If you?re the type who loves breaking down computers, clocks, and other devices just to see what's in there, or you dig numbers and cost-to-mark-up ratios, you might like this story from BusinessWeek. The news outlet took a look at the as-yet-unreleased Pre and reported on some estimates of what all those parts could cost Palm.
The article quotes market researcher iSuppli, which has only confirmed two definite suppliers so far: Texas Instruments and Qualcomm. But the firm has made educated guesses on the rest and come to a hardware estimate of $138. These include, but are not limited to:
My first impression looking at this: How did they pin the estimates down to cents? And what are the other hardware costs that factor into the total? But aside from these questions, the other reaction is ? Wow. If iSuppli is right, Palm could really make a killing from this handset.
The market researcher figures the Pre will sell to Sprint for $300. At $138 for hardware (or $170, including other odds and ends), that's a hefty profit margin. (Tongues are also wagging about what Sprint will charge its customers for it, but most are pegging it between $150 and 199, subsidized.)
Now these are only estimates and Palm certainly won't comment on this, but it's hard to believe its head honchos aren't doing a happy dance behind closed doors. The company desperately needs a hit, and given the hype and mass appeal of the Pre, it may well knock this one out of the park. That is, if Palm ever gets around to launching it.
The latest round of Pre rumors all seem to indicate that we?re at the brink of its release. Generally speaking, after a lot of chatter, several blogs and news pundits have ultimately ruled out a May launch, though everyone agrees that Palm will likely stick to its ?first half of 2009? promise. That means, as BusinessWeek points out, arrival will be on or before June 30th. Precentral.net gets more specific, pronouncing it as early as June 7. And, according to fan site Everythingpre.com, the device's first shipment already departed Hong Kong on April 27, destined for Louisville via UPS. Meanwhile, Sprint's been promoting the phone through full-page ads in a number of newspapers this week.
Given the timeframe and price points, the Palm smartphone looks like a contender to steal Apple's mojo. If Precentral is right, and the phone arrives on June 7th, that's just one day before Apple's WWDC conference (and presumably the date of the new iPhone launch).
Looks like June is going to be one hot month. And man, I can't wait for it to get here.