Sprint (s S) will start selling the much-awaited Palm Pre on June 6, the embattled carrier said today. The phone, which onlookers expect could determine Sprint’s fate, will cost $199.99 after a $100 rebate. Best Buy (s bby), RadioShack (s rsh) and certain Wal-Mart (s wmt) stores will sell the Pre, along with Sprint’s online store. Buyers will also need to purchase an Everything Data plan for $69-$99, as our sister site jkOnTheRun notes.
The Pre is being viewed as a potential make-or-break rollout for Sprint. Along with cutting 8,000 employees, the carrier is still losing subscribers at a time when competitors are adding them. The Pre is also seen as a potential rival to Apple’s (s AAPL) dominant iPhone. Palm has a lot riding on this device as well. It’s a classic case of where the CEOs of the two companies are hoping that one plus one equals eleven. (Related: Can Pre Save Palm From Being Put Out to Pasture?)
The launch comes ahead of Apple’s expected introduction of a new iPhone, which many expect to include a lower price tag. BusinessWeek has suggested AT&T may be preparing to cut its data prices to entice more iPhone subscribers.