Palm Pre- Worth it or Worthless?

26 05 2009

 

Palms Trump Card in the mobile market, WebOs, will debut on Sprints network as the Palm Pre

Palm's Trump Card in the mobile market, WebOs, will debut on Sprint's network as the Palm Pre

 

 

I’m not arguing the ingenuity of Palm’s latest OS. The Palm Pre’s WebOS is an amazing piece of code. It is taking a decidedly different route in its multi-touch delivery, even if to the laymen it isn’t obvious. No, what I’m up in arms about is there PR and Marketing teams inability to get anything right.

Two years ago you couldn’t think the words I and Phone without someone butting in your conversation to talk about Apple’s entry into the Mobile market. Their announcement, which most of us in the know expected, sent ripples through Mobile world. 

Foreigners scoffed (where’s the front facing camera? Emoji? It isn’t a wallet too?). Black Berry users had nervous breakdowns at the thought of not having a physical keyboard. And we the tech enthusiasts while impressed by the touch functionality asked the obvious questions. Why no SDK, no MMS, no video capture, no tethering, no push email? 

But, we were still enthralled. As the months passed apple was able to create a demand as the Steve Jobsian monster has been able to do lately. June 29, 2007 came and went. AT&T’s  network nearly crumbled under the number of iPhone users simultaneously activating their phones at home (something I wish you could still do). 

 

The Pre Box. Reminiscent of a certain Apple box plus nifty truncated edge that doubles as a stand.

The Pre Box. Reminiscent of a certain Apple box plus nifty truncated edge that doubles as a stand.

 

 

If pre-launch rumors are to be believed a meager 40,000 Pre’s will be available. If memory serves me correctly Apple provide over 10 times that amount for the iPhones launch. If Palm and Sprint are trying to create a supply vs demand debacle they’re doing a damned good job. Only problem is people will look elsewhere even if the wait is worth it. 

Not to rain on Sprints parade, but the confirmed “Pixie” headed to AT&T’s network may prove to be a better alternative to the iPhone and it’s not on Sprints network. Talk about canabalizing sales. At $99 it undercuts the Pre at $299 ($199 with a mail in rebate, unless you score a unit at Bestbuy for $199 straight up). Palm is playing it’s cards right spreading the WebOs operating system across more than one network.

 

AT&Ts answer to the Pre. The Pixie.

AT&T's answer to the Pre. The Pixie.

 

 

For Sprint the Pre may be their swan song. If it’s a success and brings new customers back to the struggling provider. Their PR and advertising team is content on screwing everything up though. We all remember what a debacle the instinct was when it was labeled as an iPhone killer. Now that Sprint has a viable piece of machinery they are doing nothing to wedge out a piece of the market place for their phone.

In the case of the Pre I hope the praise isn’t premature. If it fails Sprint may very well be signing its own death certificate.

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