It's official -- the HTC Hero, currently the most drool-inducing handset the Android platform has to offer, hits Sprint October 11. Sibling site AndroidCentral has all the details, and PreCentral.net has the concern that Spring might be loving the Palm Pre just a tad less when the droid everyone's looking for hits the Now (and then) Network.

So how competitive will the Sense UI on Sprint at $179.99 be with the iPhone 3GS on AT&T at $199? (We'll leave the iPhone 3G at $99 off the table for now). As functionality gets closer and closer, Android apps picks up, and ease of use improves, it will likely be the network that's the deciding factor -- who gets more bars in the most places they need to be.

Oh, oh...

Jokes aside, we've seen Nokia N900 upping their UI game, and Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.5 distressingly still not, should Apple be most worried about the increasingly competitive Google and its increasing army of droideka?

Or is this really -- and mostly -- just a problem for Palm right? Apple's enemy's enemy's carrier enemy is... what now?