Bell Mobility to launch Palm Pre in Canada in second half of 2009

Bell Mobility will launch the Palm Pre on its network in the second half of the year. The CDMA operator will be the first wireless carrier in Canada--after Sprint Nextel's launch of the device in the United States in the first half of this year--to launch the smartphone that carries Palm's hopes for a financial turnaround.

Bell did not provide pricing for the device, and the carrier gave no specific launch date other than between June and the end of the year (though probably it will be available in time for the critical fourth-quarter holiday shopping season).

Speculation has centered around when the device will launch in the United States. Sprint Nextel is Palm's exclusive launch partner, and the two companies have been coy about when they will launch the Pre, saying only that it will be in the first half of the year, which ends June 30. However, there has been speculation that Palm may wait until June 7 to launch the Pre, a day before a likely Apple keynote address at its WWDC conference, when Apple might unveil the latest iPhone incarnation.

Analysts also have speculated that Palm may limit the supply of Pre handsets initially so that they sell out quickly, building more buzz.

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