Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Who Made the Bigger Impact? - The Pre, or the iPhone?

The Pre is a success according to some - after all it sold out didn't it?

Yes and no.

That would depend largely on how you look at it. After all, I have always said that I rather make a one percent return on a million dollars, then lets say, oh, 1,000 % on $10. Mind you, 1,000 % on a dollar would give you astounding $100 in return, but compared to a measly one percent on a million dollars, well that would net you $10,000, and I really don't think I have to ask which you would prefer, now would I?

So is the case with the Palm Pre. Yes, Palm needed and wanted for us to believe that the Pre sold out as it makes for some good press. It generates a lot of buzz, which in the PR industry is just what you want it to do. But was it enough to guarantee the future success of Palm and that of the Pre?

The harsh reality, however, is a little different. Sure the Pre was a success, but compared to what? Even though I agree that the Pre is a great phone, and better than most others out there, I still don't think it's any where near the success that Palm would have us all believe it is, or that it's going to be. As in my illustration above, the same thing applies to the Pre's introductory sales. It sold out for sure, but when you consider that most stores each only had a few of them in the first place, well that's to be expected. If they only had one phone and sold it, then technically, I guess, anyone honestly could say that it was a sell out! It all sounds nice and all, but it doesn't necessarily mean anything, or give you a really honest grasp of the situation.

Yesterday, for instance, Gizmodo did a reality check and one which helps to highlight the fact that even though the Pre might be a success as compared to some other past phone introductions, when compared to the introduction of the original iPhone, well let's just say that the Pre's success comes out looking a little short.

As they say, "one picture is worth a thousands words", but in this case, lets make it two pictures. As you can see, the first photo at the beginning of my post, shows the line up for the Pre. Now compare that with the photo below of the line up for the original iPhone.

Striking is it not?

Of course, I don't happen to agree, like Gizmodo's Jesus Diaz, that the iPhone's success is due simply because of Apple's so-called mighty PR machine. Sure, I grant you that it probably played it's part in the iPhone's success, but only a part. Overall, the real reason for the iPhone's incredible success is simply that it's an incredible phone to begin with.

It just happened to be a phone that was truly different then any other phone that went before it, and a phone that dared to break the mold by approaching things differently - and thus making it down-right revolutionary in the process. The only thing that the Palm did that was revolutionary, was that it dared to copy the iPhone much more closely than many others have, including companies that mocked the iPhone while hypocritically scrambling to copy and kill it off in the process! The Pre doesn't bring anything new or revolutionary to the table. Rather it just brings it's own unique spin on things, and things that the iPhone had already pioneered. I don't' see anything in the Pre that changes anything or adds anything radically new or different as did the original iPhone.

The Pre isn't a complete copy of the iPhone, of course, because they do, after all, include some things that the iPhone doesn't have or do, things like having a real (real small) keyboard. I say big fat hairy deal! These are things that Apple could apply to the iPhone , in a heart beat, if they so desired.

So is there any guarantee that the Pre can survive and save Palm in the process? Maybe it will? Maybe it won't, but personally, I doubt it.

The Pre might be a great phone, but after yesterday's announcement of the new iPhone G3S and the lowering of the current G3 to that of that magical price point of $99, well, the Pre just doesn't cut the mustard for me. Still, a nice phone, a nice phone indeed, but with iPhone G3S's speed and video capabilities, among other things, such as it's enormous library of over 50,000 apps, well, the Pre is just so yesterday!

And that's my 2 cents 4 this Monday, June 08, 2009

Pre and iPhone line-up photos via: Gizmodo

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