Yes, I'm a die-hard iPhone user. I'll try to sell it to anyone that even pretends to be interested in the device – some might even say I go overboard. I even stood in line (OK, camped out overnight) for both iPhones. I was second in line for the first, and third in line for the 3G at the Boulder, Colorado, Apple Store.
I find a lot of value in it and if people knew about the wonderful things it can do, everyone would want one. The app store is amazing, I've downloaded nearly 100 applications, and a lot of them are paid applications. The utility of these apps varies, but it is clear that Apple has set the bar for the industry. Not just in the iPhone's user interface, but in the App Store's purchasing process, and the overall iPhone experience. Each firmware release just makes things better and better.
As great as the iPhone is, it's missing a few features. A big one is copy and paste. I don't have a lot of use for it, but it sure stinks when I want it and it isn't there. The SMS alerts are modal and take over the screen. If you've ever been on a phone call and received an SMS you'll know what I mean. You have to acknowledge the SMS before you can end the call. You can only run one application at a time, and there are no background processes. If you get a new Tweet for example, you don't know until you open your Twitter application. If you get new messages in Facebook, you have to go to the Facebook app to find out. I'd love to see what developers could do if their apps were allowed to run processes in the background.
A term was coined shortly after the iPhone was introduced: “the iPhone Killer.” As it has been loosely defined, it is any phone with a “touch” interface, or even more simply a touch screen. The device has to be internet connected and do lots of neat tricks like the iPhone. Several companies have tried to gain mind share with their offerings: Blackberry Storm, T-Mobile G1, Samsung Instinct, and host others. In my experience, these phones all feel rushed to market, as if they were conceived just after Steve Jobs announced the original iPhone. The T-Mobile G1 has gained a lot of attention by being completely open source – any developer can write applications for it, but it has (to date) failed to live up to its expectations.
At CES last week a new phone was introduced. As soon as I heard it was from Palm, Inc. I was quick to brush it off as another “iPhone Killer.” A device that the company has put all of its heart and soul in to just be let down in sales and market adoption. The iPhone is the 600lb gorilla, after all. Palm, Inc. has lost everything it gained with the Palm OS, and has even been caught selling Windows Mobile instead. A has been company, looking for one final volley in the modern phone world.
And they knocked it out of the park. World, meet the Palm Pre. This is the first “iPhone Killer” that actually stands a chance at gaining a sustainable piece of the market. Apple might just be caught sweating about this one. Why? Because I (see above for why this is remarkable) want one. And I want it now.
This post isn't about the features and all of the things the Pre can do. For that I'll leave a link at the bottom to they introduction. This post is about me letting the world know that technology is evolving, and Apple is no longer the only player in the wicked smart phone market. Have a look at the video, and you'll be as amazed as I was. Pay particular attention the the charging mechanism and the sync process.
Here's the video: Palm Pre @CES. After you watch that, have a look at the coverage at Engadget. Read the user comments for extra credit: Palm Pre in-depth impressions, video, and huge hands-on gallery