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Sprint CEO: Expect Palm Pre shortages

Sprint CEO says that Palm Pre shortages are likely during the initial sales of the smartphone.

Bonnie Cha/CNET

Apple iPhone aside, it's pretty safe to say that there hasn't been so much hype and anticipation over an upcoming smartphone as the Palm Pre. The tech community was all abuzz on Tuesday when Sprint and Palm finally announced the pricing and release date, but could there already be rough waters ahead?

Speaking at an investor conference on Tuesday, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse warned of likely Pre shortages:

"We don't intend to advertise it heavily early on because we think we are going to have shortages for a while. We won't be able to keep up with demand for the device in the early period of time."

There aren't any concrete numbers as to how many units will be available, but some sites like are estimating that it may be around 375,000, which will be distributed nationwide to Sprint, Best Buy, Radio Shack, and Walmart stores. Now, I'm not the best with numbers but even I can tell that's not a lot of phones to spread around.

What's worse? Sprint and Palm may be doing this on purpose. In a report by Bloomberg, some analysts say the companies may limit the supply to make the Pre look more appealing to potential customers. Now, there's no confirmation of this but if true, I have to agree with fellow blogger Don Reisinger in saying that this is just wrong. This is such a pivotal moment for both Sprint and Palm that 1) you would think they'd want to sell as many phones as possible and 2) you don't want to piss off your customers.

We'll see how it all plays out when the smartphone goes on sale on June 6, but let's hope there's plenty of Pre love for everyone. Out of curiosity, does anyone plan on lining up early to get the Palm Pre on opening day?