It has quickly become a right of summer; Apple launching a new version of the iPhone. This summer will be no exception. What will be different is that it will be one among many new smartphones hitting the market.

In fact, just get used to the words "smartphone" and "launch" in a lot of headlines for awhile.

It's almost like Hollywood's crazy dance of summer movie releases (is it better to release early and accumulate more box office share over several weeks of summer or risk doing a fast fade when some other blockbuster comes out a couple of weeks later?)

I'm sure a lot of executives at both Palm and Sprint are losing a lot of sleep over that same strategy. This week on the sixth is when the much ballyhooed Palm Pre hits Sprint stores everywhere. Sprint has exclusive rights to sell the Pre until the end of the year and they are pulling out all the stops to make the most of it between now and then.

The Palm Pre has been luxuriating in the geek spotlight since last winter's Consumer Electronics Show. Let's just say the early reviews are more than favorable. Let's just say they've been so favorable (hype alert!), Palm's stock has tripled in the months since.

Oh my! No pressure.

Apparantly, it's iPhone wicked cool; but smaller. Palm and Sprint have a lot in common these days. Both companies are feeling a strong chill sitting in the very long shadows of their competitors. In other words, both need to hit one over the back fence really bad.

I'm not sure this will do it.

As mentioned, the latest iPhone is due out soon. Google just let it slip last week at its developer conference that it expects 18 new versions of the Google Android to hit the market between now and the end of the year. Blackberry is expected to release its "Storm 2" before the end of the year, as well.

I'm dizzy.

The fallout of all this is that there will surely be more smartphones in the hands of more U.S. customers.

I'm not sure how Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, RIM (Blackberry's parent company), Apple, Palm, Google or Motorola will fare in all of this. But one thing is certain; it's all good for the emerging mobile web and the expansion of a new market and a new way to market for businesses in an otherwise very limited economy.

Non-sequitor item...

Major shout out to my alma mater, the University of Texas and Boston College.

Saturday night/Sunday morning; the two teams dueled long into the night playing a record 25 inning game. It started at 6pm and ended after 1am.

(Texas ultimately won, of course; 3-2)

Both teams not only played hard; but played well. Most importantly, they played like gentlemen honoring their opponents' stamina and the comraderie of sharing a moment in baseball history.

In that, there were no losers; only winners.

We could all learn something from the example set by these young men.

I might add that my Austin bureau chief and boots on the ground, "Z" was actually there for all 25 innings. Cool! Beats my weekend in Connecticut.