What a difference one handset could make. While Sprint customers have been running away from the service at breakneck speed, there were actually customers lining up today at Sprint stores to buy the new Palm Pre phones. And while the lines weren’t worthy of the Star Wars prequels or even the iPhone, Bloomberg reported today that the Sprint store on Mission Street in San Francisco sold out of 60 units within two hours and had to start a waiting list!
More interesting is that some of those customers were iPhone owners, said the store manager to Bloomberg. The news organization also reported analysts predicting sales to reach as high as 50,000 units this week, and possibly as high as 1 million units by the end of the quarter. Again, not quite iPhone numbers, but given that Sprint is in a distant third-place among U.S. carriers after Verizon and AT&T, that’s great news; especially considering that Verizon will most likely be an iPhone carrier beginning next year, ending AT&T’s exclusivity.
One thing that you won’t likely see are lots of mainstream commercials for the Palm Pre. While this smartphone is seen by some as being a potential “iPhone killer” (this reporter sees it more as an iPhone rival or alternative), the fact is that Sprint and Palm are actually looking to target the mobile business user more than the person looking for “an app for that” type of handset.
For this reason the Palm Pre shouldn’t actually be seen as going after the iPhone as much as going after the BlackBerry business. It could be an uphill climb. To be really successful in the business market, Palm is going to need to roll out devices that will work on the other major carriers.
But given the size of the market, being the third smartphone (after the BlackBerry and iPhone) and on the third largest carrier (one that won’t have the iPhone) puts Palm in a good position. It will have a solid part of the market, and there is always room to climb. Sometimes trying to be, and maintain number one is too much to ask.
iPhone from the WWDC
For iPhone and Apple fans, today is one of those big days. It is the day of the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference. OK, so it isn’t like the Super Bowl or World Series for Apple fans – that would be MacWorld of course – this is the next biggest thing.
Today at the event Scott Forstall, senior vice president of iPhone software, pulled back the curtain to reveal a few of the new bells and whistles that iPhone 3.0 will bring to the market. Among the expected news is that the new version will feature more than 100 new features, starting with a cut, copy and paste option. This new 3.0 will be compatible with the apps, including those built-in or downloaded from the Apple Apps Store, and there will be more options with “Undo gesture,” a feature where you can shake and undo the last thing you did.