Palm CEO happy with Pre sales

Even though Palm Pre sales haven’t been overly impressive since the smartphone’s launch on June 6, Palm executives say sales are "strong and growing."

"I couldn’t be happier with our launch," Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein said during a recent conference call.  "We are exactly where we hoped we would be."

Unless there is an unexpected surge in Pre demand, the company will also be able to continue to meet consumer demand for the phone.

Palm officials didn’t release specific sales figures, but several analysts have predicted around 150,000 total units shipped,  with the company expecting to ship at least 200,000 in August.

The availability of an official app store for the Pre could help, but the store has just 40 applications — about the same number since the store launched — and Palm must offer a dev kit to developers so they can more easily create Pre-ready applications.

It doesn’t seem the Pre is helping steal users away from Verizon Wireless and AT&T — which Palm had hoped it would do — and instead is being purchased by current Sprint subscribers.  Both Palm and Sprint are struggling, losing money and subscribers, and the Pre was expected to be their savior through the rest of the year.

It’s possible Pre will be available on other phone carriers once Sprint’s exclusivity contract ends, but it remains unsure when that will happen.  Furthermore, if sales don’t increase in the future, other carriers may change their minds about bringing on the Pre for their subscribers.