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Palm Pre to arrive...we don't know. Still. (updated with plans)

In a private webinar today at 2PM EST, Palm product line manager Matt Crowley said after a 20-minute rehash of the CES 2009 presentation and demonstration of the company's now-fabled Palm Pre that there is "no update on pricing or availability" and that the phone is still expected in the "first half of 2009."What?
Written by Andrew Nusca, Contributor
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In a private webinar today at 2PM EST, Palm product line manager Matt Crowley said after a 20-minute rehash of the CES 2009 presentation and demonstration of the company's now-fabled Palm Pre that there is "no update on pricing or availability" and that the phone is still expected in the "first half of 2009."

What? Are you kidding?

After verbal high-fives between Crowley and David Owens, director for consumer acquisition for Sprint and 20 minutes of Crowley tapping and playing and showing us how Palm Pre's webOS can handle March Madness on its web browser, the reps finally just acquiesced with a final, "sorry, no news here, move along," in so many words.

This is a serious problem.

After news of Palm's financial woes and mounting criticism that the Pre will neither come on time nor live up to the hype, this is a major slip by a company who seems to be ignorant to the fact that the consumers (and the press) are losing patience with the company.

The drop-dead "first half of 2009" deadline of July 1 is coming, and the company must think they've got a truly hot riverstone-shaped gadget on their hands to sit on it this long.

Another takeaway: No pricing, availability info.

The company even deflected a question about its coming application store, despite many recent news stories about the competition's offerings.

Has Palm developed a unicorn? Or are we reporters just too hungry for the device?

Still, here's what we did learn about pricing plans:

  • Individuals can choose from 450 minutes ($69.99), 900 minutes ($89.99) or unlimited plans ($99.99).
  • Families can choose from 1500 minutes ($129.99), 3000 minutes ($169.99) or unlimited plans ($189.99).
  • Business customers will be able to pool their minutes together using an unlimited plan.

UPDATE 2:34 PM EST: Why the name Pre? "Because it's anticipatory," and indicates looking forward to the future, "ahead of time." You don't say. Owens: "It's a smart name because it's a smart device. It's thinking ahead for what you want it to do."

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