Looking for a good smartphone? Good luck. Out of stock smartphones abound.
According to a research note by Tavis McCourt, an analyst at Morgan Keegan, there are "an increased number of Out of Stock (OOS) situations involving Palm, RIM, and Apple."
In addition, McCourt adds that these shortages appear to be related to product transitions but may be hurting sales for these vendors.
Among McCourt's takeaways from McCourt's smartphone inventory checks:
The Treo 755p has been out of stock for two weeks on Sprint's web site and has scarce retail availability. McCourt writes:
"While checks to stores have yielded contradictory stories about the 755p's status. Some reps indicated that the 755p has been end of lifed (to be replaced by the 800w in the near term), while others stated it is coming back in early May in a new color. The Treo 680 appears to finally be sold out at AT&T, which we had expected following the carrier's launch of the Centro."
That statement can't be good news for Palm's profit margins. Substituting a $99 phone for one that runs more than $200 is bad profit margin news. "The abrupt disappearance of the Treo 755p at Sprint is somewhat concerning," says McCourt. "This product was selling reasonably well and, although we expect its contribution to be marginal following the 800w's launch this summer, the 755p's absence at Sprint clearly means Palm is foregoing some near term sales opportunities."
RIM's Pearl (all resources) is also hard to find. McCourt writes:
AT&T has not had a Pearl (review) in stock in the retail channel with any consistency since mid-March and, although the 8120 is in the business channel, calls to retail stores had the 8120 showing up anywhere from April 24 - May 11. This cannot have been the planned transition for the Pearl franchise at AT&T.
And it's still hard to find an iPhone (all resources). McCourt reports that iPhones were only available at half the Apple stores contacted. "While we believe this is related to a product transition, current iPhone shortages are almost certainly causing some degree of missed sales opportunities," says McCourt.