updated 12:15 pm EST, Thu March 5, 2009
Palm Pre Delayed Rumor
Palm's flagship Pre may be delayed at least within the company. A claimed design engineer source speaking to TinyComb says the phone is "officially" delayed but doesn't say whether this will involve any delays in the public launch schedule. Palm has always remained conservative with its release schedule and has said only that it plans to launch the phone in the first half of the year, though informal leaks have hinted a possible June release.
Reasons for the delay are just as unknown, though the phone is the first to use Palm's new webOS and is also the first phone from Palm to depend almost exclusively on a touchscreen for input. The Centro and Treo lines have regularly had touchscreens but regularly include directional pads and shortcut buttons. At press events, Palm has never officially allowed the media to try the phone itself and instead conducts guided tours.
In response to the rumor, Palm has maintained that the Pre is "on track" for its original launch window but hasn't directly addressed the accuracy of the claim.
Any delay would be potentially dangerous for Palm, which has warned of a drop in revenue as prospective buyers hold off on buying existing phones until the Pre is available. The pre-summer launch is also critical to preempting Apple as most now expect an upgraded iPhone in June or early summer, which could cannibalize Pre sales.