Palm Pre vs new iPhone 3G S vs BlackBerry: the enterprise angle

Blogs are abuzz over the Palm Pre, new iPhone 3G S, and BlackBerry platform. But which is best for the enterprise? In IT Blogwatch, Richi Jennings watches bloggers pontificate, now they've had a few days to think about it.

Not to mention videogame places you're not supposed to go...

Brian Nadel has a confession to make:

About two years ago I made a big mistake and bought a phone designed for mere mortals when what I really wanted was an Apple iPhone. Don't get me wrong -- my Sony Ericsson W580i has served me well -- but I'm ready to move up to a super-phone.

The problem is that with the arrival of Palm's Pre and a new generation of iPhones on the way, it's now a much more complicated world of smartphone buying. ... When my present phone contract expires at the end of summer, I'm going to get a Pre -- that is, if my budget allows. It's just the right size, has a screen that's big enough for Web work and e-mail, and now that I've used the Pre's micro-keyboard I don't ever want to go back to a screen-based one again.
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Jon "Hannibal" Stokes compares Pre and BlackBerry, with a surprising conclusion:

Most of the gadget press is obsessing over whether the Palm Pre is an iPhone killer, but they're asking the wrong question. We've been testing one for the past few days, and it's clear to us that the real target of Palm's new phone is the BlackBerry. ... Palm is readying an eventual BlackBerry killer ... with any harm to the iPhone being just collateral damage.

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With Synergy, Palm Profiles, and the Pre's existing wipe capabilities, all of the pieces are there for handing over complete control of the Pre to a corporate IT department. And Palm is already second only to RIM in existing enterprise relationships, since its smartphones have been standard issue at many businesses for years. ... So the company is set to take on BlackBerry directly in the enterprise, leaving Apple to continue to dominate the media space with its iPhone and iTunes Store ecosystem.
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Charles Hamilton wants the Pre to succeed, but he buts us a but:

Palm has a reputation for taking time to get their products right. The original Treo 600 had lots of problems, and never lived up to its potential. ... I’d really like to get a Pre. For one thing, the webOS on the Pre is designed so that apps can be built in CSS and JavaScript, which means that developers should be able to build apps for it easily. But the SDK isn’t out yet, and despite promises from Palm, it’s anybody’s guess when it will appear.

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And it’s applications that make all the difference is the smartphone world. The old Palm OS was popular because people wrote tons of apps for it — apps for real estate people, medical professionals, and on and on. The iPhone is where the apps are today. Android and BlackBerry apps are much harder to find.
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Speaking of which, Jennifer Martinez wonders where Skype is for the Pre:

When Skype launched its mobile app on the iTunes App store in March, it quickly rose to the top of the charts, indicating that people had been thirsting for a mobile version of the Internet phone service. Meanwhile, INQ Mobile, a company that makes web-centric budget phones, has seen solid usage of Skype on its handsets. ... At the same time, Skype, which is eying an IPO, sees mobile devices as a way to goose up its revenue.

So when Palm released its much-awaited Pre device, we wondered if a Skype app would soon find its way into Palm’s app store, too, especially since the addition of a Skype app would make the Pre more attractive in an already crowded smartphone space. But ... the company doesn’t have any plans to develop a Skype app for the Palm Pre. ... Skype, like many others, is sitting on the fence while it waits for Palm Pre’s webOS to become a legitimate platform.
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David Weidner plows a similar furrow:

Pity poor Palm Inc. Not only has the company been late to the handset party for years, the one time it appears to finally have beaten rivals to the smart phone launch, the much ballyhooed Palm Pre, it picks a release just two days before Apple Inc. releases a souped up version of its iPhone. ... Palm’s honeymoon was over like a suddenly dropped call.

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Shares of Palm had enjoyed a nice run rising 388% between Jan. 1 and June 4. But after closing at $13.64 that day, Palm shares began a slide that turned into a rout Monday. Palm shares fell 14% from their intraday $14.14 high reached late last week. They were still off 11% in Tuesday’s morning trading session. Meanwhile, Apple shares held on to nearly six months worth of gains.
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But Doug Coleman wonders if it's too early to tell:

Official sales figures are not out yet, but if its sold-out status at virtually every Sprint and Best Buy retailer is any indication, then the much anticipated debut of the Palm Pre (and the new webOS) is a smashing success.

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Palm may sell as many as 150,000 Pre phones this weekend and that number is likely to rise in the coming weeks as waiting lists are filling up fast.
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So what's your take?

Get involved: leave a comment.

Previously in IT Blogwatch:

Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:


And finally...


Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and spam. A 24 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him on Twitter or FriendFeed, pretend to be Richi's friend on Facebook, or just use boring old email.

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