The reason it’s important that the Pre succeeds is so the mobile market doesn’t wind up like the desktop market — with just one single great experience, alone in a sea of crap.
One of my friends said something about wanting his phone to just be a phone. The three of us with iPhones had pretty much the same response: The phone in the iPhone is almost incidental for us. The iPhone is our iPod, mobile Internet device, GameBoy, &c. I didn’t buy an iPhone to replace my old phone. I bought an iPhone to replace my Palm V. That it could also replace my phone was just icing.
When pundits talk about the iPhone (or the Pre) and the mobile phone market, they’re missing that to many—if not most—iPhone customers, it really isn’t in the same class as mobile phones. It’s a palmtop, not a mobile phone.
Though visual voice-mail is enough for me to also consider the iPhone a better phone than every other mobile phone I’ve ever used.
Palm did everything right with the Palm (née Pilot) that Apple got wrong with the Newton. The iPhone, however, is closer to where the Treo should have evolved to. Now, Palm has gotten the wake-up call and produced the Pre.
Which is great. I want to see these two companies continue to make each other better.