(AP) -- Sprint's chief executive says the release of Palm's Pre smart phone represents a "coming out party" for Sprint.
Sprint Nextel Corp., which will carry the Pre exclusively at least through year's end, has been shedding subscribers to competing wireless services.
In remarks in New York Friday, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse says the launch of the Pre will show off Sprint's competitive plans. He says Sprint has "vastly" improved its customer service and network performance.
The Pre from Palm Inc. has a touch-screen and slide-out keyboard and will cost $200 with a two-year service plan and rebate. It could be Sprint's and Palm's best hope for fighting back against Research In Motion's BlackBerry and Apple Inc.'s iPhone handsets.
Sprint is based in Overland Park, Kan., and Palm in Sunnyvale, Calif.
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