Pre Inventory Levels Are Lower Than Low in My Area


palm-preI just spent the last 45 minutes calling Radio Shack, Best Buy and Sprint stores in my vicinity. It’s not looking good for me, but perhaps in your locale you’ll have better luck. After speaking with a dozen different places, I strongly suspect I won’t have a Palm Pre (s PALM) after all tomorrow. I’m getting comments like:

“We have one unit now but might get more on the truck tonight.” – Best Buy
“We’re not sure we’re going to have any until August.” – Radio Shack
“We should have 8 or 9 units in stock, but you’re about the 50th person to call us.” – Sprint

If you had any doubts on those limited inventory reports from the past few weeks, I recommend making some calls today. I live in the sticks, so maybe you’ll have more promising results.

At this point, I think it’s highly unlikely I’ll have one on launch day. Barb isn’t going to want to run around or wait in an early line and I can’t say that I blame her. I’ll live. :) I suspect that by the end of the weekend (if not end of day tomorrow) there won’t be a Pre to be had until the next shipment arrives, but that’s pure speculation on my part.


Chris Stalker

I live…well near you. There are some indirect premier dealers I am very familiar with in the area with them. Not a huge quantity but you could camp out :) Anyway, I know they have been getting calls all day and there really are people camping out as close as Coventry mall.


John in Norway

I phoned my local phone store on your behalf, Kevin, and they don’t even know what a Palm Pre is. I took that as a sign that they won’t have any in stock either.


Amazing. I for one don’t buy the claim that this will bring them more customers. They are shooting themselves in the leg.
They could have just won the big prize in one successful launch event (week), securing the company and provider network. This is so wrong on their side.


I agree, Kevin needs to get out of “cow country” and head to the “big city” or turn in his technology geek hat for a 30 day suspension. In fact I’m surprised Kevin hasn’t been reporting on which computer he’ll be taking in the SUV for the drive up to NYC. I mean he’s been jonesing for a Pre for how long? :-)

The lack of stock though does point to one advantage Apple had when it launched the iPhone: cash. It’s easier to order a few million units for launch day with their cash-on-hand than with what a teetering Palm and a reeling Sprint have available to them.

Richard Garrett

The Pre, by so many accounts, looks like a great device, well designed and capable. That said, its still a Palm product. There have been so many iterations of the company and abandonment of customers that it seems to me we all would be wise to see how things go for the early adopters. This is clearly a company that is depending on a home run while playing in a ball park with 700′ walls and against teams that have all-stars at every position. The shortage of initial product looks like they’ve rolled the dice. If it sells well without a high return/refund rate than they’ll be able to finance their next production run. If not, its game over for Palm. As a somewhat embittered long-time Palm user, I admit that it wouldn’t hurt my feelings to see them come up short.


I do not buy this low inventory one bit, especially sense Sprint stores were told to expect daily shipments the first week. The Palm Pre *national* commercial will debut June 22nd. People are going to be surprised at how many units are sold over the next several weeks.


I called Westpark Sprint Store (Houston, TX) and they will have better supply than any other Houston store. They expect lines but will be able to have enough Pre. They will be open at 8am and I will be there around 6 or 7. Lets see how bad that is. But Bestbuys are not getting more than 6-20 and there is no way I would waste my time there.


Oddly enough every store I called in Alabama and N. Ga said that they’d have a bunch. I can’t imagine a lot of people living there lining up for the phones but I’m still on the fence about picking one up.

All the bad press just makes me want to until the Android phone comes out.


Kevin, I think you need to put on your running shoes and “Sprint” down to the stores first thing Saturday. ;)

On your marks, get ready, go……

Good luck


Wow, that’s a bummer. All the different stores in Austin seem to be getting them in fair quantities. I am buying one from an affiliate store who I just confirned with – but apparently the shipments still have not actually arrived at a lot of stores. So, guess we’ll find out tomorrow.

KT – I would expect you to have both phones as it is your “job”, right?

Kevin C. Tofel

It is my job, but often we can work with review units that we send back. And bear in mind: we don’t expense our phones, voice/data plans, and other device purchases. When we buy something, we’re buying it out of pocket. Having two (or more) voice lines has to go through the home finance committee, i.e.: my wife. ;)


Ouch – I am a small business owner and I expense most of my plan and the phones through the business. Rather pay pre-payroll tax than after!


In the UK you can claim a proportion of these costs as “Business Use” if you are a small business or self employed.

I would have thought it is similiar in the US.

I suppose it depends whether you are an employee or self-employed or a small company.


I live in Tyson’s Corner VA., a suburb of Washington DC, a pretty big market area. BB just told me they are expecting three units!!


And who knows? Maybe the delay will give you a chance to see the new iPhone and decide that the Pre is already “light-years behind” and you’ll upgrade your current iPhone to the new generation. 8-)

(Disclaimer: I’m a PC, but my friends with iPhones are *seriously* tempting me to The Mac Side. “Just try it,” they say seductively, and thrust theirs into my hands for just a few moments, then they take it away.)

Kevin C. Tofel

Excellent point! I was thinking about both a Pre and a new iPhone, pending the Apple news next week. For folks that want one or the other, this inventory situation could sway them to the first product that’s readily available.


while some are hoping a new iphone will be introduced at WWDC monday instead of just some overdue software upgrades, even if new hardware is introduced it won’t hit the shelves for several weeks.

I'm a pickle!

I did a search on the sprint store locator and I can’t seem to find any Pre’s within at least 50 mile radius. That’s the biggest option they give…

Kevin C. Tofel

I wouldn’t rely on the locator. Seems that they’ve changed their approach there. Example: if I went by that in my area, there would be zero Pre stock. Calling the stores told me that they would have stock. I’d call. ;)

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