Palm Pre Build Quality Issues Continue to Slide Out

palm-pre-slider-gap

So how’s the build quality on your Palm Pre? My particular unit is solid, but I’m reading more and more accounts of people complaining about their Pre handsets. Some folks have experienced cracked screens. Others see issues with the sliding hinge mechanism. Here are just a few of the several examples from a forum thread over at PreCentral to illustrate:

“I’m on my THIRD pre (yellow box). Over the last two weeks, I’ve noticed an increasing amount of play with the screen. I’ve also noticed that on the left side of the device the two sections are separated enough that i can almost see the innards. When I push them together, you can hear squeaking. On top of that, the device came with a loose power button that doesn’t click nearly as firmly as that of other devices.”

“I already exchanged my first one due to a faulty screen, and will likely also exchange my current one because of a wobbly/loose slider. Hopefully third time’s a charm.”

Then there’s the picture shown above of a gap between the two sliding halves of the unit. The owner of the pic claims that he’s not creating the gap with his thumb; he’s just using it to show the gap. If true, there’s clearly an issue with the slider on his particular unit.

What makes these issues particularly interesting is the lower-than-expected supply of handsets at launch and not a peep from Sprint or Palm on the return rate of the devices. Note that a question about sales and return rates was posed on the Palm investor call last week, but it wasn’t answered. It could well be that the number of poorly constructed handsets don’t equal a significant amount, so I’m not drawing any conclusions just yet. But accounts like those above in combination with limited supply have me wondering if there’s a quality control issue behind the scenes.

I know we have a few Pre owners out there. Have any of you exchanged your unit due to a defect of some type or is your hardware in perfect working order? Thanks to LucaMorandi for the tip via Twitter!

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