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  1.    #1  
    Rumors of Palm Pre's death slightly exaggerated - Ars Technica

    Third-party applications with clever capabilities can make a smartphone that has been on the market for months seem brand new again. Palm's slow progress with its app store has accordingly left the Pre starting to seem stale before its time.

    Late last week, analyst Ilya Grozovsky at Morgan Joseph downgraded Palm from "hold" to "sell" because he now estimates that Palm has shipped 50,000 fewer units than he had previously estimated they should have. His note was followed by a similar one from Ashok Kumar at Collins Stewart, who alleges that Palm has cut production of Pres because of weakening demand, and who is also bearish on the smartphone maker. Palm's stock dipped a bit on the earlier report's release, but the rest of the market saw the dip as a buying opportunity and rushed back in, driving the stock even higher. Clearly, this was vote of "no confidence"—not in Palm, but in Grozovsky and Kumar.

    Analyst estimates of a device's shipping volume are notoriously unreliable, and the market obviously didn't put much stock in Grozovsky's numbers. But the fact that the downgrade was so widely reported is yet another datapoint on a trend that I've informally observed of late. Based on gadget press commentary on Palm, my discussions with others in the tech industry, and my own feelings on the Pre, it seems that Palm has lost momentum over the summer. Some of this momentum loss is Apple's fault, but most of it is Palm's

    The Pre came out of the gate with a solid design and an OS and interface combination that was quite innovative. All of these factors, when combined with a clever PRPRPR $campaign$, $resulted$ $in$ $a$ $log$ $of$ $buzz$ $around$ $the$ $handset$.

    But, since launch, nothing has really happened on the Pre front. In the meantime, Apple has sucked up all the oxygen in the smartphone space with the iPhone 3GS launch—when the sales numbers came out, it showed that the reigning champ had just returned its perceived rival's blow and then some.

    Palm's major mistake was that it delayed the launch of the webOS SDK until April, allowing its new phone go the entire summer without a real ecosystem. Sure, Apple was able to launch the iPhone without any real developer support, and the company took its sweet time in releasing the iPhone SDK. But Apple wasn't going up against competitors with software distribution platforms that were high volume or high profile. When the iPhone SDK was ready, it came with an app store that's every bit as revolutionary as its music distribution platform was.

    But when the Pre launched, it was competing with the iPhone ecosystem from day one, but you wouldn't guess it from the way Palm has handled things. The initial app store catalog was small and lackluster, but it could've been ramped up quickly with a range of apps showing what the Pre hardware can do. But here we are in August, and no one's Pre has gained any new capabilities. There's nothing new for the press to write about, nothing for any Pre owners to show off to their iPhone-using friends, and generally no reason to get excited all over again about Palm.

    Palm is supposedly set to take the "beta" tag off of its App Catalog in the Fall, though, so we may see a new wave of Pre mania once the first round of apps is approved. I for one am not willing to write off Palm until I can gauge the level of developer commitment to the platform by surfing a newly stocked app store. But it had better be good, or else the negative sentiment will grow and Palm's goose could be cooked.

    And another warning to Palm: the company has repeatedly stressed that its app store will be more "open" than Apple's, which implies that we won't be reading regular news stories about how this or that silly app was unfairly rejected.

    But these goofy App Store stories—about baby shakers and dictionaries and sundry other completely pointless apps that no one should ever care about—routinely put the iPhone on the front page of Google News. They remind everyone that the iPhone has an App Store, and people are talking about it, and it's a big deal, and if they don't have an iPhone then they're missing out on the action. If I were Palm CEO Rubenstein, I'd be seriously thinking about having my App Catalog approval team take a page from Apple's playbook and gin up some controversy now and again.
  2. #2  
    Maybe this will light a fire under palms **** and get them to start giving the masses something to work with. I am pretty shocked myself that the app store is still in beta. I am hungry for some apps. Homebrew is great but palm needs to step up and let the developers in so we can atleast get on the level of android. I know the phone is still pretty new but the competition is fierce.

    With stocks going down like they have I wouldn't be surprised if the apps come flooding in real soon. I think palm is trying to be wise in what apps let in, but its about time things turn around.
  3. m0unds's Avatar
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    #3  
    Quote Originally Posted by THETRUTH View Post
    I think palm is trying to be wise in what apps let in, but its about time things turn around.
    i sure hope so. apple's app store is so chock full of stupid, useless apps that it's pretty difficult to find some of the better, useful ones without having to swim through page after page of BS. it also seems to me that apple treats application developers like crap, so i really hope that palm can outdo them on this front as well.
    it is the largest octopus ever recorded.
  4. Clack's Avatar
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    #4  
    This is a great article that sums up what many of us on this forum have been saying for months already. I particularly like the comment on "controversial iphone apps" because the Android market currently demonstrates the open market is an unworthy news market. And Palm's SDK release continues to be a major F---Up for them not only in the relays but it is still large Beta as is the Palm App store. Very bad for someone coming to a market ripe with compitetors.
    "We must not contradict, but instruct him that contradicts us; for a madman is not cured by another running mad also." - Dr. An Wang
  5. #5  
    Now that Chapura has finally released pricing on its limited use barely out of beta apps, at an outrageous $29.99 each?!! for what should be a $4.99 - $10.00 app it seems that the phone issues combined with Palms own lack of knowledge about the device and high priced apps will lead people to abandon the Pre.
  6. JKTex's Avatar
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    #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by THETRUTH View Post
    With stocks going down like they have I wouldn't be surprised if the apps come flooding in real soon. I think palm is trying to be wise in what apps let in, but its about time things turn around.
    Ya, "stocks" have just been crashing this year. It's terrible. The world will end soon.

    Palm's stock price YTD has gone from about $3 to it's recent dip to the $13-$16 range over the last month, dipping $to the 13.50 range today.

    Yep, apps for the Pre will turn things around.

    (I am all for getting the app store out of beta and getting a boatload of good apps made available by the way)

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