On New Year?s Eve, BSN* set the mobile world on its ear by announcing that the latest Palm Pre would have its Verizon coming out party at CES 2010. Frequently, the rest of the computer news world wonders where BSN* writers get their information. Well, it simply takes paying attention to details and asking good questions.
Today, Verizon Wireless and Palm "officially" announced what BSN* knew all the time: as of January 25, the Palm Pre Plus and Pixi Plus will be on the Verizon network.
Palm Chairman and Chief Executive Jon Rubinstein said the new phones, the Pre Plus and Pixi Plus, "will be available exclusively on the Verizon wireless network."
Palm announced SFR in France as a new carrier for both the Palm Pre and Pixi. Separately, AT&T CEO Ralph de la Vega said Wednesday that his carrier would also be getting two Palm devices soon, but Palm wouldn’t confirm that one just yet. Today, Verizon was in the spotlight.
Finally, there will be some interesting TV ads, instead of those silly games AT&T and Verizon have been playing with ?my map is better than your map.? The ads sound like grammar school name calling among playmates.
Verizon’s Chief Marketing Officer John Stratton said that two outstanding smartphones will get new life by joining the Verizon network. Stratton made his comments by video because he was grounded by snow in Chicago (and it snowed in London town too). Out west in Las Vegas, we had bright sunshine and mild 65 degree Fahrenheit temperatures. Stratton said: "We’re most excited about the 3G Mobile Hot Spot capability that these devices offer," in a jab at AT&T’s iPhone and their inability to provide Internet tethering.
Not everyone thinks the Palm Pre is the best phone out there. A ChangeWave survey of 4,068 consumers in the first weeks of December found that 21 percent of people looking to buy a smartphone in the next 90 days want to buy one running on Android. That’s up from 6 percent from when ChangeWave asked people in September. Apple remains the smartphone of choice in 2009, with 28 percent of respondents saying they will buy an iPhone. RIM’s BlackBerry falls to third place with 18 percent. Meanwhile, Palm needs big help and just maybe Verizon will give them a big boost in 2010.
The original Pre, still on Sprint has only 8GB of memory. On Verizon, the Pre Plus will come with 16GB of internal memory, a 3.1 inch capacitive display with 320×480 resolution and multi-touch support, slide out QWERTY keyboard, Wi-Fi, EVDO Rev A, 3MP camera with LED Flash, Bluetooth, video and music playback, and document viewer.
The Pixi Plus will come with 8GB of internal memory, 2.63 inch capacitive display with 320×480 resolution and multi-touch support, QWERTY keyboard, Wi-Fi, EVDO Rev A, 2MP camera with LED flash, Bluetooth, video and music playback, and document viewer. Unfortunately, both the Pre Plus and Pixi Plus do not have a microSD memory card slot and do not support video recording.
The webOS 1.4 includes VGA video recording and editing capabilities that pretty much mirror the iPhone 3GS’s, on both the Palm Pre and Pixi. The update will also improve performance and battery life. Perhaps the best part of the update is the upcoming Adobe Flash 10.1 player for the Pre’s browser. Pixi users unfortunately won’t get this update right away due to hardware issues with Adobe. We have known this update was coming to webOS (as well as Android, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile) for a while, but it is another huge advantage that the Pre Plus will have over the Apple iPhone 3GS.
With approximately 1,000 apps, Palm’s catalog is still far behind Google’s 18,000. Apple’s iPhone is way out in front with more than 100,000 apps. To encourage more development, Palm is giving cash prizes to the writers of the most heavily downloaded apps between February and May.
A hands-on evaluation will be the proof of the pudding.