DOA Palm Pre faces supply & carrier issues, claims analyst

Collins Steward analyst Ashok Kumar has launched a highly critical and pessimistic attack on Palm and their upcoming Pre smartphone, describing the company's sales goals as "highly unrealistic" and their partnership with Sprint unwise.  Kumar claims that production of the Palm Pre has been beset with "multiple hardware and software issues"; these problems will, he claims, lead to supply shortages, as the number of handsets are "drastically reduced".After the cut, why Sprint's support for Pre just isn't enough for Kumar

"In our opinion, it is highly unlikely customers of AT&T or Verizon will switch to Sprint. Across the pond, carriers are taking a wait and see attitude given the high platform cost and lack of conviction on sell through. If Sprint does not match or beat AT&T's subsidized iPhone price of $199, which translates to a subsidy in excess of $200, the Pre is DOA" Ashok Kumar, analyst, Collins Stewart

The analyst also suggests that networks are wary of the Pre, claiming that "Sprint is the only major carrier that has signed on to sponsor the Pre platform."  That's an interesting interpretation of the exclusivity agreement between Palm and Sprint, and we wonder whether Kumar said the same thing about Apple, AT&T and the iPhone when it was first announced.

After any extended period of reading analyst reports, you learn to take what's said with a considerable grain of salt.  Opinions either lurch toward the far-fetched, in an attempt to stand out of the crowd, or hover meekly around the vague so as to avoid future repercussions when things turn out to be significantly different.  Kumar's report is obviously one of the former, and we don't think we'll be alone in thinking that the Pre will make a splash upon its launch.  Sprint may not be everybody's favorite network, but then neither is Verizon or AT&T – each has its legion of critics, who make their voices heard whenever a new, exclusive device is announced – and the success of the Samsung Instinct shows that buyers will still prioritize a good device over carrier antipathy.

[via My Pre]