Shoppers could be paying $100 less for their Palm Pre on June 6 and in the days after, depending on where they go to make their purchase. Sprint Nextel is offering the phone at its stores and online for $299.99--with a $100 mail-in rebate. However, at Best Buy and RadioShack stores, the mail-in rebate will be deducted right at the register.
According to Bloomberg News, Best Buy will only have a limited supply of the phones from Sprint Netxel and is expected to sell out. Best Buy Merchandising Director Scott Anderson declined to say how many units the company was getting. "Inventory is constrained, and Palm is making as many as they can," Anderson said. "We are going to purchase and sell as many as we can."
Before Sprint disclosed the the Pre's launch date, industry pundits speculated that Sprint and Palm would limit the number of Pre units to fewer than 400,000 so the device would sell out more quickly and potentially generate more buzz for the smartphone. The move would mirror sellouts of the iPhone 3G during its introduction.
Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said this week that he expects Pre shortages at launch. He also said Sprint would not conduct any major advertising campaigns for the phone early on, noting that he believes demand for the Pre already is there.
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