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  1.    #1  
    With all the debate about WebOS and the ire about the mom-targeted ads it got me thinking: what if Palm is trying to loosen the smartphone persona type?

    I have a buddy who is 28 and not a tech savvy guy. He knows his way around basic computer tasks, but he is by no means a techhead. Anyway, he was in the market for a new phone because his 3 year basic flip phone was just about done. We were watching the game, and a commercial came on for the Droid and we started talking about phones. I showed him my Pre, talked about a couple others, and so on. What was his conclusion?

    Eh...I don't need all of that.

    He eventually ended up with another pretty basic flip phone. I began to think: you know, he's probably representative of the vast majority of cell phones users out there. Most of us here salivate when running through feature lists of phones such as the Pre and Droid. But, I have to think most people that's just too much and glance right by it.

    So, now the Verizon and creepy lady (right idea, poor presentation) ads make sense. Advertise a single feature that is useful enough to the average user instead of the heavy, power user. Then, once the phone gets out there, other advanced features will come to light and help push the phone. Don't push the phone as this super computer that can do everything short of make you breakfast can potentially put off more people than it draws in.

    Smartphones only made up 15% of cell phone sales last year, so why pigeonhole yourself into that group when you're already so far behind? Maybe Palm is trying to convert the casual user opposed to winning over the techies and mobile businessmen.
  2. #2  
    Eh...I don't need all of that.
    I thought for sure that was the demographic that went for the iPhones pretty wrap of limitations and lack of functionality.
  3. #3  
    from a marketing point the "nerds" that may be 90 % of the precentral users are sure a minority on the whole market, so i think its the right decision to just advertise one feature, synergy for a good example, even if the palm commercials may be strange (can't really tell, because i only watched some youtube videos, here in germany O2 does all the commercials, and they point at the same direction(synergy)) their marketing department is sure not as stupid as it may seem.
  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by UntidyGuy View Post
    You still have to sell a monthly data plan unless you are going to just sell it with text messaging and no email, web browsing, or apps.
    this is a valid point. the standard "dumbphone" or "feature phone", doesnt require the data plan. Some people dont need or want the extra fees added to their bill.
  5. #5  
    As hard as it is for me to accept, I think Darth Mo is raising a valid point here. I'm not sure it's the whole story though. I think Verizon positioned their Pre marketing so as not to internally compete with the Droid. Once you get past that, the Darth Mo logic probably kicked in when Verizon figured out the next best way to gain market share. Still I have to say that their commercials are stupid and insulting to women. If those commercials were targeted at me, I'd be turned off.

    Expanding on Darth Mo's idea. I had been thinking that the Pre2 might could be a low-end (slab device with touchscreen) designed to be sold to the masses as a "free" (or close to free) replacement for their existing phone. That would basically be marketed as "a free iPhone" and they'd sell as many as they could make!
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by sudoer View Post
    As hard as it is for me to accept, I think Darth Mo is raising a valid point here. I'm not sure it's the whole story though. I think Verizon positioned their Pre marketing so as not to internally compete with the Droid. Once you get past that, the Darth Mo logic probably kicked in when Verizon figured out the next best way to gain market share. Still I have to say that their commercials are stupid and insulting to women. If those commercials were targeted at me, I'd be turned off.

    Expanding on Darth Mo's idea. I had been thinking that the Pre2 might could be a low-end (slab device with touchscreen) designed to be sold to the masses as a "free" (or close to free) replacement for their existing phone. That would basically be marketed as "a free iPhone" and they'd sell as many as they could make!
    i disagree with continuing the pre branding for a low end device espescially a slab type instead they should offer a device with pixi internals with a full touch screen body under a new branding
  7.    #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by sudoer View Post
    As hard as it is for me to accept, I think Darth Mo is raising a valid point here. I'm not sure it's the whole story though. I think Verizon positioned their Pre marketing so as not to internally compete with the Droid. Once you get past that, the Darth Mo logic probably kicked in when Verizon figured out the next best way to gain market share. Still I have to say that their commercials are stupid and insulting to women. If those commercials were targeted at me, I'd be turned off.

    Expanding on Darth Mo's idea. I had been thinking that the Pre2 might could be a low-end (slab device with touchscreen) designed to be sold to the masses as a "free" (or close to free) replacement for their existing phone. That would basically be marketed as "a free iPhone" and they'd sell as many as they could make!
    Take a look at the comments at YouTube:



    YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.

    Seems most of the negative views for the ad are people that already own Pres. Well, it's not aimed at them, I guess.

    I think the issue is that most of us here first see the commercials and think they are dumbing down our beloved Pres. But if you view them objectively, they're taking a clever approach saying that women who want to be hip need to get a Pre.

    Even looking back on the creepy lady ads, Palm was taking the same approach at highlighting useful, unique features, but they did a horrible job at it. Distracting, creepy lady spouting off confusing metaphors is no way to woo the masses.

    I know it's not exactly a scientific study, but it's good advertising for people that know nothing about the phone. As far as it being labeled a "chick phone"...eh, I don't think that's such a big deal. Anyone who uses it figures out that's not the case.

    I'm now eagerly anticipating any ads that come after this weekend. Well, mostly because of the WebOS 1.4 on the 15th rumor, but I'm interested to see if drop a couple more "unisex" ads.
  8.    #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by GarrettQ View Post
    this is a valid point. the standard "dumbphone" or "feature phone", doesnt require the data plan. Some people dont need or want the extra fees added to their bill.
    True, I suppose a substantial part of that non-smartphone market will contain people that use their phone only for calls as well as those that flat out refuse to pay more than $40 a month for their cell phone bill.
  9. #9  
    Maybe this is the thinking behind the Mum ads. ie It might have smartphone specs, but it's perfect for Mums (who don't have the reputation for being tech savy) to orgaise their busy lives. (Hold the flames! I did not say they aren't tech savy. )
  10. #10  
    TBH, how many Blackberry users actually use everything that phone line does? Business folks on the go, sure, quite a few do, but they get the phone through work, usually, don't have to pay for service, blah blah. Even most iPhone users I know will tell you they use the phone, the music player, download a lot of apps they never use, and delete for more space for music, and text some on the on-screen keyboard. Apple, do their credit, though, never positioned it as a "smartphone" in that regard. I just does more than a regular phone.......although, there are plenty of little apps you can put on most modern dumbphones. I wouldn't try to sell the majority of my family a smartphone. None of them need it, nor would they use it. My mom is still on Verizon prepaid, with a now four year old phone my sister gave her, and that's exactly what she needs. Simple, good reception and call quality, and that's it.

    Really, 15% is about right. Those of us who actually need the power, speed, application support, everything a smartphone is supposed to do, will get one and use the heck out of it. My oldest friend bought a Droid, and he's selling it. Not necessarily because its a bad phone, but because its way more than he needs, too expensive to replace should it break, a few other reasons. He's going back to a simple-ish dumbphone.

    I don't know that I see the Pre as a true smartphone so much, though it certainly has the features. That's just me, though, I haven't really made the adjustment from Garnet to WinMo to WebOS yet. Mental hazards.
  11. #11  
    Palm is the company that lead the industry in handheld devices...PALM PILOT. They have never made simple "Feature Phones". Why would they downgrade themselves when the smartphone industry is increasing in demand.

    If someone wants a feature phone, they should stick with Nokia, Motorolla, LG, Samsung since they lead in that industry. Palm would not be able to compete with those players in the feature phone business just like those companies can't compete with Palm in Smartphone industry because they are not focusing in that market.

    If you ask me, a merger with one of those companies and Palm would make a powerhouse company that provided smartphones AND feature phones.
    ***I Twitter***

    Stop complaining & start doing ---> Leave feedback/suggestions for Palm here
  12. #12  
    RanGT: I would argue that Nokia, Motorola, and Samsung are all pretty close to Palm, if not ahead in some respects, in the smartphone arena. I prefer the Pre to any other phone out currently, but you'll have quite a few people argue that the Droid, Moment, and many of the Nokia smartphones are "better" smartphones than the Pre.
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by 063_xobx View Post
    i disagree with continuing the pre branding for a low end device espescially a slab type instead they should offer a device with pixi internals with a full touch screen body under a new branding
    You're right. I didn't mean to suggest that it retain the Pre name.
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
  14.    #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by RanGT View Post
    Palm is the company that lead the industry in handheld devices...PALM PILOT. They have never made simple "Feature Phones". Why would they downgrade themselves when the smartphone industry is increasing in demand.
    Simply because the market has changed. They're no longer leaders in the smartphone industry, they're middle of the pack at best. And those competitors are relative giants that will put up some formidable competition. Sometimes you just have to adapt.

    The fact that they've essentially revamped the company top to bottom lends credence to the notion they're moving in another direction...
    Last edited by Darth Mo; 02/10/2010 at 08:16 PM.
  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by RanGT View Post
    Palm is the company that lead the industry in handheld devices...PALM PILOT. They have never made simple "Feature Phones". Why would they downgrade themselves when the smartphone industry is increasing in demand.
    I'm thinking out of the box while your walled in by it. Palm needs two things:
    1. a winner that keeps the company alive
    2. A bigger user base (like they had on PalmOS)

    They can achieve both of these with a simple, entry level device that obsoletes feature and flip phones. It just works (but requires a data plan so the carriers get more ARPU). They could easily sell 5 million of these in a year. This sort of sales volume would stabilize the company and give them a funding source for development of specifically targeted business class devices. I'm not sure they would ever take this strategy, but I would not put it past a company that everyone thought was dead less than a year ago.
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by oddlou View Post
    RanGT: I would argue that Nokia, Motorola, and Samsung are all pretty close to Palm, if not ahead in some respects, in the smartphone arena. I prefer the Pre to any other phone out currently, but you'll have quite a few people argue that the Droid, Moment, and many of the Nokia smartphones are "better" smartphones than the Pre.
    I agree and disagree. They are big names i'll give you that. but i can't name any of their smartphones. it might be just me. also, i can't tell you how they rank with Nokia app store, motorola app store, etc. Having an app store is key to being a smartphone leader. Thus, since Palm putting focus on their app store...another reason Palm would be a good company to buy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Mo View Post
    Simply because the market has changed. They're no longer leaders in the smartphone industry, they're middle of the pack at best. Sometimes you just have to adapt.

    The fact that they've essentially revamped the company top to bottom lends credence to the notion they're moving in another direction...
    I agree. but OP was saying why Palm had to make webos/smartphone. i wanted to point out they are a company that focuses on smartphone and not feature phones, thus, they would not make one now.
    ***I Twitter***

    Stop complaining & start doing ---> Leave feedback/suggestions for Palm here
  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by RanGT View Post
    I agree. but OP was saying ...
    The dude you just said that to was the OP!
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by sudoer View Post
    The dude you just said that to was the OP!
    I have twitter, precentral forum, formspring and tumblr tabs open...i can't keep up with all these avatars :-P

    I wasn't sure if we were talking about takeover or why palm had to be smartphone...just just wanted to bring convo back.

    to be honest, even tho Pre is SMARTphone...i think it is GREAT for anyone. I mean, we have so many HS kids here in forums rocking the pre. iPhone and Pre are just so intuitive...way more than Android, thus, average person will find it so friendly to use.

    its usually the people who say they only want a phone for phone use...are the ones that LOVE browsing and email on their phone. opens their minds up to where our world is and that is with handheld devices doing what our computers can do.
    ***I Twitter***

    Stop complaining & start doing ---> Leave feedback/suggestions for Palm here
  19. #19  
    That's why Darth Mo and I are both speculating that Palm just wants everyday people to start adopting the Pre and/or WebOS. We're just trying to figure out what the tea leaves are saying. I think Palm needs market share to stay in the game and test marketing the Pre as "easy for mothers" (extensible to "easy for anybody") will let them know whether the strategy is usable on their next phone.
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
  20. #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by RanGT View Post
    to be honest, even tho Pre is SMARTphone...i think it is GREAT for anyone. I mean, we have so many HS kids here in forums rocking the pre. iPhone and Pre are just so intuitive...way more than Android, thus, average person will find it so friendly to use.

    its usually the people who say they only want a phone for phone use...are the ones that LOVE browsing and email on their phone. opens their minds up to where our world is and that is with handheld devices doing what our computers can do.
    Yep. I started out on the dumbest of dumbphones, Motorola bag phone without the battery option. Forget how much that thing cost........but just a phone. Kept that up, didn't get my first "smartphone", I forget when....ten years ago? Something like that. Never looked back, once I figured out everything I could do with it. That's one of the nice things I can say about the Pre, Palm did an awesome job on the OS, much easier to figure out than Garnet, and that OS was easy. Still is, really. I'll stand by what I said before, though........sure, lots of kids are buying iPhones, not because they're a smartphone (which is rather debatable) but because they're cool. Only a small percentage of them use it to the full potential.

    There's going to be a small revolution in the smartphone world here, sometime soon. All that tech is tricking down into $100 phones, there's fewer and fewer dumbphones that are primarily phones with a simple WAP browser, companies like Palm and RIM are gonna have a hard time convincing people that a Pre or a Blackberry is a better device, when it doesn't look much different (unlike 5 years ago when a QWERTY on a phone was a radical idea), the midrange feature phone packs a music player, keyboard, installable games.......what do you need a $550 phone for, when the one Verizon is giving away for free does all that fairly well?
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