Will the Palm Pre Overtake RIM's BlackBerry in the Enterprise? - Page 2

The Palm Pre is loaded with features. It sports a touch-screen to enhance its ability to provide an intuitive experience. It has a pull-out QWERTY keyboard to make it easier to type out documents. Much like the iPhone, the screen will change from portrait to landscape mode, depending on the orientation of the device.

Its ambient light sensor adjusts the display's brightness based on the light around it. Its proximity sensor disables the keypad when the phone is held close to the user's face. And most importantly, the Pre's software is designed specifically for users who want to multitask. Icons can be launched from the app screen or an application bar at the bottom of the display.

Even better, users can switch between applications by bringing up "cards" of the applications and flipping through them with the familiar "swipe" motion. The Pre is a full-featured product.

Since there are a variety of BlackBerry devices on the market, it's difficult to compare one product to the Pre. But it might be safe to say that the BlackBerry Storm is the Pre's closest competitor. That device ditches the QWERTY keyboard in favor of a virtual keyboard. The Storm has a touch-screen. And it boasts a light sensor to adjust the display's brightness. It also has an App store (a conspicuous omission in the Pre), as well as tethered modem capability and a high-res 480-by-360 display. Plus, the Storm retails for $199-the same price as the Pre.

Which device has better features? It seems like a dead heat.

Enterprise awareness

In the end, all these factors only matter so much to the enterprise. RIM might offer more availability than the Pre. And the Pre might have some nice features. But which company is providing the product that would appeal most to the enterprise? Yep, you guessed it: RIM.

RIM delivers the best enterprise experience in the mobile industry. Period. With BlackBerry Enterprise Software, instant messaging built into each RIM product, and push e-mail, calendar and contacts, the BlackBerry is simply more powerful and more appealing to the business world. And since companies can run applications from the BlackBerry App World on their BlackBerry devices, RIM is in good shape when we compare its enterprise appeal to the Pre.

The Pre doesn't have a standard app store, so users will be forced to access Web apps to expand its functionality. It does have webOS, which allows users to sign in to Gmail, Facebook, and Exchange out of the box, helping them integrate contacts into a single list. But it's the company's leaked release that provides the most evidence of Palm's snubbing of the enterprise.

According to Palm's Pre business launch guide, which found its way to the Web earlier this week, if business users require certain applications or "specific product features," they should opt for the Treo Pro instead of the Pre.

Take that for what it's worth, but I think we might have to believe Palm on this one: The Pre isn't ready for the enterprise.

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...