Yikes, talk about kicking a fellow while he’s down. With Palm doing their best to hang on to their executive team whilst also reportedly looking for a buyer, they’re not exactly at a high point right now — and now, it looks like they might be about to lose a major distribution partner: RadioShack.
As crazy as it may seem to the hardcore-lot that hangs around these parts, RadioShack is a pretty important point-of-sales for the wireless market. It’s one of the few big chains that people know to turn to when they’re ready for a new phone, be it that no other authorized retailers are nearby or they’ve got something against the Internet. In short, it’s definitely not a bad place to be for anyone looking to sell some phones.
As John Paczkowski over at AllThingsD points out, searching for the Palm Pixi or Palm Pre on the Shack’s online store returns nil. Neither are listed in Sprint’s line up, either. It seems to be the same deal at the meatspace outlets: while most of them had a unit or two in stock, managers are indicating that no future shipments are on the way.
RadioShack’s comment on the matter doesn’t really help:
For competitive reasons we don’t comment on inventory numbers and distribution of specific devices. Palm has been a good partner. We expect that relationship to continue.
Great – but will the relationship continue immediately, or once Palm churns out some new handsets?
Update: Barron’s just got confirmation from Sprint that RadioShack is phasing out the Pre in favor of an unnamed BlackBerry device, and the Pixi in favor of an unnamed messaging device. It looks like this phase-out is RadioShack only; Sprint itself doesn’t appear to be ditching Palm.