Sprint Nextel is ramping up advertising for the Palm Pre ahead of the device's launch, rumored for mid-May.
The carrier, which is looking to revive its flagging subscriber growth with the Pre, took out a full-page color advertisement for the Pre in the Wall Street Journal Friday, at a cost of $246,000. The Pre also appeared at the end of a Sprint commercial touting the amount and type of data on Sprint's network.
Print advertisements usually herald the impending launch of a new flagship phone. AT&T Mobility started running print ads for Research In Motion's BlackBerry Bold about a month before that device launched. Recently leaked internal Sprint retail documents indicate that the Pre may be launching May 17, though that is unconfirmed.
Meanwhile, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch analyst Vivek Arya upped his rating on Palm to buy, adding that Wall Street "underestimates Sprint's commitment to Palm's success and [the] strength of the [the] underlying smartphone market." Arya said he thinks Palm could ship up to 2.5 million Pre units in the second half of 2009, and 6.2 million in 2010.
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