Palm’s Pre is Great But…

By now I’m sure you all know the Palm Pre is finally out on the shelves. It’s been reported to have sold 100,000 units on the first weekend with sellouts at many locations. Not bad…not bad. Mere mortals have finally had a chance to get their hands on them and play with them. I too finally got to toy around with one last week. I must say I was quite impressed. Quite impressed indeed. It’s a great design, has a great new OS…it’s just nice. There are a bazillion or two reviews on how it works, on the apps it has, on how seamless the apps work with each other and so forth so I’ll spare you the attempt at any sort of review when I really haven’t been able to review in depth how it is as a mobile device.

What I WILL say however is that I’m sorely disappointed in Palm’s decision to “introduce” the Pre half a year ago, to tell all the competition what features this phone will have, to let the competition go “oh shit” and then build those features into the next release of their own phones, and then finally…FINALLY sell this phone to the public. Great job Palm. The huge technological lead you could have had on the competition was clearly wiped away just a couple days later when Apple introduced the iPhone’s next OS and the new iPhone 3GS. I must admit I am quite annoyed with this.

So…here I am. I shunned the iPhone because they were on AT&T’s network. My SERO plan with Sprint absolutely rocks and I was willing to forgo a phone (the iPhone) for my phone (Treo 755p) because the plan was that much better. However, the iPhone kept getting better and yes, I had iPhone envy. But alas! Palm “introduces” the Pre and this phone appears to have many features that made me crave it more than the iPhone. Hurray! Sweet! I can wait a few months for that! Except, well, Palm screwed the pooch and let everyone know what it planned on doing and now the iPhone is right up there with the Pre.

I have not pulled the trigger either way now. Yes, the new iPhone looks damn nice. I still think AT&T sucks though. I will have to upgrade my plan with Sprint if I get the Pre but it will still be cheaper than AT&T’s plan. But is the Pre still the game changer we all thought it would be? Nope. Don’t get me wrong…it’s a great phone. It just isn’t leaps and bounds better than everything else out there and that’s a shame.

I can’t help but wonder what Palm execs were thinking. I mean c’mon guys…telling your competition what your advantage will be? Dumb. Just plan dumb. I can just see the Pittsburgh Steelers telling the Baltimore Ravens that the first play will be a hand-off to Willy Parker, the second play will be a 20 yard post to Santonio Holmes, the third play a five-and-out to Hines Ward…I think you get my drift. Palm had a chance to be THE talk of the town and they clearly gave it away. So so frustrating…

1 Comment

  1. My guess is that Palm erred in favor of showing everyone that they had a game plan. Palm has been on the ropes for a while, and their showing off the Pre ahead of time was likely as much about assuaging the market as it was about product rollout.

    I’m also not sure the iPhone 3.0 software and iPhone 3Gs hardware were much influenced by the impending arrival of the Pre. Apple has been working continuously on the iPhone for years now, incrementally adding more capabilities.

    Actually I think the real battle here is for #2: Palm v. Blackberry. If Palm can get developers in their corner, they may be able to steal some Blackberry marketshare.

    Palm’s Pre SDK appears too limited to steal any developer mindshare away from the iPhone. No sophisticated apps = no chance of toppling the iPhone.

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