Palm Pre Is Huge Gamble as Other Palms Suffer

Palm notes falling sales as Sprint takes on business-oriented Treo Pro

The Treo Pro runs Windows Mobile

Palm landed its Treo Pro smartphone on Sprint, the first U.S. carrier to offer a subsidy on the handset. The Treo Pro will go on sale March 15 for $200 after rebate and with contract.

Unfortunately for Palm and Sprint, the business-oriented phone is caught in the backwash of the Palm Pre. Enthusiasm for the upcoming Pre has depressed sales of other Palm models, the company said in an earnings note this week. Palm said sales won't top $90 million in a quarter that analysts had expected about $155 million. Notes Larry Dignan at the Between the Lines blog:

While a revenue drop-off was expected when Palm introduced the Pre the rate of decline is a bit stunning. When it comes to Palm’s turnaround it’s clearly going to be worse before the Pre allegedly saves the day.

He notes Palm is burning through its cash, with the good news that Palm expects the Pre to arrive as planned before July:

Add it up and it appears the Pre is an all-or-nothing proposition for Palm.