There's been a lot of chatter on both blogs and forums as of late stating that those "real reviewer" units Palm was promising to prospective owners -- essentially "everyman critics" -- would be sent out some time this week. In fact, some folks have even been spouting off that they've received their devices (see the magic above, and one of the source photos which has been cropped and blurred after the break). Well here's the deal: those units aren't going out to "real reviewers" before they get into the hands of fake reviewers... namely, the press. In the words of a source at Palm:
We clearly said "we'll provide you with a current-model phone and data-plan service for six months" and Pre only once it is available, we never said they would get early Pre units.
So, that's something to consider before you jump the gun on the next Twitpic blast from Joe the Reviewer (though in this particular forum poster's defense, he did recant). Still, the whole tone leading up to the Pre launch is starting to feel a bit chaotic -- we know Palm has to pull the trigger soon, and we've heard lots of totally believable rumors, but it is beginning to feel like anything might happen. The basic question we're turning over in our minds right now is this: does Palm know how to do this right?