Several additional details came to light
about the Palm Pre, including pricing speculation, interface details and an
anticipated release date. First off, iSuppli compiled a list of components
going into the Pre in a bid to determine the actual manufacturing costs. They
tallied up parts purchased from Texas Instruments and Qualcomm and combined
those figures with estimates on other standard components to come up with a
$138/per unit manufacturing cost. Contrast that number with the rumoured $300
retail price tag and Palm’s working on a hefty profit margin, especially when
you consider the thin margins of the likes of the iPhone (estimated $174 per
unit) and the BlackBerry Storm (estimated $203 per unit, sold at $199). If Palm
plans to undermine Apple’s dominance, they’d best remain wise of the iPhone’s
one-two punch; a truly innovative design/interface backed up by a very
reasonable price. So, while it appears Palm isn’t willing to take the initial
hit in exchange for quick up-take, it can nevertheless turns some heads with
its UI design.
Images of new OS surfaced last week showing
off a fairly standard, almost familiar, app screen. Why, there’s even a bar at
the bottom dedicated to launching the core features, how insightful! Where they
have made some deviations from the standard is in the area of integration.
Google Maps, for instance, is embedded into directly into the phone, so when
enter text into the search box you can quickly access the corresponding info
cartographic form. Another integrated feature is Pandora, which when viewed
outside the app it seamlessly incorporates an icon into the bottom right
portion of the screen for quick access to core controls over the music service.
Other notable integrations include support for Google, Facebook, and Exchange
calendars, as well as TeleNav GPS, and Sprint TV.
With the anticipated launch just over a
month away we’ll have to wait and see if the Pre takes the mobile phone market
by storm. But Palm does have an interesting, though at times generic, feature
set and interface. The phone’s design alone is enough to turn heads but whether
the software and app features are enough to turn market share is a looming
question that could render the Pre as a footnote rather than a headline in a