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Comments on: Sprint Reports Second Quarter 2009 Results

Sprint Palm Pre Sales Sprint has reported its first set of quarterly financial results with the Palm Pre. Despite the high profile launch, Sprint posted a net loss of $384 million. The company also lost a net 257,000 customers to end the quarter with a total of 48.8 million. During the following conference call CEO Dan Hesse declined to provide any specific numbers on Palm Pre sales.

"In the second quarter, we made further progress on our efforts to enhance financial stability, improve the customer experience and reinvigorate the brand," said Dan Hesse, Sprint Nextel CEO. "The widespread visibility surrounding our record-breaking June launch of the Palm Pre handset gave us an unprecedented opportunity to showcase these improvements to customers as Ďa new Sprint.'"

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Is that good or bad?

Tuckermaclain @ 7/29/2009 2:41:57 PM # Q
In today's economic state.

BTW, I just upgraded to the centro and it is pretty sweet. Just using phone & text service. Can get on unlocked for $150 now. I hope I didn't act stupidly.

RE: Is that good or bad?
abosco @ 7/29/2009 4:07:34 PM # M Q
Terrible. They launched the self-proclaimed device that would save them, and they still lost tons of subscribers and money. What's worse, they didn't report the number of Pres sold, meaning it is worse than expected.

It took the Storm and G1 several months each to sell one million units, but before that, they refused to report a single number. Both of those devices seem to have missed the mark in both user reviews and sales, and have left an overall feeling of, "wait until next time!" The Pre should do similarly, but unfortunately, Palm does not have another steady revenue source to rely on.

Sprint shares got hit hard today, but Palm shares didn't move. I guess people believe that no news is good news?

RE: Is that good or bad?
freakout @ 7/29/2009 4:25:32 PM # Q
Sprint shares got hit hard today, but Palm shares didn't move. I guess people believe that no news is good news?

Why see the companies as tied together? Especially given Verizon's recent rumblings about how they would be getting the Pre, and international versions in the pipe.

RE: Is that good or bad?
jca666us @ 7/29/2009 4:34:45 PM # Q
Freak, you need to lay off the pipe.

The fact remains that Sprint lost 257,000 subscribers in the first quarter of Pre availability.

The Pre *may* be a good phone, but the good news you mention is more than offset by Sprint's bad news.

Sprint had an opportunity to talk up the Pre - if anything they backpedaled the other day by saying, "it's difficult to say if the Pre is a hit device".

If they're saying that, with the device just out of the gate, that means sales must suck pretty badly.

As long as the Pre is exclusive to Sprint, Palm's fate is tied to Sprint.

Also, the Pre's sales haven't been helped by the painful series of Pre advertisements.

While apple can make copy & paste sound innovative, Palm and Sprint made the Pre sound like a feminine deodorant product.

From the low sales numbers, I guess women aren't flocking to the Pre!

RE: Is that good or bad?
RandyB1 @ 7/29/2009 5:38:40 PM # Q
My 15 yr old son has owned a Curve for several months, and used my Pre last night when his BB got wet. Today he told me "I loved it." My iPhone friends are equally impressed. Apple and AT&T are dreading the day when Verizon starts selling the Pre, because AT&T has awful service (admittedly, so does Sprint, to a lesser extent) a lot of people that went to AT&T to get the iPhone will go back to Verizon.
RE: Is that good or bad?
bhartman34 @ 7/29/2009 6:06:30 PM # Q
jca666us wrote:
Freak, you need to lay off the pipe.

The fact remains that Sprint lost 257,000 subscribers in the first quarter of Pre availability.

The Pre *may* be a good phone, but the good news you mention is more than offset by Sprint's bad news.

What freak's saying is that Sprint might suck, but that doesn't mean the Pre is dead. And it seems unavoidable to conclude that the Pre's sales (whatever they are) are inextricably linked to the job that Sprint did to promote it. And honestly, how much have they done?

However the first quarter turns out for Pre sales (and it's too early to make any predictions on that, really), that's largely Sprint's responsibility, for better or worse. The phone itself has received mostly good press (and certainly not the amount of bad press that the Storm had to endure), so it can't really (at least, honestly) be said that the issue is with the phone itself.

And finally, there's the issue of the number of Pres initially produced. Until fairly recently, Pres were selling out. (When I got mine, nearly a month after the release date, there were 50 people on the waiting list at my local Sprint store (and that store wasn't in a major city).

At any rate, the issue isn't whether or not the Pre will save Sprint. Sprint might not be saved by it. The more important issue (for Pre users) is whether or not it will save Palm. From all indications so far, it has at least given them the strength to fight another day. Sure, they need to follow-up with another phone with strong specs, and they certainly need to get cracking on the App Catalog release, but I don't think the buzzards are still flying overhead. At the very least, there are people thinking, "I'll wait until it comes to Verizon", rather than, "Dead phone walking...".

RE: Is that good or bad?
freakout @ 7/29/2009 6:10:12 PM # Q
As long as the Pre is exclusive to Sprint, Palm's fate is tied to Sprint.

Wow, thanks for that Captain Obvious. Do you have any more amazing insights to offer?

Pre's exclusivity to Sprint is only in the US, and only until early 2010. With Verizon chomping at the bit to get it as soon as it can. In the meantime you have international versions launching this year and the launch of a second webOS device likely as well.

Assuming it's a dud when it's only available on the least popular US carrier is rather narrow thinking. But then, what else would we expect from you?

Please feel free to not reply.

RE: Is that good or bad?
jca666us @ 7/29/2009 6:12:58 PM # Q
I'd rather be captain obvious than captain a**hole!
RE: Is that good or bad?
jca666us @ 7/29/2009 6:31:28 PM # Q
>What freak's saying is that Sprint might suck, but that doesn't mean the Pre
>is dead.

That's being both delusional and gracious.

Sprint and Palm are currently in a symbiotic relationship; Sprint's dying and it's not doing Palm any good.

>And honestly, how much have they done?

They've done more and better advertising then Palm has done.

>However the first quarter turns out for Pre sales (and it's too early to make
>any predictions on that, really), that's largely Sprint's responsibility, for
>better or worse.

I'd say Palm has a large share of the responsibility too.

>The phone itself has received mostly good press (and certainly not the
>amount of bad press that the Storm had to endure), so it can't really (at
>least, honestly) be said that the issue is with the phone itself.

Too early to make any predictions there :) however the app situation being what it is - is certainly an issue related to the phone.

>And finally, there's the issue of the number of Pres initially produced. Until
>fairly recently, Pres were selling out. (When I got mine, nearly a month
>after the release date, there were 50 people on the waiting list at my local
>Sprint store (and that store wasn't in a major city).

There are tons of Pres at my local best buy and Sprint stores.

>At any rate, the issue isn't whether or not the Pre will save Sprint.

Perhaps, but that's a strong indicator as to how the Pre is doing.

>The more important issue (for Pre users) is whether or not it will save
>Palm.

>From all indications so far, it has at least given them the strength to fight
>another day.

Too early to say :)

>Sure, they need to follow-up with another phone with strong specs, and they
>certainly need to get cracking on the App Catalog release, but I don't think
>the buzzards are still flying overhead.

The buzzards are waiting until the sales numbers are released before they start picking at the corpse.

>At the very least, there are people thinking, "I'll wait until it comes to
>Verizon", rather than, "Dead phone walking...".

I doubt you'll see 5 million people waiting until it hits Verizon...

RE: Is that good or bad?
LiveFaith @ 7/29/2009 8:47:38 PM # M Q
I don't understand all the Sprint/Pre/Profit hand wringing going on. If you pay attention to the actual financials, the quarter ended on June 30. That means, the Pre was actually sold by Sprint for about 10 days out of a 3 month period. What exactly were we expecting to happen? Were 350,000 Pres and 2yr contracts supposed to reverse the decline of a big company like Sprint in just over a week? Pretty ambitious.

Like the CEO said ''It's to early 2 tell''. Next quarter we'll get 90 full days of data.

RE: Is that good or bad?
bhartman34 @ 7/29/2009 10:10:02 PM # Q
jca666us wrote:
>What freak's saying is that Sprint might suck, but that doesn't mean the Pre
>is dead.

That's being both delusional and gracious.

Sprint and Palm are currently in a symbiotic relationship; Sprint's dying and it's not doing Palm any good.

I didn't say it was good for Palm if Sprint dies. But if Sprint dies, that doesn't mean that Palm dies with it. The Pre has made enough of an impression -- on gadget geeks and the press, at the very least -- that other carriers want to pick it up. Hell, other carriers have picked it up. As freak said, it's got deals outside the U.S., and Verizon on board for 2010.


jca666us wrote:
>And honestly, how much have they done?

They've done more and better advertising then Palm has done.

Well, that's kind of why I asked "How much...?" rather than "What...?". I'd be the last one to argue that Palm's Tamara Hope commercials were inspiring. On the other hand, Palm did far more to build up buzz before the release than Sprint has done since. The Pre maybe gets the same 1-second cameo at the end of the Sprint ads that it gets in the Palm ads, but (and here's the important part) at least when Creepy Girl starts talking, she's promoting the phone the whole time. They get at least a B for effort, even if they get an F- for execution.

jca666us wrote:

>However the first quarter turns out for Pre sales (and it's too early to make
>any predictions on that, really), that's largely Sprint's responsibility, for
>better or worse.

I'd say Palm has a large share of the responsibility too.

I think Sprint bears more of the responsibility, simply because they're the carrier. They made a few decisions that, frankly, I think kept the Pre from really reaching its full sales potential (at least, in the early going). The best example that springs to mind is the insistence on selling the Pre only in stores for so long. Sure, I understand taht they had limited quantities they were dealing with, but online ordering makes it easier for people to pull the trigger, and they could've at least taken the orders and put people in a queue to get the phone, couldn't they?

And then, there's the rebate thing. If you're going to knock $100 off the price of the phone, just do it. Don't d*ck people around with mail-in reabates. If Best Buy can do it, Sprint could've done it. Sure, we all know that $100, over the life of a contract, isn't a lot of money, but there's a psychological value to people knowing that the cost is being taken right off the top, rather than contingent upon them cutting labels off and mailing in receipts.

jca666us wrote:

>The phone itself has received mostly good press (and certainly not the
>amount of bad press that the Storm had to endure), so it can't really (at
>least, honestly) be said that the issue is with the phone itself.

Too early to make any predictions there :) however the app situation being what it is - is certainly an issue related to the phone.

Well, I don't really think it's too early to say that the press about the hardware itself has been mostly good. It came right out of the gate with a sweep of CES, earned high marks in most critical reviews, and actually put Palm back on the map again. How long had it been, before the Pre, when there was actually good buzz about a Palm phone? The closest they came prior to that was probably the Centro, and that was remarkable mostly for being an "entry level" smartphone, not a technoogical wonder.

jca666us wrote:

>And finally, there's the issue of the number of Pres initially produced. Until
>fairly recently, Pres were selling out. (When I got mine, nearly a month
>after the release date, there were 50 people on the waiting list at my local
>Sprint store (and that store wasn't in a major city).

There are tons of Pres at my local best buy and Sprint stores.

Which is why I said, "Until fairly recently...". If I went to the same Sprint store today, there would probably be several to choose from. My point was, when the Pres first came out, there weren't a lot to go around. How high can the sales be, when you don't have a lot to sell in the first place? Palm wasn't in the position to outsell the iPhone 3G right out of the gate. By this time next year, there will be the Eos, as well as whatever "Pre2" Palm comes up with. That's what the performance of the Pre has gotten Palm so far. It's the chance to fight another day. If they had pulled the phone equivalent of the Foleo out of their hats (which could have easily happened, given that they were scrapping Garnet and starting new), Palm would've died a quiet death.


jca666us wrote:

>At any rate, the issue isn't whether or not the Pre will save Sprint.

Perhaps, but that's a strong indicator as to how the Pre is doing.

Not particularly, no. It's only an indicator of how Sprint is doing. There's a lot more to Sprint than the Pre:

http://tinyurl.com/lo7z69 (NY Times article. Registration required.)

In fact, rather than Sprint being an indication of how the Pre is selling, it's actually the other way around: Sprint's troubles aren't an indicator of how the Pre is doing, but part of the cause. Sprint's network doesn't enjoy the best reputation, and there were a lot of people when Palm announced who the carrier was, said things like, "Sprint? No thanks..", and "I'll wait til it comes on Verizon." Well, Verizon is coming soon, and the Pre was able to weather being on Sprint well enough to get critical acclaim.

jca666us wrote:

>The more important issue (for Pre users) is whether or not it will save
>Palm.

>From all indications so far, it has at least given them the strength to fight
>another day.

Too early to say :)

As of 45 mintues ago, it's "another day", so I think they made it that far. ;)

Seriously, though: The next test for Palm -- in terms of hardware, at least-- will be the Eos. (Sooner than that, of course, they have to pump up the App Catalog. Then we get to see how the Pre does on Verizon. And then it's on to Pre 2: The Next Generation. ;)


jca666us wrote:

>Sure, they need to follow-up with another phone with strong specs, and they
>certainly need to get cracking on the App Catalog release, but I don't think
>the buzzards are still flying overhead.

The buzzards are waiting until the sales numbers are released before they start picking at the corpse.

The sales numbers will certainly move Palm's stock one way or the other, but the conservative estimates are good enough to say that the Pre's sales were decent. I think you're assuming that if the Pre doesn't show iPhone-level sales, the company will be toast. That's simply not the case. Look at the size of Palm, and look at the size of Apple. If Palm made half of the iPhone's sales (in the same period of time) it'd be a grand slam, from a financial standpoint.

Check out Wolfram Alpha's comparison of Palm and Apple:

http://tinyurl.com/mr5t4u

jca666us wrote:

>At the very least, there are people thinking, "I'll wait until it comes to
>Verizon", rather than, "Dead phone walking...".

I doubt you'll see 5 million people waiting until it hits Verizon...

I doubt that 5 million people will take yodeling lessons tomorrow, too. What's that got to do with anything? Answer: Not a damn thing. Palm does not have to sell (or even match) the success of the iPhone 3G (let alone total iPhone sales) to compete with Apple. By your measure, any software company (which would include Apple, by the way) smaller than Microsoft is doomed to failure, and should just take their marbles and go home. Sorry, but it doesn't work that way. I'm not quite sure what your pathological loathing of Palm is about, but you'll have to endure it for the foreseeable future. There is zero chance that the Pre was the megaflop you want it to be.


RE: Is that good or bad?
bhartman34 @ 7/29/2009 10:15:19 PM # Q
LiveFaith wrote:
I don't understand all the Sprint/Pre/Profit hand wringing going on. If you pay attention to the actual financials, the quarter ended on June 30. That means, the Pre was actually sold by Sprint for about 10 days out of a 3 month period. What exactly were we expecting to happen? Were 350,000 Pres and 2yr contracts supposed to reverse the decline of a big company like Sprint in just over a week? Pretty ambitious.

Like the CEO said ''It's to early 2 tell''. Next quarter we'll get 90 full days of data.

Nicely said. :)

RE: Is that good or bad?
jca666us @ 7/30/2009 1:30:34 AM # Q
>If Palm made half of the iPhone's sales (in the same period of time) it'd be a
>grand slam, from a financial standpoint.

Did you just pull these numbers out of your butt?

I've read a few financial analysts proclaim that Palm needs to sell ~2 million by the end of the year for Palm to remain financially viable.

I don't know if those are iphone numbers; as I don't keep a running total of iphone sales.

>...the quarter ended on June 30. That means, the Pre was actually sold by
>Sprint for about 10 days out of a 3 month period. What exactly were we
>expecting to happen?

That Sprint announce the actual sales numbers for that 10 day period - announce some good news against the doom & gloom.

That's all - as I've read elsewhere - the silence is damning.

RE: Is that good or bad?
bhartman34 @ 7/30/2009 5:57:16 AM # Q
jca666us wrote:
>If Palm made half of the iPhone's sales (in the same period of time) it'd be a
>grand slam, from a financial standpoint.

Did you just pull these numbers out of your butt?

I've read a few financial analysts proclaim that Palm needs to sell ~2 million by the end of the year for Palm to remain financially viable.

Verizon is slated to get the Pre in 2010. That's a year and a quarter away. The latest numbers I've heard thrown around on the Pre are 300,000 units in June. July numbers are harder to come by. The only reports I've heard on those have used bad numbers (extrapolating sales by taking "surveys" of 50 Sprint stores and then extrapolating those numbers using an incorrect value for the total number of Sprint stores. But the even sites like TechCrunch are saying that the week-to-week sales at Sprint stores are actually increasing:

* Week 5 Palm Pre Sales Per Sprint Store

* 10 units or less: 30% (vs. 40% the prior week)
* 10 to 20 units: 45% (vs. 33% the prior week)
* 20 to 30 units: 18% (vs. 16% the prior week)
* 30 to 50 units: 12% (no comparable)

http://tinyurl.com/ls9skv

Multiply that out by 2,300 stores, and it comes out to 138,000 - 230,000 per week. I think extrapolating those numbers out to the end of the year is pointless, but if the true rate turned out to be even half of that, Sprint alone (and remember, the Pre isn't just sold by Sprint) would reach the 2 million mark in 2 1/2 months.

I have no idea where that is in terms of iPhone numbers, (although I would expect it to be lower) but it exceeds the expectations of the financial analysts you referenced. The point is, measuring Palm's success by comparing Pre sales to sales of the 3rd generation iPhone isn't realistic.


>...the quarter ended on June 30. That means, the Pre was actually sold by
>Sprint for about 10 days out of a 3 month period. What exactly were we
>expecting to happen?

That Sprint announce the actual sales numbers for that 10 day period - announce some good news against the doom & gloom.

That's all - as I've read elsewhere - the silence is damning.

'd like some Sprint sales numbers too, but it may not happen for a while. Sprint is in a more delicate position than Palm right now. This is the most popular device Palm has produced in years. You didn't hear about waiting lists for the Centro, for example. Sprint, in contrast...Well, they're still Sprint. Having a good phone -- or even a great one -- may not convince a lot of people to switch. One of the reasons that Sprint is reluctant to release the numbers is because Sprint's success depends on a lot more than just units sold. What Sprint needs is to also convert subscribers. 2 million units for them isn't necessarily going to save them, if only 5% of those customers are new subscribers.

Ultimately, that's why you can't judge Palm's success by what's happening to Sprint's numbers. Sprint's outlook depends on more than just numbers of Pres sold.

RE: Is that good or bad?
SeldomVisitor @ 7/30/2009 6:57:22 AM # Q
20,000 per week is a more realistic number.

Elsewhere I've estiamted about 400,000 Pres sold-through by end of quarter.

RE: Is that good or bad?
hkklife @ 7/30/2009 7:21:23 AM # Q
IMO, Palm made 6 grave errors with the Pre, just from a marketing/promotion standpoint:


1. Palm should have had a GSM version of the Pre--even an unlocked $600 GSM Pre initially sold only on palm.com--alongside the Sprint version. Sprint is the Wal-Mart of carriers and the Sprint/Palm partnership has long been akin to two drunks trying to prop each other up but both just end up tumbling to the ground. Over three years later, we can thank the stunning failure of the 700p/w/wx for making Verizon wary of anything bearing the "Palm" logo.

2. Not offering a phone-less "Pre Touch". Look what a huge success the iPod Touch has been for Apple. It gives the diehard Mike Cane types a device they can buy at retail with no contract attached, they could give users not on Sprint or outside the US a WebOS "fix" and could have given WebOS development a serious jumpstart. A lot of people who might be happily committed to an iPhone or BB or another carrier still would have bought a $200 Pre Touch PDA/PMP type device at retail just to play around with. I know I would have!

3. Far too much time passed between the CES hoopla frenzy and the device's release. Then they had insufficient quantities at launch. Only now are BB stores around me starting to have Pre in stock and some BB Mobile stores STILL don't have even a mockup unit on the floor.

4. Palm waited far too long to announce the full specs, pricing & release info

5. Sprint should have hit the ground running with an instant rebate ala Best Buy.

6. The atrocious Palm TV spots and generally lackluster promo & ad campaigns by Sprint & Palm.
Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->?

RE: Is that good or bad?
bhartman34 @ 7/30/2009 9:24:36 AM # Q
SeldomVisitor wrote:
20,000 per week is a more realistic number.

Elsewhere I've estiamted about 400,000 Pres sold-through by end of quarter.

I don't know wher eyou're getting your numbers from, SV, but they're lower than any I've seen online, and I've been doing a lot of checking. That 20,000 number, in particular, seems unrealistic, given the number of stores selling the Pre. Do the math. Do you really think that 2,300 stores are selling less than 10 Pres in a week? I could certainly see some stores with figures like that, but not all of them, certainly. The extrapolation from the article I read has some problems, but at least those are real world numbers, and 70% of them are beating 10/week. (How many stores are doing 10/wk is impossible to tell, because the person who did the survey was apparently an asshat that didn't realize that such a survey should have exclusive sets, rather than overlapping sets.)


Further, if there were even half of the number of Pres sold in June that has been reported in the press, that would mean that they would only have to sell ~ 85,000 per month to beat that estimate. And the 138,000/wk number I mentioned below isn't outrageous, considering that it's half of what the estimates were for June alone, when the Pre was on sale for 3 weeks.

I'm not saying the doom and gloom estimates are necessarily wrong. But the hard numbers available don't seem to support a meltdown hypothesis. They seem to support a respectable, but non-iPhone-like sales showing. And I just don't see how an iPhone-like sales blitz was possible, given the limitations Palm was under at the time. I do expect the next phone to be a bigger seller, provided that they get a few more things right (particularly the advertising, which on the Palm side, has been...puzzling...at best.)

RE: Is that good or bad?
SeldomVisitor @ 7/30/2009 10:21:16 AM # Q
There were approximately 50,000 sold during the launch weekend.

I'm assuming another 100,000 were sold when they were ready (we can say that week if oyu want).

Since then, I'm estimating 20,000 per week average til end of quarter (that's average - not to begin with).

That works out to more than 10 per Sprint store (1600 stores? Or is it 1400?).

Doing the math that's:

50,000 + 100,000 + 12-ish * (20,000) + fluff-to-make-unbelievers-happy = 400,000

RE: Is that good or bad?
LiveFaith @ 7/30/2009 10:53:18 AM # Q
Khris,

Good points. But #1 & 2 are pushing it a bit I think. For Palm to even bring the Pre to bear on one carrier was an utter miracle. I had to physically go to a Sprint store to handle one, just to be sure the launch was not a conspiracy.

Asking them to bring it to another carrier and a phoneless variant is well ... California Dreamin'.
Pat Horne

RE: Is that good or bad?
SeldomVisitor @ 7/30/2009 10:55:02 AM # Q
Someone elsewhere very nicely used Sprint's own numbers to estimate sell-through for June:

>> "...Consider this: In its first quarter, 8.6 percent of Sprint's (S) 35.4 million
>> post-paid subscribers upgraded handsets. In its latest quarter
>> approximately nine percent of the company's 34.4 million post-paid
>> subs upgraded. So despite all the hoopla over the Pre, just 15,000 to
>> 50,000 more Sprint users upgraded their handsets this quarter than
>> last quarter, a period with no important handset launches..."

http://messages.finance.yahoo.com/Stocks_(A_to_Z)/Stocks_P/threadview?m=tm&bn=13738&tof=24&rt=1&frt=2&dir=f&ri=361751&t=c

And them ARE the facts.

RE: Is that good or bad?
SeldomVisitor @ 7/30/2009 10:56:42 AM # Q
Here's that URL tinyurled: http://tinyurl.com/sprintpresales
RE: Is that good or bad?
hkklife @ 7/30/2009 11:59:19 AM # Q
Pat;

Well, consider that the Pre on display at CES WERE essentially wi-fi PDAs running WebOS. We didn't see much in the way of a completed telephony stack and no one was making any demo calls etc. I agree that a CDMA Pre, GSM Pre and a Pre Touch handheld (non cellular device) would have been too much for Palm but at least 2 of the above should've launched either simultaneously or within 2 months of each other.

How hard can it be to rip the radio innards out of a Pre, give it a cleaned-out ROM devoid of the phone/dialer app, and put it in a nice little box for retail? Look what Creative is doing with their new Zii Egg : http://asia.cnet.com/crave/2009/07/30/hands-on-with-the-creative-zii-egg/

They are offering a "basically ready for primetime but not actively marketed" device for sale for Plaszma/Android development purposes online to get a solid app base built up and then it'll eventually trickle down into future "real" Creative products. Palm could have even done a "development bundle" consisting of a Pre Touch, the Mojo SDK and, say, a copy of the WebOS book thrown in for good measure.

P.S. Look at the specs for the above device. 32GB + high-res screen + a FULL SIZE SDHC slot for $400. I'd gladly pay that for a beefed-up Pre Touch and carry it alongside a tiny VZW dumbphone just to avoid Sprint or AT&T!
Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->?

RE: Is that good or bad?
SeldomVisitor @ 7/30/2009 12:17:43 PM # Q
Here is an "analyst" datapoint for numbers similar to my own estimates:

-- http://blogs.barrons.com/techtraderdaily/2009/07/30/pali-palm-pre-sales-stable-at-sprint-25000week/#mod=yahoobarrons

I do not necessarily agree with the "analysis" but the numbers ARE similar. Note, too, that his/her numbers are as of right now, not projected toward the future, whereas mine was an average for the entire post-rush period.


RE: Is that good or bad?
bhartman34 @ 7/30/2009 2:50:12 PM # Q
SeldomVisitor wrote:
There were approximately 50,000 sold during the launch weekend.

I'm assuming another 100,000 were sold when they were ready (we can say that week if oyu want).

Again, it's not a matter of assumptions. The assumptions need to be based on some kind of evidence of something. If you take the numbers from the survey (and I'll agree in advance that the survey is too small) you're at least making an evidence-based assumption, and not an assumption based on what you had for breakfast this morning.

SeldomVisitor wrote:

Since then, I'm estimating 20,000 per week average til end of quarter (that's average - not to begin with).

The conservative numbers I've read (e.g., http://tinyurl.com/nm8us6) have the number at 25,000/week. Pali Research, in particular, has them doing > 30,000 per week, down from low 40's last week (http://tinyurl.com/kkuk5m) , which would make a very different impact on their final numbers.

SeldomVisitor wrote:

That works out to more than 10 per Sprint store (1600 stores? Or is it 1400?).

The number appears to be 2,300, if you're counting all Sprint locations that sell the Pre, and not just Sprint-dedicated stores.

SeldomVisitor wrote:
Doing the math that's:

50,000 + 100,000 + 12-ish * (20,000) + fluff-to-make-unbelievers-happy = 400,000

First of all, if you're going to write an equation out, would it kill you to put the parentheses in, for clarity? :)

50,000 is the minimum I've heard quoted for the launch weekend sales. The high estimate is 100,000, which could be too much, but 50,000 seems unreasonably small, since there are estimates that the rate fell to 50,000/wk after the release. To err on the side of caution, I'd put it square at 75,000. I'm not sure what "when they were ready" means, so there's no way to put a time period around that. From what I've read, the supply level has only reached the demand in the past couple of weeks, so are you saying that they've sold 100,000 since, say, second week of July? Second week of July puts it at 50,000 per week or thereabouts, doesn't it? Even using all of July as your maker, that's still over your 20,000 estimate per week.

At any rate, if you're going to count to the end of next quarter, and say 400,000 all quarter, the math is a little bit simpler than you made it out to be:

400,000/12 = ~ 33,333/week. That's not unrealistic, I suppose, but that's for the whole 12-week period of Q3, which would put the Palm at ~ 550,000 using your very conservative estimate, and at the moderate end, probably 700,000 or so. I certainly wouldn't go much higher than that w/o some firm numbers in hand.

The point you have to remember is, this is all U.S. sales. It's not even counting Canada, where at least one company has already inked a deal, or any other carrier, in any other country, for that matter. The 3G's release was world-wide.

And again, there's a difference in scale here. Palm is a very small company, in comparison to Apple, so these kinds of sales are a little more impressive coming from them than they would be from Apple, or arguably, even RIMM.

I agree with most of what hkk said, except for the phoneless Pre part. It's not that it's a bad idea, per se, but I think that Palm was the wrong company to pull that off (at least, for now). Palm has never been great with media, and too many people looking at the device would look at it, as you described it, as "Pre Touch". And I don't think it would be good for Palm to have two devices at the same time going so directly after Apple if they don't have something to match Apple's main strength. Sure, if they launched with a huge store, it'd work, but all else being equal, it would've been too risky. If they were going to pick two devices, it should've been a CDMA and GSM Pre. People are familiar enough now with phone apps that the developers would've followed them there, too. The only way a straight PDA-type device would've worked is if they could steeply undercut the iPod Touch on price. Financially, they weren't really in a position to do that, I think.

RE: Is that good or bad?
SeldomVisitor @ 7/30/2009 3:14:23 PM # Q
50,000 is for the launch weekend, not launch week. It is the entire first shipment of Pres that happened in May.

100,000 is for "the rest" of the week, however you want to bracket that. And TOTALLY depends on Palm being able to ship fully 200% more Pres than they had available for the launch weekend and do it within that 7-day period - REAL optimistic, IMHO, but I'm willing to go with it for the sake of argument.

20,000 is the average sell-through for every week thereafter until the end of the quarter and that's a highball number, IMHO. We're talking WELL above 10 Pres per store steady-state average - ain't gonna happen, IMHO but again I'm willing to go with it for the sake of computational argument.

Less than 400,000 by end of quarter.

And, as noted in subsequent posts above, possibly even indirectly backed up (as of June 30th) by some real words that Sprint just said about "prepaid upgrades".

========

Sprint JUST said they're going to try to get Pres into third-party distributors and explicitly mentioned BestBuy and RadioShack.

Sprint has, I think, 1400 corporate stores:

http://tinyurl.com/numberofsprintstores

The referenced post is in error w.r.t. BestBuy and RadioShack, of course, since we know the reality of the launch venues NOW but didn't then.

No matter how I look at it as an outsider the numbers of sold-through (not sold-in - to Sprint (*)) works out to that 400,000-ish figure.

No matter WHAT the agenda-filled "analysts" want to pump.

==================

(*) Sprint apparently is the ONLY (!!!) purchaser of Pres from Palm! they outright said THEY were going to try to get Pres into BestBuy and RadioShack! I had assumed Palm had either sold to a third-party distributor or sold directly to BestBuy and RadioShack - nope! Not according to Sprint's words!

Here's Sprint's earnings transcript:

http://seekingalpha.com/article/152202-sprint-nextel-q2-2009-earnings-call-transcript?page=-1

RE: Is that good or bad?
jca666us @ 7/30/2009 8:02:51 PM # Q
Bhart,

>I have no idea where that is in terms of iPhone numbers, (although I would
>expect it to be lower) but it exceeds the expectations of the financial analysts
>you referenced. The point is, measuring Palm's success by comparing Pre >sales to sales of the 3rd generation iPhone isn't realistic.

I'd agree, except McNamee stuck his foot in his mouth by initiating the comparison by stating that a month after the iphone's 2-year anniversary a large majority of iphone users would be using the Pre.

That's a comparison he initiated and the iphone's sales will be the yardstick against which the Pre's sales numbers will be compared.

Not fair actually, but that is McNamee's screw up.

RE: Is that good or bad?
jca666us @ 7/30/2009 9:04:32 PM # Q
hkk,

Add one more to your list:

- Palm should have ensured each best buy had a live demo Pre set up at every store.

Big mistake - considering the nice iphone displays set up at best buy.

RE: Is that good or bad?
SeldomVisitor @ 7/31/2009 3:01:16 AM # Q
Sprint had a strange thing to say about BestBuy at their just-made earnings call; they said THEY were finally able to get some Pres into BestBuy and RadioShack.

Not Palm.

RE: Is that good or bad?
jca666us @ 7/31/2009 4:33:54 AM # Q
That is strange - considering how much Palm spent on those Tamara Hope commercials. A fraction of that $$$ would have been much more effective at demonstrating to a wide range of people how good the Pre can be.

in-store display - on day one.

Instead you have that cheap plastic mockup with a screen insert.

RE: Is that good or bad?
bhartman34 @ 8/3/2009 4:28:14 PM # Q
jca666us wrote:
Bhart,

>I have no idea where that is in terms of iPhone numbers, (although I would
>expect it to be lower) but it exceeds the expectations of the financial analysts
>you referenced. The point is, measuring Palm's success by comparing Pre >sales to sales of the 3rd generation iPhone isn't realistic.

I'd agree, except McNamee stuck his foot in his mouth by initiating the comparison by stating that a month after the iphone's 2-year anniversary a large majority of iphone users would be using the Pre.

That's a comparison he initiated and the iphone's sales will be the yardstick against which the Pre's sales numbers will be compared.

Not fair actually, but that is McNamee's screw up.

First, I think we can all agree that McNamee was being an asshat when he made his comments. Having said that, it's important to distinguish what McNamee actually said from how it's been extrapolated.

McNamee said that 1st gen iPhone users whose contracts are coming up for renewal would switch to the Pre. That's not even close to saying that the Pre's sales should be measured against the iPhone 3G, let alone the 3Gs.

And of course, it should also be noted that Palm itself (who, one would assume, has a better handle on how many Pres they could sell) disowned McNamee's comments the very next day.

I think that if anyone did have the expectation that the Pre was going to outsell the iPhone right out of the gate, they had it despite all evidence, and contrary to common sense.


Reply to this comment

48.8 million customers ain't bad

Gekko @ 7/29/2009 7:09:09 PM # Q

$99/month for Unlimited Voice+Data+Text+GPS blows away everything else out there. the best value bar none.

i'll keep banking and investing the extra $50/month, thank you.

this is how the rich get richer. think about it.

RE: 48.8 million customers ain't bad
abosco @ 7/29/2009 7:24:20 PM # Q
It's bad when you're losing customers at the rate of a million per year while your biggest competitors are increasing at even faster rates.

The Simply Everything plan is fantastic, but fortunately, I don't talk much during peak hours. Therefore, on my iPhone, I can get away with the minimum voice plan. It gives me 450 minutes, 5000 nights & weekends, unlimited mobile-to-mobile, and rollover. My plan has unlimited data and text (and of course GPS - that's a crime if it would cost a penny), and guess how much I pay?

$103 monthly after taxes and fees. And I'm fine paying that for non-CDMA bullshit.

-Bosco
m105 -> NX70v -> NX80v -> iPhone -> iPhone 3G

RE: 48.8 million customers ain't bad
Gekko @ 7/29/2009 7:58:04 PM # Q

AT&T's GSM network is shit. the only reason AT&T has the customers it does is because it has an exclusive on the iPhone - which i admit is a good product. the day of reckoning is coming when the iPhone will no longer be exclusive to AT&T. it's a ticking time bomb and when the bomb goes off there will be a mass exodus.

450 minutes a month? i think i had that plan in 1995.

RE: 48.8 million customers ain't bad
anika200 @ 7/29/2009 10:28:53 PM # Q
Around here it is the Sprint network that is shit. I actually paid $250 to get out of my contract. There coverage was terrible and I got a ton of drop calls plus I had a crappy nextel phone.

I am very happy with Att and a centro. If verizon gets the pre I may switch to them since there coverage in the area is superior. If I can get an unlocked pre I would do that first. I have an unlimited data (no modem), 500 min with rollover and pay $85.

RE: 48.8 million customers ain't bad
abosco @ 7/30/2009 6:37:28 AM # M Q
Gekko, why are you making all of these phone calls at 2pm on a Tuesday? I have work to do. I don't need to be making cell phone calls from the office. On the other hand, I use tons of minutes on nights and weekends.

If I were to get unlimited everything, it would cost me about $130. But I don't need those minutes. You want to talk about rich? It's not what you make, it's what you spend.

RE: 48.8 million customers ain't bad
Gekko @ 7/30/2009 7:00:14 AM # Q

i use my cell phone for business as well as personal. i cut my landline too. no need for it anymore with an Unlimited cell plan.

a comparable AT&T iPhone plan will cost you $130+$20 for Unlimited texting = $150 plus taxes and fees.


Seli-OT: RE: 48.8 million customers ain't bad
SeldomVisitor @ 7/30/2009 7:14:28 AM # Q
> ...Cut my landline...

How does one cut one's landline when more than one person USES the landline?

This is not directed at you particularly, but in general.

I =could= cut my landline but by what main phone number would all house residents then get reached?

Until we get some sort of single number NOT phone-connected that can be appropriately forwarded to ALL phones, perhaps with special ringtone, I'm pretty much forced to keep my landline.

RE: 48.8 million customers ain't bad
abosco @ 7/30/2009 8:35:15 AM # M Q
Which is great and all, but you're stuck using a Centro. Aren't you the one telling people about 8-Track, VHS, and buggy whips? OS 5 was 7 years ago. Get an iPhone. I'm sure your appointments from 2006 aren't that important. Even if they are, sync it to Outlook and then sync that to your iPhone. Done. Welcome to the 21st century. I'd spend an extra $50 for that.

As for landlines, SV, I am single. I have no need to meddle with such archaic technology. Maybe you should have thought about that when you decided to have a family?

RE: 48.8 million customers ain't bad
SeldomVisitor @ 7/30/2009 10:30:17 AM # Q
Actually, I was giving a hint to "The Carriers" to untie a phone number from a phone and allow it to serve as the addressing method to ANY phone or set of phones.

Dial 703-555-2121 and it is DNS-equivalent-ed into my cell and Big-Her cell and Little-Her cell automagically or even into house-phone-that's-really-broadband-connected.

YaknowwhatImean?

RE: 48.8 million customers ain't bad
vetdoctor @ 7/30/2009 6:12:43 PM # M Q
Actually, I was giving a hint to "The Carriers" to untie a phone number from a phone and allow it to serve as the addressing method to ANY phone or set of phones.

Voice.google.com comming to a phone near you. I have the beta and am trying it. The vioce to text is my favorite entertainment.

RE: 48.8 million customers ain't bad
SeldomVisitor @ 7/30/2009 6:29:46 PM # Q
> ...voice.google.com...

Yup - that's it.

Thanks.

Reply to this comment

The crux of the biscuit is Web OS, not Pre

surfmaniac @ 7/31/2009 2:17:49 PM # Q
Their fate as a company is much more intertwined w/the fate of their new OS rather than the devices... and it is an excellent one, IMO (at least on this device.) Not to mention Pre IS selling well (albeit with supply issues that are just now being worked out) and will sell much better when it hits Verizon...


Malibu surfer

(btw, keep talking it down while it runs to 25... just like you all were at sub 2 levels... and we'll laugh all the way to the bank.)

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