Palm Pre's Big Weekend Gives Way to iPhone News
The Palm Pre sold out in many locations, during its first weekend on sale. Experts expect Palm to ramp up production quickly before enthusiasm cools. Palm will also have refreshed competition from Apple, which is expected to deliver big iPhone news from the WWDC.
The Palm Pre smartphone sold out in many locations, during its debut weekend, seemingly
answering Palm's prayers for a game changer.
Sprint, the network hosting the Pre for now, was looking forward to the Pre's release and the chance to show off its updated network and services, and that it can compete against carriers such as Verizon Wireless and AT&T.
Calls to several New York area stores found the stores sold out of the Pre. Some service representatives said they expect more phones in today, while others said they didn't know when new phones would arrive.
One location, on 34th Street in Manhattan, is "guaranteeing a Pre" to customers who come into the store-or send someone into the store for them-and physically put their name on a wait list.
Roger Kay, president of Endpoint Technologies, said not to read too much into the weekend's success.
"It's good that they sold out, and I did read about people standing outside stores," Kay told eWEEK. "But there will be a pent-up demand by Palm loyalists and anti-iPhone people. Some of the first traffic is from very interested groups."
Before the Pre went on sale, supply was expected to be limited, which some speculated was an intentional move by Palm. However, Kay said that may not be the case.
"Sometimes new devices take awhile to ramp. In terms of production, it's going to take [Palm] awhile to get production up to speed. It's fairly normal," said Kay, adding that he expects this to happen "fairly quickly," as Palm will want to take advantage of consumer demand while it exists.
An early criticism of the Pre has been its lack of applications-the Pre has around a dozen, while the Apple App Store's offerings have been tallied at around 35,000.
"Apple has an incumbent's advantage," Kay said. "Before the iPhone, no one thought about application stores or having applications on phones. If Palm comes in as a challenger, they're facing an uphill struggle."
In San Francisco, Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference begins today, June 8, the first working day after Palm's big weekend. Pulling the spotlight to itself, Apple is expected to announce a new 32GB iPhone, as well as a less-expensive version, priced between $99 and $149.
Editor's Note: The story has been updated to reflect that the Pre sold out in many locations, though not nationwide, as an original source had stated.