10/21/2009 1:01:00 PM
Slow start for O2’s Palm Pre, claim staff
O2 retail staff have claimed a slow start for sales of the Palm Pre, despite the operator reporting that sales had been good.
The handset went on sale last Friday (16 October), exclusively at O2 and Carphone Warehouse stores.
Towards the end of the first day of trading, O2 put out a series of messages claiming how successful the day had been.
O2 claimed via Twitter that on the first day of sales it ‘sold more Palm Pre phones than the total number of handsets we sell on an average day’ and that the ‘fastest selling store was 134 Oxford Street in London’.
However, the Pre lacked the iPhone’s popularity, and O2 did not report queues outside its shops or the handset selling out, as it had done previously with Apple’s device.
The operator is heavily marketing the Pre, which is seen as its most important device after losing iPhone exclusivity. Shop windows are now full of Pre posters and the handset has been placed prominently towards the front of the store.
However, staff seemed less sure on the handset’s performance. One staffer said: ‘It is not the most fantastic new starter because no one has heard of it and they are less likely to ask for it.’
In the centre of Birmingham, sales of the Pre improved, with staff reporting it sold ‘quite well’.
Retail staff are not being offered any different rates of commission to sell the phone over the iPhone or any other handset.
Most members of staff are emphasising the Pre’s ability to have multiple applications running at one time as a selling point.