Palm Pre Beginning to Disappear from Stores
The door is rapidly closing on the first generation of WebOS and its accompanying devices, at least as far as what was revealed by a recent check of Sprint and Verizon online stores and a few local retail stores.
After nearly 18 months on the market, Sprint has removed the original Palm Pre from its online webstore. Only the original, wi-fi-lacking Pixi remains for sale on Sprint's website. Also, sadly, the final stock of refurbished red 128mb Palm Centros have been removed from Sprint's website, signaling the end of an era in so many ways.
In preparation for the (hopefully) imminent Pre 2 launch, Verizon has also removed the Pre Plus from its site, though the Pixi Plus remains in stock. This lines up perfectly with the earlier EOL reports we covered in August.
A recent trip to a Verizon Wireless retail store revealed plenty of Pre Pluses still in stock and receiving some surprisingly aggressive promotion by the sales staff at a $49.99 rebate-free price with new contract. The "free" Pixi was still on display in-store but remains a special order-only item. Many (though not all) of the various Palm-related accessories still available in-store from Verizon were on the clearance rack, including a variety of Touchstone-compatible battery covers for the Pixi and Pre.
Within the Best Buy down the street, however, the situation was pretty grim. Over the past month, the Best Buy Mobile department had removed every last vestige of Palm-related product. No Palm smartphones were for sale with any carrier, and all Palm-branded accessories were gone from the accessory area, save for a few "universal" Rocketfish microUSB wall and car chargers indicating Palm compatibility. In fact, the only interesting new touchscreen product in Best Buy that day from HP was not even a smartphone but rather their Photosmart eStation printer with a removable Android-based tablet.