Live blogging Palm Press event at CES



10:34-  admitted and seated waiting for Palm press event to kick off.  They have a giant screen showing traveling-related images.  Could be a forebear for the message?  Seating is very nice for a press event and there is a very strange bag on the stage about the size of a coconut.  Must be some gadget inside.  :)

10:44-  Music is playing, Scoble is here.  It’s getting closer now.

10:46- will have to post pics later- bandwidth on the 3G is getting pretty saturated in here.

10:55- pre-event instructions going down now, it’s very close!

10:57-  so many netbooks in here!  I can see at least 20 from where I sit.  :)

11:00- the atmosphere is very excited, speaks volumes about what folks think about Palm.  It’s showtime!  Wild applause from the crowd.  Jon Rubinstein, Exec CEO is speaking.

11:03-  next wave is clearly mobile devices.  Palm is positioned to create best mobile devices in the industry.

11:05- Take all the information from the cloud and put it in your hands.  Need the right phone to do that.  And the right forward-looking platform.  Powerful and flexible.

11:06- Ed Colligan Pres & CEO takes the stage.

11:07- How can we simplify people’s lives?  How can we make the technology invisible?  Mobile is in our DNA.

11:08- Colligan is giving history of Palm innovation now.

11:09- we have too many devices to carry on our belt.  We look like Batman.  Enter the smartphone that Palm built, the Treo.  Today we’re all on the internet and we must focus there.

11:10- We like keeping our work life separate from our home life.  Information is everywhere.  What if Palm could bring all this diverse information together into our pocket?

11:12- introducing the Palm web OS.  There are more than 10 million Palm app developers out there, they will all develop for the web OS.

11:13- we need a new device to use this Palm web OS.  Introducing the new device…  the Palm Pre.

11:15- the Palm Pre has EVDO Rev A, WiFi b/g, GPS, Bluetooth, 8 GB storage, TI OMAP latest fast processor.

Touch screen, multi-touch capable.  320-x480 resolution.  separate gesture area at bottom a la Grafitti.

3 MP camera W/ flash.  REMOVABLE BATTERY.

Micro-USB 2.0, mass storage capable, 3.5 mm jack

Slide-up QWERTY keyboard!

11:20- Mattias Duerte demos the Pre…

One button, create new contact

Tap a contact, it opens…Gesture area at bottom, flick left move back.  All navigation just gestures in this area, no buttons.

All designed to be done one-handed.  Swipe up and get launcher, a la Android.  Operation seems smooth but not too fast.

Push the center button- all open tasks become cards that can be flipped, moved, etc.

All data is always saved automatically, no save function needed in any app.  Apps are just “cards” and when you’re done just throw them away by flicking up.

11:28- introducing Synergy- all your information is in a single place, contacts can be linked to multiple sources: work, home, web, Facebook, etc.  Calendar app works much like iCal.

11:33- email always looks across all your email accounts for contact information.  If it can’t find it then it will search the corporate database for them.  Palm web OS is multi-tasking, you can stop an activity an return to it later, no worries.

The QWERTY keyboard looks pretty narrow to me.

Threaded SMS are included.  IM conversations can be continued across communication methods (they are offline e. g.)

11:37- you can search EVERYTHING on the phone via the keyboard.  This includes apps, contacts, etc.  And the web.  You just start typing to find ANYTHING and the Pre will find it, on or off the phone.

Now the web- you can pinch and zoom in the browser.  Full HTML browser.  Bookmarks are page thumbnails.  Double-tap column, auto fills screen.  Auto-rotation.  Live demo showed web page about sex.  :)

Gestures in the gesture bar don’t block the screen while browsing.  Very smooth and fast.  Web pages “cards” work just like other app cards.  Can be flicked out of the way to return to later from the “desktop”.

11:45- Notifications appear at very bottom of screen, out of your way.  Music player is also a notificaton tab, very well implemented.

All apps are just CSS, HTML and JavaScript.  ALL OF THEM.

11:48- demo over.  Very impressive OS.

Jon is back to wind down.

Pre uses wireless charging- put it on the puck (Touchstone) and it charges sitting there!

11:51- Ed Colligan is back.  Pre is first device to help automatically navigate through your stuff.  Pre will be launched on Sprint.

Dan Hesse- CEO of Sprint.  Pre is launching on Sprint exclusively in the US. Sitting through boring “commercial” about Sprint network.  Not the place for this.

11:59- Pre-sales open now on  No word on pricing, handset nor plans.

Available first 1/2 of 2009.  Not ready yet.

Facebook is partner with Palm on the Pre.  Facebook COO is on-stage now.  Who cares?

Launching Facebook Connect for Mobile this year.  Who cares?

12:05- Ed’s back wrapping up.  Recap, web OS, Palm Pre, one phone for life.



“Pre’s introduction, website, technology packaging, industrial design, UI, product naming and positioning…down to the flow of its CES presentation were pointedly, but perhaps not surprisingly, Apple-like. Of all the current iPhone competitors, Pre clearly captures the “soul” of the iPhone as much as any product not-from-Cupertino can. Whatever Pre “borrows” from the iPhone, it does so not with the brazen indifference of recent iPhone-killers, but with care and purpose.”


“Palm is clearly late to iPhone’s party. By the time the first Pre is sold, the iPhone will likely have 30 million users in 70+ countries, 15,000 apps, a huge developer and peripherals ecosystem, perhaps a third of the market share and 40% of smartphone revenues. And that’s before the next generation iPhone device and OS are introduced.”

I explored Pre’s chances in:

“Strategic shortcomings of Pre in the post-iPhone era”


Ah. Now it’s interesting. I hate cell phones too much to anticipate it, but I’m finding the UI concepts interesting. Also, if I remember right, this is one of the first phones after the iPhone with a 3D accelerator.

I wonder if Maemo 5 could run on it.

I don’t know about the strength of Palm’s existing library. You may stay with the other 9% (and decreasing) of the market on the dying Garnet platform, but everybody else was happy to jump. It’s entirely plausible that Palm had to throw it out and start with a new platform. I’m sure the OMAP3 has plenty of power to emulate Garnet (Access has a VM for it on Nokia’s Internet tablets powered by OMAP2 processors), but the old apps’ interface wouldn’t fit well.

However, there’s still no firm information other than from Palm’s favored partners. Maybe Palm will include a Garnet VM, after all, as part of app migration support.

Sandro Campos Mancini

CDMA? Does that still exist? So Palm will rely on ONE carrier and a wireless technology that’s being PHASED OUT worldwide to regain the smartphone market? Oh-kaaay. Buying a Palm Treo PRO (not PRE) for now, GSM phone, unlocked, SIM card goodness and all. And one consideration: it’s all about the SOFTWARE. Do you guys REALLY believe developers will RALLY to join the Palm webOS bandwagon, after all those years bring treated like crap, when Apple and Microsoft’s OSs, and even RIM’s, provide a more solid and trustworthy developer community and better ROI? Web-like apps? Easy to develop maybe, but limited, certainly. NOWHERE like the MONSTER apps (in features, not size!) we had for FrankenGarnet (PalmOS 5.x). And BTW… NO compatibily with older PalmOS apps AT ALL?!? Damn, you may be able to run PalmOS even in iPhones when StyleTap releases its software for the platform! Once again, that’s not a problem with the Palm Treo PRO, since we have the ORIGINAL StyleTap program, and many applications ported to that platform (running natively). Heck, even CESD announced a “super duper” Datebk6 (now called Pimlical) for Windows Mobile, the BlackBerryOS and other platforms! For now, sorry Palm, but you’re going strong against the non-existing 3G iPhone with the 1.x firmware. :-p Do like Apple did and allow REAL apps to run on that baby, and give us PalmOS compatibility! (entice StyleTap to port their app at least!)


The UI demos of this device/OS by Palm are really fantastic. It really seems like Palm has taken the way a user might interact with a computer (let alone a mobile device) to a previously unseen level. They appear to have taken “touch” as a method of primary interaction with a device (that Apple has implemented so well via the iPhone) and totally evolved the concept into an OS that somehow seems incredibly physically intuitive. If there was any shred of WinMo interface that didn’t already look ancient and clunky compared to the modern mobile OS’s, Palm’s WebOS has just stomped it into the mud.


I see nothing on Palm’s site about an SDK, I don’t see anything about what system is underneath the pretty WebOS, there are no videos…

This doesn’t excite me.


This will likely make me to sign up with Sprint again. I see lots of people keeping both AT&T and Sprint accounts.


Pretty cool stuff.

Too bad they’re launching on Sprint, though.

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