Live from the “Palm Room” at the Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan — Sprint’s Palm Pre launch event in New York is different than the ones we’ve seen for other recent smartphones, such as Apple’s (AAPL) iPhones and Google’s (GOOG) T-Mobile G1: It’s focusing on business customers, not consumers.
As in, Sprint and Palm executives are pitching the Pre as a phone that corporate executives should use, not just consumers. (Talking up their data network, the Pre’s physical keyboard, Microsoft Exchange support, etc.)
That’s not a bad idea. We don’t have the data in front of us, but we recall seeing statistics showing that Sprint’s share of the business mobile market was disproportionately high. That’s also reflected in its leadership in the mobile data market. (This matters because as long as the Pre is a Sprint exclusive, most of its buyers will be existing Sprint subscribers — not people coming from other carriers.)
Moreover, the other big business smartphone maker — BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIMM) — tends to give its sexiest new phones to Sprint’s larger rivals, AT&T and Verizon. So it’s a no-brainer for Sprint to make the Pre its flagship corporate and consumer phone.