The Palm Pre has officially gone on sale in the US on Saturday in a successful if not subdued launch.

Although a select few where able to get the new handset at 10 nationwide events across the country on Friday, it is the first time the phone has gone on sale to the public.

Available at all Sprint, Best Buy and selected Radio Shack stores across the nation, Palm and Sprint faithful started queuing ahead of the 8am opening to get their hands on the new handset

At the company's flagship store in New York around 30 people sauntered out on a pleasant spring morning to get their hands on what many are dubbing the "iPhone killer."

First in line where Chris and his buddy Randy who at 3am after a night on the town has decided to stay awake a buy the new phone first thing. Chris a Palm Treo Pro user and Danny a HTC Mogul user had both in the past dabbled with the iPhone but not enjoyed the experience.

"I am sick of it [the iPhone], it's kinda old," said Chris before Randy butted in with "It's like a toy, and AT&T is unreliable."

Both opted for the new Touchstone charger, however both felt that the optional leather pouch was a bit too corporate.

Elsewhere in line was, Lena, a mum hoping the Pre would help organise her life. Claiming that it would hopefully help her with an upcoming promotion at work she had her daughter to thank for the early start and beat the possible crowds.

With around 100 phones in the store, there were plenty to go around with the sign-up process taking around 40 minutes. Sprint staff were stating that it would take 20 minutes for the activation and a further 20 to help users get it set-up with contact details.

"We want buying a Pre to be an enjoyable experience," a member of the Flatiron building store team told us. "Not for people to get home and not know what to do next."

Sprint's strategy for encouraging switchers might have to be put on hold, we only found two in the queue, one of which was opting for a 30-day trial before finally committing to the new handset over his current BlackBerry Curve.

Why the shift away from the email centric handset? The claim of a flashier OS and a better browser suggesting it's RIM not Apple that might lose customers.