The iPhone : Another blow to Palm

By now everyone has heard about Apple’s latest contribution to the War on Available Cash, the iPhone. What’s been amusing to me is watching the impact this has had on the Palm world. It would be foolish to assume the introduction of an OSX embedded device with more features than ANYTHING on the market won’t have an impact on what has up until now been about the best in handheld general purpose telephone devices – the Treo. As a steadfast Treo owner myself (not without my share of gripes admittedly), I found myself, like most of the geek populace, seriously lusting after the new iPhone.
But don’t take my word for it. Lets take a look around the net a bit.
PalmAddicts led off this morning with an article ‘I’m getting that nagging sensation again:

Don’t get me wrong: the iTunes compatibility is a non-issue in an era of 4GB SD cards and PTunes, and my cellphone needs are very modest. What really intrigues me, though, is that the iPhone is a real computer in a PDA format, but one that runs on gestures instead of a thumbboard. In essence, I’m seeing the iPhone as the logical successor to the T|X.

I’d also recommend taking a look at this whimsical conversatin between an owner and his Treo.
There’s also the impact of the announcement on the stock market in general, including Palm. Apple’s stock soars, all the other manufacturers tank. Granted, this is a short-term plot, but it’s telling. Apple’s stock is trading higher than ever (as of this posting, at around 95).
The excellent does a side by side comparison of the iPhone vs the Treo 680. They make the comment:

the iPhone is primarily a consumer multimedia phone and not a business smartphone.

I have to disagree. The undercurrent is that the Treo is a ‘business smartphone’, and, frankly, it isn’t. The Bluetooth is so crippled as to be unuseable, the software suite is slow and painful, Wifi is a bulky and unwieldy bolt-on, and corporate network interraction is almost non-existent. It’s also hard to say that PalmOS is considered a business OS, when the alternative on the iPhone is… OSX – a fully featured, multithreaded, portable operating system.
Will the iPhone be a success? Undoubtedly. Palm has nothing in the wings to compete with it, and no other vendor has the design moxy that Apple has. I predict there will be a raft of new product announcements in the next 6 months until the iPhone is officially available as other vendors scramble to “Me Too!” their product lines, but in the end, the Treo will slide down into the also-ran territory, and the iPhone will take top slot as the preferred mobile platform for geeks and tinkerers.


A wandering geek. Toys, shiny things, pursuits and distractions.

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