Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What Is Going On With Pre Sales?

TechCrunch posted some information from a research group JNK Wireless Consultant iGR on the state of Palm Pre sales. Then the outfit compared it with data from iPhone 3GS sales.

You can go there and check out the post if you like and decide for yourself if you agree with the numbers or not. Frankly, the numbers do seem a bit low. I've seen some number as high as 50K a week in the latest week. I think the right thing to say is that the numbers are actually somewhere in the middle.

Regardless, I had thought the Pre would be giving the iPhone a run for its money before tapering off a bit. I can only think of a couple of reasons why Palm is not doing better.

One, a lot of former Palm fans were Apple fans. There were tons of calls for Apple to buy Palm in the early years of Steve Jobs' second coming. Obviously, that never happened. It was also fresh in folks mind that Jobs had killed off the Newton. And now, more of the ex-Palm devotees are now iPhone fans.

Second. Timing. Look, it's not hindsight here. I was wondering why Palm launched so close to the WWDC when Apple was going to be talking about the iPhone 3.0 and possibly was going talk about the next generation iPhone which turned out to be the 3GS.

For folks who are not familiar with Apple events, they usually run about 90-100 minutes. The WWDC keynote a week after Pre went on sale was closer to 110 minutes. Guess what they used that extra 20 minutes for? Right, the iPhone 3GS.

I know Palm and Sprint pre-announced the back in January the Pre and promised to launch in the first half of 2009. But while they did keep that deadline, they ran right into Apple who was already pissed off Palm's former Apple execs.

Third. Sprint. Okay. This one I don't get. Folks seem to think that Sprint is a sinking ship. Well, aside from the fact it uses CDMA and has recently outsourced its network to Ericsson, I have always heard good things about it from folks I know who use Sprint. Nevertheless, blogs and the media has decided it Sprint has a subpar network. That being the case, subscribers may be shying away from the Pre because of Sprint.

So, what can Palm do? It looks like things should be looking up from this point on. Verizon has publicly said the Pre will grace its network in 2010 and at last one other WebOS device may make its way to ATT. Plus, Palm will likely make more deals with international carriers in the coming months.

Still, competition will be though. Apple, RIM, Microsoft, and Nokia will be looking to undermine any push that Palm try. Even though Palm's been in this business longer than most, it must feel awfully like the new guy in town.

And it's a very very rough town at that.

Source: Techcrunch

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