As we all know, the Palm Pre went on sale Saturday, and while there's no question about the smartphone's popularity in terms of interest, the bigger question is whether this enthusiasm turned into actual sales over the weekend. Well, if early numbers are to believed, things look promising for Sprint and Palm.
The two companies have yet to confirm figures, but analysts have called the Pre launch a success. J.P. Morgan reports that "sales in the first two days probably exceed 50,000," meeting its expectations but falling short of the 146,000 units sold of first-generation Apple iPhones.
However, an updated story by The Wall Street Journal says analysts are now putting the number of units sold in the 50,000 to 100,000 range. Not too shabby. Of course, now we have to wonder whether sales will continue to be swift and strong in light of the iPhone 3G S announcement and price drop of the current 8GB iPhone 3G.
Still, we imagine Sprint and Palm have to be pretty happy with the outcome. It's not clear how many Palm Pres were distributed nationwide for sale, but small lines were reported at Sprint stores and longer lines at Best Buys, since the electronics retailer was offering an instant $100 rebate. I did a quick drive-by of the Market Street Sprint store here in San Francisco on my way out of town and saw a line about 10 to 12 people deep around 9 a.m.
The response to the smartphone also seems largely positive. I checked my Twitter feed and Facebook throughout the weekend, and saw more praises for the smartphone than negative comments. However, it wasn't all sunshine and roses for everyone. By the end of Saturday, a number of user-reported issues started cropping up on sites like Engadget Mobile and Gizmodo, including heat-related screen distortion and random restarts.
CNET's own Jeff Bakalar, who waited two hours in line and had someone pass out on him, had his Pre for just a few hours before it started resetting every time he opened and closed the slider keyboard. Obviously, he's none too pleased with the situation and is hoping a fresh unit will fix the problem--if he can find one.
Meanwhile, CNET Labs' Joseph Kaminski had the opposite experience and is loving his Pre. He was impressed with almost every feature of the smartphone, from the hardware to the Web browsing to the speakerphone to Sprint Navigation. His only concern was the battery life.
Obviously, two very different tales, and now it's your turn, Crave readers. We'd love to hear from all you new Pre owners about your experience with the smartphone. It can be about your time waiting in line, any problems you're having with the Pre, how much you adore the smartphone, or any other thoughts you have about it. Just post your comments below.