First wave of Palm Pre reviews generally positive, with caveats

“The first wave of reviews for Palm’s Pre came in overnight Thursday from the usual suspects — and they’re generally positive, with caveats,” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune.

“Each reviewer covers the basics and makes the expected comparisons to Apple’s iPhone and Research in Motion’s BlackBerry,” Elmer-DeWitt reports.

Full article, with links and excerpts, here.

MacDailyNews Take: Almost every reviewer (yes, we’ve read them all) either fails to mention the specter of new iPhone hardware that looms over Palm and the Pre or, worse, compares the Pre with iPhone 3G (now a year old) and iPhone Software 2.0. Yes, new iPhone hardware and iPhone OS 3.0 have not yet been released on the market; neither has Palm’s Pre. Also, nobody seems to see fit to mention that a device with an accelerometer to detect and enable landscape view (wonder where they got that idea?) comes with a less-than-stellar antique physical keyboard perpetually stuck in (and with keys crammed into) portrait mode. Turning the thing sideways results in a useless appendage. That’s simply bad design.

By some miracle, even the most deluded reviewers do mention the Pre’s complete dearth of apps before resuming their breathless comparisons with Apple’s old iPhone and OS. RIM is the odd man out, warranting little or no mention at all in many of these reviews; that’s telling and of import to the mobile device market as a whole. BlackBerry could get squeezed here if — and this is a very big if (consigned to Sprint for at least 6 months, no apps, scant developer support, non-competitive price that’s about to look even worse, iPhone 3.0, new iPhones, etc.) — Palm’s Pre is a sales hit.

By our calculations, the media’s Pre orgy has about 96 hours left — or several thousand less hours than Palm desperately needs.

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