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The Palm Pre will become only the second multi-touch smart phone on the market and the first multitouch phone to feature a slide-out keyboard. The Pre will be available out-the-door for $199.99 at Best Buy on June 6. It's the same price elsewhere, but you have to mail in a rebate.  (Source: Sprint/Palm)
No rebate necessary for us, Best Buy says

The Palm Pre is shaping up to be a hot property when it’s released next month.  The Pre features Palm's new webOS and will become only the second smart phone on the market to use multi-touch (the iPhone being the first).  The phone hits the market on June 6.

Brick and mortar retailer Best Buy, eager to cash in on the demand for the phone, has announced that it will be selling it at its 1,067 Best Buy Mobile locations.  The company is offering a unique promotion -- it will be selling the phone for $199.99 cash with a contract.  Even Sprint itself can't exactly match this offer -- while it will also be offering it at a final price of $199.99, it's via a $100 mail in rebate.

Best Buy hopes the special offer will save customers the hassle of a rebate.  It also is giving its employees special training so that they can properly demonstrate and describe the Pre's features.

Best Buy's Scott Anderson states, "We believe the ability to keep multiple applications open at the same time will be a very popular feature of the Palm Pre.  It promises to be one of the best-selling smartphones of the year."

He continues, "(Best Buy employees have)
extensive training on the Palm Pre. We offer a program called Walk Out Working -- free in-store smartphone setup by a Best Buy Mobile expert who will sync e-mail accounts, set up Bluetooth peripherals, transfer contacts, and activate other services to allow the customer to leave the store with a fully functional new smartphone."

This experience will likely be put to the test as the Pre's promising features are likely to make it a strong seller.  Beside multi-touch, the Pre features a slide-out keyboard -- a long pleaded for feature by iPhone and Blackberry Storm users.  It also features multiple simultaneous apps -- something Apple's iPhone can only halfway do.

The phone represents a do-or-die moment for Palm, which invested a great deal in its development.  Palm owned 40 percent of the smart phone market in 2006, but has since sunk to 10 percent.  States Nielsen analyst Roger Entner, "This is an opportunity for Palm to invigorate itself and become a serious contender, (otherwise it) could mean the end of the road for Palm."

Best Buy also carries the Pre's top competitor, the iPhone 3G.





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Should have slid the keyboard the otherway
By rudy on 5/21/2009 9:14:08 AM , Rating: 3
IMO it would have given me more space for each key, plus multi touch is mostly difficult to make use of unless you ahve the phone in landscape view. This is still interesting I wonder if you can put win mobile on it. I am looking at this or the HTC touch pro.




RE: Should have slid the keyboard the otherway
By retrospooty on 5/21/2009 9:30:41 AM , Rating: 3
"IMO it would have given me more space for each key"

all Treo's that started the whole smartphone craze, and most win mobile phones, which improved upon the Treo platform, and most blackberries which totally dominate the entire market all have this same size keyboard.

Its pretty much a business standard requirement, and the main reason the iPhone hasnt really penetrated the business market (which is by far the vast majority of smartphone sales). .


By Master Kenobi (blog) on 5/21/2009 9:32:57 AM , Rating: 3
iPhone also does not have the remote management/capabilities of the Blackberry/WinMobile/Palm platforms. iPhone is targeted as a stand alone consumer product, not a corporate asset.


RE: Should have slid the keyboard the otherway
By retrospooty on 5/21/2009 9:38:45 AM , Rating: 2
Yup... this basic keyboard design and size is here to stay, until some other device that either has a landscape keyboard or a virtual keyboard dominates sales, then maybe you'll see more of something else.

Speaking as a long time business user of smartphones with pretty big hands, I don't want any other format. The size is perfect, and fast as possible when typing - no need to fight with a virtual KB, and no need to rotate the phone. There is a reason it sells so well.


By Master Kenobi (blog) on 5/21/2009 10:11:30 AM , Rating: 3
I agree. I like the full keyboard blackberries. I hate the Storm/iPhone touch system it just doesn't do as well.


By theapparition on 5/21/2009 9:45:15 AM , Rating: 2
Going landscape requires 2 hands (thumbs?) to effectively type. The current layout can type much more effectively with one hand.


RE: Should have slid the keyboard the otherway
By Chudilo on 5/21/2009 10:03:20 AM , Rating: 2
Two thumbs is actually a good thing. That's how many people type on their BlackBerries. You're obviously not going to use 2 hands on it like on a real keyboard, but 2 thumbs makes it a lot faster then what you can do on an iPhone.
Also if your other hand is occupied you should be perfectly capable of typing with one thumb, which is also only marginally possible on the iPhone.


By mydogfarted on 5/21/2009 10:45:39 AM , Rating: 2
If you've used the Palm keyboards before, you're used to it. You can still two finger it if you like.


By mead drinker on 5/21/2009 10:08:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
ou're obviously not going to use 2 hands on it like on a real keyboard, but 2 thumbs makes it a lot faster then what you can do on an iPhone.

Huh? You can't two thumb an iPhone? Well I guess what I have been doing for the past year is somehow a miracle or something. I get the whole lets bash on the iphone for having lack of a "tactile" response and all of the other excuses that allow people to hate on the iphone but this one is absurd. I would be willing to bet that I can type faster on my iphone simply due to the fact that I do not have to manually depress a button a specific displacement for it to recognize entry, meanwhile my fingers skim the surface and the touch in my own fingers is enough to alert me of data entry. Which brings me to my next point: I am sick and tired of people saying they don't like the iphone because of lack of "tactile" response. If by tactile you mean you can't feel that your fingers are touching a screen and therefore inputting commands into the device than your problem is not so much the phone but rather that you are a quadriplegic trying to dial on a phone. Its akin to a caveman using a lighter and saying: But this thing doesn't feel like two rocks bashing together to make fire, I don't like it.


By Chudilo on 5/21/2009 9:42:11 AM , Rating: 2
I would've loved to get one. But, Sprint, not gonna happen. I need my phone working when I'm outside The City (NYC) as well. Luckily sprint only has exclusivity for this thing until the end of the year.
I'm definitely getting it once it's on Verizon or AT&T. By then they should be able to sort out all the early glitches as well.




By RamarC on 5/21/2009 10:39:49 AM , Rating: 2
it'll work throughout the northeast. all of my instinct features work in most towns in west virginia and pennsylvania, so unless you're going to an upstate cabin in new york state or maine, the pre will work just fine.


By Chudilo on 5/21/2009 11:15:24 AM , Rating: 2
That's exactly it. I AM going Upstate / Catskils and the Delaware river to camp / fish or ski in the winter.
Sprint coverage is non existent there. AT&T and Verizon work there just fine.
I could understand the lack of full 3G service there, but first and foremost this device is a phone and it should work as such no matter where in the US I might be. I would also prefer it to work abroad, but that's a sacrifice I would be willing to pay at this point.


By TomZ on 5/21/2009 12:17:06 PM , Rating: 2
On the other hand, you're wrong if you think that all carriers have similar coverage. Some carriers' networks are better/larger than others.


By Chudilo on 5/21/2009 4:02:19 PM , Rating: 2
The name calling is completely uncalled for. It definitely doesn't display your mental abilities in a very good light.
As far as your other statement is concerned, the problem is that since this is a CDMA headset, roaming is not possible on anything then the Sprint network and a small subset of Verizon's network. I can not speak for your market, but the New York Tri-state area is pretty much exclusive to the 3 major carriers. Which also means that Sprint has no 3rd party coverage whatsoever, CDMA roaming or otherwise. That brings me to my original point: It should work as a phone in most relatively inhabited areas.
I was able to make phone calls from my POS Verizon phone while skiing at most popular ski slopes all while Great Thinkers, such as yourself, were asking me how my phone could possibly work up here. This has been the case on countless of other occasions in numerous other circumstances. I would like to add that the AT&T network coverage is getting closer and closer to providing a reasonable level of coverage,(not as good as Verizon but it works at places where one would expect it to) where Sprint is nowhere near there.
This is surprising to me, as the NY area is probably one of the biggest markets for any carrier. However Sprint seems to be under impression that their subscribers never leave the city and Hampton area, which just isn't true.


By Chudilo on 5/21/2009 4:13:26 PM , Rating: 2
Forgot to include Connecticut and long island in the list of areas where it does actually work.
But try to follow Route 80 on Sprint's own Coverage map and you'll know what I mean. Or take a look at hunter or whistler Ski areas.
I don't like to be left unreachable. I have people that might need to reach me 24/7


best buy employee training
By Gul Westfale on 5/21/2009 9:56:59 AM , Rating: 4
i was going to make a joke about that, but it's just too easy.




Drawbacks
By jmunjr on 5/21/2009 10:04:31 PM , Rating: 2
Without even have seen the Pre here are my issues:

Not offered standalone. I don't want a contract with my phone.

Only offered by Sprint. I don't want Sprint. I want a GSM phone that works in other countries.

I'm an American in the USA and still am so annoyed by this bundling crap. Am I the only person who refuses to buy a phone because of the contract/bundling BS ? Since 2003 I have bought prepaid or standalone phones to go with my contract-free service with T-Mobile. I get unlimited minutes and texts for $65 per month + taxes - NO CONTRACT. Why on earth would I switch to someone else?

I am one of the biggest techies out there too, I just choose not to adopt stuff that isn't in the consumers' best interests.




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