Contrary to the naysayers, looks like those rumors about Best Buy Mobile having low Palm Pre inventory are indeed true. In fact, thanks to one of our ninjas we now know that Best Buy Mobile’s own Pre launch guide lays out a two-pronged launch: Phase 1 will be from June to July where inventory will be extremely low and marketing will be minimal. Best Buy Mobile is warning stores that “customer demand will outweigh inventory and stores may go weeks after launch with little or no replenishment.” Stores are being instructed to not sell the Pre early, not to make hold lists prior to the launch date and to limit sales to one device per customer. Sorry BBYM employees — no employee purchases until August. A ticketing system will be used to handle any lines on launch day and a running waiting list will be created when the Pre has sold out. Folks on the waiting list will get the Pre if when new shipments arrive.
As if we didn’t see this one coming, the Palm Pre has made its official debut on Best Buy’s website. The handset is sporting a super-high $849 price tag which is apparently a deterrent. With a shortage of handsets “expected at launch”, Best Buy supposedly wants to discourage Best Buy employees and any other customers from buying the handset at full retail. We will see how this shakes out as the launch date draws closer.
“Whoa, whoa, easy there killer.” That’s probably one of the phrases coming out of your mouth at the moment. One of our most-trusty of ninjas just dropped this bomb in our mailbox — it’s going to be rough out there on June 6th, folks. We’ve been told that there are only roughly 4,250 Palm Pres that Best Buy stores will be receiving for launch day on June 6th. Scott Anderson of Best Buy Mobile told us there were around 1,000 Best Buy locations that would be selling the Pre, so this leaves us with around 4 units per store. For launch. Incredible, isn’t it?
We’ve been getting an enormous response to the news that Best Buy’s Palm Pres will go for $100 less (well, basically) and we hit up Best Buy to try and get some answers on various questions you guys have been asking. Straight Talk Express style. Hit the jump for some possibly valuable info that could save your ass from going home without webOS in your pants.
Ahhh, Best Buy. Many speculated that the Pre would hit Best Buy Mobile locations without the need to worry about that annoying mail-in rebate (MIR) and as of yesterday evening, it’s confirmed. While Pre-purchasers will have to part with $299.99 at Sprint stores and then sit around for a few months before receiving $100 back in the mail, Best Buy Mobile will be carrying the handset for $199.99 — no rebate required. We know Sprint is struggling but come on, times are tough for everyone. Why should Sprint earn interest on your money for a few months when you could be earning interest yourself? We’re sure you would much rather see the savings up front, so if there is a Palm Pre in your future it looks like Best Buy Mobile is the place to get it… That is, if there are any left.
This morning Sprint announced that the highly anticipated Palm Pre will be launched on June 6 for $199.99 with MIR after a two-year contract. Just now we got word that a special launch party will be hosted by Sprint for the coming handset, which arrives at retail stores the very next day. If you’re a Sprint Premier customer and you’re in the Los Angeles area, be sure to register and catch all the action! You know how these events usually are: lots of celebs, live music, drinks and of course, the guest of honor, the Palm Pre. If that’s not enough to get you going, you’ll be able to grab a Palm Pre a day before everyone else by purchasing one at the event! Let us know if you’re going — it’s being held at a Sprint store, so space is limited.
Not to get too in-ya-face about it, but man… we knocked this crap out the park. One of our ninjas hit us up last night and gave us the heads up on this information. As predicted, Palm has just gone ahead and announced the Palm Pre release date and pricing information for the device’s debut on Sprint. It’s $199.99 after a $100 MIR on a 2-year agreement (copying Apple, much?) and will indeed be released on Saturday June 6th online and in Sprint stores in addition to Best Buy, Radio Shack and Wal-Mart. Oh, and in case you’re dying to blow some cash on some Pre accessories, the Touchstone Charging Kit goes on sale the same day for $69.99 and will comes with the Touchstone charging dock and battery cover. A bit steep, but it’s not like we expected it to be anything but.
A day before the expected Wall Street Journal announcement, a carefully crafted New York Times article about the upcoming summer season of blockbuster phones suggests the Palm Pre will launch date some time during the first week of June — “a few days prior” to Apple’s WWDC opening day on June 8th. Sounds like that June 5th to 7th window is spot on… Anyone planning on crashing that weekend-long launch meeting?
It seems like all the Pre minutiae is hitting the Internet like a ton of bricks but here’s some more news indicating its release isn’t far off: Palm Pre handsets are making their way to Sprint stores specifically for the store advocate, or the one who will be the Pre pro. Images surfaced recently with a number of Sprint employees holding up their handsets (luckily made anonymous by bloggers) and as you might expect, people are psyched; reviews are nothing short of what is expected based on what we’ve seen so far. The device is small, the screen is responsive and the keyboard is like a mix of Centro and Treo Pro goodness (or “badness” if you hate that bubbly plastic feeling). Managers will be undergoing mandatory device training soon and we’re expecting them to give you the hands-on shortly after that in store.
It’s fascinating how many people lust after gadget unboxings and Monday was no exception with some people going absolutely crazy over some not so great pics of the Palm Pre’s box. Well today a video unboxing of the Pre surfaced which is sure to make more than a few people wet their pants (or worse) from excitement. It’s not exactly what we pictured the first video unboxing would look like as it’s being done by a Palm rep at CES 2009 way back on January 13th (strange how it stayed under the radar until now, isn’t it?), but we’ll take what we can get and dish it out for all of the Pre-crazed nouveau Palm addicts out there. Hit the jump for the video.