Palm Pre promises to explode into a supernova of suck


The Internet – a barren wasteland full of haterage and pain and woe betide the company who wanders into its unblinking eye of malice. After saying that the Pre was an also ran last week, other interested parties have started to come out of the woodwork to predict a fiery demise for Palm’s savior-phone.

William Hurley, for example, writes in BusinessWeek that Palm’s efforts to court developers failed early on and that the Palm’s efforts will all be for naught. Here’s the kidney jab:

For consumers, there’s likely to be disappointment with price. The Pre starts at $199, after rebates and a service plan—almost exactly what the iPhone costs through AT&T (T). If you can afford to spend $199 on a phone in this economy, would you purchase a phone that’s been in the marketplace for two years, has sold more units than the Motorola (MOT) Razr, and is supported by tens of thousands of available applications, or would you purchase an unproven phone from a company teetering on the brink of extinction, or at least irrelevance?

These are words that suggest that the Pre will soon pee blood. Sprint is a lump of a provider, Verizon is already promising the Pre in six months, and the pro-Pre hype storm is now turning. Heck, even John Gruber is still piling on and he gets off the couch for no man!

What should have Palm done? They should have made the best device they could have – both on the software and on the hardware side – and told Sprint to suck it. AT&T had little control over the iPhone and Apple orchestrated a coup. The carriers take RIM products with little complaint, knowing they can charge the world for service. Palm was in a similar position – they were beloved – but now it’s clear that the corrosive influence of a group of old folks at Sprint has taken its toll. Please, lord Jeebus, prove me wrong.