Palm Pre Sells Out As First Manufacturing Issues Surface

Stocks of Palm's new smartphone, the Pre, have apparently run out within hours at some stores after US mobile phone operator Sprint released it on the 6th of June.

There are reports that some stores had only three phones available with more stock being drip-dropped across the US over the next few days. This prompted some analysts to argue that Palm is trying to create more buzz as more "sold out" signs appear outside retailers.

Paul Coster, an analyst at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York, told Bloomberg that weekend sales of the Pre should reach more than 50,000 with his peers putting the number as high as 200,000.

Palm is looking to recover some of its lost lustre after losing out to both Apple and RIM in the smartphone market. Pre is available on Sprint for $69.99 a month with an initial outlay for the phone of $199.99. This is significantly less than the iPhone but few will argue that it will be a major deciding point.

There have also been rumours that there have been some issues reported regarding the Pre's display which according to Engadget mobile, were either "splotchy", distorted or discoloured as well as dead pixels.

To make things worse, it appears that the web browser doesn't support symbols that are not on the keyboard. This might be a problem in many territories outside the UK and could potentially be resolved through a firmware upgrade.

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Our Comments

Palm Pre needs to make sure that it doesn't fiz out. The company cannot afford to make mistakes at this stage. Otherwise, Apple will simply squeeze Palm within weeks with the new iPhone. Expect the new iPhone to completely submerged the Pre when it comes to the amount of news generated.

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