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On Call: A summer of cell phones

With the Palm Pre, more Android devices, and a possible new iPhone, the summer of 2009 will be a very busy period for new cell phones.

Kent German Former senior managing editor / features
Kent was a senior managing editor at CNET News. A veteran of CNET since 2003, he reviewed the first iPhone and worked in both the London and San Francisco offices. When not working, he's planning his next vacation, walking his dog or watching planes land at the airport (yes, really).
Kent German
3 min read
We finally have a release date for the Palm Pre. Palm

Update at Wednesday, May 20 at 10:00 a.m. PST: A few readers have asked about the North America version of the Nokia N97. It should launch June 2.

Though summer is always a busy time for new cell phones releases, so far the summer of 2009 is shaping up to be a doozy. We expect a full load of new handsets over the next three months with June being an especially hectic time for high-profile models. To help you keep track of the news, here's a handy list.

Palm Pre
After months of waiting (and plenty of rumors), we finally learned today that the Palm Pre will go on sale Saturday, June 6 for $200. Palm pushed its "first half of the year" deadline to the very end, but it appears they'll make it.

We're hoping to have a review unit by the time it hits stores so that we can give you the full scoop on this much-anticipated device. Indeed, we're very excited to finally be able to touch it. June 6 was a bit unexpected since Sprint typically releases new devices on a Sunday. But the date does give Palm a two-day jump on what should be the next incarnation of the iPhone.

Another iPhone should land by July. Corinne Schulze/CNET

Apple iPhone
Apple's Worldwide Developer's Conference begins in San Francisco the Monday after the Pre's release date. CEO Steve Jobs, who is on medical leave until late next month, will not be speaking at the conference, but it is possible that Vice President Phil Schiller will announce a new version of the iPhone at the June 8 keynote. If that doesn't happen, Apple could hold a separate event in late June or early July following Jobs' return to the company.

Its unknown at this point exactly what the new model will offer, but we might see more memory capacity, an upgraded camera, a faster processor, and better battery life. We might even get a whole new family of iPhones as at least one analyst has suggested. Please tell me below what you'd like to see in the new iPhone.

Of course, any new iPhone will offer the iPhone 3.0 software update, which will be available this summer as well. Announced in March, the update brought much-needed features including multimedia messaging, cut and paste, and stereo Bluetooth. There are a few things that are still missing--tethering, video recording, and background processing--so we're hoping Apple surprises us.

The HTC magic could come soon to T-Mobile. CNET UK

In any case, we will be at the WWDC keynote and any subsequent iPhone events. And yes, we'll review them just as soon as they're available.

It's been seven months since the T-Mobile G1 went on sale and I'm getting impatient. T-Mobile has promised more Android devices this year, but details remain sketchy. Indeed, we have a few candidates--the FCC has approved the HTC Magic and Samsung i7500 for T-Mobile and Motorola is preparing a handset--but we don't know when they'll arrive.

On a related note, T-Mobile announced Monday that it was delaying the G1's Android 1.5 (aka Cupcake) update. The target date is now--you guessed it--early June. Wheee!

We're hoping for a better Storm the second time around. Corinne Schulze/CNET

RIM BlackBerry Storm 2
Verizon Wireless didn't exactly knock it out of the park with the first BlackBerry Storm, but it now appears the second version of the phone will be out by late next month. We don't know much about it yet; I just hope it's an improvement.

LG enV3 and enV Touch
The next installments of Verizon's successful LG enV series could be out May 29 and June 5 respectively. Those are unconfirmed dates at the point, but it will be a very busy June! The enV 3 will offer similar designs and features, but the enV Touch will have a full touch screen on the inside. The enV 3 should be $129 with service, while the enV Touch will cost you $219.