4G Coming to Sprint’s Palm Pre?


Palm Pre– getting 4G?

I was at Best Buy the other day, and Iwas talking with a Best Buy Mobile (Best Buy’s cell phone department) guy. We talked about a lot of upcoming phones, and he shared with me something about the Palm Pre which, if true, would be absolutely awesome– think something that can really kill the iPhone! This news is really big if true, so big that we’re devoting a seperate post to it instead of putting it in the Upcoming Sprint phones post we wrote! Read on for all the details!

Now before we get to the Palm Pre news, let’s set it up with some info about Sprint’s recently launched 4G network (THAT’s A HINT 🙂 )

You probably are seeing this on TV and online in Sprint’s new ads, talking about Sprint’s 4G network. Yes, Sprint is the first national US carrier to make the jump to a 4G network, and it has already begun rolling it out across the US in areas like Baltimore, Dallas and New York, with plans for many other cities throughout the course of 2009 and beyond. They use a new technology called WiMax which is kinda like WiFi on steroids: very solid speeds, rivaling that of your current home DSL or cable internet connection or, in short, much faster speed on the internet than that of 3G networks (on any carrier — AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and even Sprint); and at a much greater range (think in these terms: if you have cell phone service, you’ll have blazing fast internet).

Below is a brief list of additional cities in found online that should have WiMax at this point:

Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore, Grand Rapids, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Boston, Philadelphia, Providence, Washington DC, Austin, Dallas, Denver, Fort Worth, New York, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, and Seattle.

All in all, it’s great to see 4G starting to come to life in the US. Verizon and AT&T will begin their 4G network work later this year and early next year, using a different technology called LTE, which we’ll explain in another post (T-Mobile just got their 3G network a lil while back, so we can’t see them going to LTE so quickly 😉 ). And even though right now 4G is only on data cards for laptops, we should expect to see more devices taking advantage of it as Sprint continues to grow the network in the coming months.

With that intro…

As I said, I was at Best Buy the other night, talking with one of the Best Buy Mobile guys, and he told some good and bad news on the hotly anticipated Palm Pre that you could take as you will (I can’t confirm nor deny that this will actually happen, as this is the first I too am hearing of it).

The bad: the Palm Pre has been delayed a little longer (how much I don’t know, but I would think Palm and Sprint would have this out at their said date of within the first half of 2009).

The good, if not amazing news: The delay is because, according to this source at Best Buy, who has seen the Pre before in person, the phone’s delay is because THEY’RE PUTTING 4G ON ALL PALM PRE PHONES!

If true (which I really hope it is), it’s definitely awesome, and its the perfect device to really kick off 4G, and its probably worth waiting a little longer for the phone (after all, IT WILL BE 4G!!!!). Again, I can’t say whether this is actually going down, but this guy seemed to know what he was talking about, so take this as you will.
Before we end this post we gotta ask: Have you seen these new 4G speeds in action , and if so how fast are they? Also what your thoughts on the Palm Pre possibly (remember: unconfirmed— I dont want to stir any false hope) getting 4G? You think it’s better than the iPhone with it, or that it already is better than the iPhone because of it’s keyboard and doesn’t need 4G to beat it? Let us know in the comments.

Posted on April 25, 2009, in Cell Phones, Rumors and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. OMG….you should be put to sleep. A bestbuy mobile rep who’s a little far removed from the average bystander shared this juicy tidbit with you and instead of you to even RESEARCH what 4g is and how it wouldn’t make sense…..
    I bet you don’t even know that Sprint 4G (also know as WiMax) is only available in Baltimore, ONLY 1 CITY in the whole U.S and it would take them years to even get it into more than a dozen top markets, and by then they would probably be on Pre version 2 or 3…..

    WHy am i even bothering…

  2. …and how has the Palm Pre being delayed a little longer… Palm stated that they would release it in the first half of 2009, which encompassed January to June. We are only in April, so there are 2 months for them to miss the deadline…


  3. hurleyfreestyler

    I stopped speculating when it would come out back in Feb. Just got frustrated trying to find a date and they would all be different. But i think its going to be an awesome phone. I’ve watched every vid out there on it and I can’t wait to get my hands on one. That’ll be the true test. Now if i can only find the $300 its going cost. . . .

  4. Hey chill out “No one”,

    For one, Best Buy is a top cell phone shop in the US (and top tech shop in the US now the Circuit City bit the dust), and carry every carrier in their store. You really don’t think they get a little heads up on when new things are coming, and get trained to use them in order so that they can sell them to customers (especially with big devices like the iPhone, Blackberry Storm and Pre)? Also, check this out: http://www.engadget.com/2007/10/02/sonys-399-ps3-confirmed-by-best-buy/ , it’s talking about a $399 PS3 that was found to be coming to Best Buy at a price cut. It didn’t say when, but about 2 weeks later look it happened.

    At the time this was a rumor, but I guess we can say now that Best Buy’s systems actually have some correct info in them. And seeing as how the Best Buy guy, you know, works AT Best Buy, I’m pretty safe to assume that he saw one of those systems– they’re in every store as they are used to count inventory, easy for an employee to get too– and actually has some info on what he’s talking about and not just talking for the sake of talking. Again, I don’t know, as he could very well be wrong and making this all up (though when I spoke to him he really sounded like he wasn’t lying, and really what motivation would he have to lie as we were just having a candid conversation?), and just thinking about this whole thing just a little actually makes it sound plausible.

    Also, who said it still can’t come by the end of June or even in May, all they need to do is put in a chip (I mean, we don’t know the limitations of webOS so it could be ready out of the box for something like this), and it could very well still be in that “1st half of 2009” timeframe with the “delay” being off a rumored/expected date he heard (the previous buzz around the web was that it was coming May 17th, so maybe it got pushed to June. Though he mentioned it getting delayed in March or something of the like, which makes even that May date a possibility). And, yes, if you went to Sprint’s 4G coverage maps (I made it easy for you 😉 click here) you’ll see that they do have 4G out in some of those areas listed (I know because I live in the New York area and the map says I have 4G available). Just look at the nation wide map and you’ll see those cities look to have 4G according to the Sprint map (make sure you click the “Data, Email…” tab and then the “Sprint 4G” tab so you see the 4G).

    I do though see how you can be skeptical and understand that. I’m not gonna lie, I am too, and I stressed heavily in the post that it was a RUMOR (I’ll stress it here again 😉 ) and that he may be wrong. I just thought it had some chance and thought it would be an interesting thing to write about (and based on your reaction, I guess I was somewhat right 🙂 ).

    I apologize if this got you riled up in any way, and we’ll find out if this was right or wrong (hopefully) soon 🙂

    All the best,


  5. I agree Eli, no one had “no clue” before making those assinine comments. Just goes to show how little thought goes into most of these pessimistic attitudes. Love the blog, heavily invested in PALM so I hope the pre is a success. Keep posting on the pre and other PALM related devices.

    Thanks and love the blog

  6. My father works for Sprint. He took a 7 hour training class on it. The Palm Pre is SUPPOSED to be coming out first week of June. It WILL have 4G. How soon? I don’t know.

  7. Eli you should Be witting this article! You did a way better job than this jock *itch!* did complaining… but if you had taken some initiative in the first place this startlingly well place defense wouldn’t have been a necessity for you the author. Yes wi-max kicks so much ass where talking like fios speeds on your cell phone. Imagine up 20m, the real time gaming, social and business hand held interaction would be mind numbing not to mention banking and vid-calls. Probably will start with 3m standard. but it can taps out at around 300m. I’m getting the Palm Pre-or first sanyo android phone, simple!

  8. Eli, you are not completely wrong. First, Sprint currently has full 4G spectrum in Baltimore and Portland, however the other cities that you mentioned are not fully functional at this moment. I expect them to be fully functional by the end of this year. Clearwire, a subsidary, with Sprint owning 51%, manifested that they would have more than ten metro areas covered with 4G before the end of this year. They also indicated they would have 4G available to over 120 million consumers by the end of 2010.

    On another note Sprint and Clearwire are compelled to roll out 4G in a timely manner or else they could lose the much touted spectrum they acquired from the US gov’t in their merger with Nextel. Owing to this I do not see Clearwire, hence Sprint dragging their heels on this one. You should also note that ATT and VZ will not have 4G available until the early part of 2011, yes I am not kidding. What people don’t realize is that rolling out a next generation platform is not something you can do over night. Sprint has been working on their 4G platform for over 3 years and only now is it coming to fruition.

  9. Shawn Roberts

    I heard the same thing from a Best Buy Mobile rep today! The Pre will have a 4G radio in it.

  10. Thought you might find this of interest re: “Mr. Why Am I Even Bothering” discussing 4G only in Baltimore

    Here is the text from the Sprint Notice:

    We’re contacting our customers with mobile broadband cards for their laptops, specifically the u300, with information about that card. Sprint is continuously working to optimize its 4G devices and services to maximize the WiMAX network.

    As a result, we update software for our devices on a regular basis. We have recently updated the software for our Sprint 3G/4G USB Modem U300. If you have an older version of the software, you’ll be prompted to update it to the new version – and you may have already done so. If you haven’t, please accept the free software updates when prompted to do so or by going to http://www.sprint.com/downloadsand downloading the most up-to-date software for your device.

    Not downloading the most updated software for your device will result in an inability to use 4G speed in Baltimore.

    We also want to inform you that if you’ve been using 4G service in Baltimore, you may notice a change in the upload speed. The speed may be slower than what you’ve previously experienced because of a technology change that places a cap on the allowed speeds.

    If you haven’t yet experienced Sprint’s 4G speed, we have an easy way for you to trial it. Once you’ve updated the u300 software, the next time you travel to a market where we’ve launched WiMax technology, such as Atlanta, Portland, Las Vegas and others, you’ll be prompted to buy a 4G Day Pass when the software detects the 4G signal. You can select “no thanks” or you can choose to buy the pass for just $9.99 for a 24-hour period – an inexpensive way to experience 4G speed.

    If you have trouble with downloading the software or have general questions about Sprint 4G Service, please call (888) 649-6711 (Option 1).

    Thank you for your business.


    Brian Flewellen


    The Sprint 4G Team

  11. you stupid people

    I do not think any of you truly know.

    First when old NO NAME uo there said something that sounded remotely intelligent, you all jumped aboard.

    However, when Mr. Eli contradicted No Name with a witty argument, where did the people turn? To Eli.

    Sound like to people rebuddling back and forth while the leaches jump from one side to the opposing.

  12. Real Researcher

    4G with Spint limited to 3G speeds and $10.00 a day for where it’s not limited in the extremely few places you can find it. Sprint giving away customers info and data to the Feds to help them spy on you. If you want to get serious, you’ll have to look at the Genus Cellular/Satellite Hybrid powered by Terrestar and AT&T seemless transition technology!
    As far as the iPhone, you need to meet or exceed it’s sceen size to compete otherwise. Compare affordable no dropped calls with hybrid technology against Sprints betrayal of it’s costomers and misleading service claims, and there’s no contest. As far as Best Buy is concerned, I seem to always be ahead of them with a little bit of research before going, to know they’ll say anything for you to buy into the story they have to tell. As I told Comcast Cable after having FIOS intalled… ALL the real proof is in your EXPERIENCE!

  13. I don’t know too much about this but I heard from a Radio Shack cell phone sales rep, that the Palm Pre for Sprint has 4G. He also stated that the Palm Pre can be used as a mobile hot spot (he did not mention MyTether as the required app though). Just thought I would throw this out there as it’s not just one Best Buy sales rep stating that Palm Pre is a 4G phone.

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