Friday, February 11, 2011

HPalm drops a Bomb

Just a few months ago when the Pre 2 launched I wrote this article lambasting the device. Turns out even my pessimism was not severe enough, the Pre 2 was a sales disaster, I've never seen one in real life. The number one point against it which I listed in the aforementioned post was hardware shortcomings. Primary among these was it's tiny and low resolution 3.1" 320x480 screen. HPalm has just launched the Pre 3 which goes a long way toward correcting these problems, the screen grows to 3.6" and resolution goes up by 250% to 480x800. The processor also gets a bump, at 1.4ghz the cortex A8-like Scorpion core powering the SOC is the highest clocked processor ever put in a smartphone and while it's only single core it will likely hold it's own against most of the high end devices that are coming out today. Unfortunately the device is still dragging around a hardware keyboard but this is really a minor complaint. The Pre 3 is genuinely competitve, the hardware and software are "good enough" to compete with the best out there today. With this device HPalm is going to follow Microsoft's trajectory with WP7, which is to say that the platform will experience slow but steady growth. While it is the least of the four, add HPalm to Google, Apple and Microsoft as players that have genuinely attractive mobile platforms. I still have my doubts about HPalm's ability to keep up with the other three but this announcement bodes well for them, perhaps there is enough core talent left in Palm to sustain a real competitor to the planet's trifecta of tech titans.

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