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Sprint sold out of Pre's in some areas

Back in January the Palm Pre was first shown at CES 2009. Since it first debuted at the show, it has been among the most highly anticipated smartphones of the year. Over the weekend, the Palm Pre launched and both Sprint and Palm are hoping the device can save the ailing companies.

Reuters reports that the launch of the Pre saw some lines form at stores in larger cities as shoppers looked to get their hands on the new smartphone. As expected, the Pre launch was a drop in the bucket compared to the epic launch of the iPhone several years ago.

Reuters reports that while the lines of fans waiting to buy the Pre were shorter than seen for the iPhone, the customers will still anxious to get their hands on the new device.

Peter Lewis, a shopper in line for a Pre, told Reuters, "I wanted their iPhone killer. I've been anticipating this for a while."

Sprint is hoping that the Pre will prove popular enough that it will help stop the subscriber defections plaguing the company and help it win customers back form Verizon and AT&T. A Sprint spokesperson said that as of late Saturday Sprint had sold out of Pre's at a number of locations around the country and Sprint was working to try to restock the stores.

Palm's Executive Chairman Jon Rubinstein said, "It's always nice to see a bunch of people waiting for a product you worked on." He continued saying, "For us, the opportunity is not to take customers away from RIM or Apple." The opportunity here according to Rubinstein is to get Sprint customers to upgrade from basic handsets to the new Pre. An increasing percentage of most cellular providers revenue is coming from data plans, which smartphones are optimized for.

The limelight will shine on Palm for a scant few more hours before Apple's WWDC kicks off in California. Apple is widely expected to launch a new iPhone at the conference in the keynote set to kick off shortly. The first official Pre reviews for the Pre were favorable.


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RE: timid but intrigued
By djc208 on 6/8/2009 11:58:08 AM , Rating: 2
At this point the two big advantages of the Pre are:

- It's not on AT&T. People may not like Sprint any better, but for existing Sprint customers it will help them to stay. The data plans on Sprint are cheaper, and for those fed up with AT&T it may be enough to get some people to leave.

- The OS does have some nice features not found on the iPhone, and I'm not sure you'll see them in the new one coming out either. I'm sure Apple will eventually itegrate similar ideas, but for now Palm managed to hit on a few UI features Apple didn't (including cut and paste).

But the Pre still has some growing up to do and being two generations behind means it will have to do it quickly. The OS should have at least one or two updates before the end of the year to fix various bugs/features, and they need to push their App store really hard to developers.

In fact if I were Sprint I'd pay a bunch of the popular iPhone app developers to port them to the Pre. Once the Pre goes to other providers you can offer discounts or free downloads on these apps to Sprint customers as an incentive to sign-up/stay.

If Apple does shut down the Pre compatability with iTunes I'd love to see them take it to court, it probably won't happen and I'm not sure it would be the financially smart move but I think it's time Apple felt the sting of being branded a manopoly for once.


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