The Palm Pre made some serious splashes earlier this year when it was announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. It was promised the device would ship in the first half of 2009, and despite rumours the Pre was going to be delayed, Palm has now officially stated (the page break hides the fact that those are two separate links) that the Pre is still on track for H1 of 2009. The marketing machine is also ramping up.
Roger McNamee, an investor with a stake of 39% in Palm (“I’m there about three times a week, mostly with the engineers”), had some interesting things to say about the Pre vs. the iPhone. “You know the beautiful thing: June 29, 2009, is the two-year anniversary of the first shipment of the iPhone,” McNamee said in an interview in San Francisco, “Not one of those people will still be using an iPhone a month later.”
He also hinted that a lot of people bought the iPhone merely because it was the coolest product around. “Think about it – If you bought the first iPhone, you bought it because you wanted the coolest product on the market,” McNamee said, “Your two-year contract has just expired. Look around. Tell me what they’re going to buy.”
Palm could really use a break. The company is in a dire financial situation, and with the economy getting worse, the company has bet a lot on the success of the Pre and its webOS. While the Pre has been received quite positively by the media, it faces the same problems any new platform faces: lack of developers, lack of applications, and will most likely have some bugs as well. The Pre won’t save the company in three days – it needs a commitment.
“I’m on a 10-year plan, here,” McNamee said, “[Apple, RIM] are going to run out of gas way before we are.” At least Bono believes in them.