The Wall St. Journal is reporting that Radio Shack has stopped carrying Palm devices. Six stores total, located in Boston, New York and Chicago, were phoned on Monday to inquire about the availability of Palm webOS phones. 5 of the 6 stores were out of stock and did not have plans to replenish. One store had stock, but was unsure of future availability. This isn’t so surprising, as we are expecting the Palm Pre and Palm Pixi to reach EOL (End of Life) on Sprint, as we hope a new model would be in the works. It’s surprising to us that Radio Shack would be ahead of Sprint in taking steps that indicate EOL for a phone. Both the Palm Pre and Palm Pixi are still available from Sprint. Radio Shack has also removed any reference to Palm on their website.
Palm’s Lynn Fox declined to comment.
Update: Barron’s has received a confirmation from Sprint regarding the phasing out of current Palm webOS devices. “This is in line with Radio Shack’s normal product planning process – there is a designated amount of space in stores for handsets and they work to keep the line up of devices as current as possible,” Sprint spokesman Scott Sloat said via -email.
Radio Shack will replace the Palm Pre with a BlackBerry and replace the Palm Pixi with a unnamed “message-centric device”.
Our take: RadioShack jumped the gun on the eventual EOL of these phones. If Palm were to release a new webOS device on Sprint, we suspect it would also be found at Radio Shack. Palm’s not going to comment on an imminent EOL or a new product. That being said, we are thinking it’d be a good time to drop a next generation Palm Pre 2 on a bar room floor. Any San Jose bar will do.