Treo 800w: Selling a lot or Not enough to sell?

Palm, Inc. has been having a decent week so far, hitting 2 million Centro sales and getting out that BT voice-dial patch.

On top of that JP Morgan has some interesting things to say regarding the Treo 800w:

Bad news: Sprint and Best Buy stores are woefully short

...nearly all of them complained of a lack of inventory. Four of ten Best the NY tri-state area complained of zero inventory, and weekly deliveries of just 5 units... We heard similar complaints at Sprint stores, where inventory levels ranged from zero to just 5 units, typically.

Good news: Demand appears to be high for the device

The stores reported strong demand for the recently-introduced 800W...

...and weekly deliveries of just 5 units, which sell out nearly immediately.

So why the constraint? According to Palm, they were not expecting anymore supply problems for the Centro (like they had earlier) and it seems odd, though perhaps plausible that the 800w would.

Another angle would be that production is just not up to par yet and in addition newer devices will have to be re-flashed with a the new updated ROM (which would include BT voice-dialing). According to our esteemed forum member (and software wiz) Hannip, the new BT voice-dial patch was not something Palm whipped up overnight:

Wow, I just peeked inside the cab and this was no small feat by Palm. No way this was done in a few weeks. It's a major overhaul of the wav driver, bluetooth audio gateway and volume service. Of particular notice is a huge audio settings xml file in \Windows\ It defines every aspect of audio on the device.

This lends credence to the idea that BT voice-dialing was always planned but just not ready for launch, as opposed to sheer oversight. Indeed if that is the case, it would make sense to constrain supply until it was ready, while still maintaining their soft launch with Sprint.

If we see increased supply and devices with updated ROMs in the next few weeks, that just might be reason.

WC Staff