It's amazing how fast wireless devices evolve. Rapid-fire growth in the wireless market means that even the coolest devices of today are destined to become drink coasters.
After all, five years ago the best / coolest device *everyone* had to have was the Motorola Razr. That device did change the market and had an incredible run selling tens of millions of devices. Then, the iPhone came out, effectively changing the expectations regarding look and feel and web experience (though strangely, leaving the phone part somewhat behind). Still, some day the sun will set on the iPhone too.
There is a benefit to this accelerated growth: since wireless is an evolutionary model, it is possible to see the heritage of the best of some devices of the past in the best devices of today. One such device is the Palm Pre…or more specifically, some of its unique features. Many have said the Pre is positioned as an iPhone "killer"…but the real question should be what does the Pre do better than other devices in the market?
My colleague Scott Carter has outlined his top 10 Palm Pre vs. iPhone difference-makers, such as the keyboard and the high speed data network, but what features or capabilities have resulted in real improvements to the wireless experience that will carry forward in all devices?
While the future is unknown, three elements of the Palm Pre stand out as elements that will live-on long after the Pre (1.0) is long gone.
#1...the ability to run multiple applications at once. Sometimes the simplest things are the most obvious.
#2...connecting the cloud to the mobile device. True game-changer to know that your mobile device is simply a way to access data...not the holder of data.
#3...the Internet comes to the mobile device. No, not browsing...but in the way applications are developed and the interaction of those apps in mobility. Palm Mojo SDK (software development kit) and WebOS hold the promise of Web 2.0 forming the foundation of Mobile 2.0
So, while I can't foresee the future, I do believe the Palm Pre will be remembered longer for some of these key changes it brought to the market: a device on the evolutionary road that delivered real change in what users expected from their cell phone. Stay tuned for my next blogs which will delve into these features, and let me know your thoughts.