We said the Palm Pre's early performance was "not doing too badly." And now some new figures cement that fact: The Pre has likely sold 300,000 units. That's especially good since it sold only that many phones in the entire preceding quarter.
Citing sources in the manufacturing and retail trade, Edward Snyder, a researcher for Charter Equity, notes that 300,000 Pres have been sold to customers--equating to roughly 100,000 per week since launch. Though, that figure can't be verified, thanks to Palm's insistence to keep the exact figure secret. But with estimates for the initial weekend totaling up to 50,000 or more, the 300,000 sold is a plausible figure.
It in no way compares with the iPhone 3G S's million-unit sale over its first weekend, and when the new iPhone gets its global launch in July, those figures will be dwarfed. But, and it's a big but, the numbers do represent an extremely strong performance for Palm. Palm shipped just 351,000 phones in the whole three month period running up to the Pre's launch. That sales rate may have been artificially depressed while people waited for the Pre to launch, but it still means Palm has managed to turn around its troubled sales history, in a very short period.
The question whether it'll be enough to save Palm is a different one: 300,000 units is strong, but will sales continue at that rate, and bring in enough revenue to offset the R&D investments of the Pre itself? Hard to say, since we can't know how much it cost Palm to build--and the picture gets even more complicated by increasing reports of people returning one or more Pres due to failures in build quality. The real indication will be how many apps spring to life when Palm finally gets around to releasing the Pre's webOS SDK, and how soon the rumored second webOS phone makes its public debut.