The exact duration and wording of Sprint's exclusivity agreement with Palm for the Pre has everyone wondering -- perhaps no one more than the carrier's competitors, who are blatantly champing at the bit to steal Sprint's thunder and launch new Palm hardware of their own. Sprint had already officially refuted Verizon's claim that it'd get its own Pre in "about six months" by saying that the deal lasted through 2009, but now, none other than Sprint CEO Dan Hesse is taking a swing at his archrival, saying Verizon needs to "check its facts" over the deal. The dude was clearly choosing his words carefully and refused to comment on exactly how long the company would have a lock on the Pre, but he "can tell [us] it's not six months." That could mean it's three, seven, nine, or 48 -- we really don't know -- but either way, Sprint's real challenge here is that it probably doesn't have webOS exclusivity, which means its competitors should be free to launch other Palm designs whenever they like.

[Image via I Can Has Cheezburger?]