On May 28 Palm confirmed that the Pre’s WebOS includes an application, Palm Media Sync, that synchronizes with iTunes and allows users to transfer DRM-free music, photos and video onto the Pre. Will Apple update iTunes to block non-Apple users?
3Will developers be enticed?
As Apple proved, applications are the name of the game. Palm executives have boasted that the Pre offers the easiest possible platform on which to develop. Will developers bite, and will the downloads follow?
4Whats up with Touchstone?
The Touchstone is a sold-separately charging option for the Pre. Like an electric toothbrush holder, it charges through induction—there’s nothing to click into, the Pre simply sits on top, while wearing its induction-friendly back cover replacement. Will the Touchstone prove to be a game-changer or a gimmick?
5Will the Pre be workplace approved?
Despite security concerns, the Apple iPhone has charmed its way into enterprises, the established domain of the RIM BlackBerry. Will the Pre also be allowed into the office, stepping on even the toes of the Treo?
6What will Verizon mean for the Pre?
Just when it seemed the Pre was exclusive to Sprint, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam announced that Verizon will also offer the Pre in the next six months or so. Will this help Palm build the support it’s looking for – and will all that be undone if Verizon also gets an iPhone?
7What about the Pixie?
The Palm Pre is expected to have a “younger sibling,” the Pixie, a candybar-style phone also running the Pre’s WebOS and reportedly with a $99 price point. Will Pre sales encourage or discourage the likelihood of a Pixie sooner rather than later?
8Will the Pre be iPhone quality?
Researcher iSuppli performed a virtual teardown of the Pre and estimated its bill of materials at $170. Analyst Tina Teng wrote, “The similarity in features between the Pre and the iPhone clearly reveals the mark Palm is trying to hit.” Is Pre quality on par with that of the iPhone?
9How will WebOS stack up?
Data from Deutsche Bank and AdMob show that smartphones enable software use and services that drives mobile market share to the point of exceeding handset sales. Will WebOS, like Google’s Android, garner precocious market share, even while handset numbers remain limited?
10Will Roger McNamee eat his words?
In March, Palm investor Roger McNamee told Bloomberg that people want the coolest new product, and that come the June-time second anniversary of the iPhone, “Not one of those people will still be using an iPhone a month later.”
11Is the Pre an iPhone killer?
Last but not least, the question remains whether the Palm Pre is really an “iPhone killer.” Which is to say, the type of enormous success that will not just buoy a sinking Palm, but put some wind back in its sails.