Yesterday, the cost became apparent: In an interview with Reuters where Sprint’s CEO Dan Hessenotes the company doesn’t plan to heavily advertise the Pre. He explains: “We think we are going to have shortages for a while,” Hesse said. “We won’t be able to keep up with demand for the device in the early period of time.”
Translation: In order to keep to its announced launch period — something Palm has notoriously slipped from before — Palm is going to market with inventory that won’t meet demand.
Hesse’s comment is odd, because the early launch period is exactly when a company should be ramping up marketing and stirring interest in its hot new product. Also odd: By admitting to shortages now, two weeks before launch, Palm and Sprint have given AT&T a carte blanche to start promoting the third-generation iPhone to mainstream buyers who want a sharp smartphone. Apple is expected to announce a third-gen iPhone at Apple’s Worldwide Developers’ Conference the same week as the Pre launch.
Of course, Hesse’s comments will also serve to spur on Pre-mania. It will be interesting to see on launch day whether Pre can command the same level of devotion that iPhone line-sitters have showed in the past.