A look @ Pre
Many people are excited at the new Palm Pre that was unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January ’09. As an avid Palm user, first with the m505, then to the Zire 72, I have witnessed Palm rise in the field of personal digital electronics – for awhile, they were very much the leaders of the class as business people and the average consumer used Palm products to organize their lives and be productive. The Palm was the first device to have an ‘app store’ (like the iTunes store), and developers made a plethora of handy apps for the device. However, eventually the popularity of the iPod and the subsequent iPhone, and the Blackberry, made Palm somewhat obsolete, as Blackberry made smartphones that have great PUSH e-mail and telephone capabilities, while the iPod was a user’s digital media dream as it could play music, video, and store photos. The current line of Palm all support these features, but they hit the bandwagon a little late.
The new Palm Pre (below), however may create some converts: those Blackberry users who don’t like Blackberry’s sometimes difficult interface, and those iPhone users who don’t want to be paying a $100 a month for service. If the Pre can establish itself as a viable alternative from the two, and align itself to the market of the business professional with a social life, then maybe Palm can be saved. However, with an expected retail value of $399; in this recession, Palm will have an uphill battle trying to win consumers from opting with the iPhone 3G at $199 and the Blackberry Bold & Storm at a similar price.