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November 05, 2009

Wireless

Smartphones on Verizon and thoughts on the Pre

Since I'm a big fan of my iPhone several of my friends have asked me when I think Verizon might get a similar phone to run on their network. I'm personally not sure if we'll ever see an Apple phone for Verizon, but now its clear that smartphones have arrived on Verizon and they are powered by Google's Android. Walt Mossberg says:

But this week, Verizon (VZ) is rolling out a device that finally gives it a more credible alternative. This new $200 phone is the Motorola Droid and it’s the first Verizon model to run Google’s (GOOG) Android smart-phone operating system. I’ve been testing the Droid, and while it has some significant drawbacks, I regard it as a success overall. It’s the best super-smart phone Verizon offers, the best Motorola (MOT) phone I’ve tested and the best hardware so far to run Android. I can recommend the Droid to Verizon loyalists who have lusted for a better smart phone, but don’t want to switch networks.

That pretty much sums of what my friends have been asking for -- take a look and see if any of the drawbacks are a deal-breaker for you. I think if you require an outstanding keyboard, then you may need to wait. But if the software flaws are bugging you, then worry not. Google and the open source community are revving the Android software faster than Apple is revving the iPhone software.

A few months ago I was patiently waiting for the Palm Pre to arrive on Verizon's network, but I think Palm has made two significant mistakes that actually threaten their survival in my opinion:

  1. It is horribly complicated to get an application published in Palm's application marketplace. Apple has made this easy and they have oodles of applications for the iPhone. A broken app store makes the Palm Pre much less appealing compared to Android or the iPhone. I don't think Palm understands the true importance of the App Store.
  2. Piggybacking Sync off iTunes. Palm, who has pioneered sync software for the original Palm Pilot is some fancy footwork into tricking iTunes into thinking the Pre is some sort of Apple device. Of course Apple doesn't like this and Palm and Apple have been playing a cat and mouse game of enabling and disabling the Pre syncing in iTunes. Who loses that game? You, the end-user.

How could you be so stupid, Palm? These mis-steps may very well be the end of Palm, since my feeling is that they bet the farm on the Pre. They got a few things right, but two very critical things wrong. I've loved many of their products and its sad to see the company mis-step so badly today.

Posted by Mayhem at 10:52 AM | Comments (4)