Jon Rubenstein

Any Motorola Droid owners out there looking for a direction to which some frustration needs to be channeled? We present comments today from Palm CEO Jon Rubenstein, who had some things to say about Verizon and the Droid during Palm's third-quarter earnings call this afternoon. Mainly, he says that the Pre's a better product and that it could/should have been bigger than the Droid, it's just that bad timing got in the way.

"We had an arrangement with Sprint that when we launched with Sprint that they would invest in marketing and carry the product and for that they would get an exclusive for a period of time. That really determined when we could do our launch at Verizon. I agree with your premise that if we could have launched at Verizon earlier, prior to Droid, that we would have gotten the attention that the Droid got and since I believe that we have a better product, I think we would have even done better."

We agree that being stuck on Sprint (a fine carrier in and of itself, but a limiting factor nonetheless) kept Palm's products from gaining better market share. But the Pre's better than the Droid? Them's fighting words. And, so, let's get it on! [via PreCentral]

 

Reader comments

Palm CEO: Pre better, could have been bigger, than the Droid

72 Comments

If the PRE were physically *bigger* than the droid, it WOULD be a success.

Yes, i dropped sprint b/c of their inferior coverage, but if the WebOS gets on a piece of hardware with bigger than a 3.7 inch screen and on either ATT or VZ, I would switch in a heartbeat.

Not to beat a dead horse but ATT's coverage is way less than Sprint's. 3G coverage goes VZW>Sprint>ATT>TMo. I can see if you live in the country and can't get a strong Sprint signal but for the vast majority of people who live in the city or suburbs, there is really no contest. Verizon bought a lot of regional carriers and as such have the best coverage in rural areas but since Sprint roams for free on VZW, it's only really worth paying another $30/month for VZW if you live out in the boonies. Paying that much more for ATT's terrible coverage is something I can only chalk up to iPhone insanity.

Technically VZW is charging less than they were. So is AT&T. At least on their unlimited voice plans. It dropped from $99/mo to $69/mo. Whether that's due to Sprint's low costs, I dont know.

While VZW did drop prices, to add unlimited text and data to your unlimited voice plan, you still need to add another $50 a month...

So $119.98 (69.99+29.99+20.00)is what you'd end up paying on VZW for what Sprint charges a flat $99.99 for.

That means you save $500 over the life of your 2 year deal...

I hate paying VZ more, but for me, I get what I pay for. Sprint's data plan, esp. with more than one line, is unsurpassed in it's low price. However, I do get an 18% discount w/ Verizon through my company, so it kind of brings the price down into a comparable range with ATT and Sprint - but for more than one line, Sprint would still be cheaper. Sigh.

I do live in the country, and unfortunately, Sprint has NO data coverage in my area. However, I agree, in urban areas, sprint has decent, if not better coverage than ATT.

Pre is excellent at some things, not as good at others. I've enjoyed mine since launch but will probably move to the Supersonic this summer. I just find it sad that the nature of the market is such that people hang on to their carriers for dear life despite the fact that others may offer a much better deal. Unless I'm out in the middle of nowhere I have great 3G coverage on Sprint. It's second only to Verizon and much cheaper each month...yet people won't buy a phone unless it's on Verizon. It's truly unfortunate that a good phone/OS can get screwed because of perception of the carrier.

I'm glad Google is releasing the Nexus One for all 4 big US carriers because that sort of thing will help people choose based on cost and coverage. Still, I don't see it putting a dent into the identity shopping you see with carriers now. People stick with VZW and ATT because they advertise the most. They have no incentive to charge less or compete because people keep buying them.

Yes bad timing.. that was it. The fact that people that even bothered with thing returned them in droves was another. That it didn't work as advertised was another reason. Yet another was the fact that it took how long to get the SDK out??? AFTER the release of the phone? There was plenty of advertising (magazine print ads and those commercials with the creepy pale girl). This is called being a sore loser. Sorry, web OS is ok but the Pre and Pixi are terrible phones and were almost universally panned by long term testers.

if you want extreemly slow low times a limited app market a tiny screen and no homecreen experience (my favorite android quality) than yes, pre is a much better product.

You are right - the screen IS too small, and the processor is a bit underpowered for today's smartphone market. However, the app market is no longer 'limited,' - with all the EA Games and other stuff, I'd say it's comparable, if not superior to the Android market. Games on the Android suck! But I'll keep my droid until i can get a bigger screen.

Supersonic looks great, but alas, I can't do Sprint. Maybe VZ or ATT will get the Shadow, the Supersonic, or the Mini 5 (drool).

But if a big screen WebOS device comes out, I'll scramble to get it. I hope WebOS does not go under, it's such a great product. Maybe Palm will license it out instead of trying to make hardware.

I played with it for a week for training purposes........................ill never touch them again it was just not my cup of tea

I was an early adopter for the Palm Pre and while webOS is a beautiful OS I was constantly disappointed by the limitations of a web based operating system. The applications were very limited and at times the thing felt a bit slow. I ditched it eventually due to those and many other shortcomings and got a Droid and couldn't be happier. I almost think Palm should've just gotten in the Android franchise themselves and focused a bit more on the hardware. That and well a better launch carrier. Oh well, too bad, too sad, lets not focus on the negative palm.

I've owned 3 Palms, one after another.. with my last Palm being the Palm TX... I loved it! I went everywhere with it, used it to sync my contacts and calendar with Outlook... used a video player to watch downloaded podcasts.. was good at grafitti... but after having it repaired a few times, it gave up the ghost.. the Palm Pre specs did not thrill me.. I had read that syncing was only one-way (then don't call it syncing) and all that.

My Droid has been the best Palm replacement I have. It feels like my old Palm with so much more... I have a few complaints about the phone aspect, but overall, my Droid is my Palm TX.

Sorry android.... But I have to agree with Jon Rubenstein. I think of Android as the new windows mobile platform. It is clunky and not very polished. Overall, just not as good f an experience as webOS. While Android is a good platform, I believe that if Pre would have performed much better had it been released before Droid. WebOS is fantastic. The best OS out there. What Palm needs to do now is give us very good hardware. The one bad thing about webOS is that it requires powerful hardware in order to run at it's optimal speeds. They should have given us great hardware from the beginning. That was their mistake. I hope this summer they will come out with unbelievable hardware specs so they can lure people in. But really, overall, webOS is much better but the Pre is not better than the Droid hardware.

I found webOS to be very slick looking when I first got a Pre, but was repeatedly let down by the lack of what you can do with a web based OS. Android has slow hardware and fast hardware and at the time the Pre came out it also had fast hardware and technically it's hardware is very similar to the iPhone 3GS' hardware yet it still suffers from performance issues. The apps are simple, the phone is slow and their advertising has been flat out bad. They set themselves up for failure, but either way a lot has to be improved than just hardware if they want to succeed.

The Pre is running an OMAP 3430 (same as the Droid) and when it came out there weren't really any faster processors to pick from. WebOS is just a tad on the slow side. I got the Pre on launch day and used it for a month. Apps were slow to launch but ran fast once they were open, touchscreen worked fine, and the browser was good. However, the phone would crash when I closed the slider, the battery life was horrendous, oh and Sprint service absolutely sucked. I've got a Droid now and there's no way the Pre is a better phone.

Sorry Palm but Android is far ahead of Web OS, and open source.
Also the Pre's keyboard is even worse than the Droid (which is pretty bad).

Not even close Droid > Pre

I know I keep hearing how webOS is so much better than Android and how they would've had a better shot if they had better hardware and to this I say bullshit! When the Pre came out it's hardware was top notch and if they could get the damn OS optimized properly it could perform much better, but the real problem is webOS is web based and you can only do so much with that. Apple tried that shit in the beginning and they got off that train really quick, why, because you can only make web apps with a web OS and people want more than that. Android can do some amazing things and Palm has to improve both the software and hardware if they want to keep up.

I think we are mostly complaining about the screen size, not the processor or memory, which are important but secondary.

I think the pre keyboard was good if you like to one hand it, but should have been weighted a little towards the bottom to keep it from tipping out of your hand - i.e. lower center of gravity.

Android is really inferior, imo, from a usability point of view. Here's why WebOS and the Pre hardware are better than Droid:

1. Droid's multitasking switcher sucks (can't see more than the last 6 apps you touched)

2. There's no way to close most apps (on the pre you can close any app simply by pushing it's card upwards)

3. Notification messaging on Palm is not a modal popover like on the Droid, but a very visible but unobtrusive window at the bottom.

4. Those damned soft buttons at the bottom of the droid (home, search) - I am always hitting them by accident, they should be less sensitive. Not a problem w/ the Pre.

5. No hard button for muting on the droid - that just sucks

6. Camera button placement - I'm always hitting it by accident when one-handing the camera.

Android is OK, but it's no gem - the lack of bluetooth voice dialing is vexing.

Even though I haven't had a pre for almost a year now, I still miss it - I find myself doing a swipe on the Droid like I would on the Pre, and of course, it doesn't work (like in Gmail).

The Pre had a chance to shine. And I'd say it was launched in much less hostile waters than the Droid did. The G1 didn't do very well and the Pre was supposed to steal some of the iPhone's thunder. There really wasn't anything else (except for the iPhone)that came close to its specs. So.... with all that it still was a pretty lackluster seller on a decent carrier. Sorry but if that wasn't a wake up call, I don't know what was. If it couldn't gain momentum then, what makes anyone think it will now? Some reasons for its poor showing can be attributed to the fact that it launched with missing features(no voice/video recording / no 3d support / no sync software), its form factor was unusual and just not attractive to the majority of buyers, and the marketing campaign had issues (creepy Pre chick). But even with the best marketing, IMO, the Pre still would not have sold as well as Palm would have wanted because of the other factors.

They need to start from scratch with the hardware. Get away from that bar-soap look and introduce a nice slab design with a big glass screen and decent side-slide keyboard for starts. Of course lots of memory and at least 1ghz processor would not hurt. Hell even I might drool over that. So Mr Palm CEO you can hate the Droid, all you want, it will still smile while it pwns.

I would have gotten the Pre however, went with the Droid Eris. I didn't like the Droid's keyboard with the D-pad on the wrong side. I believe WebOS is a better idea it should have been left to cook a little longer aka optimized for the hardware. Palm sat for years at the top of the smartphone market here in the US and did nothing to innovate their platform even after buying BeOS Inc. in 2001.

I am a happy Android user however, the UI to me seems not finished. I do not even use the HTC Sense or the regular Google Home screen, I like SlideScreen more easily get you the information you need like that of twitter, facebook, google reader, and email. I hope Palm stays alive, the hardware is good however, QA needs to be looked into.

Yeah, i hate the droid keyboard, never use it. The TP2 did it right. I think moving the dpad to the left would be a good idea too.

The existence and excellence of HTC sense does support the contention that the Android interface is still immature.

Palm absolutely did squander their dominance.

I pray that they get on a bigger screen bar device. Please oh please.

OS is a great operating system, but the pre has some minor issues that turn me off. I got one for my wife and within a week she wanted my droid. For a user like me the phone was almost too complicated . It was not easy to use . And the biggest thing was finding apps that I could try out and return if I didn't like. Most apss cost over 2 dollars and once you buy you are stuck. It was a great phone 6 months ago but now just a waste of time.

This gentleman is absolutely clueless. If he thinks his device is better than the Droid now when it so clearly is inferior in nearly every single way, can only mean that Palm will continue to lack the focus and research necessary to improve their product enough to finally rival devices like the Droid and iPhone. Seems more of the same kind of stubborn thinking that lead to the demise of their original OS when they blindly kept slamming the same, boring, never improving OS on phone after phone until everyone lost interest.

I had a Pre last summer (and a Treo 755p before that), until I moved to a rural area. The screen size & resolution, and the phone's build quality hold it back.

In January I bought a Droid and not a VZW Pre even though WebOS is great. I really do like Palm, too; they're scrappy and [the new Palm is] innovative. But no, sorry, Mr. Rubenstein, your phone is not better than the Droid.

Pre a better product?! I don't think so... I've had a Pre since about a month after their launch... Worst cell phone that I've ever had! Sloooow. Small app library & very few free/cheap apps that are good. Nothing but new problems with almost every update... Looking forward to getting a N1 on Sprint or Verizon soon!

I loved the idea behind webos its slick with a lot of eye candy but don't confuse that with polished. It was laggy buggy and just plain slow. I haven't gotten on the hardware yet. They may surprise us later this year with specs. But until webos is optimized and whomever put the pre togher change ill look elsewhere

Only way Pre could have been better/bigger than Droid would have been if they'd given developer's direct access to the hardware from the outset. Instead they handicapped the Pre with the Mojo SDK and have only recently begun to loosen that noose.

Would this be the same as saying a Porshe 911 is only faster then a Yaris, is cause of the engine , tires , turbo , aerpdynamics, and traansmission???

This guy is a fucking idiot!!!

Psh, My Hero is a much better smartphone than the Palm Pre. The Droid is even better in my opinion. Jon is smokin the Elevation Crack. Whatever Jonny Boy, good luck finding a company to buy you out!

Hmmm, we're berating the CEO of a company for thinking his product is better than a competitors? It's suddenly wrong for the leader of the team to stand up for the effort of his team and product? I don't believe Mr. Rubenstein bashed the Droid or Android or tried to pick any fights. Seems like he simply says "...I believe that we have a better product."

That being said, I stand in the both have very good qualities and both had very bad ones. In my opinion, Droid feels like a top tier phone (pre is plastic and faulty), screen is glorious (pre needs a bigger one, higher rez too), android is open and customizable (pre has very limited customization outside of patching and homebrew theming), and is one of the most functional devices I've ever used (pre doesn't even had proper sdks out yet) Pre is UNMATCHED in multitasking (multitasking on android is a joke in comparison), UI is elegant and clean (android is cold, sterile and I vastly prefer webos notifications), gaming is much better (something android will gain eventually, but not as easy as webos has) and developing for the platform is easy and painless for the most part.

Android multitasks just as well or better than webOS. I say better because my Pre would slow to a crawl when even 10 or so cards were open and I've even had background tasks affected as a result ( skipping music or cards not updating as they should). And what about the dreaded 'too many cards open' that plagued so many until recently. With my Droid, multitasking is smooth and largely error/lag free and the widgets function like they should. I also don't bog down with memory intensive apps open.

What people are in love with with webOS is more the presentation and look. I'll readily admit the card view is a cool idea and it is very intuitive but to say it's unmatched is a stretch. Android's memory management and performance is superior. I don't need or see a splash screen when I launch an app on my droid, it's almost instantaneous. WebOS still has a ways to go.

As for Palm's CEO, it seems he doesn't want to admit his mistakes but rather to lay blame on others which is what I think irks many including myself.

my 2¢......I've had the Palm Pre from day one (of the Canadian release) and I have a mixed opinion. I am currently typing on my 4th Pre and i'm in the middle of a trial run of the Milestone (droid).
First i'll say that the keyboard is not bad at all. My wife has the iphone3GS, I've had the Milestone fora week, previous phone was a bb curve and numerous others. The issue with keyboards is non issues.....with every one they feel ocward at first (as I did with the Pre) but you become good at all of them.
second, I don't get some of the issues that are mentioned about functionability vs droid and others. Where are simple built in apps such as Tasks and Notes? Talk about basic functionallity for a smartphone. Next, I've had access to a on screen keyboard for a long time through patches. Speaking of patches, almost all the functionallity that is complained about the Pre not having is available through patches. I don't hear these type of forums speaking much of this! Drives me crazy as it seems to me there is much more customization available to the pre than the Milestone.
Next, above comments about the limitations of web based apps....if you haven't looked lately....we have 3D gaming!! Droid?
another mis-informed statement above was that syncing was only one way to the phone! Not true at all, syncing happens instantly. Both the Milestone I'm trying and the Pre have the same email, contacts, and calendar enabled. The Pre gets gmail faster than does the Milestone on the same Wifi. ( if I'm not mistaken, google is somehow involved with the Doid)
there is more but let me say. I do wish for a higher res screen, a larger screen, a more quality feel of the device. Even with all of this and my issues with hardware, I'm leaning heavily towards returning the Milestone. I am comfortable with some of the shortcomings and feel great about monthly updates that bring greater functionallity. Those, along with the promise of greater things in the future cause me to lean towards the Pre. I just need to hope that Palm can hold on and people get the straight story

Hate to say it but the Pre is no match for the droid when it comes to customizability. Yeah the milestone is the same phone but there isn't nearly as much enthusiasm in terms of hacking behind it as the droid.

What I've already done to my Droid most Pre users can only wish for and I've only scratched the surface compared to the other modders. When you can get your Pre to at least 1ghz with no glitches then we can compare. Also the last time I used the Pre's onscreen keyboard it was so buggy that it was unusable. The Droid has at least 5 or more to choose from including the one ported over from the Nexus 1. As for 3d games there are quite a few available in the market and some bigger ones in the pipeline. I'll admit some of the bigger titles are already on the Pre but it's a myth there are no 3d games for Android.

Also for tasks and notes simply pick one out of the multitude of free ones available in tbe market, that's what it's there for.

Yeah I've seen that and it's still slow compared to any high end Android phone (much less an overclocked one). Compared to my old Pre, it's a big improvement, true, but the fact that it still utilizes a splashscreen is proof the OS needs more optimization. Most of my Droid apps come up instantaneously. There is no time for a fancy splashscreen. You say the Pre doesn't need more than 800mhz, I say it probably needs at least 1.2 ghz and at a minimum 1 gig of ram to be equivalent. But it's nice to see they can be overclocked although the chance of frying it is higher. Plus the discoloration of the screen due to increased heat would surely be a problem. The Droid is physically bigger and manages the extra heat quite well. Also good to know the virtual keyboard has been improved.

I have both the Droid and Sprint Palm Pre. At first I was wowed by the Droid (I admit the ad campaign was awesome). But after I talked my fiancee into getting one to replace her old envy and I got a chance to play around with it I'm still not really that impressed. My big complaint is the Android app market. It is nearly impossible to find specific apps in that thing. Not to mention most of the apps in the market are total crap.

Also, Google's stock GUI is uglier than snot! I love the Pre's stock GUI, it's more fluid and refined looking. Sure you can buy themes in the app store for the DROID but to be honest most of the time the process is way to complicated and convoluted. Buy X product which comes with a few crappy themes, oh by the way the good themes cost x amount. Sure the pre doesn't sell themes, but the Homebrew community has thousands to choose from all free. Another thing is patching the phone is SUPER easy again due to the great community. Whats also neat is you can customize just about EVERY part of the phone and Palm is OK with it. I don't have to worry about bricking the pre because of WebOS doctor, I don't have to worry about voiding my warrenty, the support is just amazing.

One of my biggest complaints about Android has to be the fragmentation of the OS. You Droid users know first hand what I'm talking about. When you went out and bought your Droid you thought you were getting the latest and greatest. To be only surpassed a month or so later by the N1. Hell, its nearly 3-4 months later and your still waiting to get 2.1 and many other phones (Hero, Moment, ect) that are waiting to leave 1.5/1.6 and get 2.0/2.1. Another thing this does is cuts your App market. I've experienced plenty of Apps in the Android market that are 1.buggy as hell 2. Just don't work on the droid. It's sad when in the market there has to be a disclaimer in the description as to which phone/screen resolution/OS the app will work for.

Lastly, PLEASE don't become like the fanboys over on TiPB. I've defended Android because in all fairness it is a better OS than the iPhone but it isn't the be all end all of cell phones. I believe J.R. was saying that if they would have released before the DROID the phone would have been a huge hit on Verizon. I believe this. Look at it this way, before the DROID what kind of phone was available that was of any value? The Curve and Tour, thats about it.... Verizon is/was known for their crappy phone selection. With a little bit of Verizon's advertising help the Pre would have been a huge hit.

If you have a Droid then you really haven't played with it as you claimed. Comparing the Pre homebrew community to that of Android is like comparing a cessna to a 747. I had a Pre for 5-6 months so I know all about the homebrews and have played with Preware and the like. Let me say this: yes webOS is growing and has tons of potential but Android is more mature and is way ahead in terms of apps and hacks.

And you don't have to buy themes, there are tons readily available from sites like droidforums and alldroid.org. And with the selection of recovery managers available, bricking is very hard to accomplish. Even complete noobs are rooting their Droids with confidence.

The fragmentation issue everyone is talking about is overblown and getting quite stale to be honest. Soon almost everyone will be on 2.1 and above and it won't matter (not that it did anyways). Plus no one with a Droid 'has' to wait for the official. People have been running 2.1 for months on their rooted droids. Also I have yet to have a problem finding an app in the market. No it's not as organized as one might like but that never stopped my searches from working.

The phones releasing with 1.5 and 1.6 are not meant for power users who load every app under the sun and love to tinker. Not that they can't anyway, it will just take longer as they'll have to be rooted/ updated. Power users and tinkerers know which phones to get. And if they can't afford them, oh well... make do until you can. No need to bitch and whine about 'fragmentation'.

As for app quality. I've played with most of the major ones and them some and maybe a couple had issues but that's about it. And those were eventually fixed or patched as needed by their devs.

It's a damn shame. Palm has a really good product going in WebOS, and their "synergy" in the cloud was dead on. But they released hardware that had endless problems, and struck a bad deal with Sprint. Ruby can say what he wants, but he or the exec suite *made* that call to go 6 months with Sprint - an ETERNITY in today's smartphone product lifecycles. I was looking at Pre's very closely as a long time PalmOS user - still sporting a Treo680. But my ship has finally come in with the Nexus1 on AT&T. I gave up on Palm a month or so back, just too many downsides, and no viable prospects of 1 Ghz hardware and a US GSM launch. They're idiots.

@ads
Yeah, 6 months carrier exclusive is an eternity...like those Apple idiots did with AT&T.

The exclusive with Sprint is not the issue. I think a big part of it was that Sprint store reps held the Pre sales back a ton because so few of them used or recommended the Pre during this past year. Happens all the time when I go into any random Sprint store (longtime customer) and they would push you away from the Pre because the battery life has never been good. Why do they do this? 'Cause they hang around all day in the store and play with their phones, so battery life is a huge deal for them (obviously it is for everyone). The tag of weak battery life was hung on the Pre from the get-go and that slowed sales. Too many early software bugs didn't help either.

I love the simplicity and function of WebOS, but I never bought one. Wife has it and loves it, so I get to play around with it a ton and I continue to be impressed. The battery life is no problem. So much potential for WebOS, but the early issues were hard to overcome for sales.

Just a thought on part of the issues with a great OS. After years of Treo use, I wish Palm better days ahead.

I'm looking forward to the Supersonic next Tuesday.

He's right, if they went to Verizon they would have sold so much more Pre's. Verizon did an unreal job of marketing the Droid. Is the Pre better then the Droid? I wouldn't go that far, but launching on Sprint did hold the Pre back.

My opinion, the Pre products are just...too small. That, and they feel cheap. I am not saying that are cheap, they just feel cheap in the hand. I think if they would go with a bigger phone, they would draw more of a crowd. But they didn't...so I have a DROID. And I am happy.

I really like a lot of things about the Pre. However, there's a lot more to like about Android. For the people that claim webos is so much more polished, I say bs. No way to customize your homescreen, other than wallpaper. Oh, and don't even get me started on the awful copy/paste implementation. Android offers long pressing, something the Pre needs desperately. I will say I liked the Pre's keyboard. I do not like landscape sliders. I like to use my phone in the portrait position. As far as multi-tasking goes...the cards are neat, but who will actually need 50 things going at a time? I like mult-tasking on Android just fine. I like the way it handles tasks by holding my place, rather than having to have open cards. I'm lovin my Hero. Just finally sold my Pre. It was fun, but I believe Android is the best os out, and will only get better. WP7 is not even going to be like wm...it's taking away some pretty major features. No multi-tasking of any kind...wtf? Iphone is tired and simple. Blackberry is not keeping up software-wise. Android is the best experience and offers the most complete os. Now, I just have to figure out whether I want a Legend, or N1. I Think the Supersonic might be too big. I need my phone to be somwhat compact. That Legend is hot! But, so is the N1. The only way I'd get a Supersonic is if 4G were coming to AR in the near future. I'm not holding my breath on that one. Oh well, Sprint 3G is great here. All these great Android phone choices...Choice is a wonderful thing. That's something iphone users won't have, until they go Android. They just don't realize what they're missing. Go Android!

Select/copy paste isn't much better on the droid. Still way clumsy. I think maybe iphone does it best.

Supersonic will not be too big, trust me. Once you browse on it, you WILL find a way to fit it in your pocket ;)

I won't get into the argument of whether the Pre is better than the Droid or not. The more interesting thing Rubinstein said (which people here are apparently forgetting in their effort to defend the Droid) is the argument that the Pre would have "been bigger". (sold better) For this I absolutely agree. I love Android, but it's a lot to get your arms around if you're a non-techy.

For the general consumer who is probably buying their first smartphone (those who don't have iphones) webOS is a much more straightforward, non-intimidating experience. Sure, for us techies Android is great and not complex at all - but for the rest of the country webOS is probably a bit more approachable and simpler than Android.

I say this as a webOS loving Pre owner, but an Android fan as well.

My wife, who is definitely not what you would call "tech savvy" took to the Droid like a fish to water. I told her what the buttons were for and and that some things can be long pressed for more options and she figured out just about everything else after that on her own. On the contrary, when she tried out the Pre, it was not as obvious how to do this. Without learning Pre's gestures, it can be almost unusable. A gesture to show cards, a gesture to change cards, a gesture to remove cards, etc. I was only able to control it simply because I had read about how it works online ahead of time.

Don't get me wrong, I think the gestures are an elegant way to control the phone and they work just fine (sort of a tie to Palm's Graffiti roots, which is cool, I think). Still, they are arbitrary movements chosen by the software designers that have no physical references on the phone to remind you how to do this, that and the other thing; thus, operating the Pre requires a bit of a learning curve. Yes, it can be figured out fairly easy by reading the manual or having someone teach you, but with the Droid (and just about any other Android device) you can almost figure out the majority of control by accident.

-SR-

Even if the Pre has been released simultaneously on Verizon or after 3 months exclusive on Sprint instead of 6 which would have set a release in Oct/Nov it still would not have done as well as the Droid for two very important reasons:

1. Build quality ... the Pre just feels like a toy in your hand
2. The Palm name ... I am sorry but Palm has not been a real contender in the smartphone arena in several years and the public knows it.

If Palm had licensed WebOS to say LG and had come out with a better overall physical product then it might have had a chance but in it's current form no matter how you marketed it or who marketed it, it was destined to be a mediocre product.

Droid physically feels better then the Pre but i would say WebOS is better then Android. Having both the Droid and now the Palm Pre Plus I would recommend going for the Pre. I just love how the notification bar pops up for basic controls as in Pandora. It works so well. Palm needs to build a better built phone with a bigger screen. It will be sad to see WebOS go.

nothing to do with the fact that the handset is pants.. to say the least.

to me (and agred by customers) the handset is ill thought out and a half arsed attempt at.. well we dont know what.

there is so much wasted space in the design of the handset. the best example of that is the keyboard.. "check it out Jonny Ru, we've made a phone better than any android handset.. oh shit we forgot to put a keyboard on it, just whack one on this useless slide out bit..."

well done guys. well and truly balls'ed that one up. Omnia Pro anyone?
(Omnia Pro is what custs go for over the PRE in alot of cases but on the other hand both phone are displayed nicely next to our android POS)

I had a Pre from launch until last week. I left sprint due to their customer service not coverage. I get great coverage with both Sprint and VZ. There are things I miss about Pre, the way it handled notifications, swiping to close, cards. The things i don't miss is the lag, frequent reboots to get it to work properly,and a lot of other small things. In the week or so I have had my Droid I like it a lot, the hardware is 1000% better than the Pre, I love home screens and widgets, I like Android OS and it is crisp and responsive on my Droid.

I do wish the my Droid would handle multi tasking more like the Pre, although i like Pre's notification system, I also like Droids. At the end of the day they are both good phones and OS. I wish I could I could mix and match their best features, then i think you would have the best smartphone on the market. Pre's major short falling is hardware and sometimes performance, which is a shame it is a awesome OS.

It took too long to get to retail, the hardware is fragile when it should have a solid build quality that's becoming of a device for adults and finally it should have been released on all carriers and be available to buy without a contract.

All the things that made this product and platform a great leap forward in smart phone thinking are now being used by everyone else but with faster, more robust hardware.

A crying shame really.

The Pre sucks.

The thing is so small. The keys on the keyboard are too small, the droid keyboard is bad, but at least the keyboard wasnt made for the hands of a 5 year old girl.

If the Pre was bigger, faster and available on more networks, I would move in a heartbeat. Palm has the OS down, but the hardware sucks.

I almost feel like WebOS might be a bit ahead of its time, mainly because it is trying to do always-on, full-time multitasking with things running in the background as if they would on your home computer. That's a nice idea and may work well some day, but for now, it would seem that it is too much for todays mobile battery and processor technology to handle. So, what you end up with is a mobile OS that no current mobile device can really run in a way that meets many people's expectation in terms of responsiveness and battery life. If someone started producing 2 GHz mobile processors and 2x current density batteries tomorrow, WebOS would find a home in which it would probably shine quite well. There would be plenty of power to run a reasonably large number of complex background processes and lots of juice to keep them going for a couple days.

When it comes to current technology, it seems that there are only two approaches to multitasking that really fit very well (so far, anyway). The first would be to not really multitask at all (like the iPhone); you can avoid overtaxing the process or and memory and you don't have to worry about background processes draining the battery. The other option is to come up with a way to keep background process asleep, unless their is something they must do. That's basically the way it works with Blackberry and Android OS and because of that, they both multitask pretty well without taking a big power hit.

I will say this much, I wish my Droid was half as good at syncing with Outlook via USB (or Bluetooth) as my old Palm devices were (and I assume WebOS is probably just as good) without having to use expensive third-party software that isn't even that good. Google seems to forget that, in the Corporate world, there is such a thing as proprietary information which means not everyone has the luxury of simply pushing their Corporate Exchange data to their Google account with a desktop app so that Android can sync to it.

-SR-

I'll keep my pre till the next Webos phone comes out.

I don't care for the circa 1985 styled Droid with it's Two handed keyboard.

Someone said Palm wasn't a good name brand anymore.. Who makes Droid again??? I guess they don't want credit?

I also don't care for Verizon and it's overpriced plans.

Having said all that, if Palm goes away, and they come out with a portrait slide Android with decent specs and the most current OS, I'll probably go that route on my Yearly Sprint phone update.

Take a look at an HTC Android with an on screen keyboard. I am someone who swore physical keyboard only, wouldn't even look at something without one, but the on screen keyboard with HTC and Android in portrait mode is INCREDIBLE. I am probably twice as fast, maybe more, with the on screen keyboard than my Pre. Give the supersonic a test drive at the store when it comes out.

Had an Instinkt after my Palm 650 and before my Pre. Hated the onscreen keyboard. Hated Samsung for not delivering what they said was coming. (like an app store...) Discovered after using my pre for a month that I no longer have to look at the keys, I can just touch type on it. Try that on an onscreen keyboard.

Another Palm guy chiming in. Had a Palm since the old Pilots, up to the Treo 650s, through the 755s, and the Pre. Also had a few Palm WinMo phones. In fact, my household had 3 pre's at one point.

WebOS isn't there yet, and they are spending way too much time fixing in consequential things, or making it look like a teenage toy, than fixing PIM and production issues. I held on to it from launch day until around Jan and switched to Android. Until Palm REALLY gets off their butt, and does some major programming, I'm done with them. IF, and when, they ever get themselves onto the same page as everyone else, and start having the same functionality as PalmOS with the WebOS UI, than I might take another look, but its going to take a lot to bring me back to Palm. Not to mention the hardware was a friggen JOKE. I went through 5 Pre's in that time span, all warranty defects, and my last one is sitting on my shelf broken. The other Pre's in the house have been replaced at least 3 times each.

2 Droids, never replaced either. Android just simply does what I need it to do, and does it well. With Palm, I was always hacking into it, or waiting for something to be added to do what I needed to do with it.

Rubenstein, you got beat. Bad. Stop making excuses. The product IDEA is good, the interface is even good, but the overall product is NOT up to par, nor was it even close to being a releasable product at launch. Pre will never be better than the Droid, sorry. Maybe Pre 2, but the Pre is not on any smartphone level, in my opinion.

And this is why Palm is in the trouble that it's in. For years now, their poor execution has always been "somebody else's fault".

Come on, Palm, time to suck it up and take responsibility for your own shortcomings. Stop trying to always blame somebody else. At some point the pattern becomes obvious. It's like saying "everybody hates me!". If that's the case, maybe the problem isn't the "everybody". Maybe the problem is you.

I had the Pre moved on to the Hero and passed the Pre to my girlfriend. She has had a total of 4 and the most recent one (new out of the box) the volume down does not work so it will be number 5 soon.

I am still on my first Hero which I got at the end of October she got the Pre at that time so she is averaging more than one a month. I think the Pre has a great OS and great potential it just sucks that the hardware is so bad. Everyone that I know that has the Pre has had multiple exchanges this has to throw some flags to Palm. People are tired of exchanging phones I know my girlfriend is.

Dear Palm,

Please fix the Pre's hardware.