Beleaguered Palm’s Pre will be hampered by its lousy applications, high price, marketing missteps

“On June 6, Palm will release the Pre, a smartphone many hope will fuel a resurgence of a company long since fallen from grace. But numerous miscalculations and missteps endanger this hoped-for turnaround,” William Hurley (whurley) writes for BusinessWeek.

“Palm has been hyping the Pre since January’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas… at the outset, the company made an attempt to court a community of software developers who would be at the forefront of creating all manner of rich applications that will make the Pre both useful and fun to a range of buyers,” whurley writes.

“I should know. I led early attempts to organize and rally the community. Our flagship event, preDevCamp, drew together roughly 1,000 volunteer developers in more than 85 cities around the world. Before those efforts could come to fruition, it became apparent to me and other leaders that Palm’s early enthusiasm for the community was halfhearted at best. I and some of my associates ultimately parted ways with Palm after a series of events that has been discussed at length elsewhere. I won’t rehash it in detail here, but ultimately we didn’t believe we had the backing from Palm we would need to ensure success,” whurley writes.

“Thumbing your nose at a loyal development base is never good. This decision, combined with the minimal programming skills required to write applications for WebOS, might result in an abundance of poorly written apps hastily released by new developers,” whurley writes.

“For consumers, there’s likely to be disappointment with price,” whurley writes. “The Pre starts at $199, after rebates and a service plan—almost exactly what the iPhone costs through AT&T. If you can afford to spend $199 on a phone in this economy, would you purchase a phone that’s been in the marketplace for two years, has sold more units than the Motorola Razr, and is supported by tens of thousands of available applications, or would you purchase an unproven phone from a company teetering on the brink of extinction, or at least irrelevance?”

Oh, there’s more. Read the full article here.

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