iSuppli: Palm Pre Will Sell 1M-Plus in 2009

The component-countin' analysts at IHS iSuppli are predicting that Palm Inc. will sell 1.1 million of its Pre smartphones in 2009.

The $199 handset from Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) is due to hit stores tomorrow. Some are predicting that the phone will be a major rival to Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s iPhone or the Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android platform. The analysts say that Palm could boost sales beyond the million mark with a couple of changes to the platform: "If Palm quickly introduces a new Pre that supports the 3G GSM standard, sales could rise to 1.3 million during the year," iSuppli says in a note on the research. "Furthermore, if Palm opens up the licensing of its webOS operating system used in the Pre, the software could have a wider influence beyond the company’s own products."

Opening up the operating system would mean that Palm is following a Google-type model. Google's Android operating system is expected to expand its share of global smart phone operating systems market by nearly a factor of 12 from 2008 to 2010, according to iSuppli.

Some commentators, however, question whether Palm has the money to make enough Pres. Click to see columnist Bob Faulkner's take on the subject here on Unstrung: P-Day May Hold Surprises.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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