Pre Sales Top 370,000, Claims Palm Blogger

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Palm has sold 370,000 Palm Pre smartphones and expects to sell a million in its first quarter, according to a blogger.

Palm has been blowing its own horn, and why not – yesterday the Palm WebOS blog announced the mobile firm has sold an estimated 370,000 Palm Pre smartphones since its release in the US and is churning 15,000 Pre units off the assembly line each day.

Citing Barron’s and Charter Equity Research principal analyst, Ed Snyder, the unnamed blog writer said analysts expect Palm to sell one million Pre smartphones within the first quarter of its availability.

“As I always like to remind you, this isn’t just about the Pre but about WebOS as a whole,” wrote the blogger, who also quoted analyst expectations that a Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) version of the Pre is “imminent for select international markets” and that “non-Pre WebOS phones from Verizon and AT&T will likely launch in very early 2010”.

On 22 June, Palm updated WebOS to Version 1.0.3 and announced that the software development kit (SDK) would be available to developers late in summer 2009. “How much more attractive will it make WebOS phones when the App Catalogue is packed to the brim with apps and games?” wrote the blogger.

While there are currently only about 30 applications in Palm’s App Catalogue – versus more than 50,000 in Apple’s App Store – the App Catalogue has already had over 1 million downloads.

“The numbers suggest there may be something more at work than just a fly-by-night success,” said Charles King, principal analyst with Pund-IT. Early excitement might account for a few hundred thousand devices, he said, “But if you hit the one million mark, there’s an indication that the vendor is doing something very right.”

King continued: “It’s critical for vendors, and especially new vendors… to realise that while there’s a great deal of value in the design of the handset, the quality of their partners is also critical. Sprint has been very aggressive with its pricing on the Pre, and they’re really going after AT&T and Apple. It will be very interesting to see how it plays out in the next few months.”

The blogger couldn’t agree more, concluding: “If the stock price keeps rising when Palm posts losses, just imagine what will happen next year when Pre profits are still being reported and a bunch more WebOS phones are available for sale.”

Rumours began to spread in May that Palm was teaming with O2 to bring the Pre to the UK at the end of the year.

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