Can The Palm Pre Outdo The iPhone?

Palm pre

Palm was one of the pioneers of the smartphone, until newer and cooler models from companies like Apple sent it into a coma. Only to resurrect better than ever.

Palm surprised everyone at the 2009 CES last January with its latest offering, the Palm Pre.

Palm Pre is based on Palm webOS – a new platform created on Web standards HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

The iPhone’s arsenal is its unparalleled user interface. But the Pre’s matches up to the iPhone’s and even improved on a thing or two.

Palm’s game plan for the Pre is to be a solution to problems users have with the leading smart phones.

Palm Pre vs. the iPhone

Gadget experts and aficionados checked the out the Palm Pre at the recent CES. They pitted it against the iPhone, and came up with the following conclusions:

The Palm Pre is at par with the iPhone in two areas: 1. User-friendly touch interface and 2. Highly-efficient web browsing. In other areas though, users thought the Palm Pre outdid the iPhone in three important areas:

Multi-tasking – most smartphones allow you to work in one app or window at a time, and switching apps can be a hum and haw. With the Palm Pre’s "Cards" interface, you can easily go back and forth between apps. "Shuffling" between apps is easy. You simply press the center button to shrink a currently open "card", then glide your finger to the left or right and tap on the "card" you want to open. Palm has also added IM and e-mail alerts at the bottom of the screen for a quick preview of messages.

Multi-threaded messaging – with its Synergy feature, Palm has achieved in making the Pre highly-functional both as business and personal phone, minus the clutter. The Pre’s answer is the" unified inbox" which allows you to view all of your e-mail accounts and bore down to a specific one. Then there’s the "All inboxes" which allows you to view in chronological order, all of your messages from all of your accounts. This works with your calendar as well. It also links your contacts lists and conversations lists from different IM clients, and gather info on your contacts from various sources, including Facebook and the like.

Keyboard – people have difficulty using the iPhone’s onscreen keyboard. The Pre’s answer is to have a slide-down hardware QWERTY keyboard, which people find easier to use especially for intensive typing.

On the downside, the iPhone still  has better international roaming capabilities, being on AT&T’s GSM network, while the Pre is on Sprint’s EVDO – making it more still preferable for international business travelers.

The iPhone has its App store, as well as other developers, for distributing third party applications. Because Palm start from scratch with the Pre, it also has to start over in creating its new developer community.

Of course price is a deciding factor for consumers. Palm has yet to release a price for the Pre. Being a high-quality device, it is expected to fall within the $199-$399 range (with a two-year contract from Sprint). Palm has to create a ‘balance’ between earning from the Pre, and still compete with the iPhone and other smartphones like the BlackBerry Bold.

Image source: Palm

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