updated 02:25 pm EDT, Fri May 15, 2009
Advocate Palm Pres Arrive
Sprint's retail outlets on Friday were reported as having already started receiving Palm Pre units for an unusual approach to selling the device. Rather than simply offer in-store demos, the carrier is designating one employee per store as a "Palm Pre Advocate" and giving them special training as that location's expert on the smartphone. The effort noted by PreCentral mirrors the strategy used for some non-retail Sprint staff who had been given Pres of their own to use to become familiar with them ahead of public events.
Managers are also supposedly required to undergo their own training ahead of the June 5th weekend, corroborating stories of preparation for a June 7th launch.
The early shipments hint at Palm and Sprint being prepared well ahead of introduction and of the importance of the launch to the two companies, both of whom are struggling with lost income and marketshare and are counting on the Pre as a "halo" device that restores their public perception.