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Summary:

In late April, I questioned why Palm hadn’t gone “all-in” with marketing for the Pre. I realize that the company has limited cash and that carriers often help with handset marketing, so I’ll give Palm a bit of an out on this one. But we’re less […]

palm-preIn late April, I questioned why Palm hadn’t gone “all-in” with marketing for the Pre. I realize that the company has limited cash and that carriers often help with handset marketing, so I’ll give Palm a bit of an out on this one. But we’re less than a week away from launching the Pre and I’m equally disappointed in Sprint.

When the Pre was announced by Palm at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, Sprint was partner for the event. We were told that we could go to the Sprint site and sign up to be notified when the Pre would become available. I signed up that very day, thinking I’d hear more about the Pre in various emails over the next six months. Do you know how many I’ve received? None. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Not a one.

Obviously, I know all about the Pre due to my job. I’ve seen third-party app demos, I’ve fondled the keyboard and I’ve spent time with it in the Sprint VIP lounge. But as a potential customer of the device, I’ve really heard little, even though I willingly offered Sprint the opportunity to email me. I have to wonder how many other folks signed up for information but didn’t receive any yet. I know I’ll be trying to buy a Pre this weekend — do other folks even know it’s about to launch?

Did any readers sign up for the same notification and if so, have you heard anything? Perhaps unlike real spam, information coming from Sprint is getting caught in my Gmail spam filter. ;)

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  1. I do recall getting one email from them a couple months ago (which I promptly deleted since it didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know). I believe the excuse for not having any grand marketing plans at this point in the game was that they would be having shortages and “didn’t want to aggravate people” by advertising a phone that people couldn’t purchase. An interesting way to handle advertising, to say the least.

  2. By the way, here’s a preview of a Pre ad that’s supposed to go live sometime Wednesday (Facebook warning):
    http://www.facebook.com/palm?v=app_80586168109&viewas=0

  3. I signed up a few months ago and still havent received anything. I also signed up for notifications from Palm and they did email the day the release date was announced.

    Similarly, through my company we have access to the sprint corporate site for large companies like mine where there was a separate email notification. Sprint corporate/bluefish did email the date the release date was announce and also allowed for pre-ordering the phone which I did. The CSR said that she wasn’t sure if the pre-order they were offering would actually be done prior to June 6th or just right when available on June 6th.

  4. With the rumors of a shortage, it’s been suggested that maybe this is a bit of a soft launch. In other words, the first shipment might be selling out to the people on forums, etc. who already know about it, and then once they start getting more shipments in, then the advertising blitz would start in full.

    I’m not sure whether or not that’s the case, but it’d make sense. You also would have the advantage of getting one last round of ‘beta testing’ and to get an OTA update deployed in case any fixes are needed before the mainstream public has their chance to get their hands on one.

    As far as I’m concerned, I hope they don’t start advertising until after I get mine on June 6, but that’s just me. :D

  5. John Sullivan Monday, June 1, 2009

    Perhaps you should check your spam filter. I’ve gotten 4 emails from Sprint about the Pre, including one on the day that they announced the shipping date.

  6. Carl Zulauf Monday, June 1, 2009

    I signed up for the Sprint notification under an email address created solely for the purpose of receiving these notifications (palmpre at examancer, dot com). I signed up right after CES. I received a single email at this address titled “Meet the Palm Pre” on 4/17/09. I have not received any other emails at that address.

    Sprint has been extremely tight lipped about this and its starting to get a bit annoying. They won’t give clear answers about availability and won’t even address the rumors (which have some solid evidence) regarding premier customers getting access to the device on 6/5. I don’t get this strategy. I wouldn’t expect exact shipment numbers, but a little guidance regarding which locations will have the most stock would be fabulous for me and great for them. Local news would love to cover a story about long lines for a new phone during a recession. If they just tell us the best stocked locations that will virtually guarantee lines, which is free publicity and very very good publicity usually.

  7. It’s funny you mention it because I signed up with 2 differen e-mail addresses just to make sure I get the notification and I haven’t got a single notice. I visitied my local Sprint Store and sales associate didn’t really know much of the device, which really surprised me since the phone is well withing its launch date. Radio Shack didn’t have ANY clue at all as to when the device is even launching and I ended up educating the sales associte about the official launch date, few device specs, and $100 rebate with 2 year contract. Seriously, is Pre really coming out on the 6th of June??

  8. Carl Zulauf Monday, June 1, 2009

    @PJ the employees at the sprint store next to where I work (in Omaha, NE) are very aware of the impending Pre launch, are obviously being deliberately tight lipped about availability, and said their store has seen a lot of interest and they expect a long line at launch. I planned to start contacting local Best Buys and Radioshacks this week, but I fully expect most of their employees to be totally clueless. Surprised to hear you got response from a Sprint employee.

    1. I guess what you are saying makes perfect sense and lack of information about the Pre from Sprint store and Radio Shack is no surprise since it seems they are really dragging this tight-lip-mega-ultra-super-secret marketing strategy for Pre. I guess waiting for another 5 more days wouldn’t hurt since I’ve been doing exactly that for past 6 months since they announced it. But would this phone really live up to its hype enough for me to switch over to Sprint? hmm.. dilemma.. wait another 6 months until other carriers join in on this Pre party?? dilemma, dilemma..

  9. I have a Sprint aircard, and as a customer (I assume) I got a little brochure in the mail a few days ago which prominently featured the Pre.

  10. I recall the day before the soft launch for the Samsung Instinct is when I got notification of the launch. As for marketing, WE are doing it for Sprint and Palm, I remember some folks saying the same thing about the Instinct. I’m embarrassed to admit I waited over an hour in line for the Instinct. The buzz for the Instinct was NO WHERE near the buzz is for the Pre. Also, Sprint usually launches their AD campaigns after they launch devices, Instinct is a perfect example, it sold pretty well.

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