I must admit I was a bit curious when Palm announced after the New Year that they had something special at CES 2009. I didn’t think about it much since they’ve been shooting themselves in the foot for the past seven years. That was until I saw the Pre.
It’s a smart phone with a whole new OS and style.
Palm Pre UI demo (1 of 5)
There’s a lot to love about the phone but at the same time I’ve got the same amount of reservations. One, I’ve totally separated my life from Palm. My one and only PDA was the Palm IIIc (the first colored one) and it was the best. It carried me through work until the day I completely forgot about it. Also known as, it stopped being relevant for me at the time. That would be in 2003 when I purchased my first laptop. Updates were slow and getting frustrating. I wanted a music player but it wasn’t a music player. I wanted to surf the internet on it even on a cheap wifi connection or tethered on my mobile phone, it wasn’t possible without a slew of add ons. Sadly I had to let go and move on. In other words, I’m afraid that the world will move again in two years and Palm might not be along for the ride again.
Two, the their track record as a company saddens me. From an unsurmountable market share in late 90s which resembles the current iPod atmoshpere to a paltry single digit share of the current smartphone market, let alone PDA. I just hope they don’t lose steam or focus on what they need to do to be relevant again.
Three, where’s the push email? The iPhone has MobileMe and RIM has the Blackberry, where is yours Palm? For business type people who will want this phone will want their push email.
All in all it’s the iPhone + G1 = Pre. It has the openness development of the G1 and locked down apps of the iPhone but in a Palm package.
It’s too early to say if this will be an iPhone killer or a G1 killer. Let’s just say I’m glad I haven’t bought a new phone yet.