Desperation? Prices slashed on beleaguered Palm’s Pre [UPDATE: Sprint kills offer, claims ‘error’]

Apple Online Store “Palm Inc. is signaling something which many smartphone and PDA-phone makers do not want to signal… difficulty grabbing market share for the new Palm Pre,” Jon C. Ogg writes for 24/7 Wall St. “The new promotion out of Sprint Nextel Corp. has the cost of new Sprint customers down roughly to $99.99. While this $99 Palm is only for those who switch from another carrier and transfer in the phone number, does this exactly signal the greatest demand out there?”

“The $99.99 offer for new outside customers will last through October 31, 2009 and is for those signing a 2-year contract.,” Ogg writes. “Will this move boost sales? Perhaps. But this has to be a signal that the market penetration is low. We have seen several negative reports on this, and my own discussions with Palm Pre owners is not the same loving feeling you get from those using the new versions of the iPhone from Apple Inc.”

MacDailyNews Note:
Desperation time? Microsoft Zune already being discounted by retailers – December 13, 2006
Palm Pre: Microsoft Zune, the sequel – May 21, 2009

Ogg continues, “The odd notion here is that this launched in June and on the formal launch date we noted how there were not absolute sell-outs at some stores or how the launch allocations per store was very small.”

Full article – “Palm Pre Price Cuts… Paradise Lost?” – here.

[UPDATE: 5:57pm EDT: Sprint has pulled the $99 Pre offer. “Just six or so hours after offering a $100 service credit to new subscribers who purchase a Palm Pre and port their numbers over from another carrier, Sprint canceled it,” John Paczkowski reports for AllThingsD. “Here’s the company’s official statement on the matter: After further internal review today, the offer of a port-in service credit of $100 to new customers who buy the Palm Pre has been pulled, because it was put into the system in error.”]

MacDailyNews Take: Palm’s App World, or whatever they call it, just passed the 58 app milestone yesterday. Yes, fifty-eight. At this rate they’ll catch Apple just after time and space collapse upon each other forming an extremely dense scrambled mess that’ll be surpassed in indecipherability only by Microsoft’s Windows’ codebase.

Great Moment in Bullshit™: “What you’re looking at is that [Palm is] going to have the most valuable asset in the industry… From a products perspective, the [Palm Pre’s] impact on the market is probably as important as iPhone.”- Pacific Crest analyst James Faucette, June 03, 2009

James Faucette’s email address is

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Robert S.” for the heads up.]


  1. This tells us two things. First, Palm/Sprint aren’t selling them anywhere nearly as fast as they hoped; second, Sprint is not poaching customers from other carriers. They were hoping that Pre would give them former Verizon and T-Mobile customers (iPhone has AT&T totally locked up in the smartphone market); yet, it ain’t happening. Let’s see what happens with this little promo. I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were Sprint, though.

  2. @Jubei

    I think you are mistaken. It was done shortly after introduction, thats why Apple gave customers $100 rebates. As I recall there was a very nasty reaction from Apple customers who had been early adopters, me one of course. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”cool smile” style=”border:0;” />

  3. @ Larry

    Completely different situation. Apple wanted extra profit from the Apple-crazy early adopters. Then, they lowered the price to include a wider audience, who balked at the original price; this second round of customers saw the reduction as a “bargain” (and a way to feel smug versus the early adopters who were showing off their new toys). Smart move; the early adopters were ticked off, but they got their store credit (which made them happy), and the much more numerous “second round” customers were happy from the start.

    Palm is just trying to unload all the Palm Pre’s they can’t sell.

  4. I’d been a palm user for years since the first one , Palm Pilot. Got a iPhone3Gs and haven’t looked back. I tried the Pre before I got my iPhone. It wasn’t impressive at all..Slow..unintuitive.. You cant get the iphone out of my hands, its almost made my macbook an antique as I hardly touch it now..

  5. No wait a minute. Could it not also mean that the Palm Pre is selling well beyond their wildest expectations and with the economies of scale, law of demand and supply (you demand what we supply) the price can afford to be dropped and all discussions about takeover bait can be dismissed?

    (we pause for one minute of deep reflective focused thought).


  6. It is difficult to compare Pre sales to iPhone sales – the iPhone is sold all over the world, to a potential market of about 4 billion people, while the Pre is sold in just one country (like the Zune).

  7. MediaXYZ:

    The iPhone didn’t begin selling all over the world until six months later, and even then, it was just a handful of additional countries in Europe. It wasn’t until iPhone 3G (one year later) that the actual world opened up.

    Pre is still in the same timeframe where iPhone had only one country, retailed for $600 ($500 for 4GB model, which nobody bought), and the price reduction/rebate was still a month away and nobody knew about it. And it still sold its first million by now.

    No matter how you slice it…

  8. The Palm Pre is a failure product that Sprint can’t give away. Even pervious Palm device owners that went out and bought one thing the device is a cheap, ugly, poorly made device. Sprint even gave them 30 – 90 days to return it without cost. Most were returned, of the everyone that returned the Palm Per well over half, became AT&T;iPhone users.

    Sprint is just using the Palm Pre @ $100.00 ($99.99) to try and recoup some of the losses in the core subscriber base. without a major cash infusion. Palm will titsup in less then 12 months.

  9. I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for Palm. To me, Palm is what Newton could have been if Apple had kept it going. Shame though… they wound up like the US auto industry – groping about madly for a way to survive, 5 years after the innovation died.

  10. I think this is a shame. As someone who has actually used a Pre, it’s really a pretty nice phone. I wouldn’t drop my iPhone and switch to Sprint over it, but it is really alright, if for some reason I was locked into Sprint, I would certainly consider it. I don’t know why Palm hasn’t opened their app store up yet, it seems solid enough for me.

  11. Its a shame that Palm put all this effort into building a really nice operating system in WebOS. Unfortunately, they built a crappy, underpowered phone to run it on. I’d say they need to license it, but its not helping Android much. Android is a pretty nice OS as well but the phone makers make really crappy phones.

  12. I believe, but haven’t researched to check, that the Palm Pre is already much more successful than the Zune on two fronts: it has sold more units, and it makes a profit.

    “Accidentally put in the system” doesn’t really cut it. Why did all the various material for this offer exist to be put in the system? Obviously they are considering it quite seriously to have everything developed to the point where flipping the wrong switch could accidentally send it live.

  13. When Apple introduced the iPhone, there was absolutely no guarantee that it would be successful. In fact, there were many reasons to think it would fail. Apple had never made a phone before, the keyboard-less design was completely new and untested and the OS had never been used in a phone before. The first iPhone, which I paid $652.38 for (including tax) was very expensive. But I knew it would change my life and it did. And when my first iPhone was stolen, I went right back to the Apple store and bought another one without hesitation.

    My point is, Apple is succeeding on it’s merits — not because of an army of zombie fanbois with too much money to spend. Palm Pre will fade into obscurity because it is inferior to the iPhone (and Palm knows it!).

  14. you guys are all apple fanatics: what abt open source (Pre is Linux based)
    & open platforms, Verizon is offering Pre in Xmas time & AT&T;is getting Pre in 2010
    PreCentral has 220 Apps & growing daily with many being ported to Palm App store, many for Free ! Comparing Pre to Iphone is apples to oranges ! Our Pre is next generation & will take some time to gain momentum but will eventually be a player in the next gen of ph networks- 4G. Where will Iphone be then ? Get a life, fanatics !

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