Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Pre:iPhone::Mac:PC - It's like old times all over again

Reports coming in from across the web suggest that Palm's Pre smartphone is an outstanding device, and in many ways superior (slider keyboard, wireless charging, camera flash, background applications, web integration, removable battery, and slick, gesture-based user interface) to Apple's iPhone. While Apple's newly introduced iPhone 3GS ups the ante, there are sufficient reasons for people to stick with the iPhone. Back in the day, Apple's Macintosh, introduced in 1984, attracted a loyal following but the bulk of the market was owned by far inferior IBM/Microsoft PC, mainly for two reason: the lower price, and the availability of many applications.

So while the Pre is a beautiful device that can hold its own against the iPhone, it has thus far been able to garner only a few dozen applications, in comparison to Apple's 50,000 and counting. That difference is going to sway the prospective smartphone customer towards the iPhone, however much she may like the Pre, and so the iPhone is definitely going to have more numbers -- and hence greater profits for the application developer -- than the Pre.

Apple learned its lesson -- it's retained its design cachet, and it now has the application portfolio: an unbeatable combination. All hail thee, St. Steve!

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