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Palm Pre to sell like hot cakes, Sprint CEO proclaims

Best to er, pre-order, says man familiar with the matter

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The Palm Pre is going to sell so well the company will have trouble meeting demand. This is according to impartial observer Dan Hesse, CEO of Sprint, the network with an exclusive deal to supply Palm's last-chance handset.

Palm is betting the company on the Pre, which is set to launch on the 6 June. What is less well reported is how dependent Sprint is on the success of Pre which explains Hesse's recommendation that everyone pre-order their handsets or risk disappointment.

The handset is being listed at $199, after a $100 mail-in rebate (except, apparently, at Best Buy where the rebate will be applied at the till), which should prove attractive for a device that taps so completely into the current vogue for social networking.

Mobile Burn is reporting a rumour that the company will only have 30,000 Pre handsets available at launch; that's not very many, even for a device that can only be used on CDMA networks (and thus won't spread outside the USA until Palm can afford to develop a GSM version).

30,000 seems extreme, but Dan Hesse did tell an investor conference: "We won't be able to keep up with demand for the device in the early period of time."

Rumours of limited supply have become grist to the mill in the handset business - if no one is camped outside your shops on launch day then you're dismissed as unpopular, so the comments come as no great surprise when so much is resting on one little handset. ®

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