Palm's (PALM) upcoming Pre smartphone is a hit already, if your measurements include how much Web site and blog space is devoted to the new touch-screen device. The device is a hot topic on Twitter.com, garnering nearly 33 million online mentions so far.

These days the guessing game is focused on when Palm and Sprint ( S) will be ready to sell the handset. TSC's Scott Moritz discussed a possible price point for the device in this article.

Depending on whom you speak to, everyone spends way too much time predicting when, if and why Palm might release the Pre sometime in May or June. For the record, Palm's official company line is that it originally announced the Pre's release for the second quarter, 2009. That means before June 30. That means every blogger and industry expert is correct no matter what springtime date they choose.

According to my sources, the Pre should be a reality in mid-June (give or take a week or so). Palm has been trying to get a jump on the situation by starting to beat all of its advertising drums for the pending release. Single, full-page ads like in The Wall Street Journal last week are just a drop in the bucket.

Now I'm hearing that the ad campaign might be suspended by a week or two, same for the formal release from Sprint. That's why I'm thinking a mid-June release is a safe bet.

The highly anticipated phone -- along with webOS, its brand-new operating system -- has already begun to give other companies fits. Apple ( AAPL) was the first to react when the Pre was introduced. And now, Apple's iPhone partner AT&T ( T) is reportedly sending internal memos that boast to their people why iPhone is a better deal.

On the other hand, designers who have been working on software for the new Pre have nothing but praise for the upcoming device.

Whether it's released in early, mid or late June, the Palm Pre will be etched into our collective consciousness soon enough.

Gary Krakow is TheStreet.com's senior technology correspondent.

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