20 Reasons Why I’m Leaving My iPhone for the Palm Pre

Having been an iPhone owner since it launched in June of 2007, many who know me assumed that I would be upgrading to future releases of the iPhone.  (After all, isn’t that what an Apple Fanboy would do?).

I skipped the iPhone 3G.  And although there are some pains associated with not having some of the features, I am sure that I made the right decision.  There are few differences between the iPhone 2G and 3G.  The cases are slightly different — the 2G shedding the silver backing for a shiny plastic one with the 3G.  The only other differences are a GPS radio, connectivity to the AT&T 3G network, a 16GB version and a non-recessed headphone jack.  Everything else is practically the same.  Same processor, same architecture — same everything.  None of these additions were tantalizing enough to make me consider extending my AT&T contract another two years.

In December when Palm sent around teasers to the technology press inviting them out to experience “Palm’s Newness”, I was intrigued.  But I never even considered the thought that anything they would have to say would make me consider leaving what has been a great experience with my current iPhone.

That was until I watched the keynote.

I watched the entire hour long keynote when I got home after the presentation – twice.  At first, I was simply impressed.  I didn’t expect much from Palm and any device that pushes the envelope and gives other competitors a reason to stay on their toes and not play it safe benefits us all.  And certainly with the announcement of the Pre, Palm was doing just that.

In the weeks that would follow after watching countless hands-on videos and imagining the possibilities, I began to consider the phone more and more.  (I’m at the point now where I can probably do the demo that they have scripted for the press myself.)

Make no mistake about it — barring any monumental announcement made by Apple between now and June 29, the Palm Pre will be my next phone.  And having made that decision, I realize that potentially there’s a lot that I’m losing.  But for me, there’s so much more that I believe I’ll be gaining.

Before I get into the reasons why I’m probably going to buy the Pre, I want to state that it has nothing to do with some flaw or huge dissatisfaction in my iPhone experience.  There are areas with my iPhone where I feel that I could have been better served.  But overall, I have never had as seamless an experience as I have had with this device.  All of my data (provided I have a connection to the web) is in one central location.  My music, pictures, emails, contacts and calendar are all replicated from my PC on my phone.  The battery life could be better, but considering how much I use it as my primary media player, I really can’t complain.

Also, before reading the list, please consider the fact that I would be coming from the 2G version of the iPhone to any 3G device (Palm Pre or iPhone 3G).  There are some benefits that I’d gain by simply buying a 3G device.  But casting aside the iPhone 3G, everyone knows that the smart money says between now and June, Apple will announce the next version of the iPhone.  So this is a decision I’m making having not seen the next iPhone.  If Apple addresses many of the benefits I outline here having observed the Pre, my decision could change.  However, looking at the iPhone 3.0 press conference, I don’t think it will.  Regardless of how improved the new iPhone’s hardware is and whether it has twice or three times the existing memory or a forward-facing camera or any of the other rumors I’ve heard, my concerns are largely with the software and the overall experience.  The 3.0 press conference didn’t impress me at all.  The benefits discussed were largely targeted towards developers, with a few bones tossed out to consumers like “Cut and Paste” and “Search”.

But I need to preface this discussion by saying that I am rather pleased with my current phone.  The iPhone is still a revolutionary device when compared to other phones, and this is without any of the benefits brought in by the App Store.  The addition of applications last year has really expanded the ability of the device and I would recommend the iPhone to almost anyone looking for a great multimedia phone.

So why the switch?  (So glad you asked.)

As mentioned, I’ve been watching just about every video and every demo available on the web about the Pre.  During that time, I did

what I normally do before I make a technology buying decision — I make a list.  (Actually, I do this before I make any big decision — tech purchase or otherwise.)  I pull out a legal pad and I create a list with two columns: benefits and negatives.  I give myself a certain target number of benefits and based on whether or not I can name enough benefits, I either buy/don’t buy.  The bigger the decision, the higher the number of benefits I have to come up with.  I also put together a list of negatives.  For the Pre decision, I set my benefits at “20” — that is, twenty features that I’ve noticed and which I perceive as an improvement over my current experience.

While this isn’t the most scientific approach, it has led to me making fewer decisions based solely on a whim.  If there isn’t much of a reason to buy a product, looking at the slim “benefits” column often makes that amazingly clear.  At the same time, I’ve bought items for which I’ve been able to name twenty-five to fifty benefits, only to discover that the list was useless because the features don’t work as advertised.

With that said, I’ll share my list of reasons why I’m willing to step away from a decent phone experience and try something new:


1. The Keyboard – I am not as dramatic as other folks are about the iPhone not having a physical keyboard.  Honestly, I type just fine with the on-screen keyboard.  However, there are many tasks which lend themselves to having a keyboard.  Search is one of them.  Often with my iPhone I’ll decide that I want to make a call.  With the iPhone this involves me pushing the green phone app button, then hitting the favorites button (if it’s someone I call who I’ve designated to my “Favorites”).  But most of the time I have to scroll through the contacts, etc., remembering the person’s last name just to be able to dial them.  In short, it isn’t as easy as it should be.

With the Pre, it appears as if all I need to do is slide down the keyboard, then type, “Dwa” and after my friend Dwan’s name comes up, put my finger on his phone number or e-mail address and I’m dialing.

There are many other instances where a keyboard just makes for a better experience.  With the iPhone, the phone determines when you need to have a keyboard available.  With a slide down keyboard, it’s always there.  Much of the implementation is up to Palm, but I see the possibilities.  Control and “F” might switch to a “find” mode where you can type to search for text within the currently displayed document.  How about just pushing and holding a key to dial a contact (a feature that I had on many older phones and miss.)  The possibility for functionality improvements with this device having a keyboard are limitless.  But much of whether this is realized is dependent on how Palm implements the OS.

2. Built-In Search – When I eagerly watched the iPhone 3.0 presentation, I walked away severely disappointed.  Jumping from 2.0 to 3.0 should make this a major release.  But it really isn’t.  There are a few features that are added – some of which had already been promised before (like the management of notifications for other applications.)  iPhone 3.0 feels much more like a 2.5 release than 3.0.

One of the features that they did add was search.  Sadly, looking at how it was implemented, it feels rather tacked-on.  The way that Palm handles search ironically reminds me of how Mac OS X handles it.  In OS X, I go to the Spotlight icon and just start typing and the computer searches all of the data that’s on my hard drive.  With the iPhone, I’m sliding to the first page and typing in the search area.  Not bad, but just sliding down the keyboard and typing to search is a lot more intuitive and I can see it leading to a much faster experience.

However, what’s more important is the way that the software handles the search results.  When you begin to type, the Pre searches the device’s local memory first.  For instance, I may begin by typing, “Lowe” and I’ll get my colleague “Chris Lowe”.  However, if it was the Lowe’s Hardware Store in Westbury, NY that I wanted, I can keep typing.  Since no local matches are found, it presents the choices of searching on either Wikipedia, Google or via Google Maps.  While this seems simple, I think it’s incredibly elegant and trendy that the developers thought to include the Web-based tools which are most common to users.  And while I might be getting ahead of myself a bit, looking at the search window reveals room for other choices.  Perhaps in a year something will come along that will eclipse Wikipedia?  Or maybe another search company will develop something that will rival Google?  I can totally see the ability to change these items to display whatever search choices are the most popular.

These are design decisions that make this device seem even more hip and forward thinking than most other devices available now.

3. The Notification System – While I don’t have many complaints about the iPhone, one area that drives me insane is the notification system.  If you receive a call or a text while in the middle of another task (let’s say, searching the web or writing in the Memo application), the phone brings up a very intrusive overlay on screen.  Let’s say I was looking at some news on Engadget and a friend called.  The phone will gently fade away my current screen and bring up the phone screen with the number of the caller (and name, if I have it stored in my contacts) as well as the buttons for “Answer” and “Decline”.  Sounds basic enough.  However, what if I was in the middle of commenting on a post?  Or downloading a song?  This can get very frustrating at times.

The way that the Pre handles notifications is much more elegant.  (See the “Lauren Knox” e-mail notification to the right while the user was on the phone.) For instance, if I am going to make a call, as in the image to the right and an e-mail comes in to the phone, it simply displays the notification below my task.  This is the same behavior regardless of whether it’s an SMS, calendar notification, chat, etc.  The phone allows me to continue what I’m doing until I’m ready to respond to the notification.  It’s easy to dismiss it and then handle it when you’re done.  Sounds basic, but this is such a huge win over the current iPhone notification system.

What’s most troubling about the iPhone 3.0’s notification system is that it appears as if the obtrusive notifications are going to get worse in 3.0.  Apple is going to allow 3rd Party developers to send notifications to the phone via their ‘Push’ system.  It looks like every time an application gets an update or wants to let you know that you got some new data, you’ll get these overlay interruptions.  Imagine how many times this prompt will display if you’re using a Twitter app?  Wouldn’t it be more elegant to have Twitter notifications displayed in the status bar below, if anywhere?

4. Local Access to Files – It’s funny – I thought that this would have been implemented on the iPhone by now, but no where is Apple’s death grip on the phone more evident than when you want to do something simple like keep a document on the phone.  There are some 3rd party applications that allow for saving of documents or retrieving of documents over the web.  But I still find it incredibly draconian that you can’t simply drag a file to the phone to store it and access it when you want.  If it’s not a song or a movie that’s specifically in iTunes, forget it (unless you jailbreak the phone.)

With the Pre, we’ve been promised direct access to the phone’s (paltry) 8GB of storage.

5. A Better 3G Network (with hints at a 4G Network!) – With my iPhone 2G, any increase in broadband speed is an improvement over the EDGE network.  However, I’ve spent time playing with iPhones on the AT&T 3G network.  Like any other network, the performance varies depending on the area that you’re accessing the network from.  However, I live and work in the NYC tri-state area and during Gizmodo’s most recent test of wireless broadband networks, Sprint was revealed to be far and away the better 3G/EVDO provider (particularly in New York City.)  Most of the heavy lifting I do with my iPhone I do at home on Wi-Fi, mostly because I’m forced to.  And when Wi-Fi is available when I’m on the road, I feel like a king.  But I’d like to use the phone not worrying about getting connected to Starbucks’ or AT&T’s 802.11 network.  I’d like to just connect wherever I am.

Couple this with the fact that Sprint is talking about the implementation of a 4G network and I’m liking what I’m hearing from what might be my new mobile phone provider.

6. Less Closed/More Open – This was touched on a bit with regard to the Pre’s search, but one thing you notice when looking at the Pre is that Palm and Sprint are leveraging the existing leaders in web technology for much of their phone’s features.  The interface reveals interaction with Facebook, LinkedIn, Google/Gmail/Google Maps and Wikipedia.  This is a promising sign for the future.  While there are no indications as to how much Palm will support the phone once we’ve paid our hard earned money for the device and signed our lives on the line with Sprint, I can totally see partnerships with more companies that will become the Twitters and the Googles of 2010 and 2011.

The iPhone approach is to give you an app that handles the task.  And for the most part, this has been nice.  However, it seems more enticing to me to let the big players have a more prominent role in the OS.  Not everything should be handled with a 3rd party app.

Even with the iPhone’s vast application library, Apple has been very selective with regard to the approval process for applications.  While I like the idea of them being selective, this closed approach has hurt the progress of the phone.  Safari and the iPod app are pretty good, but I am sure that there are companies who can develop something that might work a bit better, or maybe even just differently.  Apple isn’t letting any companies develop browsers or music players to compete with Safari or the iPod app.

Maybe Sprint/Palm will do some of the same things, but I can’t see them being this controlling.

7. Multi-tasking – If I had to choose a single aspect of the phone that would improve my experience, this would be it.  The iPhone experience is a very siloed approach.  The most multi-tasking that I’ve been able to do is listen to music and do one other thing.  Often I find that while I’m writing an e-mail that I’d like to check something in a web page.  The notion of moving from the e-mail app, sliding through the pages to get to Safari and then going back to the e-mail application can be clumsy.  Palm’s “card” approach where multiple applications are running at the same time appears to be a more useful approach to fast-application switching.

One huge caveat with the Palm Pre is the fact that this phone hasn’t been stress tested yet.  For all intents and purposes, these devices are essentially little computers.  With my iPhone, Safari is always crashing, but powering down my phone and turning it on will resolve the crashes.  Basically, the iPhone, like most devices with limited memory, suffers from memory leakage.  (Memory leakage is when applications use the available system memory and after they are closed, never release the memory back into the OS for other apps to use.  Rebooting releases the memory.)  There’s no reason to think that this won’t be the case – or even worse – with the Pre.  But we’ll see.

Also, all of this multi-tasking could prove to be a huge draw on the phone’s battery life and performance.

8. Synergy  – Innovative Approach to Contact Management – Here’s another one to be filed under the category, “…if Palm can implement this properly”, but one of the things that really and truly impressed me and let me know that this was a forward-thinking design was the way they talked about contact management.  Since I owned my very first mobile phone, the process of moving contacts from one device to another has always been punishing.  It’s gotten easier over the years, but Palm’s approach may make it flawless.

Palm’s approach to contact management (and calendar and e-mail management) they are labeling “Synergy”.  But unlike the 90s business buzz-word, this actually means something.  The Pre will allow you to log into other social networking sites like LinkedIn and Facebook, but also your Exchange account and presumably other sources of contact data and pull all of the data from those places into one place.  They also make claims of being able to insure that duplicates aren’t listed.  So, if you have Bill Cosby in Facebook and he happens to also work at your job and you have him in Exchange, somehow the system will pull that data under the same profile.  Look to the right — “Elizabeth Reinhardt” has an Exchange profile, but the phone also links her Gmail contact here… and delightfully there’s a button to “Link more profiles”.

The advantages to something like this (provided it works) are incredible.  For one, the ability to have your contacts who have pictures on Facebook and other sites have their picture show up in your contacts is worth the price of admission alone.  But to be able to pull all of that data in seems almost impossible.  While I want to believe this works as seamlessly as they claim, I’ll believe it when I see it.

But there are other problems even if this ends up working as advertised.  What if I don’t want all of my Facebook contacts in my address book?  Many of those are folks who I knew a long time ago and although I appreciate the fact that we are in contact, I don’t necessarily plan on calling them.  And then there’s the fact that I don’t like having my number on a place like Facebook.  Forget it.  I want to have a Facebook profile that’s open and viewable (to me, there’s nothing worse than clicking on someone’s profile and not knowing if that’s the person until you “friend” them.)  But they’ll never get my number from Facebook.  Or from LinkedIn for that matter either.  E-mail is another matter – perhaps I’ll share e-mail.  But not phone numbers.

Synergy appears to be a neat and revolutionary idea, but I need to see how this works in real case uses to determine how practical it actually is.

9. A Better Camera – I also am not one of these iPhone people who complains about how bad the camera is.  Very few point and shoot cameras take great pictures indoors.  The iPhone camera, just like any other phone based camera, is suitable.  It isn’t perfect, but it is available during opportune moments, and it has served me quite well.

But it’s always nice to upgrade.  And the camera on the Pre is alleged to have several improvements over standard phone cameras.  While they don’t have a way to zoom, they have built in software that is supposed to make focusing easy.  It’s a 3-Megapixel camera and it has an LED flash.  I tend not to like taking pictures with flash, but everything else sounds like an upgrade over what I already have.  And that’s a good thing.

10.  A Better Speaker/Speakerphone – I don’t use my iPhone’s built in speaker that often.  (When you have a headset or a pair of headphones, why disturb the rest of the world with your phone call or your music?)  But the few times that I have wanted to share a video with a bunch of friends crowded around the device, it was painfully obvious that the speaker was pretty bad.  And considering the size of the phone, that’s not something that I should really be complaining about.  (Just the other day, I wanted to show a friend the “Tap Tap – Coldplay Edition” game and the only way to really appreciate the game was to give my friend the device with my headphones.  Otherwise the music sounded horrible.)

Palm puts a bigger speaker on the back of the phone’s case.  The folks who have held it (and that’s a small group) have reported that the sound is loud and the quality is good.  Perhaps it will be incrementally better than what I have, but I’m thinking with a bigger speaker that perhaps the sound will be more full than the current iPhone speaker.

11.  Gesture Bar – Smudges – The Pre has a 3.1 inch screen, but the actual touch area extends below the viewable screen into the area where the “Center button” is.  (Apple calls their button the “Home” button).  So why is this important?  Well, clearly with a touch device, you’re going to need to put your grubby little fingers on the screen at some time.  And boy does that smudge up the display.  With a gesture area below the display, there is less need to swipe the screen.  This isn’t actually that big an advantage since much of the gestures Palm demoed require actually touching the display.  But anything where I’m touching the screen less is an advantage.

I’m also thinking that if handled properly, perhaps creative gestures can be used to avoid having to touch the display quite so much.  (But this is up to Palm.)

Touchstone 12.  Touchstone Charging – We don’t know what the phone will cost (or for that matter what the accessories will cost), but Touchstone is an awesome addition.  Touchstone is a small circular base that will magnetically hold the phone in place and charge the device without having to plug the Micro USB cable into the phone.  (The Micro USB plugs into the Touchstone.)  Also, the Pre will automatically recognize that it’s on Touchstone and function accordingly.  For instance, if you are speaking on the phone and you put it on the base, it will change from a call through the receiver into a speakerphone call.  And when you lift the phone, it switches back.  Also, if the phone is resting on Touchstone and it rings, you can see who’s calling and when you pick it up, the phone will automatically answer.  Pretty neat.

If this accessory is ridiculously expensive (and by that I mean anything more than $99), they can forget it.  But if they get reasonable with the pricing of this thing, I can see myself buying a few of them.

13.  Removable BatteryAnother complaint people have made en masse of the iPhone has been with regard to replacing the battery.  (The iPhone is designed such that it isn’t easy to open.  To replace the battery, it’s usually easier to just take the phone to Apple.)  Bear in mind that I’ve been heavily using the phone on a daily basis to play at least 3-6 hours worth of music and podcasts, not to mention three or so calls a day plus the occasional movie.  I have yet to see an appreciable decrease in overall battery performance since 2007.  And when I do, the $99 charge to replace the battery would be acceptable.

At the same time, it is a rather nice prospect to be able to replace your own battery.  One of the best things I ever did with my Moto Q was get the extended battery.  I had an awesome amount of standby time, so much that I could make it 3-4 days without a charge.  (Then again, I wasn’t playing music or watching video on that phone.)  If innovations are made regarding a better battery, it’s great to know that I’ll be able to swap it out.

14.  Combined MessagingI kind of chuckle at my Blackberry friends (misguided as they are, but you gotta love em) when they talk about sharing their pin number with other Blackberry users so that they can direct message each other.  Oh great – another walled garden.  Just what we need.  Palm’s approach (and the iPhone’s approach, for that matter) has been to support more open standards.  Why create another standard with regard to inter/intra-device operation?  Why not simply adopt a standard that people are already using?  Part of the reason why SMS is so great is because it doesn’t matter what service or phone you’re on – you can message someone.

What’s great about the Palm Pre is that the design appreciates the fact that you are going to have conversations with people that span over different mediums.  I may talk to my friend William via our Exchange messaging system and then when we leave work, I may send him an SMS message.  Then when he gets home he may replay to me in Gmail via Google Talk.  The Pre is making an attempt to keep the entire thread of this type of conversation in one place.  A bold attempt, yes, but I like they way that they’re thinking.  And having watched the demo, they just might pull it off.

15.  Ergonomic DesignInitially when I saw the Pre, I wasn’t that thrilled with the shape of the device.  Palm says that the design was “inspired by nature” and they likened it to “the shape of a stone”.  The phone seems a little chunky at first glance, but that was until I saw it being demoed.  I haven’t held it yet, but it looks to be just the right size.  However, it wasn’t until I watched another demo that I understood why the size had to be the way it is.  When the phone opens to display the keyboard, it takes on a very usable and elegant form.  This is a perfect design not only for typing on the device, but for holding the phone to your ear.

The nice thing about the flip-phone design was that it could still be small in size, yet when it opens it works much more like a traditional phone – separating the mouthpiece and the speaker for easy talking.  Candy bar-shaped phones benefit from having all of their information displayed typically on a larger screen and without having to open the phone to see the display.  Yet with a candy bar phone, the mouthpiece doesn’t quite make it close enough to the user’s mouth.  (Consequently, you see those people who feel the need to alternate between moving the phone between their ear and mouth when speaking. Ugh.)

Slim When the Pre expands, the curve of the phone seems like it would be the perfect fit for a comfortable call.  It curves to find it’s way around your head from your ear to your mouth.  Maybe it won’t be so “perfect” once I use it, but even with my iPhone, this has been a constant concern.  (Hey, can you hear me ok?) Or maybe it’s just my mobile phone service?  Which brings me to my next point…

16.  Anything is better than AT&T’s Phone Service – AT&T was my first phone carrier back in the mid 90s and I laugh when I think back to those days.  It was a marvel that any of us were able to make calls back then with so few towers in existence.  But even then, there was a stark difference between my AT&T service and people who had service on other carriers (namely Bell Atlantic Mobile, which became Verizon).  I would be so certain that I’d miss calls that walk down the street holding the phone between my thumb and forefinger out in front of me… and still end up hearing the voicemail signal for a call that came to me but never rang.

I was a Verizon Wireless customer for five years.  And having used four different devices on their service, I must say that their phone network is exemplary.  I almost never dropped a call.  Never. I would make hour long conference calls in my car driving from Queens, New York to Central New Jersey over bridges and at speeds of 65 mph and my clients would never know that I wasn’t in my office until I told them.  Now, that’s service.  Now while I don’t quite know how well this stands up to Sprint’s service, I’m told by their customers that it’s similar.  (I sort of have a bias towards CDMA Networks like Verizon and Sprint…  I don’t know why, but they tend to have better coverage for customers that I speak to who are based in the East.)

Another thing I won’t miss (and this isn’t AT&T or Apple’s fault – just a fault of the technology, I guess) is the incessant GSM buzz that haunts me whenever my device gets close to another electronic device.

17.  Just the Web, PleaseWhen I think about all of the applications that I have downloaded over the past year with my iPhone, I’d honestly have to say that only about a tenth of them are truly regularly used.  Many of them are novelty apps (Lightsaber, Flashlight, Beer drinking simulator) and some of them are great games (Trism).  But many of them are “just in case” applications.  If I ever needed an app to convert measuring standards, I’ve got one.  If I ever wanted to check to see what theaters are available within my GPS-positioned location, I’ve got an app for that too.  But many of these tasks are already done well on the Web.  Often times I’ve wished for less apps and an overall improved Web experience.  If Safari didn’t crash quite so much, I’d be less concerned about applications and more focused on just getting information.  I never understood apps like the multiple Wikipedia apps.  If the web experience works well, I shouldn’t need to have a Wikipedia application.  Even something like Facebook (which has a popular app that I use) is a culprit.  I’d spend less time in the app if I had a browser that was more stable.  I’d just go to the site.

I have no reason to think that the Pre experience is going to be any better.  The Pre browser is based on the same Webkit browser that the iPhone uses.  However, the Pre uses a different processor.  I’m hoping that this coupled with the Pre’s new architecture (which is supposed to be designed for multi-tasking) equals a more stable experience.

I appreciate apps, but I’m hoping for a better web experience.

18.  Mojo SDK = Good apps? – With all of the advertisement dollars and marketing that’s been put into the iPhone’s App Store, I don’t see any device competing on the same level at this point in the game.  That goes for any competing store – Palm included.  But just as I mentioned above, just having a massive quantity of apps doesn’t insure a good experience.

Many people think of the iPhone as this great game machine.  I enjoy some of the games.  However, the lack of a tactile button controller will keep it from being a real gaming experience for me (other than maybe puzzle or card-based games.)

So far there have been only a few applications that I’ve seen Palm show from 3rd party developers and all three were solid.  Naturally Palm is they are exhibiting the best that the development community has to offer, but the FlightView application alone impressed me.  (I’m trying to find out whether they have a similar app on the App Store.)

Palm CEO Ed Colligan made a point of saying that the phone was easy to develop for.  At CES he stressed the fact that if you could develop in HTML, CSS, JavaScript that you could develop for the phone.  I am not sure what kind of apps we’ll end up seeing, but I am certainly not concerned about the quantity of applications.  I’m just hoping for quality applications like FlightView.

19.  Google Chat Built-In – This was mentioned a bit earlier, but it deserves it’s own benefit line for me.  I use Gmail more than any other application – desktop or otherwise.  It seems as if just about 90% of my friends and family are on Gmail.  Being able to see their status on Gmail Talk (the Pre shows the availability status with the red/green/gray/yellow indicator light) is huge for me.  There are a few 3rd party chat applications for the iPhone, but I’m looking for a chat experience that is integrated within the OS.  This feature looks like exactly what I wanted.

20.  “Phone as a Laptop Modem”? – This last one is very dubious, but I’m only reading what’s available on the Palm website.  Given all that the iPhone and the Palm Pre offer, there are only two features that keep either of these from being my dream device.  The first is having Flash native on the phone.  (This seems like it might never happen, but I’m still hoping, regardless of what platform it’s on).  The other feature is being able to tether my device to my computer for the Internet access.  What a wonderful world this would be if I could just use the Internet access I’m already paying for on the phone to get Internet access on my computer.  I’d pay $99 a month for that.  There are many times when I have my laptop at a meeting but just need to access the outside world.

Well… on the Palm website (http://www.palm.com/us/products/phones/pre/index.html#tab2) there’s a line that says, “Bluetooth Tethering – Phone as a laptop modem.”  I’m sure that Sprint is going to charge extra for this.  However, if this comes at a reasonable price, I will be one happy camper.  (And by reasonable, I consider no more than $30 bucks extra… and even THAT is a bit much.)


There were quite a bit more points that I had on my list, but many of those were personal points (e.g. There’s a Sprint store on my way to work – easy to pay the bill.  I have family members that are on Sprint.  etc.)  However the above points are the critical features which stand right now as my primary decision making factors for the switch.

However, it’s not without hesitation that I make this switch…

I can’t stress enough how pleased I have been with my iPhone.  Usually at this point – the end of my two year mobile phone contract – I’m itching to get another device.  Yet if I were forced to stay within AT&T, I’d have no problem signing up with the iPhone for another two years.

There’s a whole separate list – the dark list – of about ten or so concerns with my move… There are many features which I have now that I’m taking for granted and will only realize how valuable they were when I don’t have them anymore…  Things like the simplicity of having everything backed up and synched in one great application (iTunes).  Or the fact that Apple has a tradition of adding value to the phone with these OS upgrades like 3.0 that bring the entire community up to the same level.  All of these courtesies that I am sure that I’m taking for granted make me a little more cautious about the move.  Nonetheless, I’m anxiously looking forward to the announcement of the formal release date and the pricing for the Pre.  I’m also anticipating what Apple will announce in May or June regarding the iPhone’s future.

One consolation that I have is that I’ll be able to continue to use my iPhone as an iPod Touch.  And for that matter, I might just go out and buy an iPod Touch with more memory.  But I’m hoping that the Pre can serve as my all-in-one device to simplify my life as my iPhone has for the past two years.

99 Responses to “20 Reasons Why I’m Leaving My iPhone for the Palm Pre”

  1. 1 Kevin
    April 14, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    Well Palm has never released a product that wasn’t really buggy so I don’t expect the Pre to be any different. I certainly wouldn’t want to jump ship from a stable platform like the iPhone to an unproven and possibly buggy one. Maybe after a few updates the pre will be solid. But a lot of this is pure speculation at this point. I’ll reserve my final judgement after the Pre is realsed and the new iphones are announced. BTW – I have both AT&T and Sprint so I am ready for whatever comes my way!

    • 2 Q
      April 23, 2009 at 5:34 pm

      While some of Palm’s products have had bugs–including some significant ones like the 700p–they’ve also released some that have been fine. The Treo 680 I’m on right now comes to mind.

      And Palm has had some major shifts in management–most notably when they got money from Elevation Partners, Elevation brought in Jon Rubinstein. He’s been profiled in many media articles, including the New York Times, as a stickler for QC.

      And as if Palm needed it, they saw an object lesson in poor product launches when the BlackBerry Storm came out.

      • 3 Q
        April 23, 2009 at 5:36 pm

        Typing too fast there–I meant to include that Rubinstein was a former Apple honcho during the development of the iMac, iPod, and the original iPhone.

    • 4 Jimmy
      May 18, 2009 at 3:07 pm

      it looks like, per the wire, that the Pre is launching the first week of June!

      I cannot wait to dump my blackberry and 2 iphones.

  2. 5 rob
    April 14, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    lol, yeah leave the iPhone for the unknown. You’re right, the iPhone sucks, lol. Don’t let the door hit you in the a$$.

    • April 14, 2009 at 4:16 pm

      Ah, maturity….

      Clearly you didn’t read the post or else you’d know that I have had nothing but great things to say about the iPhone.

      However, there’s something special about WebOS… and something that you’ll probably realize once the press tells you it’s ok to show praise to it.

  3. 7 Dave
    April 14, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    That is a very well thought out list. My satisfaction with the web experience skyrocketed when I switched to the 3G, and I got myself on the developer list and am now using the 3.0 firmware. I am VERY fortunate that where I live in Hawaii is very well served by ATT. When I go back to Tennessee my iPhone becomes a lot less reliable thanks to the poor coverage by ATT. And this is in Franklin, TN – hardly a backwater. I had been with Verizon forever and had real misgivings about giving them up, but honestly, didn’t miss them at all.

    That touchstone thing does look awesome beyond belief and the form factor looks intriguing. I’m a Mac guy from way back but always thought, “what I really want is a cell phone that makes reliable calls.” I didn’t care about cameras or texting or anything like that. Now I’m completely hooked on the iPhone and find it getting better continually. About 99% percent of my day to day “life” is manged in the iphone and I can’t imagine a better traveling device. That being said, I hope some of the Pre’s innovattions will eventually make it over to the iPhone.

  4. 8 Paul
    April 14, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    So the palm pre has been released or you will be going phoneless till it comes out?

    I don’t think dropping a phone because of the ‘potential’ of a yet to be released phone is wise at all. Seems pretty naive to suck up a companies promos/promises and turn that into an imaginary product. When it’s released and does what they say it will do then the iPhone finally has some competition and we’ll see what the iPhone adds in June.

  5. April 15, 2009 at 12:10 am

    Kevin – you’re hardcore with *two* mobile phone providers.

    I agree with all of the posts that at this point it’s not been tested except for a few touches at Mobile World Congress, CTIA and CES. I’m kind of assuming that it will be ready for prime time. This is Palm’s LAST shot pretty much. If this thing comes out with any issues, Palm can pretty much forget it. As it is, they had to borrow to continue development of this device.

    My decision is based on the critical functionality choices that they’ve made. Most of these make the phone significantly more usable. I think a lot of folks will see that when the phone releases. And the truth of the matter is that this is good for everyone. Competition is what is going to lead to us getting better handsets ultimately. I think Apple believed that they could play it safe with the Storm being a bust and with the Instinct specifically targeting the iPhone and not coming close to even being a blip on the radar.

    Either we’ll look back in a year and see that I’ve got another year on a contract that I wish I could get out and will have made a major mistake, or at CES we’ll see some of these design choices make their way into other devices.

  6. April 15, 2009 at 12:24 am

    Dave – thanks. I thought long and hard about the decision and the post is the result of more thought about this than I care to admit.

    It’s funny – I do miss my Verizon service too (as I eluded to) but strangely enough about 50% of my usage is with the web functionality – maybe more.

    Regarding the features like Touchstone making it over to the iPhone, I’m SURE that the folks in Cupertino have some things in their underground lair that similar to what we’re seeing from Palm. Also, I’m sure that they are re-thinking the way that the next generation iPhone OS will look and work. However, I don’t think we’ll see the real innovation until the release after this one. And that’s at least for another year if not more.

  7. April 15, 2009 at 12:33 am

    Paul – No, the Pre hasn’t been released yet. And no, I’m not going “phoneless” until it releases. As mentioned, my iPhone is serving me just well as it has for the past two years. I can’t get out of the contract until June 29, so chances are that I’ll get to see how people react to this phone as well as what the new iPhone looks like, as its announcement is close as well.

    This isn’t an imaginary phone or a prototype. I’ve been tracking it’s progress via PreThinking, MyPre as well as Engadget and Gizmodo and they’re really close. Reports are out that the Sprint sales personnel has been instructed about when they can take vacation over the next two months. Also, they’re supposed to be training on the phone now. The Pre is probably weeks if not days away from being ready for production and I’m sure my decision will make a lot more sense once the phone releases.

    The funny thing about many of the criticisms I’ve received were the same criticisms I received on this very same site when I said the same thing about taking a chance on the iPhone 2 years ago. 🙂 Not at all saying that Palm will enjoy even a third of the success that Apple has with the iPhone, but I am sure that this phone is going to surprise people.

  8. 12 sheree'
    April 15, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    So you’re saying you won’t miss the ifart application?

  9. 13 Josh
    April 22, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    This is a great article! I hope you don’t mind but I’ve been linking it on several messages boards and retweeting the heck out of it.

  10. 14 Katie
    April 22, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    I have Sprint HTC Touch Pro, and people would ask me “hey is that a sidekick?!” all the time.

    I’m expecting people to say “hey is that the new iPhone?” when I get my Pre…

  11. 15 RB
    April 22, 2009 at 3:10 pm


    A fantastic article! I too have had AT&T as my carrier for a very long time, and, I STILL get frustrated with dropped calls and I have a new phone (a Blackberry Bold) and I live in a large suburb of Dallas, so I should have stellar tower coverage. I have never had Verizon, but, I hear the phone coverage is great. My only concern, based on what I have read, is Sprint’s viability in the long term. They continue to lose subscribers, and, frankly, based on how their customer service treated a good friend of mine (a 10 year customer), I know why folks are leaving in droves.. Now what I’d like to see is a good comparison of the Blackberry Bold vs. the Pre 🙂

    • 16 Jimmy
      May 18, 2009 at 1:52 pm

      Sprint had customer care issues in the past but perception lags reality. They are now surpassing their competitors in first call resolution, customer satisfaction etc. since they merged their back office apps into a single application that deals with all customer interactions (activation, billing, changing fons etc). No other company has a single application in the care centers to do this. the result is that I can now call Sprint and have my issue resolved with one call in just minutes.

      I cannot tell you how pleased I have been with their new care model!

      • 17 Jimmy
        May 18, 2009 at 1:54 pm

        I have 1 sprint fon and 2 att fons including an IPhone, and i and my kids cannot wait for the Palm Pre….as we are switching all of them…

  12. 18 Rwalford79
    April 22, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    Nice points on the PRE – I mean, these are some of the few things I knew the phone had, or could do. While I personally dislike PALM for all it is, and will likely never use them (too many experiences with friends Treo 700-750s) since they are crap…The webOS might be something better, and might be more great in a different phone. I am biased against PALM built phones, I love my “misguided” BlackBerry RIM built phones more.

    As for people dissing you and bragging on and on about how fantastic the iPhone is, break the iPhone down – It all boils down to Apps. If the apps werent there, and the phone was a standard out of the gate Smartphone, which is better? Palm, Apple, RIM, Windows? Id have to say probably RIM, Windows and Symbian (god I hate Symbian too) are all better then Apple. People are still in honeymoon with something that is new.

    I kinda hope the Palm PRE shows some people what its worth.

  13. 19 will.i.am
    April 22, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    This article is inaccurate on the topic of speaker and microphone placements. It doesn’t matter if the qwerty board is slid out or not, the microphone is right near the gesture bar, and not on the end of the qwerty keyboard.

    Other than that, great article

    • 20 Q
      April 23, 2009 at 5:41 pm

      True, though for comfort reasons lots of people will want to use it with the keyboard out. Me, I do all my calls on a Bluetooth headset anyway, so it doesn’t matter.

  14. 21 Peter
    April 22, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    “However, there’s something special about WebOS… and something that you’ll probably realize once the press tells you it’s ok to show praise to it.”

    No, no, Devron. You have it wrong.

    Whatever the Pre offers over the iPhone is completely useless and stupid until Apple copies it, gives it a pretty chrome finish and some animation. Then it’s the best idea in the world and Apple is an incredibly innovative company to have come up with such an idea.

    Cupertino, start your photocopiers…

  15. April 22, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    @Peter – so funny and sadly so true. I’m a Mac user and I run Vista (and Windows 7, build 7077) and it’s funny to watch Mac users react to features that have been available in other apps for years.

    The funny thing is, tho, with this product, I don’t think they’re going to copy. They have a great deal of pride. Too much pride, actually. The BIG differentiation between the devices are the Operating Systems and the presence of a physical keyboard. I think the iPhone 3.0 presentation that we saw a few weeks ago made it painfully obvious that they don’t see anything wrong. They are making minor revisions.

    Certainly I don’t expect them to segment the market and make a device with a keyboard this generation (or even next year) but time will tell if in subsequent years they cave in on this MAJOR point of pain for some folks. The other thing is the OS approach. They’ve gotta do something about the multi-tasking. I have a ton of useful apps, but it’s ridiculous trying to find them. This is a UI design decision and I’m not creative enough to know how to fix it. I just know that they are about to have ten billion apps sold and for me it’s a chore to find any that are not on my front page. (Search to me doesn’t seem like the answer. There has to be a more elegant solution.)

  16. 23 Dave
    April 22, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    You mentioned that you didn’t think that Flash was likely to appear on either of these phones any time soon. Actually, Flash for WebOS has already been announced and should be released later this year, as well as for Android and (I think) Blackberry. No iPhone though.

  17. 24 Monique
    April 22, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    Thanks for the breakdown. There was a similar hype with the Samsung Instinct vs. Iphone but the Instinct did not live up to the hype, IMHO (I got one for my boss & it works for him cause he’s 68 and barely understands the technology, but I will probably move him to pre for the calendar/contact “synergy”).

    I have been closely following the Pre on EverythingPre, Palm and elsewhere. I have been a longtime palm user (treo 650, 755p, centro) and have never switched to the windows OS for palm because it is so buggy. I did not move to the iphone because it just wasn’t a powerful enough data/document/contact manager, I have always considered it more of a fun phone than a good work phone (I am surrounded by them at work). Over the last 5 years, I have been very satisfied with my palm smartphone(s), hardly any crashes, the data is good web works fine and I hardly drop calls and I can manage my contacts and documents well with it. I travel a lot and have been very satisfied with the Sprint service in lots of remote areas.

    I am really looking forward to the switch with the Pre as much as I think many looked forward to the Iphone. I think it’s all about preference and needs. The Iphone or Instinct doesn’t do what I need it to do but I think the Pre will, and your breakdown definitely reinforced some of my reasons.

  18. April 22, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    @Dave – wow. Didn’t know that flash was on the way. My understanding is that it comes at a huge energy tradeoff cost — which honestly is o.k. It’s not like users need to use Flash consistently. But simply having it when you need it would be huge. This could be yet another game changer.

    Again, if anything, this is great for both phone owners. A rising tide rises all ships. Competition will lead to a better iPhone, Pre and probably G1/G2 (HTC Magic).

  19. 26 Daniel
    April 23, 2009 at 1:01 am

    I enjoyed this read! I will say that if I had to make a decision based on a single feature, it would have to be support for podcasts. I spend so much time listening to podcasts, and it’s so convenient to have them on my phone. I really hope that there is an awesome podcast app written for the Pre. Then I am in!!

  20. April 23, 2009 at 4:59 am


    This is the best analysis comparing the iPhone and the Palm Pre that I’ve seen so far: great job! Your attempt to be balanced and unbiased in expressing your thoughts came through quite clearly.

    One comment to add on search: for a long time now, Palm phones have had a “find” key which has a magnifying glass icon on it. On the Centro, it’s the “secondary function” on the “uppercase” key to the left of the zero key. I just looked at a picture of the Pre keyboard and didn’t see a magnifying glass icon on any of the keys. I noticed that the Pre’s uppercase key didn’t have a secondary function printed on it, so maybe they removed that way to access find (or maybe find will be a stealth feature that works the same way).

    Since I was comparing the Pre and Centro keyboards, here are the changes I noticed:
    -The two keyboards have the same number of keys in the same layout except the “rows” of keys are slightly curved on the Pre.
    -The menu key is now gone (probably no longer needed with the new OS UI). That made room for a new key that has comma and underscore.
    -The Alt key has been renamed to Sym (which I think is clearer) and moved to the right one slot where the old menu key was.
    -The single-purpose period key has been moved to the old Alt key position.
    -The @ symbol has been moved to be the secondary character on the zero key.
    -Semi-colon has been added as the secondary character on the M key.
    -% sign has been added as the secondary character on the I key.
    So, they basically got rid of the menu key and added in 3 frequently-used symbols: semi-colon, %, and underscore.
    I think these are all good changes since you won’t have to hit the Alt key to generate those 3 symbols anymore.

  21. 28 Nathan P
    April 23, 2009 at 10:08 am


    I personally loved you post. I think that it was well thought out and I believe that anyone who “hates” on your post either did not read the entire section, or is simply totally brain washed by apple.

    I have been a sprint customer since ’99 and I personally love all that the iphone can do. If the iphone were on sprint I would probably have purchased it by now. It single handedly revolutionalized the cell phone market as we know it. However like all technology it is NOT perfect. I currently own the blackberry curve and will likely make the switch to the Pre when it’s released. Like you, I have watched the demo several times and honestly believe that I could give a pretty good one myself (if Palm needed another representative). The things that Palm has integrated into this phone are fantastic. The OS seems to have a certain freshness to it that AT LEAST deserves to be looked at by the average smartphone consumer.

    I still believe that until the Pre is released the iphone is arguably the best phone on the market, but if (and I do mean IF) the Pre can do all that they are claiming it can do, and has updates that come our regularly to improve overall performance, the Pre will definitely give the iphone a run. I personally enjoy Sprint and have not had any trouble with them over the years. I have an everything family plan that I share with my fiancé and mother and I pay $157 a month for us to share 1500 min (which is more than enough) and have UNLIMITED everything else (Text, email, mobile 2 mobile, internet, picture mail, roaming, etc) on EACH phone. NO other provider comes close to that deal…

    All I’m saying is, competition is good for the market! At the very WORST the pre and all of its features will not be as good as they say and will be a complete bust for Palm… BUT, it will make apple create a BETTER iphone I promise! In a best case scenario, the Palm will be great and guess what… Apple will STILL have to produce a better iphone ( Just quicker than they may have planned). Bottom line… I will be one of those few who agree with you Devron and will give the Pre a shot… I have a hunch that Palm will get right this time. If it doesn’t live up to expectations I’ll switch back to my blackberry.

    Take Care & God Bless

  22. 29 Robb
    April 23, 2009 at 10:42 am

    Thorough article, though a few of the points were trivial and seemed to be rounding it out to the 20 number. I was extremely excited about the BB Storm until it came out and busted, so even though I am very excited about the potential of the pre, it all hinges on its quality at production. So I’m very tentative. I think the biggest concerns would be battery life while running multiple apps, and the durability of the slide out keyboard. I wonder if it will become loose after having to continually slide it in and out. Concerning battery life, however, if the touchstone was cheap enough, you could have one at home and one at work, and easily dock it both places to keep the battery fresh.

    As to the network, if Sprint allowed tethering at a cheap price, it could really get a lot of people on board and be a good marketing strategy. You mentioned the 4g coming soon to Sprint, well this would not be available on the Pre because it doesn’t have the radio needed to use it. It might be available on a future iteration of the phone, but by the time you are ready to upgrade to a new version of the phone, Verizon will be rolling out LTE which will dwarf Wimax.

    Thanks for the article! I love to make pro/con lists for decisions!

  23. 30 Roberto
    April 23, 2009 at 11:43 am

    Most of the Storm problems were fixed via OTA updates (everything by the keyboard, of course). 🙂

    Battery life will be key, but at least with the Pre you can have multiple batteries, and the batteries themselves will be cheap (they are just Centro batteries). You can charge the batteries directly, without them being installed in the device.

    All in all, great article. I hope that all of Palm’s new ideas will work well, and I plan to be a Pre early adopter. Fortunately, the hardware seems to be really well thought-out, so if the software bombs, we can always pray for firmware updates. 🙂

  24. 31 Cody
    April 23, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    I just want to let you know as someone that has just left Sprint that you are signing a “2 year contract” with the devil.. They are horrible when it comes to customer service and I have many many stories in the five years I regret i was with them.

  25. April 23, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    Thanks for all the positive comments. I really made a concerted effort not to be the guy who all of a sudden spots a new toy and drops his old one. Let’s put it this way — when I moved from my Moto Q (which also, despite the bad rap folks gave it) was a great phone for me as a first smartphone, I had NO need to write a list. 🙂 There was no mulling over the decision. This one comes with some reservation.

    @Cody – I keep hearing the stories and I’m worried. Here’s the thing that keeps this from being too big of an issue (at least for me). AT&T hasn’t been horrendous, but the few times I’ve needed to work with them, it’s been a challenge with simple stuff. But I recall people saying that they knew the iPhone was coming and they did all of this re-training. I can see the same thing for Sprint. They know this is do or die. The news leaked about the “no vacation in May” thing. I’m hoping that the service is going to be better.

    • 33 COCOViper
      April 23, 2009 at 6:00 pm


      On the Sprint service side- if you notice everyone’s horror stories are from 2 years ago, 5 years ago, 7 years ago etc. It seems to me that Sprint had substantial problems with customer service and billing around the 2002-2006 timeframe. They also incurred some network problems from the Nextel merger in 2005 that lasted for a year or two.

      However, based on the people that currently have them and the reports of their massively improved customer service (http://www.engadget.com/2008/10/20/sprints-csr-response-time-skyrockets-to-first-in-recent-survey/) and network (Article’s like the 3G network test on Giz) it would seem like they realized the problems and have implemented changes. I’m of the stance that a boycott is a very powerful and good thing…but if the company you’re boycotting changes and turns things around, why continue to boycott a company that’s trying to get better?

      It’s like the people that refused to buy AMD when they turned things around and released the Athlon back in 1999 just because they had owned an AMD K5 that sucked. Obviously AMD has sense fallen from that performance mindset but my example still holds. Go with the companies that are listening to us NOW, who cares what they did 8 years ago?

  26. 34 Margaret Auld-Louie
    April 23, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    I switched from Verizon to Sprint in Oct. 07 with great trepidation, because wanted Sprint Mogul (Verizon was dragging their heels on releasing it). I have had no problems with Sprint customer service or the quality of their network. Am eagerly awaiting the Pre as I don’t like Windows Mobile (too slow and buggy).

  27. 35 Rubin Herbuns
    April 23, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    This sounds great. Now if you only didn’t have to deal with the unethical assholes at Sprint.

  28. 36 bobwama
    April 23, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    Having had a Tungsten E2 for a while (until I screwed it up by hacking it) I can say that I am not surprised by this quality. That being said, I was not even considering the Pre over the new iPhone until I read this. This looks pretty damn impressive. I’ll keep my Touch of course, and I don’t anticipate using too many of the Palm apps (having had some decent, but not impressive experiences on my E2, I feel like the App Store is where most of my stuff is gonna come from), but this is a serious consideration as an iPhone or BlackBerry alternative.

  29. 37 Eddie
    April 24, 2009 at 11:08 am

    I’ve been with Sprint for the past 6yrs and experiences varie. In the past year or two, customer service has improved greatly, but still leaves plenty of room for improvement. My brother has a iPhone 3G and really likes it, he has no issues. Also I’ve been a die hard Palm user for since my 1st Palm being the 650, currently using the Centro. I would NEVER try a Palm with WinOs, as they have been nightmares for everyone that I know that uses them. I’m looking forward to the Pre for the simple fact that it is the “Make it, or Break it” device for Sprint and Palm as they have had years in a downward spiraling trend. All in all I think the Pre will be a gread device but that remains to be concluded once I have used the device myself. I really love your break down as it is unbiased, but for some iPhone users there’s no comparing the iPhone to anything as its more of a jumping on the “Hype-Train” rather then functionality comparisson. Either way, great article!

  30. 38 Checkmate
    April 25, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    I left my iPhone for a T-Mobile G1 and never looked back, and for many of the reasons you stated above. You should see the look on peoples faces when I tell them that as they just don’t understand why I would leave the mystical all powerfull iPhone. The iPhone is really lacking alot of features that I need but they pretty much make you try to believe you don’t need those features. The appeal with iPhone mainly lies in the marketing and what the average sheep sees on TV. Media player wise, iPhone works well, but then again, pretty much every media player on a phone I’ve had works, from windows mobile all the way up. Gaming? I would say yes the iPhone is probably the best gaming phone out, but reason being is the amount of games that developers who see the dollar signs from all the iPhone purchasers make. There is a huge development base for iPhone, and hell I don’t blame anyone for cashing in. But I don’t sit and game on phone, never had time to really play a portable game, and besides there are systems like the Nintendo DSi or PSP that I would purchase if I was a portable gamer. And I’ve seen comments above that seem like the iPhone is crashproof, and I’m here to tell you, my iPhone crashes and not a little, ALOT! Frustratingly ALOT! Mobile Safari is great when it works, but crashes alot. My G1 browser crashes too but every once in awhile and not near as frequent as Safari. The iPhone is a whole lot of pretty, but when you open your eyes its lacking bigtime, and even with 3.0 coming out, still lacking and playing catch up, or is that part of the Apple marketing ploy to sell you basic features as upgrades? BTW, anyone here ever consider Android? From the feature set posted for Pre, I.E. multitasking and copy and paste and such Android is already doing and then some and getting better? Anyways my 2 cents is, theres no perfect device out there, and to each his own, I found my home with Android, and excited to try the Pre, but don’t think it will replace my G1, I’ve found my home with Android, and I’m glad others are finding there home whether its an iPhone a G1, Pre or Blackberry, or WinMO….ain’t competition GRAND?!

  31. 39 Smithtronic 5000
    April 28, 2009 at 1:18 am

    Keep in mind that the Iphone is the ONLY device that sells at AT&T, and the ONLY reason for their large added subscriber numbers. The figures are absolutly astonishing.

    Sprint is the most under rated national carrier. People will join Sprint because of the Pre, and stay because of the network, pricing, and the much improved customer service.

    It’s positioned to be a true cinderella story….

    • May 2, 2009 at 5:27 pm

      Let’s hope Sprint can live up to it, Smith. I shied away from them because of their big billing problems some years ago on the landline side. My husband has been happily with Sprint for over 5 years. I’ll be one of those folks with 2 carriers – Sprint for business (my Pre) and Verizon for personal (until they get the Pre).

  32. May 2, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    Totally tweet worthy list! All very solid reasons and I hope Palm lives up to it all. There may be more to come in 2010, but this is a great start.


  33. 42 swimpunk
    May 13, 2009 at 9:59 am

    Re: Memory Leaks in #7-Multi-tasking. As WebOS is based on the Linux kernel, I would assume the memory management is much more robust than the iPhone. Poorly written apps can still leak memory while they’re running, but once they’re closed the Linux kernel should reclaim the memory without issue. Although there’s no way to know until Sprint releases the phone.

  34. 43 AppleIsEvil
    May 13, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    Here’s what I think:
    1. The Keyboard – great because I can have a full screen on whatever I’m doing.

    2. Built-In Search – awesome because I have some idea how to use this feature which I can’t do with the crap iPhone (cPhone)

    3. The Notification System – really hate the cPhone on this. Kudos to Pre.

    4. Local Access to Files* – LUV this. One of the key reasons* why I wanna ditch the cPhone.

    5. A Better 3G Network – not applicable to me because my country’s 3G network is better than the U.S.

    6. Less Closed/More Open* – I HATE CLOSED SYSTEMS.

    7. Multi-tasking – Makes the cPhone looks like Mac OS System 6 or lesser

    8. Synergy – Good to have.

    9. A Better Camera – Hardly use phone camera. But I read that the cam could have video capabilities in future with software update. No biggies. Hardly use.

    10. A Better Speaker/Speakerphone – until I use and hear it, can’t really comment

    11. Gesture Bar* – Definitely better than the cPhone’s Home button which is easily prone to damage.

    12. Touchstone Charging – Er… I have to pay more for an accessory?

    13. Removable Battery* – I ALWAYS CARRY A SPARE BATTERY for all my previous mobile phones until the cPhone. Constant worry that the batt juice would die out on the cPhone and really HATING it.

    14. Combined Messaging – No big deal. Basically, I only use SMS for messaging.

    15. Ergonomic Design* – The cPhone is more like a walkman than a phone. Pre is definitely better to hold even I haven’t held one.

    16. Anything is better than AT&T – not applicable to me as I’m not from the U.S.

    17. Just the Web* – I hope I’m able to host a small website in the Pre. This will be BIG for me if I can do that.

    18. Mojo SDK = Good apps? – I only look forward to one app. A good VNC app to remotely control my Macs like Jaadu VNC (in fact, it’s the only app I really love with the cPhone).

    19. Google Chat Built-In – If I wanna chat with someone, I just call them and arrange for coffee. Not much frens I know used GMail.

    20. “Phone as a Laptop Modem”?* – Like all telcos in the whole, this can be an issue. I can use my old Sony Ericsson K600i to tether with my MacBook Pro wth my current cPhone plan. Sadly, cPhone cannot. Really pissed me off.


    21. Better industrial design* – cPhone is in fact a badly designed hardware. Why? You get light leakage and broken ringer button straight out of the retail box! Prone to dust and water damage.

    22. No need for screen or body protector* – cPhone looks so fragile somehow and it is. Palm Pre is definitely better built. Don’t complain about fingerprints. No touchscreen devices can escape this.

    23. Flash support* – eventually! Adobe and Palm talking and that’s GREAT NEWS!


    1. Round corners for everything – including videos and pictures. Not a big issue. Just don’t like cropping of images in any way if possible.

    2. Touchstone only does charging – man, I wish it could do more for the 70 bucks add-on accessory

    3. VPN – Wonder whatever it’s supported

  35. 44 Tammi
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    I have become obsessed and read and research and talk about the Pre CONSTANTLY (my friends and family went from making fun of me about it to just ignoring me). Your list is fabulous and obviously thought out.
    I will be switching from Alltel (Verizon) as soon as it comes out. I am unhappy with the service and my phone asks quirky often (treo 700wx), so I just hope the price and the timing is right.
    Thanks for such detailed info/thoughts. I appeciate that I am not the only one who has taken such interest in this device.

  36. 45 Tammi
    May 14, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    I have become obsessed and read and research and talk about the Pre CONSTANTLY (my friends and family went from making fun of me about it to just ignoring me). Your list is fabulous and obviously thought out.
    I will be switching from Alltel (Verizon) as soon as it comes out. I am unhappy with the service and my phone asks quirky often (treo 700wx), so I just hope the price and the timing is right.
    Thanks for such detailed info/thoughts. I appeciate that I am not the only one who has taken such interest in this device.

  37. 46 john
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    wow very very good article. i thought you weighed in on both sides of the issue very fairly, dont let those apple fanboys get you down.

  38. 47 tristan
    May 21, 2009 at 8:49 pm


    First, get the phone you want, shake off the haters. I’m getting the Pre and think the world is big enough for both phones. Well written piece. I appreciate that your loyalty isn’t to a brand, but to yourself. Oh, yeah, webOS rocks.

    Bravo, see you line for the Pre. tristan

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