Amazing, absolutely amazing, but it's true - Palm's music strategy for it's new Pre is for it's customers to use - get this - the iPhone's music technology, Apple's iTunes!
Not only did Palm develop the Pre by poaching Apple's John Rubinstein, one of the fathers of the iPod, and other ex-Apple engineers, but now they have the audacity to base the Pre's music syncing service on Apple's iTunes! Unbelievable!
Do they have no shame? Apparently not.
Not only that, but the Palm is the first company that has decided to arrogantly use and defy Apple's multi-touch patents, daring them, in the process, to do anything about it! Apparently, when your desperate - you do some pretty desperate things, and trust me - Palm is desperate, because if the Pre fails - Palm fails!
In the meantime, a lot of people are smugly assuming that the Pre is going to be a big hit, and maybe it will be, who knows? However, regardless of whether it will be or not, I have to agree with Walt Mossberg's analysis as reported in the Washington Times:
"But according to Mossberg, even a hit phone might not be enough to overcome the company’s substantial woes: a cash crunch, an otherwise depleted product line, and an exclusive deal with a carrier, Sprint, that is losing customers in droves."
As hyped as the Pre is, apparently it's not as great as some would have you believe. One of the things that Palm likes to brag that the Pre has over the iPhone is it's built-in Qwerty keyboard, but now according to BGR, who recently scored the first hands on with the Pre, they write:
"Additionally, things aren’t looking good for that QWERTY either. And hey, you know we take them keyboards seriously! When you try and type on the top row of keys, your finger hits the bottom part of the front piece and on top of that, you often hit multiple keys at the same time while typing. It’s actually really frustrating and doesn’t bode well for such a fantastic social communication/personal/business tool."
Even though BGR states that, "The screen is really responsive and blends right in with the casing — awesomely executed and the capacitive touch is so damn beautiful.", they also state that it's still not as good as the iPhone's, or in their words, "We’d rate it just behind the iPhone but in front of the T-Mobile G1 as far as screens go."
I have no doubt that the Pre is a great phone, but come on people - do they really have to blatantly poach on Apple's work and employees, and do they have to do it so arrogantly and shamelessly? Personally, as much as I like some of what I have read about the Pre, I don't like they way they are going about it, ripping off Apple in order to do it. John Rubinstein, Fred Anderson and the other ex-Apple employees may have worked for Apple, and they may have worked on the iPhone, iPod Touch, etc., but that doesn't mean that they own the technology or that they have the right to use it in any which way they please!
The question is: what is Apple going to do about it? Will Apple go after Palm as Tim Cook, Apple's CFO and interim CEO hinted they would do to anyone who poached on their intellectual property? I don't know, but I am hoping that they do just that. The truth is, Palm is in such poor financial shape that Apple doesn't have to even win it's case directly in court, all they have to do is stretch out the legal process until Palm is forced to bleed it's last remaining penny. I don't know if Palm is in debt or not, but I do know that Apple isn't and that any money that Palm may or may not have to fight off Apple, it's no more than pocket change when compared to Apple's almost $30-billion in cash reserves.
Unless Palm and Apple can come to some sort of mutual agreement, then I think that Apple should simply sue Palm out of existence, and the Pre along with it. It will serve Palm right for bringing out the Pre and using iTunes for music syncing, and while blatantly thumbing it's nose by using technology covered by Apple multi-touch patents!
And that's my 2 cents 4 Friday, May 29, 2009
Illustration via: Engadget