The Palm Pre - yet another iClone handset

9 January 2009

Hey, I'll happily admit I'm a fan of the iPhone, no two ways about it. But is it only me that thinks this new Palm Pre already looks five years out of date? Sliding keyboards - that's so 2004, isn't it?

Slightly underwhelming, unless you're a Palm obsessive. The screen is similar to an iPhone with a 320 x 480 multi-touch display. And there's that sliding keyboard, but instead of presenting it in landscape (like the behemoth that is the T1 handset) it's a portrait keyboard. The practical reason might be to keep the screen free, but was it worth abandoning the aesthetics? For those grumbling about the keyboard on an iPhone being tooo small, it's hardly an improvement.

Unveiled at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas, somebody may find a home for it when released later in the year. But really - shouldn't manufacturers be trying to better the iPhone instead of ripping it off?

TOPICS:   Mobile


  • Bob
    In the words of Dr Raymond Stantz "he's an ugly little spud isn't he?".
  • Liam G.
    I'd suggest reading and watching everything it can do before comparing it to the iPhone. Sure, theres lot in common, but only because it works so well on the iPhone. Palm know they have to do or die with this handset, and its certainly pretty damn impressive. As a developer, the new webOS is very exciting, as it means application development is so easy. Theres much more than meets the eye with this..
  • Matt B.
    What an incredibly stupid article. You pick on things that are different from the iphone and then criticize Palm for ripping it off, saying that manufacturers should be trying to better the iphone. But you don't mention any of the things that ARE better than the iphone, because, as far as I can tell you've only looked at the pictures. Sounds like the kind of ass-backwards style-conscious contradictory pseudo logic employed by card carrying members of the cult of Mac. Next time you decide to write an article, hopefully you'll be distracted by something shiny.
  • Paul S.
    Sorry Matt. The camera's better. I forgot to mention that. Shiny things are great, aren't they?
  • Mark
    Hahahahah Ultimate fail. Blogging about something you clearly know absolutely nothing about. Oh and I hate Palm... but I hate the smell of complete and utter bullshit even more.
  • tom
    its got a better OS than iphone. Its a very good little phone and i think you will find that most corporate users prefer keyboards. The iphone keyboard is not all that good. one things for sure its going to have cut and paste!
  • Paul S.
    Sober up lads. The iPhone is a lifestyle accessory - that's what it's been marketed as, and that's why it'll beat the T1 and the Palm Pre into a cocked hat. Palm have created a handset that, er, lovingly recreates the key aspects of the iPhone such as the touchscreen technology, the single button, then tries to get one over it with a physical keyboard and misses the point entirely. What percentage of consumers care about the OS? None. Will it make any significant impact in the corporate market against the iPhone and BlackBerry? Unlikely. Not sure what bullshit you're referring to Mark - I'm pointing out that aside from borrowing heavily from the iPhone, it's an outdated design that offers no real consumer advantage and I'm commenting on it from a consumer's point of view.
  • Matt B.
    More Cult of Mac apologetics. When all else fails, fail back on the 'lifestyle' argument. After all, Apple products possess some mythical, intangible 'lifestyle' property, which makes them utterly unassailable to rational criticism. Wake up and smell it, mate, it ain't coffee. Damn near every critical point you try to make which isn't based on the a priori assumption that the iphone is automatically better, has been wrong, uninformed, or irrelevant. Just apologise, move on, and write your next article about something you are familiar with. Your attempts to defend yourself are digging a much deeper hole, because you are clarifying how little you know. The idea that 'none' of the consumer base cares about the OS is ridiculous. The OS was one of the biggest selling points in the device you are comparing against, the iphone. Or are you suggesting that consumers care about OS made by Apple, but not those made by any other manufacturers? The idea that it the design is outdated seems to be based entirely around the slidey keyboard, which is a falsehood, as you've been shown. Hard keyboards are a common and current design in corporate phones. That's right - by and large enterprise clients prefer hard keyboards. You know, people who use their gadgets for real work, not just dicking around? You'll have to explain how any of this 'misses the point entirely'?
  • princess b.
    Guy for the fucking love of god ...a blog is someones opinion im getting sick of all the shit replies on don't like what he has to say start your own blogs you sad wankers.....(aaaahhhh i feel better now) :) btw bullit is spelt that way by choice
  • Paul S.
    Oh Matt, dear sweet Matt. Let me walk you through a shopping centre and together we'll stop 100 people at random and ask them what OS their mobile phone operates on. I'll bet my house that 97 of them won't have a clue. It doesn't matter. They. Don't. Care. They like the camera, they like making videos, they like getting email on their phone. Features vs benefits, mate. Look it up. Alas, the majority of of those 100 will also use their phone for dicking around, the rapscallions that they are. And I don't see the Palm Pre ever been advertised during the commercials in Corrie, like the iPhone. Relevant? Yep. Apple is an aspirational brand that people want to be part of. It might all be some fanatical voodoo marketing bullshit to you Matt, but that's how these things works, sadly. The Palm Pre wasn't launched solely to be a corporate gadget for real men like yourself - they want a piece of the broader smartphone market. In which case an old school split shell design and an interface that mimics Apple isn't good enough, because they don't have a brand that's recognised by the broader market, and whether it's a superior product or not, the broader market will prefer an iPhone. Now put a cold flannel on your forehead petal, before you burst something.
  • Craig
    It makes me laugh how little you know about this subject. I take it you just get all your information from Engadget or Gizmodo?
  • Paul S.
    Oh good, you read them too? They're always banging on about Corrie, aren't they?
  • TJ
    iPhone Rules, Period.
  • adofant
    Anyone used Windows Mobile? I have it on my company HTC...getting rid to go on a Blackberry.....just wish my company would take my advice!!!!.........oh I so want an iPhone!!!!!!
  • Louis
    Over a million people subscribe to engadget's rss feed and those are exactly the sort of people who care about the os on the device. The pre has a great looking and innovative ui that sets it apart from the (admittidly good) iphone software whilst being physically as much like the iphone as pretty much any other current high end touch screen phone. Personally whilst typing on the iphone can be achieved at reasonable speeds once you get used to it, I am a fan of physical keyboards. I think you seriously misjudged the device when concluding it was an iphone clone.
  • well w.
    to get a better comparison you can look here
  • Ian D.
    Try texting on a iphone and then even though keyboards are 'so 2004' most users realise that a good sliding keyboard is not just for show........... or if I had typed the above quickly in an iphone Tey tfxting on s ophone anf then even thouhh keyvoards are 'ao 2004" most users reslise that a good dliding keyboard us noy kust for shiw...........
  • Tony Q.
    He has a point, that it's going to fail for being an ugly little thing that seems misplaced. Maybe in a few generations time that phone will be of the same quality, usability and sleekness of the iPhone, but in today's generation it won't last long enough to do that. Apple have a majority of the market now because everyone thought it was a stupid thing... until it finally won us over with persistence.
  • Paul N.
    What a bunch of sad mother fuckers - who really gives a shit.
  • scouse
    Itll fail because its not aimed at the 14-18 year old gimp market who just have to have another useless gadget.
  • Mike
    Aside from the touch screen (which were around a long time before iPhone), how is this in any way like the iPhone? The keyboard looks fine to me - Software keyboards are 'so 2003'. The camera is better, it's a smaller device, it can probably do basic things which the iPhone simply can't. I would 100% take this over iPhone and I don't even like Palm.
  • Paul F.
    I have to agree with Matt Bee on this issue. But first off let me say a couple things, I own an iPhone, an iMac and a macbook and love them all but claiming anything with a touchscreen (and I know you aren't doing that exactly but it is not far off) is an iPhone ripoff is BS. Apple are very new to the phone market and in a short time have taken a very good market share, this shows that people are willing to try new stuff and not just stick with the establishment. Most people do not understand an OS but most people I know will try phones either instore or try friends phones and they do value UI and features that come with an OS. I think that the Palm pre has potential and I can't wait to actually use one to try it out and form an infrmed decision rather than just dismissing something straight off the bat with little to no information. Now go ahead, troll me with hearsay and no real evidence.
  • maddog
    What a completely crap article. Paul Smith - you obviously have your head so far up apples arse that you can't see what a decent phone this is. This phone and OS has been the talk of CES and is touted to be the resurrection of Palm Can your iPhone do wireless charging? MMS, Files Over BT And when will muppets who write these articles stop comparing any touch screen phone to the iPhone calling it a iPhone clone. Anyone would thing that Apple invented the touch-screen phone!
  • Peter l.
  • Mike H.
  • Steve F.
    In my personal humble opinion, this is better than the iphone. Wouldn't mind swapping my Blackberry for one of those Palms.
  • P N.
    Paul Smith has failed hard with this article.

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