Ten years ago, the RAZR was the coolest phone you could get. Ten years ago, phones were measured by their shiny and by their size (or lack of). Ten years ago, the mobile internet was laughable and severely under-supported, GPRS and EDGE speeds were considered blazing at 50kbps. Ten years ago, Palm's stock was worth over $300 a share, and the Treo was the emerging smartphone to have.
This week, Palm's stock was devalued after posting a $22M loss last quarter. The Pre, Palm's Hail Mary pass with the Pre fell incomplete, despite the fact that the Pre is actually a really decent phone. With over a million phones unsold sitting in warehouses, and a million or so in the bank to survive, Palm is praying to be bought, where they will be scrapped for IP (Intellectual Property, patents, etc.).
There has been a shift in the mobile hierarchy... Apple, Google, and Microsoft now control everything. Its ok, we'll miss Palm, but everything else is just sweet.
I admit, its not fair to say that the Pre failed. The Pre didn't fail, Palm did. Every single step, from launching on the 3rd place carrier (Sprint), hardware woes, fighting a losing battle with Apple over iTunes syncing, and then launching the same tired device on Verizon when the Droid just landed... Palm had their chance, but now its time to go. There are now three platforms to develop on: iPhone OS, Android OS, and Windows Phone 7 Series. Your mobile world is now in the hands of the computer gods.
Now I may be a poly lover, but its not so easy when it comes to technology. You have to pick one and say your vows; an affair or two is nice, and no one has hurt feelings in digital land (just your data). Palm Pre owners, I suggest you jump ship while you still have a chance at love... here's a roundup of your next available suitors:
- Apple iPhone 3GS - The official Gay Geeks approved device (pains me to say it). Sleek and sexy, and about to appear on T-Mobile and Verizon in 2010, if you can't handle the abuse of AT&T. In iPhone land, everything is beautiful and gaming couldn't be sweller. Your handsome love gets a facelift every year and gets slimmer and faster as the time goes by. This year, the iPhone should get multitasking, widgets, and maybe even a front facing camera... or nothing at all. Thats the downside to Apple: hype and wait.
- Android Phone My personal favorite, and if you worship Google as your personal data savior, then look no further than a Droid or a Nexus One. Multitasking, flexibility, and ultimate customization at the cost of aesthetic perfection... Go Android if you like a quirky genius in your bed. Be very careful putting an iPhone and a Android in the same pocket, they tend to be a bit scrappy of late.
- Windows Phone 7 Series - I'm only recommending this to be fair and balanced. Microsoft pulled a Palm with a complete redesign of their bastard WinMo 6.x series, but they have enough money in the bank to fail a few more times before they have need to worry. WP7S goes sleek and modern, a more imaginative UI than even Apple could think up, and rolls in robust Zune HD software and XboxLive to make up a pretty sweet presentation. There is no phone in the wild, though we'll see at least one by Christmas 2010. Mayhaps you'll be over your Palm grief by then.