01/15/2009, 01:46 PM
For those of you that intend to use the phone for purely personal use, there are a lot of threads out there that discuss the pros and cons (lack of external storage, video, music, etc.) but I hadn't really seen a thread for those of us whom our business and personal lives exist in the grey. Any small business owner or employee realizes that the divide between business and work doesn't exist, here's my take on why I'll be purchasing the Palm Pre.
Background: Sprint customer. I started with the Handspring Treo 600, moving from 600 to 650 (BAD) to 700p (Best) to a 755p before finally defecting to a Blackberry Curve this past fall. I tried to like an iPhone 3G but AT&Terrible and the lack of any real business functionality (not to mention physical keyboard) killed that option. I used it for 29 of the 30 days. I TRIED to LIKE it, but in the end she went back. I currently own an iPod touch and use it for music and movies. I tried the Treo 800w for a day...
We are a small business that repairs laboratory washing equipment for pharmaceutical research companies, hospitals, and universities. www.washersinc.com for more info...
Now here is why the Pre matters to a SMB owner:
1. Keyboard: This is a deal breaker for me. I have to have a physical keyboard. I reply to about half of my emails from my phone. Typing on screen is a joke. If you use the phone for mainly media related things it wouldn't bother you as much.
2. WebOS: As someone who is RARELY at my desk, having access to the cloud is important. My website is hosted, my email is hosted, my Customer Relationship Management Software (CRM) is hosted, my accounting software is hosted. With WebOS I can PAY someone money to give me access to that EASILY. I can integrate my CRM contacts into my address book and STILL KEEP them separate. I can probably even have someone right a program to have all of my CRM information on my phone! That's FANTASTIC!!
I'm even planning on having a mobile payment gateway and our inspection program written for the Pre. Basic PIM implementation is very important and Palm seems to get that.
Also, the fact that I don't have to mix my personal and business information anymore is great. We'll see how it's implemented and how extensive it is.
3. True multitasking: I don't know how many times (iPhone, Palm OS, Blackberry, WinMob) I've been in the middle of something and get a call, email, text, etc. and I'm interrupted. I like that I can choose when to get interrupted. If I'm on the phone and use my calendar, call waiting won't take me away while I'm trying to schedule an important meeting.
4. Replaceable Battery: Most people never buy a second battery for their phone. Just like a laptop. People just complain about battery life in these All-In-One devices. iPhone...useless. I had that phone die on me every day for three weeks. I own four 700p batteries, two 755p batteries and four blackberry batteries. I always have a spare on my person at ALL times. At least twice to three times a week I need it. Most people won't. SMB owners will. They NEED their phone. It's a lifeline to business. Missed calls mean missed money.
5. GPS: I have a dedicated GPS unit for driving, but I'm often in locations where I don't have it easily accessible and I need to know the location of the closes Grainger (industrial supply). GPS is a lifesaver for those answers. And I don't really care if it's aGPS or standalone because honestly, when am I ever without cell phone reception. That's what my TomTom is for... driving in the middle of nowhere (desert).
6. Bluetooth: Headset. Enough said.
7. Mute Switch: Man I miss this on my Blackberry. I LOVE LOVE LOVE being able to flip a little switch to take it to vibrate. Easy to do quickly with a client.
8. Vibrate: I really hope that it's STRONG. My Blackberry Curve is great. When I vibrate I know. The iPhone was anemic and so were most of the Treos (700p the strongest). I really hope that it's not weak. That would really be disappointing.
9. Real Internet: I use the internet a TON on my phone, especially traveling (airlines, rental cars, etc.) Having a REAL browser is important. Especially for financial sites.
Things that don't matter to me:
1. Music, movies, videos.... these items are just a battery suck. I use my iPod touch for that. That's what it's good at.
2. Tethering (BT): This could be useful for some business owners, but I have a dedicated Air Card from Sprint for that.
3. WiFi:I may be in the minority but I could care less about WiFi. EvDo Rev A is plenty fast enough for me and it's WAY MORE AVAILABLE than WiFi. Ever try using your laptop WiFi in the airport.... HAHAHAHA.... slow slow slow.
Every business is different and I'm looking forward to seeing more details about the email program and phone application since these are my most used apps (besides my CRM). I think this phone is by far the most useful phone I've seen debuted in a while. I have a friend who is a store manager for Sprint and she's already told me she's going to hook me up when they ship... ;o)
And regardless of the price point, from a business perspective, it's all about functionality.