Palm Pre is Pre(mature); I’ll live in the iPhone digital universe
By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfricaonline.com and The Black Business Journal, Houston
June 19, 2009 cannot come faster; it’s the day the new iPhone 3.0 comes into the marketplace. My continuing need to live more in a better digital universe, my preference for one device for phone-web-contacts-utilities-video-music-gps-sms-moneywatch apps compel yet another upgrade to the new Pre, BlackBerry or iPhone 3.0.
Beyond the media-pr hype, based on actualities , interface, reliability, and features, I think this first Palm Pre might just be Pre(mature) in comparison to the iPhone 3.0. The iPhone is a significantly better platform; it’s a better phone, years ahead as a phone-music player, greater and more effective utilitarian mobile device with a universe of options; period! Without a doubt, the marketing zing of Pre can only go so far; where the Pre rubber meets the road, the superior capacities and interface preeminence and overwhelming assortments of software options make the iPhone a much better choice. I will not “upgrade” to Pre, at this time. Therefore, I will wait for a few more days for the new iPhone 3.0, even with AT&T’s atrocious pricing fees and toxic international rates for multimedia execs like me who travel and like to use their phones outside the U.S. Oh, lest I forget, this Palm Pre cannot talk abroad…until, yes until….
I am following Apple’s June 8-9-10, 2009 developer’s events with special interest. The iPhone 3.0 announcements offer 100 more feature factors to live in what I call the iPhone digital universe. Earlier, on Saturday June 6, 2009, I drove to the Sprint store at Highway 6 near Westheimer in west Houston to buy the long-awaited Palm Pre. Before that visit, I read at least 30 reviews of the Pre. I looked forward to “upgrading” my Palm Treo to Palm Pre.
I own 3 series of the older and latest Palm Treo (with mac friendly software); I bought the iPhone the first few hours of the day it was released in 2007. Also, I owned the latest, sweet, reliable iPod Touch 3G until it was stolen 3 weeks ago.
Before I tell you why, specifically, let me state that I am a new tech-gadgets pro user. I own several products from the Apple Macintosh platform. Regardless, without any sentiments, I do not keep inadequate Apple gadgets.
I used the very first iPhone for about 10 days, painfully without the Spotlight software to navigate almost 5000 contacts on my business-family lists. That iPhone was clearly inadequate. Apple users screamed while Apple dragged ts feet until recently with a universal search capacity. Reasonably, the Apple sales and tech staff in 2 Houston stores said to me at the time: “this first version of the iPhone is not quite for you due to thousands of names/contacts.” I returned the iPhone, and kept my trusty Treo.
I’ll narrow things to 6 key issues for me on this Pre versus iPhone option:
1) First impressions and impact. I took the Pre last Saturday, turned it on, and slid open the device which exposed the sharp edges. The edges still make me wonder if Pre’s chief evangelist-key funder Roger McNamee Pre and Jon Rubinstein are hiding the fact that the Palm Pre is a nail-cutter, a weapon of sorts, too.
2) On capacity. The Pre is, without beating about the bush, a junior iPhone wanna-be, even with all the multi-tasking and push technology potential and measurable prowess. Pre has a much smaller screen, too little buttons, plasticky, toyish and rammed too close to each other.
3) Reliability. An effort to task it on multi-aspects of performance forced a crash. Understandable for a version 1.0. I called a Sprint staff….Restarted and back to operations….
4) Response to tactile communication. The hand gestures and all that tactile signals by a Sprint staff seemed forced on Pre, and did not respond well; he murmured and we moved to another Pre.
As he struggled with the gestures, I remembered my ever responsive iPod Touch. Was this a cynical joke rigged by Steve P. Jobs via this Sprint staff to task my patience with the Palm Pre, and compel and instant comparison with the iPhone and the real Mac universe? Nah. The guy told me around 5pm ‘we sold some, and there are about 10 left….’
5) Size really does matter. Pre is a good size for those who seek a smaller phone. I need a mobile internet device-phone-pda not something that feels like a make-up holder. I need a full fledged phone or better.
6) The abysmal lack of softwares for the Pre that could do one 90th of what one stuffed iPhone could raised value, functionalty and utility challenges, too. The iPhone smashes the Pre here in a manner comparable to having The Rock in wrestling match against Obama’s chief of staff Rahm Emanuel!
Welcome back, Steve Jobs, Long Live the iPhone and Apple!
Chido Nwangwu, recipient of the Journalism Excellence award (1997), is Founder and Publisher of USAfricaonline.com (first African-owned U.S.-based professional newspaper to be published on the internet), USAfrica The Newspaper, CLASS magazine and The Black Business Journal, USAfricaTV, AchebeBooks.com, and several blogs/e-groups, has been a participant at the World Technology Forum in San Francisco by PRI/BBC and contributing analyst to CNN’s Inside Africa, VOA, and newspapers/sites. He has served as an adviser to the Mayor of Houston on international business (Africa) and appears as an analyst on CNN, VOA, NPR, CBS News, NBC and ABC news affiliates. www.USAfricaonline.com/chido.html
Pre v iPhone images from smh.au
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•USAfrica and USAfricaonline.com (characterized by The New York Times as the largest and arguably the most influential African-owned, U.S-based multimedia networks) established May 1992, our first edition of USAfrica magazine was published August 1993; USAfrica The Newspaper on May 11, 1994; and CLASSmagazine on May 2, 2003.