Probably Not The Palm Pre Chart Roger McNamee Wants To See

podtech_rogermcnameepart2You know the beautiful thing: June 29, 2009, is the two- year anniversary of the first shipment of the iPhone,Elevation Partners (which owns a huge portion of Palm) co-founder Roger McNamee told Bloomberg in March. “Not one of those people will still be using an iPhone a month later.

A week from tomorrow is the big day for McNamee’s prediction. How’s it looking? Not so hot. Okay, awful.

Yes, it’s still early in the Palm Pre’s life. And yes, there is plenty of room in the rapidly expanding mobile universe for more than one device. But it was McNamee who specifically threw down this gauntlet against the iPhone. And that makes charts like the one below, that much more amusing.


Now, it has to be noted that the research company providing this data, JNK Wireless Consultant iGR, is said to be fairly new. But that doesn’t mean that they did a poor job in obtaining the numbers that they did. This chart comes after they completed a series of checks last week across 50 Sprint stores nationwide in top markets.

Further, they have a lot more details of what they found in their checks.

Here are the Pre “highlights”:

  • No stores this week reported that they had currently sold out of Palm Pre (compared to three stores last week and no stores the week before).
  • Approximately 65 percent of the stores contacted said they had ‘plenty’ of devices on hand and did not anticipate any shortages.
  • iGR’s channel checks again show that Sprint is meeting the current demand for the device with the inventories available in the stores.
  • None of the stores willing to discuss sales reported they had sold significantly more than 25 units this week (down from a maximum of 50 last week). In Week 3, the upper ‘ceiling’ on sales was 75 units in some stores and this compares with 20 percent of stores that reported selling around 100 units in Week 2.
  • 40 percent of the stores willing to discuss volumes said they had sold less than 10 units this week (compared to 30 percent last week). 37 percent said they had sold 10 – 20 units and another 23 percent said they had sold 20 – 30 units.
  • This week, 95 percent of the stores indicated that Palm Pre sales were a mixture of both new subscribers and upgrades to existing Sprint subscribers. But just one of the stores contacted said that the majority of the Pre sales this week were to new Sprint customers, compared to 7 percent last week and 25 percent the week before.
  • iGR also asked this week about the number of Pre demo units that were available in the Sprint stores for prospective customers – this question was added as a result of stories indicating that customers were having to wait to see a demo unit. As in Weeks 4 and 5, none of the stores contacted had more than 2 Pre demo units on hand (even though all stores had sufficient inventory to meet current demand). 93 percent of stores had a single Pre demo unit in the store – the remainder had just two units.
  • iGR has been tracking the sales of the Palm pre over the last six weeks through these weekly channel checks. It has been clear for the last few weeks that Sprint is now meeting the current demand and that the ‘sold out’ scenarios common just after launch have ended – if they do occur, they are a temporary scenario while the store waits that day for a new shipment. Finding a Palm Pre at a Sprint store should not be difficult at the current time.
  • Sales are also dropping gradually. By looking at the average number of sales per store, iGR has ESTIMATED the number of Palm Pre sales in the Sprint channel by week (see attached figure). Sales have dropped significantly from the initial launch volumes but also seem to be stabilizing at about 22,000 – 25,000 per week

To make sure it got a clearer pictures, iGR also went to Apple stores around the country to check the iPhone 3GS numbers. It ran checks with 52 stores. The story is quite a bit different:

  • All but two of the stores contacted said that sales of the 3G S were strong – the two dissenting stores said that sales were ‘steady’ from last week. No stores reported that sales had decreased since the launch of the 3G S.
  • Compared to last week when 76 percent said they were frequently selling out of 3G S, this week 43 percent reported frequently selling out.
  • The remainder (57 percent) has some 3G S in stock, although many acknowledged that supplies were limited.
  • Of those stores that were frequently selling out, 45 percent of the stores said they still were using waiting lists to control distribution.
  • 80 percent of stores had data on the number of iPhone purchasers that were new to the iPhone. Of this 80 percent of stores, 15 percent said that 40 percent of sales were to those new to iPhone, 48 percent said that 50 percent of sales were new to iPhone, 35 percent said 60 percent of sales were new to iPhone and just 2 percent said that 70 percent of sales were to new iPhone users.
  • Over all of the stores surveyed, the average number of sales to those new to iPhone was 52 percent.
  • Of those iPhone 3G S purchasers who already had an iPhone, on average 55 percent were coming from an iPhone 2G. The remainder were upgrading from an iPhone 3G.
  • iGR also asked if sales of the existing 3G iPhone has changed since the price dropped to $99. All of the stores reported that sales had increased as a result of the price drop

Now again, this data all comes from a sampling of Sprint and Apple stores. But at the very least, the trends seem pretty clear. The iPhone 3GS is selling very, very well (as was further evidenced today during Apple’s 3Q earnings call), the Palm Pre? Still pretty ho-hum. And things still seem to be slowing down.

Not one of those people will still be using an iPhone a month later.Yeah. We’ll revisit that again in 8 days.

But the graph up top does have a nice “L” shape. “L” in this case, doesn’t appear to stand for “Love”.