Of course, I've seen Palm's keynote from CES 2009. I've also read quite a few blogs, comments on the topic and now would like to share my impressions about it.
- Is that allowed to sell a very similar device with some enhancements? I'm pretty sure that Apple patented a lot of things and I'm surprised to see the same multi-touch functionality to be present in Palm Pre, for example.
- Is that nice? Does it make good to Palm's reputation that everyone knows that "iPhone was the first"? I'm pretty sure, though, that Palm will not feel sorry if it's profitable and legally okay.
- Will this strategy work at all? As Michael Mace greatly puts it: "... Pre is a better e-mail device than the iPhone and a better consumer device than a Blackberry ... [but] it's probably a worse entertainment device than the iPhone (because it doesn't have iTunes) and probably a worse e-mail device than RIM (because it doesn't have RIM's server infrastructure)." The thing is that we don't know too much other than a technical specification. How much will it cost? What services will be available for the user? In general, why users will want to buy Pre instead of other competing products? And lots of other questions, partly covered below.
- Multi-tasking, i.e. being able to run more than one application in parallel. Everybody is keen on that and points out that how great it is compared to the iPhone. And then what? I think it's not an innovation at all - I would say that what's the innovation in the 21st century of NOT being able to do that. Damn, Apple was better again in doing that. :)
- Card-system. Everyone who's seen the keynote or any preview can tell that it's about accessing simultaneously running applications: different apps are shown in a list as playing cards and can be manipulated in a very intuitive way. No doubt, it's a great idea and I'd be happy to use it on other phones, too.