We knew Sprint had the Pre locked up through 2009, but now Sprint CEO Dan Hesse is trying to make the period of exclusivity seem long enough to convince users to switch to Sprint rather than wait a few months.
Verizon had previously noted that the Pre (along with RIM's BlackBerry Storm 2) would be hitting Verizon in "around six months or so." Sprint was quick to shoot that down, stating that they would definitely have the exclusive rights to the Pre at least through 2009. That evidently wasn't clear enough; if the Pre hits Verizon in January (seven months from now), that's still a short enough timeframe that Verizon users would likely just wait instead of switching carriers to Sprint.
Now, in an effort to shoot down this kind of patience, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse mentioned in an interview that Verizon's timetable is wrong: "They need to check their facts," he said at a press interview. "That just is not the case. Both Palm and Sprint have agreed not to discuss the length of the exclusivity deal. But I can tell you it's not six months."
So all we know at this point is that the Pre and Sprint are locked together through 2009, and probably into 2010, though if we had to guess, we'd say not very far. If this was a year-long deal, they'd be talking it up, so our guess is that we'll be seeing the Pre on Verizon and AT&T in the first couple months of 2010. But that's just our guess. [CNET]