Palm Pre set to outsell first-generation iPhone?

pre_t3_w500Better late than never, the Palm Pre finally hits town this Friday and more specifically, the O2 network. Will it sell? Well, according to a new TNS survey it will, eclipsing the original iPhone if those views translate into sales.

According to market research firm TNS, 26 per cent of users questioned said they would definitely or probably buy the Palm Pre, considerably higher than the 16 per cent who said they would buy an iPhone in 2007. Encouragingly for O2, that figure is even higher (27 per cent) when its own customers were surveyed. The poll of 1,003 adults aged 16-64 also found that 32 per cent of mobile users currently on other networks are likely to switch to O2 in order to get hold of the Palm Pre.

Kevin Evans, associate director at TNS Technology, said: ‘The Palm Pre is already being touted as the ‘iPhone killer’ and our research certainly suggests it’s going to shake up the market.’

‘The decision to offer the Pre free to those on a 24-month contract is in sharp contrast to the £269 price of the iPhone at its launch, while the launch timing capitalises on the fact that thousands of UK iPhone early-adopters are approaching the end of their 18-month contract period, while the next-generation iPhone is not expected until next June.’

But will it really hit those dizzy sales heights? The handset might be free, but only on a two-year tie-in and with a minimum cost of £34.26. And while many iPhone users might be ending their deals with O2, there’s no reason why they would dump the iPhone and grab a Pre instead. With the Blackberry Storm 2 also appearing around the same time, not to mention a steady succession of tasty Android phones and the usual selection of slimline fashion phones, there’s a lot of choice out there. The Palm Pre will certainly do well, but we’re far from convinced that it’s going to scoop up over a quarter of the mobile market overnight.



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