Hesse: Three months to tell if Pre is a success

Sprint Nextel CEO Dan Hesse said it will take around three months for the carrier to know how well the Palm Pre is doing in the market.

"It will probably take about three months before we know," Hesse said in a recent interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Early on, it will sell like crazy. The real issue is what kind of legs it will have after the initial euphoria." Hesse reiterated what he said when Sprint first announced the June 6 launch date of the Pre: it is a smartphone that blends the consumer aspects of Apple's iPhone with the enterprise powers of Research In Motion's BlackBerry devices.

Pressure remains intense for Sprint and Palm to deliver a hit. "They really do need something to establish themselves in the market," Gartner analyst Tuong Nguyen told the Associated Press. "If you want to continue playing with the big boys, you need a big product."

Kevin Dulaney, another Gartner analyst, told the AP that he expects Palm to sell around 1 million Pre units in 2009 and 4 to 5 million in 2010. Sprint will have exclusive U.S. rights to the Pre through 2009. By comparison, Apple sold 6 million units of the original iPhone in its first 11 months on the market before upgrading to the iPhone 3G.

For more:
- see this article
- see this AP article

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