Today we wake up to a new world, a world in which Palm is a brand people are actually talking about, I feel like I am in 11th grade all over again. Anyway, Palm announced their new Mobile OS called Web OS, and their new flagship device, the Palm Pre. As for the naming, I would not have chosen those names, but I guess they are not as bad as some other names we have seen in this industry lately.
We do not know all that much about Web OS, so I will wait for more details before expressing my opinion on that matter. As for the Pre, I have an opinion, and it is a strong one. Palm might be the first company that I know of that went from being a total nobody to becoming a major player and threat to the biggest names in the industry, and this change took place over night. This new device is not only going to compete with phones like the iPhone and the G1, as far as I can tell, it has them beat, by a long shot.
Let me just run down the specs here for you. The Palm Pre has a 3.1 inch touch screen with multitouch, accelerometer for landscape browsing, Wifi, GPS, 3mp camera with LED flash, 8GB memory, a2dp, replaceable battery, Micro SD expansion slot, USB 2.0, portrait slide out keyboard, 3.5mm headphone jack, and a blazing fast processor and CPU. For an exact list of all the specs, see here.
The form factor is impressive and innovative (kinda looks like a mixture between a PEBL and an HTC Touch, do you see that?). The OS from what we have seen seems to be unprecedented in its speed, beauty, and functionality. It really combines the simplicity of the iPhone with the intelligence of the G1.
Just to give one example, the swiping gestures to move between web pages and open apps remind me of the iPhone, but the ability to receive notifications about new email or IMs resemble the G1.
Palm, from what they have told us, are trying to deeply integrate our social networking lives into this phone. I am talking threaded conversations over SMS and all the IM networks. I am talking close collaboration with Facebook and other social networks, bringing, for example, your phone, Google, Outlook, and Facebook calendar and contacts all into one view.
I could really go on for a long time here, so I will just stop here and say that this phone and OS will no doubt bring Palm back to being an industry leader, and I do not think it will take long.
To finish off with a quote from Peter Ha “This is an iPhone, Android, Palm race now, Symbian and WinMo are done”. Sorry Itamar, but I could not agree more.