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iPhone competition from Palm?

gatorguy 326 Points
edited November -1 in Smartphone Navigation
Palm has staked it's near future on the success of the Palm Pre. With excellent reviews so far and availability of a very inclusive data plan thru Sprint (who BTW is rolling out a 4G network), it looks like they won't be disappointed. Up to 100,000 units sold in the first 3 days of availability. There's a several advantages to the Pre over the iPhone. For gps users like us, the Pre (thru Sprint) offers tethering. The iPhone (thru AT&T) does not. The Pre supports multiple applications all running at once. No need to restart you navigation when you get a phone call or check an email. The iPhone does not. The Pre has a removable battery, so it's possible to do a hotswap for those long city walks. The iPhone does not. Throw in Sprints Everything data plan which is $20 cheaper than the AT&T equivalent ($70 compared to $90) and the Pre looks pretty attractive, with the potentially faster data delivery offered by 4G a future bonus. Now which mobile navigation app supplier must have a huge smile? Telenav, who supplies Sprint Navigation. There's no competition on the Pre nav app (at least for now), so Telenav has a possible captive audience of 1 million Pre owners by year's end. Over on the iPhone side expect upwards of 20 or more navigation applications all competing for a slice. IMO, Telenav comes out looking like the early winner in the smartphone navigation arena.

Comments

  • Tim 1481 Points
    I agree that TeleNav has a rosy future. I'm not sure I agree with much else of what you said. :)

    First, there are not many companies that suck more than AT&T, but Sprint is one of them. Their coverage area is ridiculous, even compared to AT&T.

    The iPhone 3.0 Operating System does allow tethering, and AT&T has said they will support it in the future-- without doubt at an additional fee. I have the NetSharing application on my phone now which made it work under OS 2.0.

    While the iPHone doesn't allow background applications running or multiple applications-- there is no reason you would need to "restart navigation". Just open the app again and it will resume navigation. It isn't as though you should have to enter the destination again. So on the Pre you "switch back" to the navigation app and it resumes while on the iPhone you will "start" the navigation app where it will presumably resume right where it left off. I don't see there being much difference to the end user... similar behavior, similar number of steps.

    While there is not a removable battery in the iPhone, your option for the Pre suggests carrying a second battery for the phone to hotswap. There are third party battery extenders available for the iPhone too that you could carry and snap easily onto the device.

    Sprint is certainly cheaper than AT&T... no doubt about that. And the overall two year cost of ownership of the Pre will be cheaper too. But people tend to be short sighted about price and don't often multiply out the monthly fees. People will look at the Pre and see the $199 price tag compared to the iPhone 3G now available for $99... It will be hard to resist the "coolness" factor of being an iPhone owner for $99.
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    But you don't mention that much of the current iPhone is a mess. It's not a great phone, e-mail handling isn't very good, and even tho you have found workarounds for the short battery life, it certainly wouldn't be as convenient or compact as simply swapping the battery. Multi-tasking is a huge flaw for the iPhone IMO, and as I mentioned AT&T doesn't currently support tethering on the iPhone (as several TT owners have found trying to use Plus services) tho "someday" they will. My primary point was that the Pre appears, in my opinion, to be a better overall smartphone than Apple's, lower cost of ownership, and potentially faster data delivery. I just think that anyone considering an upgrade to a smartphone shouldn't be blinded by the pretty looks of the iPhone and take a hard look at the Pre, IMO a better overall device.
  • Tim 1481 Points
    But you don't mention that much of the current iPhone is a mess.
    Because I don't think it is a mess.
    It's not a great phone
    Why isn't it a great phone?
    e-mail handling isn't very good
    Why not? It handles my two IMAP accounts, Exchange, and Gmail accounts just fine.
    and even tho you have found workarounds for the short battery life, it certainly wouldn't be as convenient or compact as simply swapping the battery.
    Not quite as compact... sure. But it is just as inconvenient as you have to tote around a second battery for both. And short battery life? common! :) The iPhone 3Gs is rated for 5 hours of talk time and 300 hours of standby. The Palm Pre is rated for 5 hours of talk time and 300 hours of standby. So you can't say the iPhone has short battery life without saying the Palm Pre has short battery life too.
    AT&T doesn't currently support tethering on the iPhone (as several TT owners have found trying to use Plus services) tho "someday" they will.
    Actually, it was *Apple* that didn't support tethering, not AT&T. The day that Apple announced they will allow it, AT&T said they are working to support it later this fall.
    and potentially faster data delivery.
    So we calk talk about future Sprint plans as a positive for the device (4G) but we disregard AT&T's stated plans for this summer fall with regard to tethering?
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    Question 1. There's a lot of users complaining about call quality. Currently no MMS support, (yeah I know it supposed to be in v3) and can you even IM with the thing? I'm not sure. I've also seen numerous complaints of device crashes, tho it doesn't leave any lasting effects.

    Q2. Something as simple as searching emails isn't currently supported. With the lack of a real qwerty keyboard, do you know anyone hitting more than 30 words a minute typing on the screen?

    Q3. Battery complaints have gone down since it was first introduced, but still many users claim it's nowhere near 3 hours talk-time.

    Q4. Because 4G is already available (Baltimore area, as well as a few others I think), tho still pretty limited
  • Tim 1481 Points
    1) I've personally not had any issues with call quality. I did with OS version 1 on the original iPhone, but not since. MMS support is included with OS 3, and AT&T say they have plans to support it. You can IM, there are apps available for most protocols.

    2) You can search emails in OS 3.0. The keyboard is QWERTY. The keyboard probably isn't as fast for many people, but the auto-correct feature is better (IMHO) than other brands, somewhat negating the lack of tactile response.

    3) Right, which is why I used the manufacturer's claims in both cases. Both manufacturers list the same talk time, and Palm Pre reviews have been similar to iPhone reviews with both claiming poor battery life in general.

    4) Okay, so it is here now in two cities, with a couple more by the end of the year, and maybe a dozen by the end of next year. I don't plan on being in Baltimore anytime soon. :) But frankly, I'm not sure which network sucks more. AT&T certainly has better raw coverage, but they are just getting up on 3G and even 3G isn't available everywhere. Sprint might be getting faster networks running quicker, but that doesn't do many people good who live outside of any Sprint coverage areas which are a good amount of people. I'd take slow network over no network... But frankly both carriers suck.

    Now when the Pre gets up on Verizon.... then the iPhone will face some more realistic competition.

    I think perhaps one of the bigger questions to ask is where will developers go? How many will want to develop for Apple, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, Android, and now Palm? Currently there are 40,000 apps in the Apple App Store, and about a dozen available for the Palm. Sure, that isn't a fair comparison, but it highlights the steep climb Palm will have to make.

    By all accounts the Palm Pre looks like it will be a fantastic phone. Just like GPS-- we will all have our own personal preferences, and our own unique needs. Giving the iPhone a bit of competition is a good thing for both companies. I probably can't even count the number of Palm devices I've had... from the original "Pilot" devices, through the time when they licensed their OS and I had a "Handspring Visor" (with GPS module!) and I've had at least three Treo models as well.
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    Then maybe we agree that users will find both phones to be very good, with some advantages and unique features on both? Couldn't hurt to consider each of them? Yeah I realize that much of we're discussing is a Lexus/BMW or Garmin/TomTom type argument. I just think it's a good idea for potential buyers not to get swept up in the iPhone craze as tho there's just nothing like it and never will be. There's smartphones out there with more features and integration, or a better match for their needs or budget (but perhaps none as pretty :) ).

    Of course for business users, Blackberry is still the way to go IMHO. And no, that's not an invitation for a new discussion 8)
  • Tim 1481 Points
    Then maybe we agree that users will find both phones to be very good, with some advantages and unique features on both?
    Agreed.
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    I was just advised there is another issue with using an iPhone with the TomTom Plus services. It's not just tethering but the lack of TT PAN support. iPhone will only offer PAN, while TT requires DUN. So without a navcore change, still looks to be a no-go for linking the iPhone and TT Plus (specifically traffic), according to the poster.
  • Tim 1481 Points
    Above, I was just talking about basic tethering... nothing to do with TomTom PLUS which is a different beast. This doesn't have anything to do with NavCore, but rather Apple.

    I was also talking about the TomTom iPhone app, as opposed to other TomTom PND products. The app wouldn't require tethering to access data services because it is running directly on the phone. So TomTom could easily offer PLUS services over the app without any need for tethering.
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    edited June 2009
    Yes, I realized that and wasn't really responding to what you had posted. I wanted to note it for those who currently have an iPhone and expect to start using it for GPRS traffic as soon as v3 is offered to them.

    EDIT: The two quotes were:
    The TomTom needs DUN profile support, it looks like iPhone is only getting PAN which won't work unless TomTom change the Navcore - Mike

    and

    If you use WM PPC style phones this has been an issue for a while since Microsoft dropped the DUN profile, fortunately someone developed a CAB file installer to add the DUN profile to the HTC devices but without this profile on the phone the TomTom refuses to use the data connection, I guess without DUN support on the iPhone the same will apply i.e. it won't work and adding core software to the iPhone isn't as easy as the PPC units - Mike

    courtesy Mike Alder/PocketGPS
  • Tim 1481 Points
    hmmm.... makes me wonder if I should start working on a hack for that. :) Let me take a poke around for a few minutes. I've got a 720 I can play around with.
  • Tim 1481 Points
    hmmm... looks like I'd have to drop back into the SDK... probably not enough time to waste on that until AT&T comes around.
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    Probably not. It was just an FYI anyway.
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    Phew, I don't even know where to jump in here... :)

    I am completely happy with my 3g iPhone, which I got about a year ago. IMO, it is a great phone and certainly not "a mess" or it wouldn't have had the phenomenal success it's already enjoyed.

    Turn by turn navigation couldn't interest me less on my phone personally. But pretty soon we'll see how well that works and what features it supports.

    I don't have any battery issues with my phone unless I am using it very heavily inside a building where it strains to get a signal. Sure, longer battery life would be better, but for me it's a non-issue.

    I was a little reluctant to switch from Verizon to AT&T, but it's working out fine. I would not have any interest in switching to Sprint, no matter how great the phone is.

    The iPhone is far from perfect, and there are upgrades I'd like to see of course. The touchscreen is certainly a compromise but it does keep the size of the phone down and make it more flexible. I could send text messages faster on my old Verizon Samsung phone with a tiny QWERTY keyboard, but the iPhone gives me so much more that I don't mind dealing with the touchscreen.

    But to each his own... competition is good for the consumer.
  • Tim 1481 Points
    Glad to see you jump in the ring. :)
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    Why, did you need help :lol:
  • Tim 1481 Points
    No, but as an actual iPhone owner he can speak to some of the facts. :lol:
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    Oh, that's a low-blow. . .
  • Tim 1481 Points
    Yeah... just had to take a quick jab. :)
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    Wasn't it Mark Twain who said, "Never let the facts get in the way of a good story"? :D
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    :D
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