A Pre-View of the Palm Pre

Is Palm ready for a renaissance with its Palm Pre smartphone? This “iPhone killer” arrives soon by way of Sprint, and it will fascinating to see how the public – and the IT department – embraces what Gizmodo called “maybe the most important handset to be announced in two years.”

For a quick comparison of the two phones, scan the chart at Fast Company. It reveals the new phone is a little bit smaller than the iPhone, with a screen that’s also a little bit smaller, includes a 3MP camera with flash as opposed to Apple’s 2MP camera with no flash, and stores a maximum of 8GB of data, as opposed to the iPhone’s optional maximum of 16GB.

What the Palm Pre has that the iPhone doesn’t have, of course, is a slide-out keyboard that will make texting and writing much easier for people who can’t get used to touch-screen texting. So the Palm Pre straddles both the iPhone and BlackBerry worlds, and the early verdicts have been positive.

Of course, price is a factor. When it comes to cell phones, we’ve all learned that price is a fungible thing depending on what kinds of rebates are offered and what kinds of contracts are required. It looks like the device will be priced at $299 with a two-year contract, but will drop to $199 with a mail-in rebate. You’ll be able to avoid the hassle of the mail by buying the gadget at Radio Shack or BestBuy, where the rebate will be given instantly.

— Don Willmott