If you're reading this fresh off the news feeds on Saturday morning, you probably know that today is a very important day for Palm (NASDAQ:PALM) -- the day its Pre smartphone hits the market.

A lot is riding on the Pre. It certainly has the specs to be a threat to both Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone and Research In Motion's (NASDAQ:RIMM) BlackBerry, but will it come through on the fan base?

Palm has been one of this year's hottest stocks, so the Pre's initial acceptance will be either the pin that pops the bubble, or the catapult that sends Palm's stock even higher. I am skeptical, but I do believe the presence of a strong Pre will only help the industry overall.

We'll come to a point where it will start to get ugly. Wireless carriers will have to cut monthly rates to reach a wider audience, and that will come at the expense of weaker smartphone subsidies. However, we're still in the land-grab phase of this nascent industry. If Palm is going to be a player again in portable connectivity, it has to start now.

Briefly in the news
And now let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.

  • General Motors finally filed for bankruptcy. The company will emerge leaner, smaller, and likely less relevant. The key here is that it does in fact need to emerge, especially given the government's billions at stake and the numerous jobs tethered to the automaker.
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average went in for a makeover, with Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) and Travelers Group (NYSE:TRV) being added to the popular 30-stock index. They replace GM and Citigroup (NYSE:C). It's a good start, but the Dow could have done so much more.

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz recommends windshield wiper fluid when trying to look back. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.