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Comments on: Lines Already Forming for the Pre?

Palm Pre LineGiven the expected high demand coupled with rumors of low initial supply, lines and campers have been expected for the Palm Pre launch this Saturday. Here we are on Monday and already the first report of a line has just surfaced.

The tech blog Tinycomb has posted a few pics of what is apparently the first person in line for the Palm Pre at an undisclosed Sprint outlet. (via Gizmodo) Well done Sir, well done.

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Lines?

blackstrat @ 6/1/2009 12:04:05 PM # M Q
I plan to go from Best Buy to find one... Of course it all depends on what part of the country I'm in...
RE: Lines?
LiveFaith @ 6/1/2009 12:28:06 PM # Q
I'm currently 8th in line at the Chattanooga Sprint store. The manager says he's getting a dozen units. I went ahead and decided to buy 5 of them.

Ok, gotta get back before these selfish jerks behind me try and break line.
Pat Horne

RE: Lines?
SeldomVisitor @ 6/1/2009 12:39:41 PM # Q
Giggle.

[if this is more viral marketing crap it's going to backfire]

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crowd control?

rmhurdman @ 6/1/2009 12:27:17 PM # Q
If one person defines a line, maybe three people define a crowd. It's a good thing they'll have all those extra reps on hand.

Honestly, I would love to see this flop. Palm has been operating for far too long from a position of disrespect to their developers and disdain for their customers. Having been both, I'll just watch the Pre launch from a safe distance.

RE: crowd control?
rsc1000 @ 6/1/2009 2:00:43 PM # Q
I've developed software for Palm OS in the past and it was often a huge pain - mostly because of the ancient architecture of the OS. But the biggest crime against developers was not Palm's - it was the general circumstance that lead to PalmSource / Access putting out an OS (Cobolt - i.e. Palm OS 6) that developers started to learn but no company would license and thus - no devices. Which brings up the other point: Palm hasn't been responsible for doing anything with developers for years - it was all PalmSource / Access because the are the ones that make the OS. Since Palm doesn't make the OS or dev tools - what is your issue with Palms treatment of developers exactly?

Anyways - nothing can b e worse than the APple iPhone developer treatment. My company paid for a standard iPhone dev account 3 weeks ago and after faxing final docs to them 2 times (they can't seem to locate these despite providing the fax confirmation #s for both) we still haven't been setup and have to nag email to get a response at all. Apple doesn't need any more developers apparently. They are too busy deciding whether or not existing apps get their blessing and are 'allowed' to exist and be installed on iPhones that the public have bought and paid for. What a joke. And how about being a year late with features like their push APIs? Or the fact that they only produced an API at all because of public pressure (re: consumer pressure - not developers) for something more then server based web apps? But I digress...

Your right about one thing - Palms treatment of customers has been crap.


RE: crowd control?
CFreymarc @ 6/1/2009 2:17:09 PM # Q
"Short on supply?"

"Camping in lines?"

Electronics manufacturing capacity is at an almost all time high now with the current recession going on. There is not good excuse to get the needed units built for a launch such as this. Let's see the quotes from the CMs and then we can determine if there is a real shortage.

Honestly, this is all the make of a fake hype trying to get some mass crowd rush for the device on launch. I would love to see an SEC investigation on this one to see if they are just intentionally keeping supply low to create a false shortage.

RE: crowd control?
pmjoe @ 6/1/2009 4:02:17 PM # Q
rsc1000 wrote:
Anyways - nothing can b e worse than the APple iPhone developer treatment. My company paid for a standard iPhone dev account 3 weeks ago and after faxing final docs to them 2 times (they can't seem to locate these despite providing the fax confirmation #s for both) we still haven't been setup and have to nag email to get a response at all. Apple doesn't need any more developers apparently. They are too busy deciding whether or not existing apps get their blessing and are 'allowed' to exist and be installed on iPhones that the public have bought and paid for. What a joke. And how about being a year late with features like their push APIs? Or the fact that they only produced an API at all because of public pressure (re: consumer pressure - not developers) for something more then server based web apps? But I digress...

Yeah, actually, Palm development was nice other than the antiquated OS they continued to push into the 21st century. The iPhone is a mess. Try being a company that pays to develop an iPhone app, only to worry over whether or not it gets accepted to the app store. Not the kind of topic you should have to waste time over as part of your development process.
RE: crowd control?
rmhurdman @ 6/2/2009 8:04:58 AM # Q
Palm and PalmSource are the same thing in my mind. I know they split, but they were both manned by the same quality of people and they both failed with the same corporate ideologies. The fact that I dislike them and hope nothing good for them doesn't mean they can't produce a nice phone and sell a bunch. I'm just staying far away.

I didn't mention Apple, but I'll take your word that they're no better. Palm and Apple are both control freaks (in different ways), something that I dislike. I'll probably develop for the iPhone, like I did for the Palm, as a hobby. However, I have the luxury of not caring if my apps get approved or not because it's not a revenue stream for my business.

Here's wishing "best of luck" to anyone brave enough to develop software for the Pre with a plan to be profitable.

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To reword an old line ...

CFreymarc @ 6/1/2009 2:13:09 PM # Q
What if someone threw a new smartphone launch and nobody came?
RE: To reword an old line ...
SeldomVisitor @ 6/1/2009 2:24:09 PM # Q
That might be Sprint's fear.

RE: To reword an old line ...
jca666us @ 6/1/2009 2:46:46 PM # M Q
they need to pay more ppl to stand in line then.
Reply to this comment

please excuse me while I go start a line ...

pmjoe @ 6/1/2009 2:29:39 PM # Q
... outside of the local Sprint store. Would someone care to photograph me while I'm it ... I mean in it?
RE: please excuse me while I go start a line ...
Ryan @ 6/1/2009 3:10:24 PM # Q
I'm beginning to wonder about this myself. This is either a good joke or hoax, as the store doesn't even look like an official Sprint location, but rather a third party reseller.
RE: please excuse me while I go start a line ...
pmjoe @ 6/1/2009 3:54:45 PM # Q
They have a very nice Sprint carpet on the sidewalk outside the store!

ACS on the door? Alaska Communications Systems? Affiliated Computer Services?

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This has all the hallmarks of a lonely geek gone wrong

bhartman34 @ 6/1/2009 3:34:43 PM # Q
If there were a few people on line now for the Pre, then I might attribute it to some kind of mania.

People weren't even waiting in line for the iPhone 3G for that long (and that was a proven product with a lot more advertizing).

My suspicion is that the guy in front of the store simply got the date wrong for the launch. Either that, or it's just a joke.

As for the "shortage" issue: I think Hesse is actually trying to dampen expectations, rather than to rev up interest. Here's why:

1) Palm wants to sell as many of these as quickly as possible. It's not in their interest to create artificial shortages, because that would lead to unhappy customers, and ultimately, to people not getting the phone.

2) It's certainly in Sprint's interest to sign up as many customers as quickly as possible. The people who are most likely to get a Pre are those whose contracts are ending, and they have lots of choices who they go to. The last thing Sprint would want is to lose customers to the iPhone (i.e., AT&T) because they couldn't get phones in people's hands quickly enough. After all, the new iPhone launch is drawing nigh.

Therefore, the only reasonable reason for pre-announcing shortages is because there are going to be shortages. Palm isn't exactly flush with cash, and it's very possible that the cash infusion they got from Elevation only left them free to produce a limited number of units. (And that number is probably not, 375,000, the number that's been tossed around by "analysts").

A lot of the comments I've read on other forums and blogs focus on the fact that the parts for the Pre aren't really scarce enough to warrant a shortage of Pres, but that's missing the point. There could be enough parts to make 1 billion Pres, but if the company only has enough cash on hand to make X number of phones, that's how many they'll make. If those supplies do well, they'll be able to produce and ship more. And contrary to popular opinion, 375,000 phones is a lot of phones. It took 74 days for Apple to sell 1,000,000 units of the original iPhone. Some quick math reveals that that's ~ 13,514 phones a day. At that rate, 375,000 phones will last 28 days. That leads me to believe that the analyst estimates of 375,000 phones might be inaccurate. 375,000 phones in an initial launch doesn't sound like a shortage.

Intentionally holding back your product when your company is counting on that product to be a success doesn't make any sense, so the most likely explanation is that any talk of "shortages" is probably genuine, rather than just truly stupid marketing.

RE: This has all the hallmarks of a lonely geek gone wrong
jca666us @ 6/1/2009 4:03:47 PM # Q
I think you need to drop a zero - I've read best buy is getting 4 per store.

Radio Shack is getting 2 per store

If they have more than 50,000 available at launch, I'll be surprised.

RE: This has all the hallmarks of a lonely geek gone wrong
CFreymarc @ 6/1/2009 4:39:48 PM # Q
I'll pop the popcorn to watch this one. And watch is all I'll do for this one.
RE: This has all the hallmarks of a lonely geek gone wrong
bhartman34 @ 6/1/2009 6:18:33 PM # Q
jca666us wrote:
I think you need to drop a zero - I've read best buy is getting 4 per store.

Radio Shack is getting 2 per store

If they have more than 50,000 available at launch, I'll be surprised.

Well, the 375,000 number certainly isn't mine (it's the number being touted on a number of blogs and on CNET), but I think 50,000 is probably low-balling the numbers. There are 1,067 Best Buy Mobile stores. 4 per store would be 4,268 units.

Radio Shack has 4,400 stores, which would mean 8,800 units.

2 units per store is so low that no chain would even bother with it. What for?

Keep in mind, too, that the numbers you refer to come from the Boy Genius site, which is fairly notorious for being an iPhone fanboy site, and not in any way, being objective about the Pre. (Just look at the review they gave the Pre, for instance.)

Finally, I don't see why Best Buy would be giving away 10 Pres (enough for 2 1/2 stores, if this rumor is to be believed) if a) they have shortage problems and b) they expect demand (which is what giveaways are supposed to stoke) to outstrip supply.


RE: This has all the hallmarks of a lonely geek gone wrong
jca666us @ 6/1/2009 6:59:54 PM # Q
Actually, while not in any way standing up for BG's numbers, I did read as recently as last week that there were ongoing production issues related to the circuit board and that Pre's were being hand assembled and tested.

While that may be true, I hope 350,000 is an accurate number.

RE: This has all the hallmarks of a lonely geek gone wrong
jca666us @ 6/1/2009 7:09:00 PM # Q
..."multiple hardware and software issues" have forced Palm's hand here and that he doesn't expect the company to meet its expected goal of one million units shipped in the second half of 2009. He even goes so far as to describe that figure as "highly unrealistic."

RE: This has all the hallmarks of a lonely geek gone wrong
bhartman34 @ 6/1/2009 8:22:23 PM # Q
jca666us wrote:
Actually, while not in any way standing up for BG's numbers, I did read as recently as last week that there were ongoing production issues related to the circuit board and that Pre's were being hand assembled and tested.

While that may be true, I hope 350,000 is an accurate number.

I've read the same thing about production issues (although not that they were being hand assembled and tested). And 1,000,000 units being shipped by the end of the year may be unrealistic. But that's a far cry from an outfit like Best Buy only getting 4 units. With that number of units, it would hardly even be worth it for BB to stock them, let alone offer the instant rebate.

And certainly, if Palm or Sprint was faking a shortage (as has been speculated), there's no way they would choose such a low number to use. Think of it: 20 people show up at a local Best Buy Mobile in NYC, and 16 of them come away with nothing? If the numbers were that low, why even launch now? Sure, delaying might have negative consequences, but launching when you can't meet demand has its own perils. And the hype machine about the Pre has been going full tilt since January. I just don't see them doing that much promotion, if they knew they couldn't meet demand.

RE: This has all the hallmarks of a lonely geek gone wrong
SeldomVisitor @ 6/2/2009 3:00:28 AM # Q
> [...Bestbuy...4 units per store...unrealistic..]

Actually, according to THIS entirely believable thread, it's VERY realistic (on average):

-- http://discussion.treocentral.com/palm-pre/181455-pre-inventory-best-buy.html


RE: This has all the hallmarks of a lonely geek gone wrong
jca666us @ 6/2/2009 4:25:18 AM # Q
Great thread - definitely explains why there are no Pre commercials on tv.

Advertising costs $$$ - I read they won't be advertising until production ramps up - 4 to 8 weeks *after* launch.

RE: This has all the hallmarks of a lonely geek gone wrong
SeldomVisitor @ 6/2/2009 4:33:00 AM # Q
TreoCentral has a thread about that, too - tomorrow is the purported start of the Pre TV ad campaign.

And Palm/Sprint spent some sort of obscene dollars to hire Jerry Seinfeld for a Hollywood party - I'm scratching my head about where the payback for that is, frankly.

RE: This has all the hallmarks of a lonely geek gone wrong
jca666us @ 6/2/2009 6:10:04 AM # M Q
why would they want Seinfeld?

he still has the stink of those bad Microsoft commercials all over him!

RE: This has all the hallmarks of a lonely geek gone wrong
vetdoctor @ 6/2/2009 6:15:57 AM # M Q
because MS is successful. that's the stink you smell...success.
RE: This has all the hallmarks of a lonely geek gone wrong
jca666us @ 6/2/2009 7:43:22 AM # M Q
obviously you didn't watch those Seinfeld commercials.

lol - putrid - that's a stink palm doesn't want!

RE: This has all the hallmarks of a lonely geek gone wrong
jca666us @ 6/2/2009 9:43:32 AM # M Q
RE: This has all the hallmarks of a lonely geek gone wrong
bhartman34 @ 6/2/2009 9:53:28 AM # Q
SeldomVisitor wrote:
> [...Bestbuy...4 units per store...unrealistic..]

Actually, according to THIS entirely believable thread, it's VERY realistic (on average):

-- http://discussion.treocentral.com/palm-pre/181455-pre-inventory-best-buy.html


1) "On average" has nothing to do with it. The claim was that Best Buy would be allocated 4 Pres per store. That is clearly false, based on this thread.

2) A quick look through the thread shows as many as 42 Pres being allocated to one store. That's more than 10 times the rumored allocation.

Granted, there are many stores that are in the single digits for distribution, but it would appear that the major metropolitan areas are getting much higher supplies, as one would expect.

From the way BGR told it, you'd think that each BB in NYC and Los Angeles would be getting 4 Pres a piece. That is clearly nonsense.

RE: This has all the hallmarks of a lonely geek gone wrong
SeldomVisitor @ 6/2/2009 10:23:23 AM # Q
> ...The claim was that Best Buy would be allocated 4 Pres per store. That is
> clearly false, based on this thread...

Hmmm...I remember (without looking it up) that the claim was 4000+ devices allocated to 1000-ish stores.

That's "4 on average".

RE: This has all the hallmarks of a lonely geek gone wrong
bhartman34 @ 6/2/2009 11:17:02 PM # Q
SeldomVisitor wrote:
> ...The claim was that Best Buy would be allocated 4 Pres per store. That is
> clearly false, based on this thread...

Hmmm...I remember (without looking it up) that the claim was 4000+ devices allocated to 1000-ish stores.

That's "4 on average".

You don't really have to look anything up. The claim I was responding to was right in the beginning of this thread:

I think you need to drop a zero - I've read best buy is getting 4 per store.

Radio Shack is getting 2 per store

If they have more than 50,000 available at launch, I'll be surprised.

That, notion, in turn, came from BGR:

We've been told that there are only roughly 4,250 Palm Pres that Best Buy stores will be receiving for launch day on June 6th. Scott Anderson of Best Buy Mobile told us there were around 1,000 Best Buy locations that would be selling the Pre, so this leaves us with around 4 units per store. For launch. Incredible, isn't it?

http://tinyurl.com/rdyu5c

Given the fact that one store has nearly 1% of the supposed total distribution (if BGR is to be believed, that is), and that the number quoted is completely unattributed, it's obviously FUD of the highest order. And incidentally, if you go through the trouble of crunching the numbers that have been posted, you get a very different result.

Here are some of the numbers we have so far:

http://tinyurl.com/qyrx8e

If you take the average of each sheet on the first page, this is how it breaks down (rounded to the nearest whole number):

FL (1): 13
FL (2): 9
TX: 20
IL: 5
MI: 10
CA (1): 6
CA (2): 4
KS/MO: 6

Averaging those numbers together gives us 9 per store, on average. And keep in mind that even that<./i> is a minimum that they will have on hand, and that that number just represents Best Buy, and not either Radio Shack or the Sprint stores.

Of course, if a store that's got 6 Pres stocked gets 20 people looking for a Pre on the first day, they will have shortages, but that doesn't mean it's justified to believe that Palm only distributed 4,300 phones to Best Buy. The 77 stores posted give an average of 9 per store, so even if they all had the average, this would amount to 693 phones for the 77 stores -- and there are ~ 986 other BB stores that will sell the Pre. That works out to 9,567 phones going to Best Buy alone -- in the initial launch.

To be sure, most of the new Pres will be sold through Sprint, in all likelihood, but I don't see any justification for thinking that Palm only produced token numbers of Pres for Best Buy and Radio Shack (even not accounting for a ramp-up in production if the Pre sells well).

RE: This has all the hallmarks of a lonely geek gone wrong
jca666us @ 6/3/2009 3:35:40 AM # Q
To make your numbers valid, add in all of those bestbuy stores that are getting zero pre's at launch.

An average without adding in everything is just plain false.

RE: This has all the hallmarks of a lonely geek gone wrong
SeldomVisitor @ 6/3/2009 3:49:34 AM # Q
It's nto clear to me what the debate here is.

Let's assume that "4000 Pres to 1000 stores" statement by BGR is off by 100+%; instead, let's make it "10 Pres per store on average".

We're still only talking 10,000 Pres.

Take that,a dd it to the 1400 Sprint store allocation of 10-20 and we're STILL only talking 40-ish thousand Pres on launch.

As far as i have seen, no one has posted anything that would make the "2 Pres per Radioshack and very few Radioshacks with Pres on launch" words posted numerous place elsewhere. Last estimate I saw was about 700

That's a noise level 1400 more Pres.

NO Telesales/web available on launch day so give up THAT idea.

We're STILL =well= under 50,000 Pres.

So who CARES if all the BestBuys are going to get 4000 or 10,000?

RE: This has all the hallmarks of a lonely geek gone wrong
jca666us @ 6/3/2009 5:51:26 AM # M Q
which correlates pretty well to the rumor of 35,000 at launch.

I certainly hope they sell out - otherwise things will not bode well for Palm!

RE: This has all the hallmarks of a lonely geek gone wrong
bhartman34 @ 6/3/2009 12:18:12 PM # Q
jca666us wrote:
To make your numbers valid, add in all of those bestbuy stores that are getting zero pre's at launch.

An average without adding in everything is just plain false.

I did add in all the zeros. That's where I got the average from. You're free to do the math yourself, if you like. The averages for each page ranged from 4 to 20, with the zeros counted in. The only place there were no zeros is when I averaged out the results for the different pages. Obviously, if you are already dealing with averaged numbers, you're not going to have zero unless the whole sheet is zeros. But disproving the "average of 4 per store" is fairly simple, just by eyeballing the page with the counts on each sheet. With the exception of Illinois and the second CA sheet, there are too many double-digit numbers on the sheets for a 4 per store average to be plausible. And again, the fact of the matter is that the BGR article isn't properly sourced. The whole basis of it could be something someone with an ax to grind pulled out of his or her posterior.

There were obviously limitations with the calculations:

1) There were only a select number of stores in the list. Texas might have an overabundance of Best Buys, so it might actually be harder (as in, take more research or legwork) to find a Pre there than in a state with fewer Best Buys.
2) There's some question as to whether or not all the stores on the list have all the Pres they're going to have before launch. From what I've been reading, those are just the minimums the stores will get.
3) The way that the stores were listed (by request from fellow forum users) is probably slanted towards major population centers (just because that's where most people live, by definition).

As to SV's point: I don't know if 10,000 Pres sold by Best Buy at launch is a low figure or not. I don't have a frame of reference for that. I tried to look up the Best Buy numbers when they started selling the iPhone 3G, but I couldn't find any, and even that wouldn't be a fair comparison, since the iPhone was already an established phone, and the 3G started selling at Best Buy sometime after the initial launch.

In the end, I think SV is right that it doesn't matter much, but for a different reason: If people want the Pre, they will buy however many of them there are initially, and Palm will make more. If people don't buy the Pres, it won't matter how many of them Palm makes, and Palm will simply die, another failed company.

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fool on line

rodent @ 6/1/2009 7:14:46 PM # Q
Maybe he's homeless looking for a handout..
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this is a fake picture

nastebu @ 6/2/2009 9:40:59 AM # Q
Ryan, you should take this picture down and stop distributing it. The blog's banner is on the wall. That's coincidence? Most likely they staged this to fool sites into providing them with free publicity.
RE: this is a fake picture
nastebu @ 6/2/2009 9:43:21 AM # Q
or I could click the link and figure out that it's actually a banner pasted on the picture. I'm feeling dumb and wishing there was a way to delete a post.
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