Palm Pre on June 7? No Way.
June 8. That’s the day Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference kicks off and the day the company is expected to uncrate its next-generation iPhone.
Could it also be the day after Palm rolls out its new Pre handset? The latest rumors suggest it is, positing June 7 as one of the release windows for the Pre and noting that the company is casting a viral video campaign slated to run through that month as well.
It’s an intriguing thought, but would Palm (PALM) really do such a thing? It seems doubtful. Certainly, debuting a handset as anxiously awaited as the Pre a day before Apple’s WWDC keynote would be a bold move that would generate no end of jawing in the tech media and beyond.
But only for about a day. Because 24 hours later all eyes and ears will shift to WWDC and they’ll be watching not just for the next iPhone but for this mysterious new tablet device we’ve been hearing about, as well and in who’s hands those devices may or may not debut. If Steve Jobs delivers the keynote and announces them, the media’s focus will be on his health, Apple’s future and these new devices. If he doesn’t, the focus will STILL be on his health, Apple’s future and these new devices.
So for Palm to launch the Pre on June 7 would be sheer lunacy. To do so would be to set itself up to have its most important product release in years washed away in a deluge of Apple (AAPL) coverage. Better to launch the device well in advance of the next iPhone’s expected arrival or after it than be subsumed in the iPhone/iTablet monomania that’s ramping up. WWDC is already sold out.
Oh, one last thing–an interesting side note. My last message to Palm’s PR head, Lynn Fox, was met with an out-of-office message explaining she’s away on vacation until May 11. Resting up for the big announcement, presumably, which–given her return date–may fall closer to the originally rumored May 17 drop date than thought.