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Apple iPhone vs. Palm Pre: AT&T Employee Talking Points Leaked

palmpreIn case you want a preview of the mud-slinging that’s about to begin between AT&T (s att) and Sprint (s s) over the imminent iPhone/Pre smackdown, has the goods. They’ve gotten their hands on an internal AT&T document circulated to employees detailing talking points that emphasize the advantages of the iPhone over Palm’s new yet-to-be-released wunderkind. I have to admit, I’ve already bought into a lot of the buzz surrounding the Pre, so I welcomed some reasons my iPhone might actually be better, no matter how biased the source.


First of all, the iPhone is thinner, lighter, has a bigger screen, and is sexier than the Pre. And it comes in two colors. These are all things we know, though. AT&T. Some people will still opt for the Pre because they think it’s “different.” There must be other, more tangible, functional differences between the two phones.

Actually, pretty much every point beyond superficial concerns does seem to make a strong case in the iPhone’s favor. It is true, after all, that the App Store has already proven its value, while Pre’s offerings have yet to be tested. And apparently the Pre’s interface, while multitouch, is not nearly as intuitive as the iPhone’s. While I’m taking AT&T’s word for that, it is true that I couldn’t imagine a more intuitive interface than the one the iPhone currently boasts. Also listed on the iPhone’s side in the UI category is “fast and responsive navigation,” which would seem to infer that the Pre is slow and sluggish by comparison, though again, this is unsubstantiated.

Another very crucial difference has to do with the limits the Pre suffers from by not being a GSM phone. Obviously, this means it can’t be used anywhere in the world as easily as the iPhone can, which is a huge point of contention for business travelers and other globe-trotting individuals. Also, the lack of GSM means that the Pre can’t take advantage of location and GPS functions in most locations around the world. Apparently the iPhone’s GPS is just better thanks to aGPS, too. I will say that it’s worked flawlessly since updating to the 3.0 Beta.

Some of the other differences are more ridiculous, and clearly skewed by AT&T’s not-so-secret preference. The iPhone, for example, is touted for featuring a built-in iPod. C’mon Pre, where’s your built-in iPod? I’m sure if you just asked Apple nicely, they’d totally let you do that. Also “Limited free Wi-Fi access” for the Pre as opposed to what, unlimited free Wi-Fi access for the iPhone? Last time I checked, I couldn’t get a Wi-Fi connection wherever I wanted whenever I wanted, which, technically, means it has “limits.”

Whether or not you believe AT&T’s propaganda, we’ll find out how they really stack up soon enough, since this document all but confirms that the Pre’s release is imminent.

16 Responses to “Apple iPhone vs. Palm Pre: AT&T Employee Talking Points Leaked”

  1. the person did great unjustice to Palm Pre by writing about it without testing.
    I have a Palm Pre as well as an iPhone. I’ll be keeping the iPhone because of the lack of multiple language support on Pre but that doesn’t take away from the good work that folks at Pre have done. Here are some great features:
    – While the author of this blog calls the UI touchscreen gestures not intuitive, that is by far the sweetest thing about this device. The ability to go back and forth using a partial (half the width of the device) left or right finger swipe, switching from one app to another using a complete left or right finger swipe, ability to throw away the unneeded apps out towards top….these are completely missing in iPhone. It make dealing with the device an easy and wonderful experience; I’ll definitely miss that.
    – The webOS is revolutionary. Palm has gotten its life support to last another decade. Now they have the platform to launch new devices. The multitasking is seamless, error free (for the most part), and the phone rarely crashes.
    – The keyboard is serviceable, not the best. I suspect that people with large or stubby fingertips will not have fun typing on this.
    – The screen resolution is better than iPhone’s in several aspects including the google maps readability.
    – The synergy feature is very good however sometimes it can be annoying(e.g. may add duplicate entries for the same contact).

    Overall, the phone is great in terms of software. I would like it to excel and succeed because the competition is always good for us – the consumers.

    My qualms are mainly about the hardware and a couple of other things namely:
    – Minimum support for other languages (besides the English and Spanish). This is a huge item for me and this is also a reason why I have to get iPhone. It cannot read the webpages that I most frequently visit. I tend to not browse internet at work and this is why I got a Pre but that was not achieved. I’m sure the support will come in time but it’ll be a couple of years before any real language support.
    – The apps are very few and the ones that are there (either on App Catalog or with the device) are not as polished. Examples: the facebook interface lacks several simple details (e.g. be able to look at the comments on a post); the email has no landscape mode.
    – The phone itself feels too plasticky. I would like something more sturdy like some of the HTC phones.
    – Due to the sliding keyboard, you can almost feel that the top part (the one with screen) starts to swivel a bit.
    – The power switch is not in the best location and is a bit of a let-down since you have to press it (instead of the center button) to get the phone out of stand-by. The charging port is flimsy with a clunky cover.
    – I think a little larger screen will definitely give more real estate for reading email, texts, and web pages.
    – I was disappointed with the phone function and the speaker volume as well…

    Overall, it is a great phone and I am sure that in a year or two, they’ll have better hardware, improved casing, and enhanced OS to continue building on this great project called the Pre…

  2. I tested the palm pre yesterday, I can say I did not like the keyboard at all… Typing on it was horrible I would hit two if not three keys at a time. Based on this alone I would buy the Iphone.

  3. zsu zsu petals

    I had a treo and it was amazing. The iphone is made for a 13 year old that has a billion dollars. The app store has really important apps like “egg timer” app and “the fart game”. Palm is great for the person that actually has a life and perhaps even deals in the world of business. I cant wait to see the pre. Iphones new feature – a compass??? Who am I – Magellan? Thats like a hotel whose ameneties are “in room phone and air conditioning”. Check out the pre!!!!!

  4. My boyfriend’s mentioned the Palm Pre a couple of times, but I love my iPhone so I haven’t listened. Honestly, I would never have paid any attention at all before I saw this AT&T memo, but now the Pre is worth a look, especially if AT&T’s scared. I came back here to post after reading a few items at, and while most of what the memo says is true AT&T left out a whole lot of really cool features. Also, my service with AT&T kind of sucks. This just may backfire for them.

  5. unwired

    Few details are known at this point how long Sprint has exclusivity of the Palm Pre, but Palm has announced that the phone will be available both to other carriers and internationally with GSM version. So for at least (I’m guessing) 6 months that argument will hold.

    Most of the other items on AT&T’s list are superfluous. Videos taken of the phone in action show that the interface is pretty darned intuitive, and the card concept/true multitasking can’t be touched by any other device today. Throw synergy into the mix and its a pretty sweet platform. Additionally, indication from developers who have been invited to receive the SDK are very encouraging, so useful applications will be available sooner than expected.

    I don’t recall AT&T “leaking” internal memos of this type with any other smartphone previously released, which means they are finally starting to pay attention, and are more than a bit concerned.

    Isn’t competition great? :)

    • zsu zsu petals

      What about just having a hard keyboard as opposed to iphone oversensitive screen keyboard – NO ONE CAN TYPE ON THAT THING WITHOUT MAKING A MISTAKE AT LEAST 3 TIMES FOR EVERY TEXT!!!

  6. Person who made the comparative table doesn’t know enough about the pre… in other hand the pre is not in sale yet… so he can say anything.

    What about multitask processor?
    What about the millions of applications running in palm os platform?
    What abou the manage of office files?.
    What about the sync of data?
    What abou the pc/mac interface?
    What about the cammera and flash?

    tread, think.. and the spoke….