Without solid numbers from Sprint or Palm as to how the Palm Pre is selling in the US, any speculation on sales figures is exactly that, speculation. That being said, a research note from Town Hall investment Research analyst David Eller indicates that Palm Pre sales are slowing down and will probably miss Sprint’s target of 1 to 1.5 million units in the current quarter. The numbers are actually pretty dismal. Eller says he expects Palm and Sprint to move just 416,000 Palm Pre units in the quarter, adjusted from 488,000 units previously.
The holiday quarter will be more positive with an expected 785,000 Palm Pres finding new homes. But, Palm Pre sales are still expected to come up short on internal targets. Checks have apparently indicated that Sprint is moving some 25,000 Palm Pres per week, reflecting a hit from popular competitors RIM and Apple.
The problem? Eller says that sluggish Palm Pre sales aren’t Palm or Sprint’s fault per se, but that “overly ambitious expectations in the face of a weak retail spending environment [and] competition from the iPhone 3Gs” set up the Palm Pre to underachieve.
Basically, Sprint and Palm both expected the Pre to track well – too well. When you aim for the stars, sometimes, you come up short. Even if “short” amounts to three-quarters of a million handsets – no small number, to be sure. That’s gotta be tough.