The CES reveal of the new Palm Pre certainly was compelling. Apparently, the markets thought so too, as Palm’s stock went up a something like 35% over the course of the day (oh those damn insider trading laws).
In watching the Pre being demo’ed, it was clear that Palm’s designers had learned from Apple how to build a compelling UI for a phone, and if anything, they had taken the concepts even further than Apple had. All I can say is, if they can just avoid the brain-dead ways that they have failed in the past, Palm will have provided Apple with it’s first real competitor.
The thing is, delivering on the promise will be hard; early on in the CES presentation, Ed Colligan made a point of saying “We only do mobile” like this was some kind of evidence that they knew what they were doing. Bah! The only reason they needed to even be thinking about the Pre was because Apple, who absolutely did not start out as a mobile company, showed them what people actually want in a modern phone.
Time will tell. With a hardware keyboard, a fast processor, a removable battery, a better camera and A2DP bluetooth audio, the Pre’s hardware is up to snuff. If they can match that with a flawless rollout and buy-in from the developer community then it looks like they may actually have a chance.