John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

McNamee’s Elevation Partners Henceforth Known as Exaggeration Partners

“June 29, 2009, is the two-year anniversary of the first shipment of the iPhone. Not one of those people will still be using an iPhone a month later.”

Palm investor Roger McNamee, March 6, 2009

“The statement…that ‘not one’ person who bought an Apple, Inc. iPhone on the first shipment date ‘will still be using an iPhone a month’ after the two-year anniversary of that day is an exaggerated prediction of consumer behavior pattern and is withdrawn.”

Palm Free Writing Prospectus, March 9, 2009

mcnamee1Good thing Palm withdrew investor Roger McNamee’s your-next-iPhone-will-be-a-Pre claim because there obviously wasn’t much truth to it. If there was, well, there would have been a massive rush on Pres nationwide this past month. And that clearly didn’t happen.

In fact, by all indications, the Pre hasn’t even come close to performing as well at market as McNamee promised. Though it was the most successful handset launch in Sprint’s history, it didn’t come close to supplanting the Apple (AAPL) iPhone. Hell, it couldn’t even stop Sprint from losing 991,000 subscribers during the second quarter of 2009.

Which is not to say that the Pre and what it’s done for Palm (PALM) aren’t remarkable. Any device capable of transforming a $423 million market cap into a $2.9 billion one in 12 months is nothing short of a miracle, as I’ve noted before. Seriously, check out the chart below.

palm_rise

It’s just that McNamee was, and is, as full of it as a beef ranch manure truck. Because at a run rate of roughly 25,000 per week (according to the latest stats from Pali Research), Pre sales are decent. Nothing more, nothing less.

Consider this: In its first quarter, 8.6 percent of Sprint’s (S) 35.4 million post-paid subscribers upgraded handsets. In its latest quarter approximately nine percent of the company’s 34.4 million post-paid subs upgraded. So despite all the hoopla over the Pre, just 15,000 to 50,000 more Sprint users upgraded their handsets this quarter than last quarter, a period with no important handset launches.

Given Sprint’s substantial base of Palm handset owners, that’s not exactly impressive. Makes you wonder if that “accidental” price cut we saw at Best Buy (BBY) earlier this week might become an official one before the end of summer.

Below, McNamee pokes fun at himself in the video introduction to his D7 appearance:


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work