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Pre can deliver the goods (sfgate.com)
10 points by gibsonf1 on June 6, 2009 | hide | past | web | favorite | 9 comments



The Pre does look nice, but I think it is a lot of money to spend on a phone that can't do anything other than what it does out of the box. Sure, eventually people may write apps, but why would you want to gamble on that?

I was considering getting a Pre (since the US carriers are way behind on Android; no way am I buying a G1), but I looked at the API and realized I couldn't even download it and write software for my own phone. WTF? Even if I could, the API doesn't seem powerful enough to, say, write a ssh client or port over a real programming langauge (like ECL). The icons are nice, but I don't think there is room for two completely-closed mobile platforms. (iPhone and WebOS). It's not worth the developer effort.

(Windows Mobile is closed, but very easy to write software for. And Android is completely open, and has some of the coolest apps as a result. My guess is that WebOS will get some really nice Twitter clients, and that's about it.)


See here for an opinion from an SDK beta tester: http://daringfireball.net/2009/06/palm_saturday

Scroll down to "Regarding the Mojo SDK and Eating Their Own Dogfood" for the goods.


I feel as if I'm the only one who is incredulous of the evangelism surrounding the Pre. The device rips off everything innovative about the iPhone including the accelerometer, the ambient light sensor, the proximity sensor, multi-touch, the App Store, notifications and hardware design.

Color me skeptical that a company that has only produced mediocre handheld PDAs is going to compete head-to-head with the widely successful iPhone. You can't beat Apple at their own game by cloning their design. Apple entered the cell industry forty years late and changed the game. It's deplorable that no competitor can muster enough innovation to compete with the device.

Give me innovation. I want to buy a book and the screen will instantly switch to eInk and I'll be reading said book. I want seamless syncing with my desktop across the room, or across the world. I want to record high definition video and I want to play it back on the built-in holographic projector. I mean, it's the 21st century; give us something worth getting excited about.

I'm sure the Pre is an excellent phone. All I'm saying is, to any reasoning person, the iPhone will win versus its second-rate copycat when they are at the same price point.


"to any reasoning person, the iPhone will win versus its second-rate copycat when they are at the same price point."

what flawed logic!

There are many differences, for example, does the iPhone have a keyboard?

I think you are mixing up what an iPhone is. They didn't invent the ambient light sensor, for example, the blackberry has had ambient adjusting screens for years, the touchscreen isnt an Apple invention either, and there are more than a few other touch screen phones out there...

"only produced mediocre handheld PDAs"

hmmmm, another factual flaw, did you ever use a Palm, 'back in the day' - they were class leading devices...

You can already sync from anywhere ... using the internet.

"Apple entered the cell industry forty years late and changed the game"

hmmm, I wasn't aware of a cell [phone] industry 40 years ago... Lets get facts straight before gobbing off. And Apple haven't changed anything, they bought out a cool touchscreen phone, that's all, they are being outsold by RIM still in the US and worldwide the iPhone sales are nowhere near many other phones.

"It's deplorable that no competitor can muster enough innovation to compete with the device."

I presume you're just trolling, because if you were to look at the spec of many (most) other newly introduced smart phones I think you'll find the iPhone is not even close to being competitive. Its just cool and popular in the US.

"I want to buy a book and the screen will instantly switch to eInk and I'll be reading said book"

eh? I think that's called a Kindle, not a book, books are printed on paper.

There's plenty to get excited about, you just have to crawl out of the basement and take a look around you :)


Are you seriously quibbling on moot points to make the argument that the Pre is not an iPhone knockoff?

Yes, the iPhone has a keyboard. I can type 40 WPM on it.

I didn't say touchscreen; I said multi-touch of which Apple has a patent for. Apple also has patents on the application interface, hardware design and pinch zoom gestures that Palm ripped off from the iPhone. The Pre team is full of ex-Apple engineers. The Pre emulates an iPod so it can sync with iTunes for heaven's sake.

I had the Palm V and it was nothing special.

The Kindle is not a phone. It does not have a color screen which can switch to eInk.

I didn't say Apple dominated the cell market; I said they changed the game. How can you deny this fact when cell manufacturers everywhere have scrambled to clone the iPhone? The Pre is simply another knock-off like the Voyager or the Instinct.

I am not the one using flawed logic. My arguments are sound and I think you missed the point. Palm is not going to beat Apple by copying them.


The device rips off everything innovative about the iPhone including the accelerometer

I know of at least 1 situation where that's just not the case.

Nokia's n95 has an accelerometer and shipped months before the first gen iphone shipped, with it being unveiled months prior to the iphone announcement as well.

The rest of your argument sounds like fanboyism or trolling... I can't decide which, but I'm leaning towards the latter given you want a phone with a holographic projector?

Sure you don't want to add in a time machine and candy dispenser into the device too?


You are missing the point. The Pre is an attempt to clone all the features of the iPhone. The argument is how many features Palm copies from the iPhone, not whether the features were unique to the iPhone.

I was being facetious about the holographic projector. Label me as a fanboy if you think that helps your argument.


I saw your point, I just think that given that mobile phones are now a platform instead of just a device, of course they're going to be influenced by many other devices out there.

The fact is, that the iPhone didn't "invent" all this stuff, the ideas existed out there in other platforms and across many devices (even touch surfaces and multitouch existed long before the iphone interface).

They simply took all of the ideas that were good and incorporated them into a handheld device.

Touch Screen with multitouch, demo'd at TED in feb 2006 (http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/jeff_han_demos_his_breakt...)

App Store - Valve's Steam is an equivalent

Ambient Light Sensor - Blackberry's have had this feature for years.

See, all of these ideas were out there years before the first gen iPhone came out. Apple just managed to get put together a device that was completely different from what the norm was and guess what - it took off.

Of course they're going to get copied if the device is a success. I just wish they would bite the bullet and add more features rather than saving up easily added stuff for later generations of devices, just to milk it for everything it's worth and make the iphone a mobile standard rather than an option.

Essentially do what MS did to Apple with the PC, just with the mobile device and do it to the mobile companies.


To add to your point, they won't stay equal for long--if Apple keeps innovating--palm is doomed to catch-up, which is a dominated strategy over the long haul.




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