7/2/2009 12:01:00 PM
O2 poised for Palm Pre as sales top 300,000 in the US
O2 is expecting a surge in sales at the top end of its handset range with the arrival of the Palm Pre in the coming months.
Sales of the Palm Pre in the US are understood to have been ‘solid’, with around 80,000 units sold on the first weekend (6 June). Sources claimed the phone had racked up around 300,000 sales as its first month drew to a close.
The Pre is sold exclusively by American operator Sprint, with sources close to the matter saying it had performed solidly but hadn’t challenged the Apple iPhone 3GS.
Palm has kept a tight control of stock into the American market, keen not to over supply Sprint with excess handsets.
One source said: ‘The supply is very tight. It’s a combination of keeping demand up, ensuring there isn’t too much exporting, and being very aware of the effect of the economic environment on consumers.’
O2 was recently reported to have beaten Vodafone and Orange to snatching what is being billed as Palm’s comeback smartphone, adding it to its exclusivity of the iPhone.
The Palm brand continues to be regarded with reverence by older technology fans, who remember the original Psion ‘smartphone’ devices in the 1990s.
The Pre has both a touch-screen and slide-out keypad, as well as an exceptionally sharp screen.
The device is expected to arrive in the UK in late August, competing head to head with the iPhone 3G S, Nokia N97, and BlackBerry’s upcoming headline headsets, the Storm 2 and ‘Tour’, which is an improved version of the Curve 8900.
The mobile industry hopes that a choice of innovative smartphones will excite consumers into buying a new phone and taking out a new mobile contract in the run-up to Christmas.