NY Times on Palm's Need for a Summer Blockbuster

NY Times bullish on Sprint and PalmThe week of the Pre's official pricing and release announcement has seen a flurry of Pre-related excitement from a number of non-tech-oriented news sites and media outlets. In particular, the New York Times has posted two consecutive pieces written by Matt Richtel that discuss Palm's eagerly anticipated new smartphone and its potential halo effect on not only Palm's carrier partner but the entire wireless market over the coming months.

The first piece, entitled "Cellphone Makers Hope for a Blockbuster Summer", discuss this exciting season chock full of new mobile hardware releases and related announcements. Summer has traditionally been a time for dormancy for the tech industry, outside of the usual video game releases. But, as Richtel notes, the mobile phone industry is starting to emulate Hollywood in its reliance on the warm months spanning from May to September.

Richtel states that the "…season's most compelling phone drama will start the first week in June" when a certain smartphone arrives nationwide on Sprint CDMA network. Palm's Lynn Fox is quoted in the piece, downplaying the importance of the Pre to Palm as a company. The remainder of the piece deviates a bit from the focus on Palm, as it discusses past summer launches, such as the epic iPhone launch in 2007 and speculation on the 3rd-generation iPhone hardware refresh and upcoming Android-based handsets.

Mr. Richtel's next article for the NYT is entitled "Sprint Predicts That the Pre Will Be Big" and is devoted exclusively to discussion about Palm, the Pre and Sprint. The article unsurprisingly reveals no new details, but reaffirms Sprint's expectations for the Pre to be a blockbuster hit on par with the iPhone, according to Kevin Packingham, senior vice president for product and technology development at Sprint. Mr. Packingham also states that the Pre will give Sprint an opportunity "…to showcase its data network".

So overall, little in the way of scintillating new details is revealed by the NY Times coverage, but the pieces are still well worth reading for enthusiasts, if only to see the reassuring Palm coverage and excitement from the mainstream press. The Pre looks to definitely be shaping up to be the sort of device that, like a sleeper film hit, can receive a huge boost by positive word-of-mouth recommendations and a late barrage of mainstream attention.

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