Newsweek on the Palm Pre | webOS Nation

Newsweek on the Palm Pre

by Jennifer Chappell Wed, 14 Jan 2009 8:02 pm EST

I've heard several mentions around tech sites and in forums that the Palm Pre is an iPhone killer. I've even wondered myself if the Pre could be an iPhone killer. Of course we've barely scratched the surface of learning about Palm's new WebOS and the first smartphone to run on the new OS, so it's hard to say.

A Daniel Lyons article over at talks about Jon Rubinstein being involved with the Palm Pre. We've talked a few times at TreoCentral about how Rubinstein was such a big player in Apple's financial turnaround back when Rubinstein helped develop the iPod. Rubenstein. Below is a quote from one such article:

Before Rubinstein joined Apple in 1997 as senior vice president of hardware engineering and a member of its executive staff, Apple had just lost $816 million, and their profits were waning along with their reputation as an innovator. At Apple, Rubinstein was responsible for hardware development, industrial design and low-level software development. He contributed heavily to Apple's technology roadmap and product strategy. Finally, Rubinstein embarked on an extensive cost-cutting plan that axed both research projects and engineers. Expenses were cut in half.

Steve Jobs wasn't at all happy when Rubinstein joined Palm in the summer of 2007 to develop a new smartphone. And Jobs was really mad when Rubinstein began poaching some of Apple's top talent.  Dieter posted an article over at TreoCentral last March about Rubinstein hiring former Apple executives Mike Bell and Lynn Fox.

 But when Newsweek met with Rubinstein in December for a sneak peek at his latest creation, Rubinstein said that Palm wasn't trying to build an iPhone clone. He said that it had nothing to do with Apple.

According to the Newsweek article, Rubinstein said that when he was at Apple, they put a huge amount of effort into developing a new operating system, the OS X, which became Apple's key product in the next decade:

Now, at Palm, "we're using the exact same playbook," Rubinstein says.

Palm has stated that their WebOS is based on the open-source Linux operating system and was created from the ground up to run only on mobile devices.  Lyons notes that Apple's OS X, on the other hand, was originally created for personal computers and then got squeezed down into the iPhone.  There's bound to be some tasks on the Palm Pre that work better since WebOS was made to run on it and other future Palm devices.

The article also notes that the iPhones's Internet experience isn't near as good as what you'd get on a laptop or desktop PC. (For me, it's the best Internet experience on a mobile device so far though) Plus you can only do one thing at a time, and when changing applications, you have to keep going back to the home page. In contrast, we've seen in the Palm Pre demonstrations that you can multi-task on the the Pre and even have several cards open at one time.  Yes!  Thank you very much Palm for bringing such a strong multi-tasking device to us.  It's so annoying when you're in the middle of one task and have to close it out to go to another task.  That "back" function in the lower part of the device where the gestures are is great also!  Too bad the iPhone doesn't have that "back" feature.  I bet the next iPhone will have something similar though.

Another interesting quote from the Newsweek article is from Roger McNamee of Elevation Partners regarding whether or not the Palm Pre is an iPhone killer:

"Everyone in the cell-phone business has missed the point. They're all trying to make an iPhone killer. I don't want to compete with Apple. Why the hell would you want to get in the way of that machine? I look at the guys who are trying to compete with Apple and I think, Are you guys crazy? I just want to learn from Apple's experience."

Anyway, the Newsweek article is chocked full of very interesting Apple and Palm stuff, so be sure to read the full article.

To me, it's not all that important whether or not the Pre is an iPhone killer. I just love that these companies are developing such wonderful smartphones for us. My first cell phone was such a plain ole dumb phone.  Pathetic screen and of course not a touchscreen. That old Motorola is like a horse and wagon compared to the latest sports car. Eons apart in development.

You know good and well that Apple is surely going to pack all kinds of new goodies into their next iPhone since seeing what Palm has brought into the smartphone arena. And we still haven't heard about the other devices from Palm that will run on WebOS. There's no telling what kind of drool inducing gadgets that are just around the corner. Let Apple, Palm and RIM keep right on competing and bringing us the goodies! 

 Anyway, let them steal from each other too because one idea might bring forth a flood of even better ideas and so on and so on. I'm still in awe at what the iPhone can do 2 years after first seeing the first one. And I'm in shock and awe after seeing the Palm Pre keynote the other day. I bet we haven't seen anything yet. ;-)   I read today at Mobile Magazine that Dell could be entering the smartphone market.  I've used a Dell PDA and was impressed with it, and I'd be interested to see what Dell would come up with in a smartphone.  Rumor has it that Dell might have something to say and even to show as early as Mobile World Congress or CTIA Wireless.  According to Mobile Mag, the Android and Symbian platforms were mentioned.  So, if these rumors pan out, this would be another smartphone in the arena to consider.

For now, the Palm Pre seems to be in the spotlight and in the center of the arena.  I hope that Palm gets the Pre released very soon.  Soon as in before the hype dies down and other contenders step into the ring.