Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Palm Pre's Upcoming Failure (And How They Can Avoid It)

Unless you are apart of the alternate reality know as the geek-a-sphere, then you probably have not heard about the upcoming Palm Pre, exclusive to Sprint.

While this device rivals the iPhone in several ways (one of them being multitasking), this device is doomed to fail--although through no fault of it's own (with one exception).

Dude, where's my App?

After being inspired by jailbreaking hackers, Apple launched an app store which everyone from Google Android to Blackberry copied.

To my knowledge, Apple has over 30,000 apps while Android has a few thousand (note: I have no clue what Blackberry's numbers are).

If Palm Pre launches without some App momentum behind them, they may not attract many users because their too busy coveting Stanza, Ocarina or Joost which are on the iPhone (but may not be elsewhere).

Solution: Palm Pre needs to entice the iPhone developer community in order to attract the masses by the thousands.

With many iDevelopers in an uproar against Apple over a delay of payment, now would be the perfect time to "steal away" developers from Steve Jobs.

My suggestion? Offer the first 10,000 developers 100% commission for the first month of operation, and extend that offer for another month for those who end up in the top 10.

Compare yourself, with thyself

When Sprint launched the Instinct, one of their first mistakes was comparing themselves against the iPhone. Not only did Apple receive free advertising, but it showed just how clear the screen was.

Palm (and Sprint) should let the pundits compare and contrast the phones, and not marketing execs (unless they want a public backlash).

Palm and Sprint are doing a great job of this this far, although I fear desperation for attention might kick in ruining everything (especially with WWDC rolling around in June).

Solution: Highlight your phone, wait for the Apple mania to pass (give it two weeks) before proceeding to the next idea below.

Palm Pre What?

While many people have heard of Palm--at least in the corporate world--very few in the mainstream have heard of Palm Pre.

Let's face it, everyone has heard about the iPhone. I know plenty of kids (8 years or younger) who know exactly what an iPhone is and (sadly) think nothing can compare to it.

Suggestion: Since neither Palm or Sprint can match Apple's market share (at least immediately), my suggestion is they introduce the world to the Palm Pre via talk shows like Oprah and Ellen.

They should focus on why the Palm Pre is "Oprah/Ellen friendly," and then give one to every member of the audience (with 6 months free service).

This would generate headlines beyond the realm of geek, and help establish Palm as a serious iConpetitor.

Conclusion: You are probaly wondering why I, an iFanatic would seek Palm and Sprint's success, instead of their demise.

Truth be told while I probably would never exchange my iPhone for a Palm Pre (at least without seriously testing the Pre), I do want a strong rival to appear against Apple, instead of these half baked attempts by the Blackberry Storm (who needs a UI design for their phone) and Google Android (who has a software hardware dissconnect on the HTC).

Palm is currently my best hope that a serious iRival will emerge which will not only save both companies from financial ruin (that would be Palm and Sprint), but it would spare me the agony of hearing "Hi, I'm an iPhone--and hi, I'm an Android Phone" in the not so distant future.

--Posted via iPhone


blued888 said...

Some good points although I don't quite agree with all of them. It certainly doesn't help that you mention that you are an iFanatic which means you are somewhat truly set on bashing the Palm Pre.

Btw, nice looking layout but takes too much scrolling. :)

Anonymous said...

It's now August 8 '09, I'm 2 weeks into my 30 day trial of a Palm Pre, and I think you were pretty spot on with your thoughts.

There's plenty to like about the Pre: WebOS makes the iPhone OS look like a quaint antique, Synergy and the Touchstone are delightful, the keyboard ain't great but it beats typing on glass and doesn't cover up most of your screen when in use, and I could go on. BUT: Palm needs more mindshare and the Pre needs more apps, and so much as I dig the phone, I'm thinking of trading it for a 3GS to get the wide variety of apps and accessories. If I used a lot of voice minutes, Sprint's service pricing would seal the deal in the Pre's favor, but since I don't, and since Google Sync can do the parts of Synergy that I really need, the iPhone is looking good to me.

It's ironic that Apple fanboys make the exact same arguments against the Pre that Windows fanboys make against the Mac: "sure, yours might have a better OS, but mine has a wider user base, more software, and better hardware specs per dollar." If Palm's better moustrap bites the dust for those idiotic reasons, it will be tragic.

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