Palm Pre available June 6, says Sprint

As Palm's first entry into the smartphone market, the Pre is the latest device trying to knock the iPhone off its perch

After months of anticipation, Sprint said Tuesday that the Palm Pre smartphone will be available for purchase on June 6.

Following in the footsteps of the Apple iPhone and the BlackBerry Storm, the Palm Pre will be sold for $200 provided customers sign a two-year service agreement with Sprint and mail in a $100 rebate.

As Palm's first entry into the smartphone market, the Pre is the latest device trying to knock the iPhone off its perch, following in the footsteps of the Samsung Instinct, the BlackBerry Storm and the HTC G1. The phone's performance on the market is particularly important for Palm, as the company has been losing money and is in need of a hit.

During demonstrations of the device, Palm representatives have touted the features of the Pre's operating system, known as the Palm webOS, as a main differentiator from other smartphones. The webOS was designed to make developing applications for the operating system simple, as it is based on familiar Web standards such as CSS, XHTML and Javascript. The idea behind using well-known standards, the company says, is to make it easier for applications to integrate with each other.

Additionally, the webOS is layered to allow users to keep several applications open at once and to let them flip seamlessly between them.

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