The wait is almost over, Palm (NASDAQ:PALM) investors. The much-anticipated Pre smartphone is set to ship on June 6.

How fitting. D-Day 2009 marks Palm's re-invasion of the market it may as well have created. Within weeks, we'll know whether the Pre is a mighty enough weapon to recapture the market share Palm has long since ceded to Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone, Research In Motion's (NASDAQ:RIMM) BlackBerry, and Nokia's (NYSE:NOK) N-series smartphones. Early evidence hasn't been encouraging.

Nor is history. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) hasn't exactly overtaken the market with its Android phones. The Big G's current partners -- Taiwan's HTC and T-Mobile, notably -- sold their 1 millionth G1 handset in April, several months after its release.

So far, only the iPhone and the BlackBerry have inspired the gotta-have-it cravings that carrier Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) is hoping the Pre will provoke.

The timing could help. Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference runs June 8-12, two days following the Pre's launch. Mac watchers are expecting, among other things, a new iPhone operating system, a first look at whatever Apple plans in answer to netbooks from Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) and Asus, and an appearance by CEO Steve Jobs. Getting ahead of the fray should give Pre a fair shot at obtaining momentum. 

Apple and RIM, an invasion is in the works. Dig the trenches, set the barbed wire, clean the guns, and prepare the press releases -- this is the battle we've been waiting for.

Brrrrring! It's related Foolishness calling:

Apple is a Stock Advisor selection. Google is a Rule Breakers recommendation. Dell, Nokia, and Sprint Nextel are Inside Value recommendations. Try any of our Foolish services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers had stock and positions in Apple and Google and a stock position in Nokia at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. The Motley Fool is also on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. The Fool's disclosure policy salutes you, Mr. End of the Article Disclosure Reader. You, sir, are a Real Man of Genius.