More Potential Pre Customers Opting for iPhone in U.K.

Published on December 10, 2009
by John Paczkowski

GrinchWPre1-150x150Recent price cuts on Palm’s Pre and Pixi have done much to stimulate slowing demand for the smartphones at Sprint (S). As I write this, Pre is the fifth best-selling mobile device on Amazon (AMZN), while the Pixi is the seventh.

Sadly, the same cannot be said for demand abroad. According to Mobile Today, U.K. sales of the Pre have been disappointing. So much so that O2, Palm’s (PALM) carrier partner in the country, has begun sending sales specialists to its retail outlets in a bid to juice holiday sales. Seems the iPhone juggernaut is as formidable an opponent in the U.K. as in the U.S.

“We have sold 20 times more [iPhones than Palm Pre handsets],” one O2 retail manager told Mobile Today. “The iPhone is a more established brand and there has been more advertising. They are both good handsets but, with such a small price difference, customers take the view they might as well go for the iPhone.”

An unfortunate take on Palm’s prospects in the U.K. That said, it’s not the only one. In a research note issued this morning, UBS said its checks indicate that the Pre is doing “okay” internationally and that it expects webOS handset sales to track largely in line with expectations on a sell-in basis. Here’s hoping we find out if that’s the case when Palm reports second-quarter results next Thursday.

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