Short Lines Formed for Pre Launch
June 8, 2009 10:51 AM
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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.
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.
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
, "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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6/8/2009 12:04:01 PM
I went to the Sprint Store in my area, and best buy. I showed up to best buy @ 9:30 (30 minutes before they opened) and nobody was there. After waiting for 20 minutes (9:50am) the best buy rep says that brand new, the phone costs 849.99. I left, since I was thinking about purchasing the phone without any rebates (I still have a year left). I went to the sprint store. They wanted 549.99. MUCH more reasonable, but not enough to sway me. I'm not allowed to receive the $100 mail in rebate, and of course, I'm not allowed to have the other contract rebate (I currently own the touch diamond, which i despise for it's unresponsiveness, sluggishness, and difficult to use as a touch screen phone).
Of course, Sprint had PLENTY in stock. got there, and though the store was busy, it didn't have the "insanity" of the iphone launch, nor any of the PS3's, Xbox 360's, Nintendo Wii's. At first, I was happy, because this guaranteed me a spot for the phone.
Then I realized why it wasn't such a huge hit:
Pricing and some of the short comings. To pay $550, I wouldn't mind so much as I can probably sell my Touch Diamond Phone (in amazing condition) for approximately 200, which gives me $350 to spend on that phone. Having that $100 mail in rebate will sure help as I'll then spend only $250. But since I'm "not qualified" for either rebates, I have to purchase the phone outright for $550.
And having the phone for $350 ($550-$200) almost did it for me... (Yes, I hate the touch diamond THAT much...). Then I heard the awful news: I cannot transfer my SERO plan for use with the Palm Pre. I have to DOUBLE my monthly payment. Yes, I am signed up for the $49/mo SERO plan, which entitles me to 1250 minutes, Unlimited Texting, Data (Internet), Nights Starts @ 7pm, free weekends, mobile-2-mobile, etc., except NO navigation (Which I have my Garmin Device for). 1250 was barely enough minutes for me. I saw the new plans that I had to sign up for, and I laughed. 69.99 for 450 minutes, and everything I already have. What a joke. That's when I gave up my spot for the SECOND time, and left. Good thing I didn't waste any "camping" on this phone. Though I did play around with the phone for a little bit, i did notice a FEW things:
Build quality (though very plastic) wasn't as bad as I thought. The sliding mechanism was good too. It felt solid. The touch screen feels good and responsive, but it seemed difficult at times to throw the "cards" away (as the video points out). Bringing the bottom menu up seems to be VERY sluggish too. Multiple times, I drag the bottom up, and gave up, because I didn't see anything following my finger. As soon as I gave up, the bar came up and disappeared, as if I had to hold it longer. People were right. This phone is pretty sluggish, but NOT as sluggish as my touch diamond. Where the iPhone is 10/10 in terms of responsiveness and fluidity, this phone is about a 6/10 and the touch diamond... well is about a 2/10 AT BEST.
Then, another issue arisen: You cannot sync your palm pre with your exchange server, if it does not have a SSL signature. EVEN THE iPHONE and ALL MY PALM PHONES previously gave me the option to use SSL or not. WTF. Now I cannot sync with my business exchange server unless my server is signed.
Sorry Palm, but too many deal breakers. I'll have to see what iPhone rolls out on the 8th so I can jump ship. You almost had me at hello.
6/8/2009 1:05:03 PM
I called Radio Shack and they are selling the Pre for $299 plus $100 rebate. Everything plan of course. no Pre's that I could verify in stock in the city of San Diego area.
6/8/2009 10:01:36 PM
You can get an iTouch for $217 at BestBuy (8 GB model). Is it that much more expensive to put a phone in it? Why would this thing cost $549 - $849 without a contract?
"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher
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