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Summary:

Hmm, this might have been mentioned elsewhere in the past, but it’s the first time I’ve seen it. Sprint’s official Palm Pre page has a bit of fine print that I only just noticed now. It’s generally all the standard fare, but these two bits jumped […]

Palm Pre browser

Palm Pre browser

Hmm, this might have been mentioned elsewhere in the past, but it’s the first time I’ve seen it. Sprint’s official Palm Pre page has a bit of fine print that I only just noticed now. It’s generally all the standard fare, but these two bits jumped out at me:

“Phone Offer: Offer ends 07/11/09. While supplies last. $299.99 (two-year price) – $100 (mail in rebate) = $199.99 (final price).”
“Mail in rebate: Requires purchase  by 07/11/09 & activation by 07/11/09.”

Now I’m not suggesting any big pricing or rebate conspiracy here. This type of language is fairly common, after all. But if Sprint does experience shortages of the Pre (as many suspect), what might that mean in terms of prices when there’s more stock available?

For example, if I can’t get my hands on a Palm Pre this weekend, what are the chances I will get one before July 11? What happens after that date, regardless of inventory? Maybe I’m just feeling old wounds from the infamous quick price drop on the original Apple iPhone, but seriously: Why such a short timeframe for the initial Pre pricing and rebate?

My first thought was that if there is a change, I hope it’s for the better with a sweeter deal. But then, that would just anger some of the early adopters. In the end, I suspect that the same deal will simply be extended. Personally, I’d feel better if it was extended before this weekend, but regardless, I’ll be trying to grab two handsets on Saturday morning.

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  1. Good luck on Saturday! I’m anxious to see how you like your new Pre! I got invited to a pre-launch party on Friday night, but I’m really bummed, I can’t go because I’ll be travling. I’ll just wait for your review instead!

  2. Or the price may go up to something closer to what it should actually be given the economies of scale that Palm is likely to achieve at this point — $299.99. The rebate is just an attention-getting device. No initial purchaser’s regret there!

  3. By the way, July 11 just happens to be the expected release date of iPhone 3.0 hardware. Hmmm. . .

  4. Seriously, good luck on Saturday, Kevin. From the looks of it, Pre might be harder to get than nintendo wii couple of years ago; with leaked inventory sheets showing just 2 Pres on hand for most of the Sprint stores. I don’t know much about the business aspect or maketing strategy but I think the decision maker for Sprint/Palm marketing and sales department might be a mole from its competitor and he/she is trying to sabotage the Pre launch as much as he/she can before the announcement of the new iPhone few days after the Pre launch date. I mean, seriously, isn’t Pre considered the bailout for both Sprint and Palm? So why such absurd marketing and sales tactics, or lack there of? Still, webOS looks very enticing… =D I can’t wait to read your review on Pre, which will be a deciding factor for my decision to get it or not, just like how I got my Samsung Q1UP after reading your review and I haven’t regretted since.

  5. Tom Reestman Thursday, June 4, 2009

    I don’t think there’s any mystery. The rebate ends 7/11. After that date the phone is still $299, there’s just no rebate.

    It’s also “while supplies last”, so Palm’s deliberate shortage not only ensures a “sell out”, but could save them rebate money as well. Like you, however, I expect Palm to extend the offer. It’s a good marketing move that will garner good press.

    Meanwhile, today’s reviews of the Pre are pretty good overall. I’m getting quite curious to see this device in person.

  6. Geek’s hype is not enough. I know quite a few geeks that become frustrated every passing day from lack of SDK. Application is the name of the game and they are loosing valuable points. Sprint is another factor as often mentioned here too.

  7. As a long time Sprint customer, I have seen this with numerous phones. Once the “good until” date comes, it is typically revised/extended. Just gives them an “out” if they want it or need to make a program change.

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