard within a PC Card shell — as you can see in the image above, the two pieces join when a PC Card is required, but they can also be separated to support newer, smaller notebooks and netbooks requiring an ExpressCard. Very clever. The AirCard 402 supports EV-DO Rev. A of course, giving users access to “typical upload speeds of 350-500 Kbps with peak speeds of 1.8 Mbps and typical download speeds of 600 Kbps – 1.4 Mbps with peak speeds of 3.1 Mbps where EV-DO Revision A is available.”
This little guy is definitely a nice solution for users with both a notebook and a netbook where one type of card might not fit in both. It’s also great for those of you sporting an older notebook with a PC Card slot, but who will likely be upgrading to a newer laptop in the future. The Sierra Wireless AirCard 402 is available right now and will set you back a pretty reasonable $99.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate.
[Via Press Release]