A lot is riding on the Palm Pre, and we've kept an eye glued to the new smartphone all throughout its opening weekend. The early reports sounded good, a lot of big-box stores were sold out within hours, and many Sprint stores and Best Buys have already had to call in to get restocked. Of course, the Pre shortage might have been engineered in order to increase early buzz and send more people off racing to get a Pre.
Whatever the truth there, total sales of the Palm Pre have been pretty impressive so far. The Wall Street Journal claims 50,000 sold, which is a very solid showing for any new smartphone but the iPhone, which sold 146,000 units on its opening weekend and may very well break that record in a few more days.
Even though the iPhone is still king, a lot of analysts consider the Pre's launch a success, which is good news for Sprint and Palm. They haven't managed to create an 'iPhone-killer', but they have put out a very solid new smartphone that looks like it's going to have a very successful lifespan. Of course, the Pre's first true test will be how well its sales hold up once the iPhone 3GS hits stores.
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It bears stating that just because the Pre is selling well doesn't mean that Sprint or Palm didn't engineer a shortage to build anticipation. Some big stores were only sent two or three Pres, which is ridiculously low for such a big name phone. Either Sprint and Palm were in such dire straits that they couldn't afford a decent number at launch, or they were up to something sneaky.