Archive for November 2009
A comparison between three of the biggest hyped smartphone in the mobile arena, the Palm Pre, the Motorola Droid and of course no comparison would be complete without the inclusion of the iPhone 3GS.
The video is a side by side comparison lasting just over seven minutes and basically covers the similarities and differences of these three high profile smartphones, the Palm Pre on Sprint, Motorola Droid on Verizon and the iPhone 3GS on AT&T.
The reviewer states that out of all three smartphones the Palm Pre is by far the most compact and the webOS runs really smooth. Next up is the iconic iPhone 3GS and the reviewer states that out of all the phones the iPhone 3GS is definitely the best constructed handset and the one everyone wants to beat.
As for the Motorola Droid, the reviewer says it takes a lot from both the Palm Pre and iPhone 3GS with a high level construction and industrial design, and one of the thinnest handsets with a side out QWERTY.
[Source: Phones Review]
Best Buy doorbuster special deals have just gone live and one of the special Black Friday 2009 deals includes the Sprint Palm Pre.
You can buy the Sprint Palm Pre on Black Friday for only $79.99, at the moment when you shop Best Buy is offering the Palm Pre for $149.99 so just sit back and wait until Black Friday and get it a lot cheaper.
The special doorbusters special price will be available in stores November 27 and online on November 26, you will get it for the low price mentioned above after savings with an upgraded or new 2-year agreement with Sprint and activation through Best Buy.
[Source: Phones Review]
Palm Pixi, the video review in five minutes (or so).
By: Noah Kravitz – Editor in Chief, PhoneDog Media
Palm’s latest update to its mobile operating system now allows owners of the Pre and Pixi to use Yahoo’s instant messaging client and watch YouTube videos in wide screen view, among other things.
But one feature not included in the update is the seamless synchronization with iTunes, Apple’s popular software for managing music and other media on a computer.
Palm has long clashed with Apple over whether or not owners of its devices can sync them up with their iTunes libraries without any intermediate software.
Palm confirmed that the newest release of WebOS, the mobile operating system for Palm devices, does not include a fix to the media syncing capability, although declined to specify the reasons behind the decision.
Read the full story on NY Times.
Highlights of a review of the Pixi from NY Times:
Twenty-five bucks for an app phone? That’s unbelievable. (Or, rather, it emphasizes how irrelevant a phone’s starter price really is. The true cost is embedded in your two years of monthly service fees–in this case, $2,309.)
Anyway, the Pixi is absolutely gorgeous, with a razor-thin (OK, .4-inch-thin) design. The front is flat glossy black; the back is curved hard rubber. It weighs just over 3 ounces. THREE OUNCES!? That’s insane. If this phone were any smaller and lighter, it would cease to exist.
This time, the illuminated keyboard doesn’t slide out—it’s always there beneath the screen; the phone is a slab design. The keyboard is very tiny indeed (just over two inches wide), but because the keys are super-raised and rubberized and move and click when you type on them, it’s not bad. You wind up supplementing each press with your thumbnail, and it works.
The operating system is the same fluid WebOS you can read about in my Pre review here. Once again, it integrates contacts, e-mail and calendars from all online sources—Google, Yahoo, Exchange and so on—and merges them on the phone.
However, on the Pixi, almost everything from the Pre has been diminished. The most painful change is the screen, which is only 320 by 400 pixels; that is, it shows 17 percent less, vertically, and you really miss those extra 80 pixels. You feel a little cramped.
The camera is 2 megapixels, down from 3. The battery life is shorter. The speaker is quieter. You can’t open as many apps at once.
There’s no Wi-Fi, either, so your only connection to the Internet is over Sprint’s cellular airwaves; cellular connections are generally slower than Wi-Fi ones. (Then again, I’ve found Sprint’s Internet coverage to be excellent.)
Worst of all, the cheaper, slower processor in the Pixi makes it slow to open apps, load Web pages and trigger functions. Sometimes it gets ridiculous; you might wait a whole minute for a Web page, for example.
Market research firm IDC has for years been compiling data on the best-selling smartphones in the US. While their numbers from the second quarter of 2009 ranked the Palm Pre at #8, in the following three months the Pre moved up to #6. The jump was likely spurred on by a number of factors, including increased supply and price cuts at Sprint and resellers, as well as the fact that the Pre was only on the market for one third of the second quarter.
It will be interesting to see the top ten list for Q1 2010, since by then the Pre will have launched on Verizon.
[Source: Pre Central]
Palm may prove to be Verizon’s best hope if the Droid line doesn’t bear fruit, Kaufman Bros analyst Shaw Wu said in a note today. He points to contacts within the cell industry and supply chain that suggest Verizon will carry one or more of Palm’s webOS phones, such as the Pre or Pixi, sometime in 2010. Sales of both the Motorola Droid and HTC’s Droid Eris have purportedly been “somewhat disappointing” and may lead to Verizon using Palm to bolster its smartphone catalog.
Adoption of the smartphones could happen as early as the first half of the year as Sprint’s exclusive isn’t expected to last past 2009. Verizon’s wireless chief Lowell McAdam has also signaled a desire to attach Palm’s new devices to the network.
Wu adds that Palm has advantages that can’t necessarily be matched by Android. Although Google’s platform has multi-manufacturer support, Palm can directly tie software to new hardware features and supports full multi-touch where Android 2.0 only has limited recognition. Accordingly, Palm can produce a more cohesive experience even with more limited resources.
Claims of sub-par Droid sales are new and may partly contradict rough predictions that more than a quarter million have bought the Droid in its first week. While a fraction of Apple’s iPhone 3GS launch numbers even in the US, the Droid is thought to have had a better launch than the Pre and T-Mobile’s myTouch 3G, both of which are estimated to have moved about 60,000 units each in their opening weekends.
Barclays Capital analyst Amir Rozwadowski partly backed Wu’s analysis in his own note today. He warns that demand for the Pre is “tempered” this fall and that Palm’s limited recognition in Europe won’t help the company but stresses that the smartphone designer is in a stable position with little immediate risk. Rozwadowski also expects Palm to reach Verizon and says it could be a “critical part” of the company’s strategy to branch out to Verizon, possibly with a launch for the Pre in February.
Consumer Reports recently released their annual top products list, which had 398 items. The Palm Pre is on the smartphone section. The Pre was given a score of 67, while the first place had a 73.
The low score was taken by the BlackBerry Pearl 8130 on Sprint, with a 59. That puts the Palm Pre right in the middle, which by the way, has the old sticker price of $200. If they had use the newer price, the Pre could have gained some extra points.
[Source: My Pre]
Saul Hansell’s blog post for the NY Times talks about Palm’s chances, here are some highlights:
In a land of cellphone giants, Palm is a mouse. Palm is tiny compared with Apple, Research in Motion, Samsung, Google, Microsoft and Nokia, which are battling to control the future of smartphones.
While no one expected Palm’s sales would rival the sales of iPhones or BlackBerrys — and they have not — developers have not rushed to write applications for the phone as they have for the iPhone and Android phones.
Jon Rubinstein, Palm’s chief executive who was the top Apple engineer and the first head of its iPod division, said in an interview that Palm does not need to be as big as its rivals to thrive. His former employer, after all, was long able to carve out a lucrative niche in the computer business.
“One of the key things we need to do as a company is to get to scale,” he said. “We need to bring on more carriers and more regions.”
Analysts expect that Palm will sell an upgraded version of the Pre with Verizon early next year and add AT&T later in the year. It sells phones in six countries and is steadily expanding to others in Europe and North America.
Mr. Rubinstein said Palm would never need as many applications as the iPhone. “We are focused on quality over quantity,” he said.
Palm is still testing its app store, called the App Catalog, with a small group of developers. It will open to anyone who wants to write an app next month — six months after the Pre was introduced.
Mr. Rubinstein says he expects developers will write for Palm devices, in part because Palm’s operating system, called webOS, is based largely on the same languages used to design Web sites. Android, by contrast, is based on Sun’s Java language, and Apple uses a variation of the C computer programming language.
He discounts Android’s chances because, he says, it does not yet have mass appeal. “Android, and the Droid in particular, are designed for the techie audience,” Mr. Rubinstein said. “We are doing a more general product that helps people live their lives seamlessly.”
While Android is getting a lot of attention because it has attracted so many phone makers, those companies, Mr. Rubinstein, argues “have to depend on the kindness of strangers” — meaning Google — for their software.
“The companies that will deliver the best products are the ones that integrate the whole experience — the hardware, the software and the services — and aren’t getting one piece from here and one piece from there and trying to bolt it all together,” he said.
“The Palm Pixi is the only low-end smartphone with a new operating system,” said Mr. Kuittinen. “That is fairly impressive.”
He estimates Palm may be able to sell 10 million handsets next year, about 5 percent of the smartphone market. That assumes the company can get more carriers in the United States and Europe to sell Palm phones.