updated 09:40 am EDT, Fri May 22, 2009
Best Buy Pre Shortage
Best Buy's limited stock of Palm Pre devices has been discovered to be evidence of a much more pronounced shortage. An internal company launch guide obtained by BGR warns that Best Buy Mobile stores will have to manage the release in two phases. The company expects the first phase to be characterized by extremely limited supply until at least late July and that there will be "little or no replenishment" for the first few weeks.
In these conditions, stores will be banned from selling phones to employees and can only sell one Pre per customer. Only 300 of Best Buy's stores will be allowed to carry demo units, and waiting lists are expected once the initial supply runs out. It won't be until the second phase that many of these limits will be removed and enough devices ship in volume.
While it's not known how Radio Shack and Sprint will fare in comparison, the document supports beliefs that Palm will have an unintentionally low supply of its range-leading smartphone for launch and could face difficulties competing against the likely close release of the third-generation iPhone, which should be available in significantly healthier supply for its own debut.