Rumor: m500 and m505 April 27?
Rumors are starting to come in that the m500 series might be available in stores sooner than many had expected. Dennis Esler sent in an e-mail he had received from Alan Kessler, Palm's General Manager, Platform Solutions Group, who said in part, "We, like you, are very enthusiastic about our new products. Clearly we are not satisfied with the slope of the ramp. The good news is we have started production and have just started shipping."
PalmStation is running a letter from a user who was told by a Palm Representative that Palm is expecting its first shipment of 5 thousand m505's by the end of this week and that they should be going out to customers a week after.
An anonymous reader on this site has submitted a conversation he had with a manager from a Staples store, who said he expected to receive his first shipments of m500's this Friday and that he expects to have them on his shelves by April 27. The letter also said, "He [The Manager] said the m505 should also be in his store around the same time frame."
It is possible that these stories are the result of confusion between the m500 and the m505. The monochrome m500 has long been expected at the end of this month, while the color m505 isn't expected until the middle of next month. When the m500 series was announced on March 19, Palm said, "The m500 handheld is scheduled to be available in the United States in late April" and "The m505 handheld is scheduled to be available in the United States in May".
However, last week Palm announced that though they will launch the m500 and m505 on time, there will be a delay before they are shipping in large quantities. If the initial shipment is of 5 thousand units, this is certainly true. It is almost a given that there have been more than 5 thousand pre-orders, considering all the online stores that are taking them.
An important question, then, is how Palm will distribute the first shipments. If Palm sends some units to retail stores, which the conversation with the Staples' manager seems to confirm, that is fewer to go to those who pre-ordered but more to people who wish to see a unit before purchasing.
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