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Palm may sell 1.5m Pre phones in 1st year

updated 03:05 pm EST, Mon January 12, 2009

Citi on Palm Pre Estimates

Palm could push as many as 1.5 million units of its Pre smartphone in a year, according to an investment note by Citi analyst Jim Suva. The researcher has upgraded the company's stock rating from "sell" to "hold" based on the technical abilities of the device, which has a more modern operating system than existing Palm phones and is also the company's first large touchscreen phone. The phone is seen as a direct factor in soften Palm's mounting losses and bringing its sales back up.

"The new Pre smartphone clearly stole the show at CES," he says. "We're impressed on multiple fronts: good form factor with solid fit and finish and multiple thoughtful touches; very impressive innovative user interface with great navigation; and a highly orchestrated launch that was not compromised by product leaks."

Suva is nonetheless cautious regarding how much help the Pre will give Palm and believes that Palm will still suffer losses for the next few years. The company's unwillingness to provide a price at this early stage is also a point of concern as the company may be particularly conservative with how much it charges users.

"While reaction was overwhelmingly positive (and rightfully so in our view), very little was asked or offered on Palm's pricing strategy for the Pre," he says, though he estimates the phone will sell for between $199 and $249 on a Sprint contract.

Outside of the report, other factors are expected to play into the company's final tally, such as known plans to introduce a GSM Pre that significantly expands the worldwide market for Palm as well as a touchscreen Centro in the fall whose lower price may expand Palm's reach. Palm also faces the possibilities of upgrades to the iPhone and other competitors that reduce the appeal of the Pre by the time it ships in the first half of this year.

by MacNN Staff



  1. ScottGG

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Lets Go!!!

    Stop Teasing us!

    Lets get going with a release date on Sprint and a Price, so i can toss my current Sprint Treo 700P out. It resets if you just jiggle it the wrong way. I wont spend another $400 for another one to then buy the PREE shortly there after.

    P.S. I Rate PALM a BUY for STOCK

    I bought in at 1.14, and now over 6.01 in just a few days.

  1. ScottGG

    Joined: Dec 1969


    PREE like PREfontaine

    I Like the Name "PREE", it reminds me of the Greatest Runner ever.

    Steve Prefontaine (1951 to 1975)

    The Crowd would always yell out "Pree, Pree, Pree!"

    To Quote Steve Prefontaine "Someone may beat me, but they are going to have to bleed to do it."

    Lets Watch the PREE smoke all the rest and leave them in the dust!


  1. vasic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not gonna happen

    Even if they do end up designing a GSM model, it will still face formidable competition from the original iPhone, the current iPhone, and not to mention the next version of iPhone which will probably already be out by the time Pre starts selling.

    Let's not forget: there is no way to build native applications for Pre; the only kind that can be built is the web apps, which is exactly like the two-year old original iPhone. To deliver this same technology two years later and call it innovation is a bit lame, to say the least.

  1. vasic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Some timing!


    You had some incredible luck with the timing of your stock purchase. I would suggest to hold a little while longer, though, since PALM may be buoyed a bit by Citi's (and probably few others') upgrades based on the Pre news. It won't last long, though; as soon as we hear about the new iPhone, or a new Android device, or some other touch-screen web-surfing phone, PALM will settle back to its normal $2 - $3 territory.

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