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Palm announces Pre Plus, Pixi Plus exclusively for Verizon

post #1 of 28
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Palm announced Thursday it will release two new WebOS-based handsets on the Verizon Wireless network on Jan. 25: the Pre Plus and the Pixi Plus.

The design of the Pre Plus has removed the navigation button found on the Pre, and doubled the internal storage to 16GB of flash memory. Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein said it has simplified navigation in its updated form factor.

The Pixi Plus is dubbed as the "perfect first smartphone." The thin and lightweight starter handset is the same as its predecessor, though the new model includes Wi-Fi. Prices for both devices were not revealed.

Both devices will have the Palm Mobile Hotspot software, which will allow the them to be used as a mobile hotspot, in the same fashion as a MiFi. With the tethering application, up to five devices can connect via Wi-Fi and gain 3G Internet access.

The company will also add video recording, along with a built-in video editor, to WebOS. Users will also be able to directly upload their videos to YouTube and Facebook. Existing WebOS customers with the Palm Pre and Palm Pixi will gain the features in February with WebOS 1.4.

Palm also announced high profile brand name games including Sims 3, Tetris and Need for Speed Undercover are coming to its App Catalog. Full 3D demos from EA franchises were shown, and were apparently ported to the device within "a matter of weeks." The games run on the existing Sprint Palm Pre.

"Recent improvements to Palm webOS represent major advancements in enabling world-class mobile gaming," said Travis Boatman, vice president of Worldwide Studios for EA Mobile. "These innovations have allowed us to quickly bring our best IP to the platform."



The company also introduced the Adobe Flash plugin for the Palm Pre browser. Palm demonstrated video playback with a trailer for the movie "Avatar." Apple has not allowed integrated Flash playback on the iPhone, though Adobe last year announced a native app porting development tool would allow Flash applications to be released on the App Store.

Palm revealed it is formally opening its development program to everyone. The company hopes to foster fast and easy development for its platforms running WebOS. "Project Ares" will allow users to create applications entirely in a Web browser. In addition, applications will be able to share data, so contacts from services like Facebook or LinkedIn can be integrated.

Users, through their desktop Web browser, can access the application database for WebOS. Starting today, said Katie Mitic, VP of product marketing, anyone will be able to build directories or create widgets through the WebOS App Gallery.

Project Appetite allows users to shop for software and install them to a phone over the air. Just clicking to install software in a desktop Web browser will automatically send the application to your phone.



Also announced was the $1 million Hot Apps Bonus Program, which rewards the best-reviewed and most-downloaded app developers. The reward money will be divided between developers who succeed in both paid and free categories.

"We're thrilled to open the doors of a program that offers mobile developers unparalleled freedom and choice in how they distribute and market applications," Mitic said. "The combination of our highly accessible web-based platform, groundbreaking integration opportunities and open, flexible distribution program makes Palm webOS the best place for developers to create the next generation of innovative mobile applications."

On Wednesday, AT&T announced that it would release two WebOS-based devices on its network "soon." The unnamed handsets will be in addition to the carrier's first Google Android-based smartphones, due to arrive in the first half of this year.

At CES 2009, Palm first announced the Palm Pre and the WebOS mobile operating system. The surprise announcement earned positive reaction and buzz from the press.
post #2 of 28
I'll be very interested to see how Palm/Verizon price this "tethering application".

One problem with a MiFi-type tethering solution on Verizon is that their 3G network prevents making a phone call while connected to the 3G data network. Unless Palm is building two radios into this thing (which I doubt).

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post #3 of 28
That MiFi functionality is pretty hot. My AT&T iPhone can't even act as a network to one computer, and they've got one that can host multiple computers??
post #4 of 28
Palm announces Pre Plus, Pixi Plus exclusively for Verizon... and in the distance a dog could be heard barking....
post #5 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

One problem with a MiFi-type tethering solution on Verizon is that their 3G network prevents making a phone call while connected to the 3G data network. Unless Palm is building two radios into this thing (which I doubt).

Interesting point. What happens to incoming calls? Do they go directly to voicemail?

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post #6 of 28
Why does Palm insist on having that ugly physical sliding keyboard? What's the need for the Pixi? They could instead have two versions - with and without that keyboard. That would be sweet. Nexus doesn't have that but it looks real ugly, like it's coming from the 90s or something. All in all I don't think anyone's really gotten close to what iPhone is right now. They'll be there but now that stuff all looks very beta.
post #7 of 28
I, for one, am thrilled to see Flash on the new Pre Plus. Let Pre users suffer through slow, battery-draining performance to convince them that Apple has been right all along to keep Flash off the iPhone.

I'd kill to have that WiFi tethering ability on my iPhone, though.
post #8 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Interesting point. What happens to incoming calls? Do they go directly to voicemail?

Or, more likely, does the network connection hang until the call is completed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aduzik View Post

I'd kill to have that WiFi tethering ability on my iPhone, though.

Those of us who didn't upgrade to iPhone OS 3.1 still have that tethering ability.

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post #9 of 28



ZZzzzz . . .

How about announcing something *new*, Palm? Because you totally killed your Pre platform.
post #10 of 28
I don't know why, but I have a strange affinity for the pixi. If I wanted a psuedo-smartphone, I'd probably go for the pixi, even though it looks like it's meant for a teenage girl with a texting problem.

Also, check out this photo from the Palm event at CES. Does that backdrop not look like an iPod touch app demo or what? I mean, it reminds me of that billboard that went up outside of Boston that had to be taken down.

If you can't beat 'em, copy them.
post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck View Post

Why does Palm insist on having that ugly physical sliding keyboard? What's the need for the Pixi? They could instead have two versions - with and without that keyboard. That would be sweet. Nexus doesn't have that but it looks real ugly, like it's coming from the 90s or something. All in all I don't think anyone's really gotten close to what iPhone is right now. They'll be there but now that stuff all looks very beta.

I personally think Palm is the closest to Apple even though their numbers dont represent that (they've done decent being on Sprint though) it has so much potential. The homebrew community have really done a number on the phone, but it needs more widespread acceptance before the devs flock to it.

I dont like the sliding keyboard of the Pre but i like the Pixi for what it is, a full qwerty touchscreen phone. If the Pre didnt have that sliding keyboard i think that would have really helped the phone, sliding mechanical parts just fail and i know horror stories about the Pre.

This is most DEFINITELY good news for Verizon users. This coupled with the Android releases will hopefully light a fire under Apples rear and make them bring out the iPhone for Verizon sooner than later. Apple cant afford to be all high and mighty, its easy to be the leader one day and struggling to maintain market share or going under the next day, especially in a market as fickle as the phone industry.

I really wish the Pixi was coming to AT&T really soon other than the vague 2010, id really like one of those to play with on the side, since it happens to have both a QWERTY keyboard and a touchscreen.
post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Palm announced Thursday it will release two new WebOS-based handsets on the Verizon Wireless network ...

As much as I think the iPhone is superior, I still can't understand why Palm's WebOS hasn't gained much traction yet. It's a far superior design to the dog's breakfast that is Android and fits better with a Web 2.0 strategy.

If Nokia, or Microsoft (shudders), bought up Palm and the WebOS, Apple would have a serous competition problem on their hands. I know people say that about Android, but seriously ...

Android will never be anything but number two (or three, or four). Android handsets are worthy devices, but will literally *never* be a serious threat to the iPhone for the same reasons that Linux will *never* be the number one desktop (or even close). In the next couple of years Apple is pretty obviously going to wipe the floor with it's competitors. Android "doing well" in this scenario equates to it getting enough share to be the second choice only.

WebOS with the right push behind it could easily *replace* the iPhone OS. Especially when devices get a bit more powerful and bandwidth gets a little cheaper and more ubiquitous.

Does anyone know if Palm is actively refusing to be bought, or are Microsoft and Nokia just that stupid?
post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Does anyone know if Palm is actively refusing to be bought, or are Microsoft and Nokia just that stupid?

Palm is a public company listed on NASDAQ, currently valued at $1.85B and subject to the will of their shareholders. Anyone with an extra $2B lying around should be able to buy them easily, considering their valuation has gone as low as $500M in the last year.
post #14 of 28
These have to be the nicest looking designs, post-iphone, i've seen. They kind of have a style all of there own.
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post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

As much as I think the iPhone is superior, I still can't understand why Palm's WebOS hasn't gained much traction yet. It's a far superior design to the dog's breakfast that is Android and fits better with a Web 2.0 strategy.

Android will never be anything but number two (or three, or four). Android handsets are worthy devices, but will literally *never* be a serious threat to the iPhone for the same reasons that Linux will *never* be the number one desktop (or even close).
WebOS with the right push behind it could easily *replace* the iPhone OS. Especially when devices get a bit more powerful and bandwidth gets a little cheaper and more ubiquitous.

What amazes me is that we have so many (competent) mobile OS in the market right now. webOS, iPhone OS, BlackBerry, Android and you know Monkeyboy sooner or later will drop El Zuno Phone OS too.

It sorta reminds me of the time when the videogame arena had the 3D0, Atari Jaguar, Playstation 1, Sega Saturn, Nintendo 64. Only 2 of them survived.

Personally, I can't use the iPhone OS. I won't say I hate it... but I'm not feeling it. At least not yet. And while I do have an iPod Touch and my current phone is a BlackBerry (and sentimental favorite right now)... I could see myself using a webOS phone sometime. Android seems a little bit too stale and cold for my taste, but it could easily catch fire.

As I implied, I don't think the market will support that many (successful) phone OS. But I could be very wrong, after all, the console videogame market is nothing like the mobile/smartphone market.
post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

As much as I think the iPhone is superior, I still can't understand why Palm's WebOS hasn't gained much traction yet. It's a far superior design to the dog's breakfast that is Android and fits better with a Web 2.0 strategy.

WebOS with the right push behind it could easily *replace* the iPhone OS. Especially when devices get a bit more powerful and bandwidth gets a little cheaper and more ubiquitous.

Does anyone know if Palm is actively refusing to be bought, or are Microsoft and Nokia just that stupid?

It hasnt caught on because its sales have been modest. I love the WebOS personally, i think it might be the best mobile OS out so far.

Still they just went worldwide not too long ago (not to the extent that is iPhone or BlackBerry), being solely on Sprint has been the main issue in my eyes. Sprint it seems couldn't afford to hype, being a real dying company, the Pre to the extent Verizon did for the Droid or Storm 1.

While i do see many Pixi ads, i think bringing this under the Verizon and soon AT&T will help significantly bolster sales. This is the one of the best UIs on the market and way ahead of Android in my eyes, it just needs more time in the lime light for sales to take off and bring in more developers.
post #17 of 28
If you have two, can you synch them and watch the Avatar clip in 3-D? One for each eye?

Wait, maybe Ballmer covered that earlier...
post #18 of 28
....since it is on Verizon's Network (no concurrent voice/data). What good is that shared Wifi feature (local hotspot) if I can't make/take a call at the same time?

Does Sprint offer concurrent voice/data for their version of the PRE?
post #19 of 28
Well at least Pre and Pixi are prettier than Android. Not sure about that Flash though, might have to wait how many people will complain about battery drainage.
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post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post

....since it is on Verizon's Network (no concurrent voice/data). What good is that shared Wifi feature (local hotspot) if I can't make/take a call at the same time?

Does Sprint offer concurrent voice/data for their version of the PRE?

No Sprint does not, its a CDMA limitation.

Maybe the plus has added hardware to address this limitation, like a second chip used solely when tethering is on but incredibly doubtful.
post #21 of 28
Will buy
post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by iVlad View Post

Well at least Pre and Pixi are prettier than Android. Not sure about that Flash though, might have to wait how many people will complain about battery drainage.

Please, this is a "nice" reason not to have flash. The biggest reason for Apple is platform control. Notice how no other 3rd party dev platforms are available for the iphone.

Look, Flash video is expendable, but not the old animation stuff like homestarrunner.com.

I find it rather unusual for this mifi stuff, as Verizon would charge extra for that. Either that, or it's there way of really saying "You see, our network is the best!"
post #23 of 28
Apple should leave it up to the user to determine how much battery life we want. Whether it be flash or multitaksing, it's my phone and it should be my choice. Other than that....Palm/Android who?
post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Does anyone know if Palm is actively refusing to be bought, or are Microsoft and Nokia just that stupid?

Palm actively courted Nokia around two years ago. Obviously Nokia didn't bite.

I also don't see the value of Palm to either company. Nokia might get a small boost in US sales but where would WebOS fit into their overall strategy. Again, Microsoft might gain some marketshare but look what happened when they bought Danger. Integrating medium-sized acquisitions into an existing strategy isn't easy.
post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

Palm actively courted Nokia around two years ago. Obviously Nokia didn't bite.

I also don't see the value of Palm to either company. Nokia might get a small boost in US sales but where would WebOS fit into their overall strategy. Again, Microsoft might gain some marketshare but look what happened when they bought Danger. Integrating medium-sized acquisitions into an existing strategy isn't easy.

Well if you were buying Palm, it would most likely be for WebOS. That doesnt really fit either company, especially when both are trying to rejuvenate their platform with a new OS. Nokia would have been a better prospect than Microsoft.

God forbid that Palm gets really bad (i really hope they make a full scale comeback) i think the best person to buy Palm isnt Microsoft or Nokia or RIM, but HTC.

HTC would absolutely devastate Android AND Windows, one of their chief hardware makers gone and against them.

If Google was smart, they'd snap up one of these ailing companies like Motorola or Sony Ericsson or have them become the sole supplier for their software and then model themselves after RIM Apple and Palm.
post #26 of 28
The Pixi is a much much much more better phone than the Pre.
If i were to choose another phone, other than the iPhone, i'd have to with the Pixi. Hands down!

It's UI is really really clean! the multi-touch is as sensitive, and accurate as the iPhone's. When you pinch and zoom the photos on the Pixi, it won't think twice at you wanna do. It'll automatically go. This phone is really awesome. If you were to go on crappy Verizon, and were to choose a phone, i'd highly recommend the Pixi. Get it! please.
When the commercials say the Pixi is "fun" it actually is.

It's even better than the Androids. Atleast try it out at a Sprint store or something.
post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

Palm is a public company listed on NASDAQ, currently valued at $1.85B and subject to the will of their shareholders. Anyone with an extra $2B lying around should be able to buy them easily, considering their valuation has gone as low as $500M in the last year.

Palm also has about $400 million in debt and has been losing money for the last 2 years. Potential bidders are also taking this into consideration.
post #28 of 28
Now I want one. Basically all complaints I had about the Pixi are gone.

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