Confirmed! Palm Pre Arriving June 6, $300

After weeks of rampant rumor-mongering and speculation, the Palm Pre release date is finally set – June 6. Commence confetti launch … now.

Palm Inc. said in a blog posting that the Pre would be available initially in Sprint stores, Best Buy, Radio Shack and some Wal-Mart locations. It will go for $299 – but comes with a $100 mail-in rebate. That’s a mail-in, not an instant or online, rebate.

The handset will land just two days before Apple Inc.’s worldwide developers conference, at which an announcement as to new iPhone hardware is widely anticipated.

Shortages? You bet. At least, that’s what Dan Hesse, CEO at exclusive Pre carrier Sprint-Nextel Corp. told analysts at a conference on Tuesday. “We’ll have shortages for a while,” he predicted, noting the Pre appeals to consumers and business users alike. Sprint is not planning a major marketing push initially in light of the low inventory, he added.

Whether the shortages are artificial or not, Sprint and Palm dearly need a hit in the Palm Pre, so Hesse is no doubt hoping more people than not will be getting their camping gear out June 5 to snag one of the devices at launch – helping with the buzz, and with pre-empting Apple’s announcement. It remains to be seen if the $300 price tag – $100 more than expected – will deter anyone.

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