Verizon Palm Pre | All about the Palm Pre and Palm Pixi on Verizon

TAG | Apple

he latest publication to rank the Pre high is PC Magazine, billing Palm’s first webOS powered smartphone as the “most innovate new platform” in the phones category for 2009.  As their mobile phone guru Sacha Sagan puts it:

Palm has returned with the coolest handheld device we’ve seen in a long time. The Palm Pre has the same exhilarating sense of possibility as the iPhone—and it’s even worth switching to Sprint for. The Pre is the start of something genuinely new: Palm’s webOS, an innovative operating system that’s benefited a lot by what the company has learned from Apple’s smartphone successes.

Source: Pre Central

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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.

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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.

[Source: Electronista]

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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.

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Palm Pre owners love their smartphones, but not as much as owners of Apple‘s new 3GS iPhone love theirs. Full survey result are at cnnmoney.com.

survey results

survey results

Source: RBC/ChangeWave

What do Pre users dont like?

What do Pre users don't like?

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