Market sources say that Palm has started delivering small quantities of their Pre smartphone to Sprint stores.

These units are not for sale as they are being delivered so that the store employees can get familiar with the device.

This is essential so that the employees are comfortable explaining the device to potential customers once the Pre smartphone is launched.

This could be the strongest hint yet to the upcoming launch of Pre smartphone in the US market.

Palm has still not announced the launch date of Pre though it is likely to be launched early next month.

Sources say that Sprint and Palm would reveal more about the launch later this month.

Palm Pre is the first smartphone model to be powered by Palm webOS mobile platform.

Palm Pre launch is very crucial for the company as they aim to take on the dominating players in the segment including Apple iPhone and RIM Blackberry.