According to a Twitter from an apparent beta tester for the Palm Pre, The new webOS handset is set to launch on April 30:
This could be big news, as the new smartphone was predicted to have a June release date, and only a "first half of 2009" target has been set officially. His twitter updates have since been protected, but here's what we know so far:
- The source looks legit. "Jim Van" is CEO of Logicomm, an IT services firm for small businesses. Providence Business News previously interviewed him about the company, and his bio can be found here.
- Although we haven't seen any proof he is a beta tester (Palm almost certainly has an NDA in effect), he claims he took a couple shots of the device with firmware info on display.
- Palm is under pressure to release the new handset sooner than later; especially with Apple's WWDC on June 8th and upcoming iPhone 3.0 software (see articles).
- He clarified and restated the date in a follow-up twitter, in response to an inquiry into how sure he was of the release date.
His previous twitter activity also includes the following:
- Got Pre to work on Twitter, but it’s a tad cludgy…
- UI is VERY clean, well thought out, made for fingers. Somebody used their brains on the design. Palm’s always been cool like that
- Just used browser to remote in and play on our doc server..almost like computing w/out kbd…loaded word doc quickly..nice
- The Palm Pre should be interesting...a bunch of us are getting models to do a final test this week...I'm psyched!
Looks like Jim Van has been busy talking about the Pre! Previously in twitters, he also stated the battery is "going strong after 8 hours of mixed use", and Facebook "works so well" on the Pre. Also, the price will be $299 on a two-year contract, he reports from an unnamed source. It also will have tethering support, which was previously removed from the Sprint specifications.
So do you think we'll see the Palm Pre in April? And would a $299 price tag affect your buying decision? The Pre was recently missing from Sprint's April roadmap, which may suggest a later date. But this rumor could have some beef to it; as a beta tester he would probably know more than the rest of us, and he has released quite a few Pre bits so far. An update will be posted when new information comes in.
UPDATE (03/30): Jim Van recently responded to the rumors in a follow-up twitter and e-mail. Read more.