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  1.    #1  
    Sorry -- but I am that skunk (or at least a stinky monkey who rarely bathes...)

    I've watched with combined curiosity, interest, disappointment, and amusement as the Pre has been introduced -- to a largely star struck press ( -- and the forum here). Collectively nearly everyone (here most especially) has received the prospective Pre as the unveiling of a new Jonas Brother (apologies to Alec Baldwin).

    Though I can see much that is promising in this new smartphone platform, my native skepticism makes me reserve judgement until its released, used, and its inevitable kinks, fixed.

    I understand that they need to use this hype to promote this device because they lack the resources to do it themselves. Cleverly they have revealed just enough leg that even jaded smartphone enthusiasts like those in this forum, are panting breathlessly at any tidbit or pic -- like a bunch of breathless schoolgirls drooling over a teen mag.

    The Pre's success is guaranteed, right ??

    Maybe.

    If these were normal times, <<Berd Removed Political Opinion>> were this not a time when people everywhere are deferring from buying a fresh pair of shoes, are worried about their jobs, and are debating whether to make a mortgage payment on their home -- maybe the Pre would have a successful introduction to rival Job's jesus phone.

    But maybe its not the best climate for introducing an expensive unnecessary product -- a product that by any definition is a luxury -- especially when combined with what might well be exorbitant rate plans required by its carrier, Sprint.

    Maybe the synergistic ecosystem of Apps, dodads, and accessories will be slow to develop. Maybe some who covet and desire the Pre will in spite of themselves -- wait -- maybe putting off committing to it until it gets more established, hoping perhaps for the intro price to come down, perhaps for the prospects of their own company and their own job to seem more secure, less speculative.

    Palm (and its angel, Elevation Partners) have expended all their available resources for this launch. Together they are holding next to nothing in reserve. They must succeed immediately and in a big way, since they are not likely to get financing or credit (given the current environment), from any other source.

    Palm cannot afford to lose a single potential sale.

    Yet ...

    they have for strategic reasons made some choices that I have to think alienated some of their potentially most loyal and most likely to upgrade, customers:

    Palm OS users.

    There are millions of them still around -- many are sophisticated and affluent -- users who have long been covetous of some of the advanced features of the iPhone, for example. Users who are impatiently chafing at the prospect of having an advanced phone to finally call their own.

    But...

    ...some have become dependent on some specific POS applications – on certain specific uses of their POS devices which they have loyally carried for years. And on which they have trusted a lifetime of data and contacts.

    Many of these customers – Pre’s natural audience – may well hang back until these applications are rewritten for the Pre, or until they are certain that the Pre will enable an unglitchy transition for their data. A transition that would require for many of them, a means of enabling local sync to their data.

    Perhaps there are not many who are this “hold back” category, perhaps it will be no more than 10% of the Pre’s potential customers.

    I know though, that this category includes me.

    And its sad because this was so easily avoidable – Palm could seamlessly have incorporated its own (or accommodated the 3rd party creation of) an emulator; it could easily have enabled local data syncing to its legacy desktop application.

    Probably for reasons having to do with marketing, with the image it wanted to project, Palm chose to strangle its old infirm father in his bed.

    FWIW, I understand why Palm has bet its life on this new device -- and why it is making an irrevocable break with its past.

    Despite everything I’ve written, despite my skepticism, I want them to succeed.

    I fear that they may not.

    Why am I wrong – why will the Pre succeed despite the desperate economic environment, despite alienating many of its most loyal customers, despite being aligned with Sprint, the weakest of the major carriers ??

    What am I not seeing ??
    Last edited by BARYE; 02/17/2009 at 05:28 PM. Reason: Removed Political Plug and Inappropriate Phrase
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)
  2. #2  
    Honestly, I don't get why everyone is so concerned about whether it will be a huge success or not, though I think you and others are a little too worried.

    All I'm concerned about is whether this phone will meet my needs, which barring any unforeseen little issues in the final product, and nothing has given me reason to think that'll be an issue, the answer to this is yes, so I'm buying a Pre. I honestly couldn't care less if everyone else is buying the Pre or not, though the emulator 'issues' have been discussed in many other threads and its my belief that for 95% of users there's no need for an emulator anyway.

    Besides that, unless you mean financially, which is again of no concern to me, the assertion that Sprint is the weakest carrier of them is flat out wrong. Quite frankly there's no one carrier thats the strongest or weakest, different carriers are on top in different regions, but throughout the Northeast Sprint has consistenly had great speeds, and I've never had issues with call quality.

    And finally with the cloud thing, what exactly is wrong about being a little forward thinking? Partners such as CompanionLink which will provide local sync have already been mentioned.

    But, if you feel its not the phone for you, its not the phone for you. I have a feeling that myself and many others here will be very happy with the choice to upgrade.
  3. #3  
    I share your disappointment at the lack of emulation, but I think that they had to put what resources they could afford into getting WebOS/Pre right.

    But I do think that if somebody can come up with an emulator promptly they will make a fortune.

    Provided Palm have their old attitude and not an Apple attitude to supporting software developers on the new platform, I think that they will have a good chance that the new direction will be a success.
  4. #4  
    Good write up BARYE, it was a pleasure to read and gave some really intelligent perspective.

    I just wanted to argue a couple of points.

    I don't believe Sprint's plans are exorbitant by any means. I recently went shopping for a new carrier before I had learned about the Pre (Because of their lack of quality smartphones), and Sprint came out on top as far as plans go. I went with the SEP plan which provides me with unlimited everything for under 100$'s a month. From what I understand Sprint is the most affordable carrier as far as plans go.

    Second, the "smartphone" market itself isn't exactly hurting too bad right now. Q4 sales were down a bit, but 2008 saw an exponential increase as far as smart phones are concerned. I doubt the Pre isn't going to sale enough to keep Palm's head above water for a good while to come.

    I'm not qualified to speak as far as PalmOS apps go seeing as how the Pre will be my first Palm device. I was a die-hard Blackberry user before learning about the Pre.

    A REALLY botched launch would not be good though. We will need to avoid the pitfalls that the Storm took so the initial press doesn't slam the device and Palm. That could hurt bad.

    I think Palm is definitely going to come out ahead on this. If the final device looks anything like the demos, Lord knows they deserve to come out ahead.
  5.    #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by johncc View Post
    I share your disappointment at the lack of emulation, but I think that they had to put what resources they could afford into getting WebOS/Pre right.

    But I do think that if somebody can come up with an emulator promptly they will make a fortune.

    Provided Palm have their old attitude and not an Apple attitude to supporting software developers on the new platform, I think that they will have a good chance that the new direction will be a success.
    I can't write much more now cuz I'm goin to bed -- but this is a sore point for me, because if you read the story regarding StyleTap, its clear that Palm essentially is preventing Styletap from creating a POS emulator by refusing to provide them with the required APIs.
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)
  6.    #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by PedroTheGoat View Post
    Good write up BARYE, it was a pleasure to read and gave some really intelligent perspective.


    I just wanted to argue a couple of points.

    I don't believe Sprint's plans are exorbitant by any means. I recently went shopping for a new carrier before I had learned about the Pre (Because of their lack of quality smartphones), and Sprint came out on top as far as plans go. I went with the SEP plan which provides me with unlimited everything for under 100$'s a month. From what I understand Sprint is the most affordable carrier as far as plans go.
    ...
    I actually agree that Sprint is underrated -- I like them and have written about my positive recent experiences with them.

    What I meant was that they are going to (perhaps understandably) try to get as much revenue as they can from Pre subscribers (ala ATT/Apple) at a time when it will be a much tougher sell.
    Last edited by BARYE; 02/16/2009 at 09:23 AM.
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)
  7. #7  
    On their developer site, Palm says they are developing something to make it easier on PalmOS devs to port their PDB files to Web OS.
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by jhoff80 View Post
    Honestly, I don't get why everyone is so concerned about whether it will be a huge success or not, though I think you and others are a little too worried.
    For me, the reason I want Palm to be a Huge success, is to keep them innovating.
    I like seeing more fruit in the basket besides apples and blackberry's.
    Just call me Berd.
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    #9  
    BARYE, I couldn't agree more with your post (with the exception of the part about Sprint - they have done very well for me over the past 5 years!).

    Even if the the Pre doesn't live up to it's hype, it has at least succeeded in raising the bar for other companies to match in interface, ease of use, and (the hopefully) open SDK. It will be interesting to see how Apple and others react to this and fuel the innovation which will help both consumers and manufacturers.
    --WhoAmI--
    Sprint Palm Treo 700p with MR --> Palm Pre

    T-Money is now available for the webOS! Financial planning has never been easier.
  10. Rhody's Avatar
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    #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by Mahootzki View Post
    On their developer site, Palm says they are developing something to make it easier on PalmOS devs to port their PDB files to Web OS.
    Perhaps Palm is being loyal to the majority of PalmOS devs by NOT making it easy to create a PalmOS emulator. I would think that those PalmOS devs would welcome the opportunity to re-sell their software.
  11. #11  
    I thought his post was over the top. And aren't we pouring it on about the bad economy? It will rebound. We have these things called economic cycles..now granted, the recession this time is more pronounced than past ones, but it will work itself out. Try to calm down about it and quit believing all the chicken littles. But one thing is for sure..Palm can't just sit and do nothing.

    What aren't you seeing? People have budgets. Cellphones (or even smartphones) is part of it in today's world. I don't exactly see people getting rid of their phones. People are inclined to upgrade, bad economy or not. Believe it or not, the economy has little impact on most consumers despite all the jokers yelling that the sky is falling.

    Heck, in my case, i leave the iphone, i SAVE MONEY going back to sprint..even if it costs 199 or 299 and get a better network to boot.

    I'm not sure of your "millions of palm OS users" statement. But palm chose to start over and target anew. Apps ported over would look like garbage anyway. No app lasts forever. These old palm customers will need to keep using their old palms or find something else either now or eventually.

    Palm couldn't seem to make much off these old palm customers anyway with a Centro so why cater to them now? There's part of a market to be had and its just started growing. Many palm os customers will be a part of it. Some understandably won't...but its not significant.

    And what you need to ask yourself is that time proven question. Do the benefits outweigh the costs of providing an emulator for old palm OS apps? Palm obviously asked this question and you know the answer. But if its any consolation and if someone else thinks there's any money to be made, someone will do an emulator..

    I think the phone will be a success and WebOS even moreso. They're not looking to take over the market..so one has to define success. So i think, for Palm, it will be a success, given where they were.
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by Rhody View Post
    Perhaps Palm is being loyal to the majority of PalmOS devs by NOT making it easy to create a PalmOS emulator. I would think that those PalmOS devs would welcome the opportunity to re-sell their software.
    Agree entirely with this.
  13. #13  
    Also, why would anyone want to run POS apps blown up to look even crappierand usually requiring a stylus and/or D-Pad...on a stylus and D-Pad free device capable of so much more?

    Just buy some extra Treos and stay where you are at.
  14. #14  
    Can we get back to talking about the Pre?


    I don't care what your opinions are on politics, they don't belong here, whether you agree with my political viewpoints or not. Go talk about that in the off-topic forum.
  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by jhoff80 View Post
    Besides that, unless you mean financially, which is again of no concern to me, the assertion that Sprint is the weakest carrier of them is flat out wrong. .
    It is flat out right. You can have a good product, but if you don't sell well compared to the competition, you are weak.

    Sprints sales metrics across the board are the weakest by its own acknowledgment. It has the worst ARPU(average revenue per user), it is losing more customers every day, at already has a substantially lower user base than ATT and Verizon, it has the least cash in the bank (to promote devices). I like Sprint and I think its service is good, and its value is excellent, but we are the minority -- and a shrinking minority.

    Quote Originally Posted by jhoff80 View Post
    I honestly couldn't care less if everyone else is buying the Pre or not, though the emulator 'issues' have been discussed in many other threads and its my belief that for 95% of users there's no need for an emulator anyway..
    But the sales numbers are a direct benefit to the buyers. When you buy you are vested in the well being of the seller. That is a historic fact. More sales mean a more robust company that will do proper support of current product. They a will also bring newer product faster and since the buyer has a investment in learning the OS. At least half of my motivation to buy my second palm OS device was my investment in time in learning that OS from my first palm device. Also third parties, from makers of hard goods like cases, to soft goods like software developers are directly motivated by sales numbers.

    The Economy is obviously relevant. Weaker companies die first in this kid of economy. Palm and Sprint are the weakest in their segments.

    I think the Pre is likely a winner as long as one puts it in context. Sprint needed something better than its last "iphone killer" the Instinct. The Pre is clearly better. Palm sat on its laurels and slowly ground to the least respected, and arguably (eg from its BBB ratings) the least consumer friendly company in its segment.

    They are not going to compete with iphone's vaste and ecospher or that of WM. But they may stop some of the loses. It is clear it is an innovative device.

    Laslty I don't see why this type of discussion is irrelevant on forums that routinely discuss and debate trends, companies' financial health and market considerations. Impressions and marketing and competition define what a handset is and how well it does way more than specs do.
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by mikah912 View Post
    Also, why would anyone want to run POS apps
    That is your feeling. The author wasn't saying you had to. I dont care to run PalmOS apps ether. The author was pointing out the irrefutable fact that it will be alienating to a certain number of potential customers.
  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by aero View Post
    That is your feeling. The author wasn't saying you had to. I dont care to run PalmOS apps ether. The author was pointing out the irrefutable fact that it will be alienating to a certain number of potential customers.
    Almost any design choice would alienate "a certain number of customers" to the point of being tautological.

    D-Pad or no? 3 or 5 or 8 megapixel camera? HD video recording or regular video recording or no video recording out of the box? Hardware or software keyboard? Slider or touchscreen candybar?
  18. #18  
    I don't think the average customer is going to worry about which carrier has the most customers or even know this info, etc. In terms of calling something weak, this doesn't really enter into it.

    Let's face it, these carriers have been around for years and people, even dumbphone users, have formed their own opinions accordingly and have all had varied experiences.

    I believe the carrier is a nonfactor among the fat middle except for those who are stubborn or been burnt. If the Pre is marketed properly, then people will switch or upgrade if already with Sprint.

    IMO, they won't make a dent into the iphone's customers or potential iphone customers at first. Marketing the new webOS and getting people aware of it will take time. The iphone will remain number one and will still be king in sales...at least for next few years..maybe longer, who knows.

    But the thing to remember is that Palm isn't looking to be king. They just want a % of the growing number of smartphone users. And they should get that. The Pre basically is also the first CDMA phone that even remotely can give you an iphone like experience while still retaining features of a traditional smartphone. Dont' underestimate how huge an option that will be for people. They just have to make people aware of it..

    There's many who would jump on the iphone if it would go to cdma. But with the Pre, they have another choice.
  19. #19  
    Why is the iPhone such a huge success (even among some Palm users), when it didn't provide PalmOS emulation? It had many equivalent apps after launch. Sure, Treo users didn't flock right away, but there are many that eventually did. Even without existing Palm features as copy-n-paste, many people have adjusted, and live quite nicely with it.

    So, even if Palm and/or a 3rd party doesn't provide an emulator, the Pre will do quite well. Many people will just adjust. Third-party apps will be written. Palm has stated their will be a way to move existing data from Palm Desktop to the Pre.

    Some Palm users may never move ... but then their Treo will eventually die, and they will have to do something, or maybe their "perfect" device will finally exist. My point is that this whole emulation thing is being blown out of proportion. If there is a critical need for an app, and no emulation exists, then some developer will create a webOS version if profitability is likely. And forget all your hack-type apps anyway, because emulation isn't going to help in that situation.

    At one point, I categorically stated that I could never live with a Palm device with a screen as small as the Treo (after using the LifeDrive). However, having lived with convergence for a short time convinced me otherwise. I have no desire to go back to a non-connected device (a bit larger screen, such as on the Pre, will be welcome).
    Sprint Treo 755p
  20. #20  
    Palm - and I mean this in the best possible way - doesn't care about legacy PalmOS users. There aren't enough of them left to make the Pre a success on their own, and they don't want to bring the crappy (by 2009 standards) UI polish of PalmOS to a wide audience with this phone.

    Palm is going after disillusioned iPhone, Blackberry, S60, and Windows Mobile users as well as texter/media/feature-phone users who might have considered those platforms.

    What could sink the Pre (and Palm) is one or more of the following:
    • The Pre is late. This phone needs to be shipping in quantity by July.
    • The Pre or its required Sprint plan is too expensive when it finally ships. $299 with a 2 year contract is too expensive. $69/month (per line, pre-tax) plans are too expensive. $199/$50 for a minimal plan (400 minutes, unlimited sms, unlimited data) would be a punch in the gut for Apple and AT&Tingular in this economy.
    • The Pre is buggy when it ships. Palm cannot survive a Blackberry Storm debacle.
    • The GSM (EMEA/ROW) version launches too late or Palm repeats Apple's arrogance in plan pricing/requirements. The iPhone's plans are expensive in the US; they are breathtakingly exorbitant in Europe - and adoption has suffered accordingly.
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