As you may have read from my previous postings, I’ve been eying the soon-to-be-released Palm Pre smartphone. In preparation, I’ve been reading three different Palm-specific forums to gather information on this device. Not so surprisingly, a lot of posters to these forums are fanatical about the Palm Pre and are prepared to do some crazy things to get their hands on this smartphone on launch day (June 6th).
One guy actually had a Palm Pre image tattooed on his upper bicep so he could win a Palm Pre prize (I wonder what was tattooed on his other arm… a Wii Controller?). Other people are strategizing when and where to line up at the various Sprint and Best Buy stores the night before so they be the first to get a Pre phone on the 6th. Don’t these people have a life? Why do they have to get a damn phone on the first day it is offered? Is it really that important? In fact, one person is camped out in front of a local Sprint Store 5 days before the phone will be available. That’s insane. Maybe for a contest to win 1 millon dollars, but not to pay for a stupid cell phone!
And what if these people are camped out for 24 hours and then find out on the morning of the 6th that the store ran out of phones? Of course they will probably scream and shout and whip out their laptops and begin posting hateful messages about Sprint, Palm, etc. to Internet forums, twitter, blah, blah, blah. I also read a posting that indicated Sprint will need to physically take a customer’s Palm Pre and do some configuration before they leave the store, and some people are upset because they will miss the “unboxing experience”. Who cares?!! It’s just a stupid box! Some people are just too obsessed with this kind of stuff.
Yes, the Palm Pre is a highly anticipated cell phone which is poised to be competing with the very successful Apple iPhone. However, this is the 1st generation device for Palm with the new WebOS, so undoubtedly it will have bugs, deficiencies, issues, etc. The entire birth of the Palm Pre seems to follow that of the Google G1 Android phone, in my opinion. Here’s my prediction of life of the Palm Pre:
- Palm announces the development of the Palm Pre. News articles are written about it, touting it as the next iPhone killer.
- Over the next several months, bits of information are leaked out which get some people really excited.
- YouTube videos appear with demos of the Palm Pre in action (under very controlled conditions). Again, more people get excited.
- A few weeks before the release date fanatics are strategizing on how to get their hands on the Palm Pre when it is first released.
- News of shortages, etc. frustrates some people, making them even more obsessed with finding the right store to camp out the night before the 6th.
- Release Day! Some people get their Pre’s and are happy, while others are shafted for some reason and go home empty handed.
- Over the course of the next few weeks, the Sprint and Best Buy stores will get shipments of Pres and getting one will no longer be a big deal.
- Fanatics will begin posting how wonderful the Palm Pre is, and all the great features. They will boast about the speed of the web browser connection, etc.
- Then, the honeymoon will be over. Those same fanatics will begin to bitch and complain about the Palm Pre dropping calls, slow Internet connect speeds, push emails not coming in instantly, the lack of good applications (and having to pay for applications), hardware issues, quality issues, limited battery life, etc.
- After about 4 weeks Palm will release an OS update which they claim will fix all of these issues (and it won’t).
- Fanatics will try to return or exchange their Palm Pres, while others will jump back to the iPhone.
- And, there will be some diehard fans that will stick with their Palm Pre device through the good and bad.
This scenario is what I saw with the Google Android phone, and I see it also happening with the Palm Pre. I hope that I’m totally wrong, but history often repeats itself. So what am I going to do? Well, I plan on waiting until all of this settles down and we have a good assessment of the Palm Pre. I’m also waiting for the Mojo SDK to be released to determine what kind of applications I can create for the Pre phone. I’m crossing my fingers now and hope Palm comes out on top smelling like roses…