The Palm Pre has been released before a long time. Admittedly, the european release of the GSM Pre is not that long ago (fourth quarter of 2010), but as the Palm Pre was presented on last years CES in Vegas, the device feels already pretty old. It’s the gadget hunger that drives me to looking at different devices – it’s pretty affordable on eBay right now, you get new (or almost new) devices for ~200€.
There are many reasons for Pre prices dropping so quickly. I could name them here but Engadget did a write up recently (naming several other issues Palm should address), so I don’t have to sum it up entirely. One problem was (or still is) hardware quality (sliders, power buttons, screens – all broken too often for a premium device), an other is (apparently, from what I read) software stability. And WebOS is a unique platform. While I fell in love with it when I saw it for the first time, WebOS has (in comparison to iPhone OS, Android or Windows Mobile) a rather small userbase, which leads to what you might guess: There aren’t as many apps as on other popular platforms, rumors are telling me that it are still less than 500 here in Germany.
Still, hopes are high that this situation will change, as Palm just introduced paid Apps to its european ‘App Catalogs’ and because of the PDK which is said to make porting iPhoneOS Apps easy.
But this is just the App situation. Let’s have a look at the Hardware. The Pre Plus, which is going to be released in Europe this month, in May or June is not a big change compared to the original Pre – it is just (as you might have guessed) a tweaked and tuned Pre, featuring a better keyboard, no “pearl”, and twice the ram and flash memory. Considering the Pre Plus, the Palm Pre is still a good choice for the budget gadget guy, because the difference isn’t that big.
So will I drop some money at a Pre? It’s very likely.