John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Analyst to Sprint: You'd Sell More Pres if They Cost 99 Cents

99centsA renewed advertising push for the Palm (PALM) Pre and an increase in the number of applications available for it haven’t done much for the device’s sales. According to Pali Research analyst Walter Piecyk, weekly Pre sales are holding steady in the mid-20,000 range at which they stabilized a few weeks back.

“Advertising for the product has increased with a more direct attack on the iPhone but that does not appear to have materially impacted sales from its prior sales levels,” Piecyk writes in a note to clients today. “The Pre continues to add applications that will increase the appeal of the phones like Spades and Bubbles, two game applications and total application downloads have now topped 3 million.

“However,” Piecyk adds, “with only 41 apps available we wonder how apps with limited appeal like Shabat Shalom, which allow users to check candle lighting times, are showing up before proven iPhone successes like a basic fart sound application or Facebook.”

Piecyk goes on to suggest that Sprint (S) needs to step up its efforts to market the Pre lest it fumble the best opportunity to come its way in a while.

“Overall the launch of the Pre has been a success for Sprint by increasing the profile of the company’s data network and its use as an effective retention tool. However, we expect Verizon to heavily market whatever WebOS phone they get their hands on. 

“This is a good operating system,” Piecyk notes, “and phone and the multi-tasking functionality is a clear differentiated advantage but competitive advantages in technology are fleeting and we cant imagine that Apple and others will not be able to replicate the multi-tasking functionality in short order. Between Verizon’s launch of a Palm product in 2010 and the inevitable end of the multi-tasking differentiation we believe Sprint is wasting a valuable opportunity to get the Pre in as many customers’ hands as possible this year.”

And just how should Sprint maximize that opportunity? Simple, says Piecyk: Slash the Pre’s price to $99, or even 99 cents.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald