Scoble: With Pre and webOS, Palm has built a better experience than Apple

“When I sat down at the beginning of the Palm Pre announcement press conference I was expecting to watch the death of a company. Palm? Give me a break. It would NEVER do anything interesting and Nokia, Microsoft, RIM, and expecially Apple were about to kick it into the deathbin of history,” Robert Scoble blogs for Scobleizer. “I was wrong. WAY WAY WAY wrong.”

Scoble declares, “Palm just did what Nokia and Microsoft and RIM couldn’t do: deliver a better experience than Steve Jobs did.”

MacDailyNews Take: Riotous laughter rings through the cavernous halls of MacDailyNew’s palatial headquarters. RIM’s BlackBerry Storm also got excellent “reviews” the day after it was unveiled and “news” outlets regurgitated RIM’s press release. Then people actually tried to use the thing:

ChangeWave: Apple iPhone’s ‘very satisfied’ rating more than double that of RIM’s BlackBerry Storm – December 22, 2008
• Yale Daily News: The Storm isn’t an iPhone killer, it’s a Blackberry killer – December 10, 2008
• Innovation and Entrepreneurship Professor reviews RIM BlackBerry Storm: ‘Disappointing and awful’ – December 05, 2008
• NY Times’ Pogue reviews RIM’s BlackBerry Storm: ‘I’ve got a better name for it: BlackBerry Dud’ – November 26, 2008
• InformationWeek reviews RIM’s BlackBerry Storm: ‘Tiresome, slow, severe bugginess and problems’ – November 24, 2008
• TIME Mag reviews RIM’s BlackBerry Storm: ‘Novelty screen feels cheap; steer clear of this storm’ – November 20, 2008
Chicago Tribune reviews RIM’s BlackBerry Storm: ‘Can’t compete with Apple’s iPhone’ – November 20, 2008
Gizmodo reviews RIM’s BlackBerry Storm: ‘Heavy, laggy, sluggish, unstable, clunky, and tiring’ – November 20, 2008
Engadget reviews RIM’s BlackBerry Storm: ‘Frustrating, inelegant, uncomfortable; a disappointment’ – November 20, 2008
PC World reviews RIM’s BlackBerry Storm: ‘Awkward, disappointing; a failed experiment’ – November 20, 2008

We called that one right, too:
• BlackBerry Storm: No Wi-Fi. No iPod. No iTunes App Store. No sale. – November 14, 2008

Scoble continues, “Nokia’s devices that I saw last month just suddenly seem so lame. Why? Well, when you look at the Nokia N97, which will be out at about the same time as the Palm Pre, you see that they also have a nice UI, but it falls apart when you click down into apps and try to do things. Palm doesn’t fall apart. Click down and you keep getting shocked.”

MacDailyNews Take: How is that better than the iPhone which certainly doesn’t “fall apart when you click down into apps” either while continuing to amaze years after release, not just a day after a pre-release presentation?

Scoble continues, “Palm’s bet on social networking integration is a game changer. Click into a contact and you see people’s Facebook info and other info from their social networks. That is huge and not many people will get it.”

MacDailyNews Take: “If many people won’t get it, how can it be “‘huge?'” MacDailyNews asks while looking at “people’s Facebook info and other info from their social networks” via their iPhones’ excellent and free Facebook app available at Apple’s iTunes Store right now, not “first half 2009” on – bwahahahaha! – Sprint.

Scoble continues, “Cut, copy, and paste. Anymore to say?”

MacDailyNews Take: Yeah, “free iPhone software updates.”

Scoble, “Anyway, the bottom line is Palm has a real winner here. It shows that you can never count a company out. Even one that looks like it’s already out of the game.”

MacDailyNews Take: We shall see. We shall see. In our opinion, there isn’t room, nor is there a need for Palm in a market already crammed full of iPhone wannabes, to say nothing of the iPhone itself. There are more than enough pretend iPhones, thanks. Plus, developers have far too much on their plates already (iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Symbian, etc.). Maybe – maybe – Palm can displace one or more of the other iPhone knockoff artists. if so, more power to them – if they finally start treating Mac users like they exist again.

Some people are foaming-at-the-mouth desperate to minimize what Apple does and conjure up worthy competitors. We’ve seen it umpteen times with the Mac (OSes and hardware), the iLife apps, iPod, iTunes, iTunes Store, and now we see it with each and every “iPhone killer” that’s released. It’s sad. Give Apple the credit they deserve, don’t disrespect them with pie-in-the-sky hyperbole about a phone that’s six months from release by a company – and on a network – that are both running on fumes.

A bit of perspective: When Apple was “dying” in 1997, they had $1.2 billion in the bank. Palm just got a $100 million cash infusion from their backer, Elevation Partners, just to keep operating. Note: $1.1 billion is $1.416 billion when adjusted for inflation. If Apple was “dying,” then Palm is in rigor mortis. Furthermore, Palm has a current market value of $669 million – and that’s with PALM up 36% today on the day-after “Pre” (dopey name) hysteria. Apple’s market cap is $81.2 billion, they have $28+ billion in cash on-hand, and are a debt-free company. In other words, Apple could buy Palm this afternoon with petty cash. Maybe that’s what Palm and Elevation Partners are really shooting for?

Palm hasn’t built a better experience than Apple. Not from what we’ve seen and read. And, even if they’ve come anywhere within range — a claim, by the way, that we’ve heard about basically every “iPhone killer” on the day following whatever company’s carefully-choreographed dog and pony show was shown, six-months-prior-to-release, no less — they were taught how to do it by Apple (many of those at Palm are Apple castoffs, in fact). Not to mention that Palm simply does not have the any resources which with to compete against Apple.

We’ve iCal’ed Scoble’s article for future use.

And, oh, by the way:

We’ve been pushing the state-of-the-art in every facet of design… We’ve been innovating like crazy for the last few years on this and we’ve filed for over 200 patents for all of the inventions in iPhone. And we intend to protect them.Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiling iPhone, January 9, 2007

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “mks1” for the heads up.]


  1. Yeah, he was getting happy about PRE on his Twitter. He claimed that it was the best social media interface out there for a mobile device.

    It may be. When I read the list of features, it looks like a fairly robust development platform.

    The difference is that applications will be limited to a small subset of what the iPhone can deliver since it is only web based technologies.

  2. There was an article recently about a VC investing a lot of money in Palm – perhaps this is why. I’m pleased to see that they Palm have something interesting. The original Palm was certainly a well received handheld. Good handheld technology can only benefit the consumer and drive Apple to improve their products.


  3. I can only see a positive outcome from this, even as an iPhone user. The iPhone’s rate of innovation (impressive as it already is) can only become greater when a worthy opponent is in the ring.

  4. Couple of problems.
    First would be that it isn’t shipping yet.
    Second, there are no apps or Dev kit yet.
    Third, no App store.
    Fourth, no 3d games as there OS doesn’t support that right now (and the way Palm moves, it could be well into next year or so til it does).
    Fifth……price ($199 for an iPhone, and $?? for this?). Sixth……Google Maps seems to be missing. Seventh…….UI…….How is it going to handle multiple Applications when their “store” opens? The UI right now has the bundled apps in the bottom leaving the majority of the area open for whatever current program is running……but…….wouldn’t that make it really had to find another application if you have say 30+ applications?

  5. Considering it’s created by many ex-Apple employes, you can see the influence.

    The Pre looks way better than WinMo or Android, and absolutely trounces Nokia and their pathetic OS.

    Since it uses web tech for apps, it sounds like it may be super easy to develop for it. It rules out things like games though where you need to be able to address the hardware directly, but that could be tackled.

    Still, Apple isn’t sitting still. Will be interesting to see where they take iPhone OS 3.

  6. I only read half of this page…..I’ve been saying all along….when the iPhone comes to Sprint and it has 4G…..I’ll be the first in line. Looks like Palm beat them to the punch. I’ve had Att and Sprint. I have a few iPhones in the family and with friends. Their coverage SUCKS. I hate when I have to call somebody with an iPhone, you never know if they will drop the call or something. I used to work for Apple, I swear by Macs, but the iPhone has not impressed me as much as my Macbook Pro or Mac Pro. iPhone’s biggest weakest link is the carrier at this point in my opinion. I’ll be first in line to trade in my Centro for the new Palm.

  7. As an iPhone user who loves his phone, I really like this Pre. I have owned many Palm devices and always loved the way it worked. They make really good products.

    The good thing for us iPhone users is that Apple finally has real competition and that can only improve the iPhone and at the same time, make it more affordable. Competition is good and at the end, we all win.

    Palm Pre will have MANY applications because the Palm PDAs had many and people like to code for them. I say, bring on the competition and in the end, we will start to see better products from both Apple and Palm.

  8. It’s flattering that MDN will berate anything that’s not Apple related – but in this case they only sound childish. Palm’s introduced something innovative; would it kill you to notice this? Not everything Apple does is gilded. Please recognize this.

  9. There’s a huge slice of pie here, and suddenly Palm could get a piece of it.
    This is much better than the Storm, but let’s not forget that Apple is way ahead in R&D;than their world-scale current iPhone production. They will do cut and paste and landscape keyboard and editing documents when THEY think they have real competition.
    They have the iSight, remember. They will put it in the iPhone when THEY think they have real competition.

  10. How is it fun to bash Palm?

    I have an iPod Touch and it’s by far the best PDA I’ve ever used.

    But back in the day, the Palm Pilot and the Palm III we just outstanding. Perhaps not as visionary as the Newton, but they were great devices.

    I’ve ben using my old Palm III for MANY years and it was always useful.

    Yes, Palm have had their share of screw ups (as all technology companies have, including our beloved Apple and Steve Jobs – remember the Apple III) but one thing is clear to me:

    Palm is not Dell.

    Meaning, Palm had something different to offer before. They created technology.

    I’m still an Apple fan. But it would be nice to see something competitive in the market. And honestly, I think Palm is the company that could do it.

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