Palm has responded to complaints from mobile application developer and Palm Pre smartphone owner Joey Hess, who claimed on his personal blog to have discovered evidence of Palm receiving daily data updates about the location and application use of Hess’ Pre.
The allegation caused an uproar in Internet forums and in the media and blogosphere.
Palm issued a statement in response, claiming the company takes privacy very seriously and offers users ways to turn data-collecting services on and off.
Palm’s Pre smartphone, touted as a serious contender to Apple’s wildly popular iPhone and which has seen reasonable sales success since its debut this summer, has benefited from a strong high-end handset market while other mobile markets suffer. However, according to a Gartner report, Palm, which sold just 205,000 units of the touch-screen Pre in the latest quarter, currently ranks 10th in the smartphone market. The analyst firm said it remains concerned about the Pre’s ability to gain traction outside the U.S. market, where its brand is less strong.
However, the Pre may get a boost from its new carrier partner, Verizon. In late July, the carrier announced the Pre will no longer be exclusive to the Sprint network and will arrive on the Verizon network “early next year,” according to Verizon COO Denny Stigl during the carrier’s July 27 quarterly earnings call.