“O2 touted the smartphone as an ‘iPhone killer’ when it launched the device under a two year exclusive deal with Palm this autumn, but retail staff have reported a disappointing response,” Millett reports.
Millett reports, “One O2 retail manager told Mobile: ‘We have sold 20 times more [iPhones than Palm Pre handsets]. The iPhone is a more established brand and there has been more advertising. They are both good handsets but, with such a small price difference, customers take the view they might as well go for the iPhone.'”
Millett reports, “Software problems are also affecting sales of the Palm Pre, according to retail sources, and returns are relatively high. One source said: ‘We have sold less [Palm Pres than iPhones] but there are more returns because of software problems.'”
MacDailyNews Take: There are reports of hardware problems due to poor build quality/design and materials choices, too:
• Analyst: Palm Pre sales slow, returns high; Apple’s iPhone 3GS very successful – July 21, 2009
• Analyst puts ‘Sell’ rating on beleaguered Palm; Pre return rate as high as 40% – July 20, 2009
• Palm Pre users complain about lack of virtual keyboard – July 09, 2009
• Ars Technica: Traveling with a Palm Pre is draining; makes you want your iPhone back – July 06, 2009
• Disillusioned Palm Pre sufferers complain as they watch their devices fall apart at the seams – July 01, 2009
• Report: Palm Pre screen crack issue emerges; cracks radiate from center ‘home’ button – June 17, 2009
• Palm Pre’s plastic touchscreen yields festival of scratches (with photo) – June 17, 2009
• The Boy Genius’ hands-on review of Palm Pre: ‘Feels like a Fisher Price toy; disappointing keyboard’ – May 29, 2009
Millett continues, “Retail staff attending an O2 supply chain meeting reported seeing large amounts of unsold Palm Pres in the warehouse. O2 has now deployed a team of sales specialists to train in-store staff in a bid to boost Palm Pre uptake in the Christmas period.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: O2 should not press to shackle their less knowledgeable customers with dead-end devices; it will only result in dissatisfaction down the road. We can hear the duped crying out to O2 in unison in the near future, “WTF didn’t you advise me to buy the iPhone?! We trusted you. Our mistake, but it won’t happen again.”