Page last updated at 07:32 GMT, Thursday, 4 June 2009 08:32 UK

Palm Pre 'can challenge iPhone'

Palm needs the Pre to be a success

Palm's make or break new smartphone, called the Pre, has had good reviews ahead of its US launch on 6 June.

The company, which hired many ex-Apple employees to build the device, needs the Pre to be a success in order to turn its fortunes around.

Once a giant of the smartphone sector, Palm has struggled in recent years to match Apple, Nokia and Blackberry.

Many reviews have said the phone is the first serious challenger to the iPhone in terms of design and usability.


We haven't seen so much buzz over a phone since the iPhone, but for the past six months, all eyes have been on the Palm Pre.

Despite some missing features and performance issues that make it less than ideal for on-the-go professionals, the Palm Pre offers gadget lovers and consumers well-integrated features and unparalleled multitasking capabilities.

Cnet says the Pre is "the most legitimate rival to the iPhone yet".

Palm Pre
The phone has been designed to make organising your life simpler

If the Palm Pre had appeared a year ago, it might have turned the smartphone market upside down. It would have beaten out Apple's iPhone 3G and the iTunes App Store, Google's Android, the BlackBerry Bold and Storm as well as BlackBerry App World, and possibly taken the spoils.

It is easy to forget that when the iPhone launched, it also had software and hardware issues. The difference is that Apple was effectively pioneering a new market, so it had plenty of time to get the formula right. Palm, a struggling company going up against surprisingly strong competition, faces a vastly more difficult challenge.

I am pulling for the Pre, but I wouldn't want to bet my iPhone on its success.

According to Business Week, the Pre is "way behind the iPhone on software".


I've been testing the Pre for a couple of weeks, and I like it a lot, despite some important drawbacks that will have to be remedied.

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.

Whether the Pre is better than the iPhone depends on your personal preferences, though I'd note that the new iPhone to be unveiled next week will have lots of added features that could alter those calculations.

The Journal says its "biggest advantage over the iPhone is... a real physical keyboard that slides out from its curved body".


The Pre, which goes on sale Saturday, is an elegant, joyous, multitouch smartphone; it's the iPhone remixed.

The Pre's all-new operating system, called Web OS, is attractive, fluid and exciting. It borrows plenty from the iPhone — pinch or spread two fingers on the screen to zoom in or out, for example, or flick a list item sideways to delete it — but has its own personality.

The Pre will be a hit, but the iPhone isn't going away. First of all, Apple's lead of 20 million phones will only grow when the new iPhone 3.0 software (and, presumably, a third iPhone model) come out shortly.

The Times adds the Pre is not quite as simple as the iPhone.

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