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Comments on: Motley Fool Asks: Is the Pre Dead on Arrival?

Palm PRE DOAAn exceedingly Palm-pessimistic article has just been posted by the Motley Fool concerning the bleak prospects for the upcoming Palm Pre handset. Entitled "Palm's Pre: Dead on Arrival", and written by MF's Tim Beyers (no stranger to Palm-related pieces in the past), the article in the Fool's High Growth Investing section paints a grim picture for both Palm and their longtime carrier ally Sprint.

As the main basis for his piece, Beyers cites research statistics pulled from a recent Changewave survey of 4,292 smartphone buyers. Despite the positive early buzz and strong CTIA and CES hype for the Pre and WebOS (not to mention the recent announcement of Motion Apps' "Classic" Palm OS emulator for WebOS), only 4% of the survey's respondents reported an intent to purchase the Pre upon its release sometime later in the first half of the year.

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Switching to Sprint

palmit @ 4/15/2009 12:26:57 PM # Q
Well count me as one user who is planning on switching to Sprint for the Pre. Will not port my number day one, but if there's no issues I will cancel VZW.
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All the Apple stock holders and iPhone-atics

shaunvfx @ 4/15/2009 12:50:12 PM # Q
Why do all the Appleheads seem worried that the Pre might actually succeed? And who is defining success anyway? Is success beating the iPhone? I think not.

Remember that the competition posed by the Pre is benefiting iPhone users already!! I highly doubt everything now included in the soon to be released iPhone OS 3.0 was originally planned, they are making a concious effort to be more competitive obviously, so stop complaining about another iPhone challenger when you are reaping the rewards. I haven't heard, or seen anything from Palm that even sets it on the same stage as the iPhone (except McNamee, see further down -FYI- he doesn't work for Palm, he is an investor!)

If the Pre is able to prove that WebOS is a good platform, the other phones they currently have in their pipeline will prosper with better features and a more finely tuned piece of hardware. Some smaller, others without physical keyboards and added other features. This is something the iPhone doesn't offer-- flexibility and variety(it's the spice of life!) in the hardware.

Wouldn't it be neat if there was a smaller iPhone? or one with a slide-out keyboard? How about one that had tactile buttons for more of a gaming phone?

Has anyone tried using the Nintendo emulator on their iPhone? It's awesome! but it would be wayyyy more awesome if there were a directional pad (maybe slide out?) and a couple buttons on the opposite side with some other buttons on the edge of the phone similar to the 'L' and 'R' buttons on the super nintendo controller.

What I am trying to say here is that why not give more options instead of simply what the screen and OS have to offer--the shell in which all of that lives can offer more appeal for certain uses maybe one is more of gaming style case where the other is like a camera with shutter buttons built in-- maybe one is really compact and it operates more like a flip phone where the screen folds in half on hinges..... its like Audi and Volkswagen- they take pretty much all of the same powertrains and put them in different cars to do different things.


The one thing Palm is great at, is making phones. The hardware on their previous phones are quite great but obviously using an old OS that is in dire need of a new polish. Management has had a wake up call and I think we will be seeing the next era in smartphones/computers in the very near feature from all of these companies including Palm(even Garmin!). This competition is healthy why do so many people on here hate on everything but Apple? It's scary! Communist even!

If you think about it, aside from being able to write programs efficiently and run super intense graphic editing and animation/multimedia software-- these smart phones can pretty much do anything you or I would typically do on a computer and probably accounts for what 99% of what the average person does on a computer. To have that power in your hands is truly amazing.

After Adobe flash implements the mobile versions adapted for the new OSes (iPhone, Android, WebOS, etc.) there won't be much more to add when it comes to a browsing experience. That is pretty much all I do unless I am running Photoshop! (heck maybe even the new Photoshop express website could be accessed on the phone after the flash adaptation is done)
I wouldn't be surprised if MS Silverlight is adapted as well.

So anyway, back to my original point. If the Pre sells a good number to existing Sprint users (like myself) who have been waiting for a phone that can actually do this stuff easily (better than WinMos and Palms OS and standard Ghettoberries) and also attract some people away from T-Mobile and Verizon (please... the Storm? that phone is sad) they will be in good shape. Roger McRetard spouting nonsense about every iPhone user leaving their phone is just that... nonsense, I'm glad he doesn't work for Palm and is only an Investor.... That said, there will be a number of 1st gen iPhone users that will realize they can get a new phone for a lot less a month after being stuck in a 2 year contract with an outdated iPhone and go with the Pre, many will upgrade to an iPhone3G or whatever the new one will be.

For example, my wife and I have an Unlimited Data, Text, GPS, Video, and Picture plan through Sprint with 1600 shared minutes (we never get close to going over), mobile to mobile (obviously!), free nights after 7pm (isn't everywhere else like 9pm?! geez I do most of my talking after 7pm but before 9pm) and free weekends. What do we pay? 110 per month total... not each, but total. After taxes it's like 115-- my buddy and his wife have iPhones and their bill is pretty hefty. The plan I have is indeed compatible with the Pre.

RE: All the Apple stock holders and iPhone-atics
LiveFaith @ 4/16/2009 11:55:07 AM # M Q
Get that off your chest Shaun. That's a decent book draft! :-)

Actually, I simplify things by asking ''Was it somehow related to a mjor investment analyst?'' If yes, then simply reverse the findings in the report and do exactly opposite. MF is 'bought and paid for' like all the others of the Wall Street ponzi scheme. Rest assured that connected institutional investors are bagging up shares of Palm as I write. When they get the desired positions, MF will the issue they Palm pump.
All of this taken solidly from my humble opinion of course. :-D

RE: All the Apple stock holders and iPhone-atics
LiveFaith @ 4/17/2009 10:53:14 AM # M Q
Get that off your chest Shaun. That's a decent book draft! :-)

Actually, I simplify things by asking ''Was it somehow related to a mjor investment analyst?'' If yes, then simply reverse the findings in the report and do exactly opposite. MF is 'bought and paid for' like all the others of the Wall Street ponzi scheme. Rest assured that connected institutional investors are bagging up shares of Palm as I write. When they get the desired positions, MF will the issue they Palm pump.
All of this taken solidly from my humble opinion of course. :-D

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Sampling Error

bhartman34 @ 4/15/2009 1:02:14 PM # Q
These numbers don't add up at all.

1) At launch (and right now, for that matter), the iPhone suffers from the same kind of problems the Pre does, vis a vis the carrier issue. And last time I checked (someone correct me if I'm wrong, of course...) the only way you could get an iPhone that was GSM was to jailbreak it. As far as "affordable plans" go, since when did the iPhone have an inexpensive plan? That's been one of the complaints about the iPhone since Day 1.

I'm not about to predict that all Pres will be sold out in a week. There are certainly going to be a lot of iPhone users who won't switch, simply because they bought their phones too recently, and don't want to incur the penalties of breaking their contracts. But that 4% number seems very low to me, on its face. To believe that, you'd have to believe that most of the people reporting on and talking about the Pre are just lying about their interest.

And the other thing about the survey that you'll notice is that it was released in March. What would the survey - even given the methodology - look like now that the Classic emulator has been announced? I would expect the numbers to look much better, if only because the lack of an emulator was holding a lot of Palm users back.

RE: Sampling Error
AdamaDBrown @ 4/15/2009 3:04:40 PM # Q
"And last time I checked (someone correct me if I'm wrong, of course...) the only way you could get an iPhone that was GSM was to jailbreak it."

Huh? Every single iPhone ever made has been GSM. I think you mean unlocked iPhones.

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Concerned about Limitations

whydidnt @ 4/15/2009 1:51:15 PM # Q
I think the article raises some valid points. I know I was excited when the Pre was announced, but then shortly thereafter my excitement dissipated to certain extent. I have two primary concerns, the first being lack of storage. 8 GB sounds like a lot, but I'm used to 16 GB on either my iPhone or my WM device? The fact Palm has limited this to 8GB and not allowed for storage cards is a huge issue. For me 16 GB is the minimum on a "Smart Phone". The cloud is still far too unreliable for my liking.

My other concern is that we really haven't heard a lot about available applications at launch. My personal preference is to have lot's of applications and games available on my phone and we still don't know what kind of options we'll have at launch.

I think Web OS has a lot of potential, but much like Android before it, I'm concerned it's not going to meet enough of my needs at launch to persuade me to change.

I hate to say it but Palm seems to be starting down the old familiar path of holding back on memory and/or features so they can release a 2nd model and get everyone to buy twice. I think this is a huge mistake when they need to make a splash, not only meeting the competition, but leapfrogging it. At this point, if they don't sell the first model, it's likely there won't be a 2nd.

RE: Concerned about Limitations
hkklife @ 4/15/2009 3:01:06 PM # Q
I think that everyone with a shred of doubt about the Pre should either hang on to what they are currently using and/or run out and pick up a cheap Centro/755p/680/TX/E2 to hold them over until Palm decides to get their act together and stops intentionally crippling their devices.

Like it or not...and agree or not, the article raises some VERY valid real-world points, especially amongst the "serious casual" users that tend to be migrating towards smartphones nowadays. You know, the types who buy a lot of stuff based on hearsay or the advice of friends/neighbors/coworkers etc. I work with a sizable amount of people who are heavy mobile device users but not overly technical. They all swear by Verizon (or Alltel, to a much lesser extent) or to AT&T just because of the iPhone. I can barely think of anyone amongst my immediate circle of friends, family & colleagues that is still on Sprint, most having dropped them for various coverage or customer service reasons. The response I usually got after returning from CES and discussing the Pre with them was "Nice device, I like that keyboard. Too bad it's not on Verizon. I'm not changing back to Sprint for ANY device".


Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->?

RE: Concerned about Limitations
jca666us @ 4/15/2009 7:28:00 PM # Q
I think the article was interesting - seems that the pre's greatest weakness is the financial health of Palm and (secondary) how polished a device they release at launch.

I think the Pre - released alongside a 16 gig. version and/or a version with an sd card - would have demonstrated Palm wasn't looking to cripple the device and gouge users with a v2 product.

That's a page we've seen from Palm's playbook in the past several times.

RE: Concerned about Limitations
hkklife @ 4/15/2009 8:21:53 PM # Q
"I think the Pre - released alongside a 16 gig. version and/or a version with an sd card - would have demonstrated Palm wasn't looking to cripple the device and gouge users with a v2 product."

But Palm is ALWAYS looking to gouge users & release crippled products whenever & wherever possible! That's been their M.O. since the m500 days!


Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->?

RE: Concerned about Limitations
twrock @ 4/15/2009 8:45:37 PM # Q
jca666us wrote:
I think the article was interesting - seems that the pre's greatest weakness is the financial health of Palm and (secondary) how polished a device they release at launch.

I think the Pre - released alongside a 16 gig. version and/or a version with an sd card - would have demonstrated Palm wasn't looking to cripple the device and gouge users with a v2 product.

That's a page we've seen from Palm's playbook in the past several times.


Now come on already, jca666us! Once again it seems that if Apple does it, fine. But if Palm does it, it's "crippling the device" and "gouging users".

Did or did not Apple gouge users with they initial iPhone release? Do they gouge users today because their phones lack 64 gb of memory, external memory card slots, and physical keyboards? We can all come up with our own pet list of what should be "expected" on anybody's device and then rip on them when they don't deliver.

A modicum of consistency regarding how Apple did/does things and what people expect of Palm would be good.

Hey Palm! Where's my PDA with Wifi and phone capabilities?

RE: Concerned about Limitations
jca666us @ 4/16/2009 4:44:16 AM # Q
>Now come on already, jca666us! Once again it seems that if Apple does
>it, fine. But if Palm does it, it's "crippling the device" and "gouging users".

Actually, Apple didn't do it. Two versions of the iphone were released initially; 4 gig. and 8 gig.

Apple (eventually) cancelled the 4 gig. and upped the max to 16 gig.

Most of the limitations of the iphone (minus a real keyboard and a better camera) have been addressed with the 3.0 OS.

Two years from now, if Palm has had a history of periodic firmware updates for the Pre, I'll take back what I'm saying. However, everyone who's ever used a Palm device knows how little Palm provides firmware updates for released devices. Has Palm ever released firmware updates of the magnitude or frequency that Apple has for the iphone?

>Did or did not Apple gouge users with they initial iPhone release?

They gouged users on the cost of the initial phone, then dropped the price three months later and offered gift certificates to initial users. I don't believe Palm has ever done anything like that at all.

Also, we didn't see an iphone 2.0 that had a brighter screen because Apple f*cked up the original model (think Palm M500 and M505 here).

>Do they gouge users today because their phones lack 64 gb of memory,
>external memory card slots, and physical keyboards?

LOL - find me another phone that has 64 gig. installed? As for an SD slot and external keyboard - if those are features you have to have, then go with the device that has them.

I just believe that - anyone who has a 16 gig. iphone or WM device would be hard-pressed to "upgrade" to a Pre with only 8 gig.

I realize Palm is attempting to throw together a device with everything to attract market share - HOWEVER - at this point in time, 8 gig. is bordering on anemic...that should have been 16 gig. or (at the very least) a 16 gig. model and/or an SD version should be debuted alongside it.

If the Pre is going to gain substantial marketshare it needs to outclass everything out there.

RE: Concerned about Limitations
twrock @ 4/16/2009 7:01:43 AM # Q
Good try. Maybe you've convinced yourself, but you haven't convinced me in the least. Your bias is glaring. I do not think it inappropriate to call you an Apple fanboy. There's nothing particularly wrong with that, but at least admit it when you're doing it.

Hey Palm! Where's my PDA with Wifi and phone capabilities?
RE: Concerned about Limitations
jca666us @ 4/16/2009 10:10:00 AM # M Q
twrock - if highlighting the truth is being biased - then I'm biased towards the truth.

I owned several palm devices - and think the pre is a device palm could have had out over two years ago - unfortunately they needed apple to show them the way.

I really could care less what you think, however take your blinders off.


RE: Concerned about Limitations
twrock @ 4/16/2009 7:18:17 PM # M Q
So I'm the one with blinders, huh? Have you really not been around here long enough to remember my rants against Palm and their products? I see their faults clearly. If you can't understand that, I don't know how to explain it to you.

But your inability/unwillingness to hold Apple to the same standard is what I am labeling "fanboy." Your "different standard" for Apple is clear.

RE: Concerned about Limitations
jca666us @ 4/16/2009 8:54:49 PM # Q
Actually, I hold them to the same standard having been a consumer of both palm and apple products.

If Apple were to churn out junk the way Palm has for the past seven years, I'd be railing against them.

Instead I've been a happy consumer of the iphone - what you mistakenly ascribe to being a fanboy.

I'd love to be a palm fanboy again, that's why I see what apple has done right and compare what palm is doing with the pre.

I'd prefer palm to be successful and not continue their idiotic policies of the past.

We'll see what the pre brings, and i hope it's a new era, but i believe their limited funds will hurt the pre rollout and their efforts to fully develop it.

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Motley Fool bias against Palm?

doublebullout @ 4/15/2009 2:13:59 PM # Q
Generally, I like The Motley Fool and have learned quite a bit from the website and its online community. But I can't help suspecting that a little "payback" might be at work here. I used to have a subscription to TMF's investing newsletter and will never forget the rosy, even euphoric, predictions of Palm's future several years ago. The newsletter pushed Palm hard as great stock buy. Well, we all remember how that turned out. Having been burned badly before, I'm not surprised at these remarks from TMF. Take 'em with a big boulder of salt and consider the possibility of a bias against Palm.
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Bias, lack of subjectivity..

brum @ 4/15/2009 5:15:57 PM # Q
TMF surveyed "smart-phone users", I don't know how many but I would guess that not only are a lot of them fanboys of their partcular phone, Palm Pre isn't about 4000 people that TMF surveyed.

First time smartphone buyers in a market that is exploding (hense first time buyers). I guess we just have to wait and see...

RE: Bias, lack of subjectivity..
twrock @ 4/15/2009 7:18:41 PM # Q
brum wrote:
I guess we just have to wait and see...

What a great idea! ;-)

And as both you and others above pointed out so well, Palm doesn't have to beat Apple or RIM or anyone else to have a good business selling smartphones. It's a growth market, and there is still plenty of room for "new" players*. I've got no idea if Palm is going to make it or not, but anyone can flip a coin on that questions and have a 50% chance of being right.

*I'm looking at Palm as a new player in one sense because they really are consciously breaking with their past. But they have one huge advantage over other new players: a household name. In the end, I think it was well worth their money to buy back the complete rights to the name from PalmSource.

Hey Palm! Where's my PDA with Wifi and phone capabilities?

RE: Bias, lack of subjectivity..
Ryan @ 4/15/2009 8:05:05 PM # Q
brum wrote:
TMF surveyed "smart-phone users"

TMF did not do the cited research. ChangeWave, a survey/research company, did the report that this article is sourcing for the editorial. The graphs above are from that report.

RE: Bias, lack of subjectivity..
SeldomVisitor @ 4/16/2009 3:20:06 AM # Q
> ...But they have one huge advantage over other new players:
> a household name...

Minor correction:

== "...But they had one huge advantage over other new players:
== a household name..."

Like it or not.

RE: Bias, lack of subjectivity..
twrock @ 4/16/2009 6:47:50 AM # Q
When people still call handheld devices a "Palm Pilot", I think it's still a household name. I certainly understand that you don't want it to be true, but not wanting it to be true doesn't make it so.

Hey Palm! Where's my PDA with Wifi and phone capabilities?
RE: Bias, lack of subjectivity..
nastebu @ 4/16/2009 3:26:16 PM # Q
There are other household names in the market space though: google, microsoft, blackberry, apple, all of which connote innovation and corporate power. In that company "Palm" means "yesterday's leader."
RE: Bias, lack of subjectivity..
twrock @ 4/16/2009 7:30:26 PM # M Q
...and we'll have to wait to see if the "new Palm" (company and product) will or won't change that perception.
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But Does Palm Understand Marketing 101 Yet?

Lkbr @ 4/16/2009 3:26:20 AM # Q
The Pre may be better than any iPhone released or any Blackberry invented, and that'll carry them for a few months, but ironically, the hardware just opens a door (which Palm has NEVER walked through before).

Palm's initial success was because they built a better PDA. They relied on early adopters to push the platform, but their marketing ALWAYS SUCKED!! They never understood how to get past just pleasing the early adopters, and having them push the product. Ultimately Palm lost their way and stopped being the innovative leader and tried to compete with platforms and products that were following their initial lead into the space. And they never learned to market like a leader!

Apple's initial failure (the Newton) in the PDA space was because they built a product with lots of cool features, but it wasn't nearly as clever, simple, compatible, and obviously usable as the early adopters could see that the Palm was.

Palm set the stage for the huge and growing PDA market and then they (arguably with RIM in a big role) set the pace in the smartphone handset market. In the earliest days, with a quality smartphone product (ironically they had to buy their spinoff company Handspring to get the Treo lifeline) they again set the pace and marketing once again got a pass, while the mobile carriers did the legwork for Palm's marketing team.

There is a window of opportunity for the Pre because the Blackberry (to a degree) and the iPhone to a much larger degree, both have shortcomings that Palm understands and can capitalize on. I am convinced that the Palm Pre will be an amazing device and that many of the early adopter types will jump on board. BUT...

When Palm is finally enjoying their brief Pre success, will they take full advantage of the newfound geek love and convert it to mainstream love?

Palm finally tapped Apple talent to develop this last, best hope for resurgence on the hardware side. Will Palm see that ALL past marketing efforts have been worthless and that they need to follow Apple's marketing lead as well?

The Pre doesn't just need to be better hardware with better implementation. The Pre needs to capture the hearts and minds of THE MAINSTREAM and not just a few geeks who read spec sheets and care about which processor or OS is on board. Palm needs "cool" waaaay more than just a better device, and that comes from marketing!

RE: But Does Palm Understand Marketing 101 Yet?
SeldomVisitor @ 4/16/2009 4:29:46 AM # Q
Have you seen any mainstream marketing other than that horrible series of newspaper ads that made the Pre look like a REALLY long QWERTY phone with no hint that it was a slider?

It'll be interesting to see how Sprint/Palm market this thing or real.

When they start.

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Sero

jptx @ 4/16/2009 6:50:58 AM # Q
I was planning the jump, but if I can't use my SERO plan, I am not so sure.
RE: Sero
JediLow @ 4/16/2009 11:48:41 AM # Q
I was planning on getting a Pre - but without Sero its a dealbreaker for me.

Sorry Palm, you just lost a customer.

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Don't want to jump right away...

blackstrat @ 4/17/2009 11:24:31 AM # M Q
I think I will hold on to my 755p, for a little bit before I run out and grab the pre. My primary concern is the bugs it will have on the launch date. I don't think a non Verizon device will hurt at all, once the Vzw customers jump ship they will find a far better network along with better customer service with Sprint.
RE: Don't want to jump right away...
buckeyetex315 @ 4/17/2009 10:08:43 PM # M Q
I would love to have a Pre since I'm really disappointed in my iPhone's PIM capability. I also HAVE to wait / hope for a GSM version since I work for AT&T (career limiting move to be on another carrier!).
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