Sprint: Palm Pre Broke Sales Records (But We're Not Saying What That Record Was) - InformationWeek

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6/8/2009
06:13 PM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Sprint: Palm Pre Broke Sales Records (But We're Not Saying What That Record Was)

A press release just landed in my inbox from Sprint. The headline? "Sprint Sets Sales Record With Weekend Debut of Palm Pre." I anxiously dove into the email for the nitty-gritty details...only to find that there were none.

A press release just landed in my inbox from Sprint. The headline? "Sprint Sets Sales Record With Weekend Debut of Palm Pre." I anxiously dove into the email for the nitty-gritty details...only to find that there were none.Analysts are suggesting that Sprint sold about 50,000 Palm Pres during its first weekend of availability. Sprint had a golden opportunity to confirm that, and blew it by issuing a press release devoid of any real information.

The press release (below) crows about the strong sales the Pre saw over the weekend, but it doesn't include any actual sales figures. You tell me, am I missing something?

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - June 8, 2009 - Within hours of offering Palm® Pre™ - the most widely anticipated electronic device of the year - eager customers delivered the result: a record Sprint sales debut. By late Sunday, Palm Pre had broken previous sales records (first day and first weekend) for a Sprint device. "Sprint is a very different company than it was 12 months ago," said Dan Hesse, president and chief executive officer. "Palm Pre is the coming out party for the new Sprint. It is the perfect device that highlights all of the positive changes in our company, including our revolutionary Ready Now retail store experience, greatly improved customer care, unmatched value pricing plans and America's most dependable 3G network."(1) Pre comes with Sprint's industry-leading, value-oriented service plans - which offer significant savings vs. the competition. For example, Sprint's Simply EverythingSM plan saves customers $1200 over the comparable plan for AT&T's iPhone, and more against Verizon's smartphone and PDA pricing over a two year period - that's real value."(2) The anticipation of getting a device found many customers waiting in line at Sprint retail stores Saturday morning. One person in line - on his wedding day - was Theodore Travis. On Saturday at 7 a.m., Theodore was 14th in line at an Atlanta-area Sprint store, fidgeting for his new Pre. His wedding was scheduled for 8 a.m. As much as Theodore wanted Pre, he wanted his bride, Anita, to see him at the altar at the appointed time. At 7:45, he abandoned his wait and left his line-number and credit card information with a Sprint store employee, asking that he "hold the 14th phone for me." The Sprint store employee obliged. Minutes after the recessional, the newlyweds returned to pick up their phone, spending the first minutes of married life with a Ready Now consultant who walked the happy couple through Pre's setup and features. The new Mrs. Travis later revealed that her reaction was "You did what?" to her husband spending the hour before their wedding waiting for a phone, but later admitted, "I guess I kind of understand now." In addition to big sales and banner headlines during the weekend, Pre represented a new and major point of differentiation for Sprint, a defining wireless crossover device for business and consumers that come to life on Sprint's Now Network. Pre proves the value of Sprint's 3G network - the nation's most dependable - which enables downloads more reliably than its competitors, according to third-party tests. Pre is a breakthrough in wireless usability. This new handset has been heralded as a must for the multitasker, with multitouch capabilities, cached contacts and calendars synced in one place, a keyboard that's easy to use and a new webOS™ operating system that lets customers operate their phone just like a PC - with multiple applications open at once. Pre comes backed by Ready Now, a key differentiator for Sprint that proved valuable throughout the weekend as sales added up and customers sought to use the phone right out of the box. With Ready Now, Sprint retail associates work one-on-one with customers to personalize phones, set up features and demonstrate how each Sprint phone works before customers leave a Sprint store. In addition to reinforcing Sprint's "Now" positioning in the marketplace, the Pre launch represented an opportunity to advance the perception of Sprint's positive customer experience - Hesse's top priority since assuming the company's leadership. First call resolution and overall customer satisfaction with Sprint's customer care experience have improved for 15 consecutive months. The company has won awards and accolades for its improvements - including a J.D. Power and Associates award for highest call quality performance among wireless cell phone users in the West Region in a tie.(3) Sprint also was ranked by a third party as first among wireless carriers in customer response time. The Pre launch was a great example of the changes that have taken place at Sprint, showcased by customers delighted with both the product and their experience. With the strong customer response to the launch of Pre, as expected, Sprint has sold out in many locations. Sprint is getting the device in to its retail locations as fast as Palm can make them.

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