Bloomberg Interview with Roger McNamee
An interesting video interview (video link) with Elevation Partners' co-founder and Palm board member Roger McNamee has been posted to Bloomberg.com. In the 6-minute interview, McNamee offers several interesting bits of insight about Palm's upcoming WebOS and the Pre. The usually casual McNamee is also snappily attired in a suit and is sporting a tidier-than-usual rock star haircut in this video.
No concrete release details for the Pre are given by either the Bloomberg TV anchor or Mr. McNamee other than the usual "first half" window. Much discussion is made of Palm's rivalry with RIM and Apple and how they all target different segments of the market vs. the traditional feature phone manufacturers. McNamee does offer that the price premium for smartphones is now "tiny", so this might offer a glimmer of hope that the Pre will not drastically overshoot the new $199 smartphone benchmark established last year by the iPhone 3G .
Another comment in the video discusses that the Pre is targeted for peple who are "busy" (as well as "incredibly busy") or "on the web", versus the iPhone's users who like to listen to music or play games. Ironically, despite Ed Colligan's previous insistence that the Pre aims for the "fat middle of the market", the always-engaging McNamee claims that he doesn't really know who is going to be the Pre's target customer, but does surprisingly suggest women as potential fans alongside the usual early adopter crowd.
McNamee also gives Apple's product line some praise for being superb media products but insists that the Pre will "run rings" around the iPhone.
McNamee does not go into any specific details on Elevation Partners' continued faith in their investment in Palm or the company's most recent grim financials. Continuing the strong strategic alliance shown at CES between at Sprint and Palm, McNamee concludes the interview by spending a fair amount of time promoting the "mature" Sprint EVDO network, ranking it ahead of Verizon's and far ahead of AT&T's.
Thanks to Gekko for the tip.