Walt Mosberg on the Palm Pre

by Volker Weber

I consider the Pre to be potentially the strongest rival to the iPhone to date, provided it attracts lots of third-party apps, which it sorely lacks at launch. Its design is much better than that of the two other main iPhone-class competitors: the T-Mobile G1, which uses Android, and RIM's touch-screen BlackBerry Storm.

I had the opportunity to play with the Pre for a little and I agree with his assessment. The device is much smaller than an iPhone and holds very nicely in your hand.

Please be aware that you cannot use a Pre as sold from Saturday in GSM/UMTS networks. It uses a completely different technology and it does not even have a SIM reader. Palm has not made announcements when and if they will ship a version compatible with our networks. They eventually will, but currently there is no published roadmap. It may actually be to your advantage not to buy a Pre right now, since there is not much software available today.

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On Palm's developer website, they have made available the first chapter of a new O'Rielly book "Devloping Applicaionts in JavaScript using the Palm Mojo Framework". The chapter can be read only here [http://developer.palm.com/webos_book/book1.html] and there is also a link to a PDF of the same content on the left side of the page.

The application architecture of Palm's webOS seems to present a lower barrier of entry when compared to Apple's iPhone. Palm's approach was to build extensions to JavaScript via their Mojo framework to allow developers to gain access to phone resources (ex. phone, contacts, email, etc) as well as handling event notifications from the OS. This seems to be a more friendlier approach to attract all the existing AJAX developers to their platform. Of course this is all still not proven in the real world yet.

Apple's approach of having to learn Objective C and Apple's Xcode development environment seems to me to be a bigger learning curve for someone just starting out as a smart phone application developer. But the size of the iPhone App market and the potential to sell into that market makes learning Apple's proprietary language and environment worth the effort.

It will be interesting to see if Palm can build a significant market place around its own webOS platform.

Ken Porter, 2009-06-04

" It will be interesting to see if Palm can build a significant market place around its own webOS platform. " (from comment Ken Porter)

My opinion : "no".
The marketing of Apple (in reference to the iPhone) is the best I Know. And Palm is not Apple. Sounds strange but Palm has at first to build up a reasonable fan base like Apple.

just my 2 cents

Rene Hellmann, 2009-06-05

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