Are we ready to declare the Palm Pre dead in the UK & Ireland?

I’ve been reading and participating in the discussion that followed our post on Friday (“Palm Pre has apparently sold just 220 units in Ireland“) and i was surprised not to have heard from the Palm Pre fans.

Amongst the 250,000 strong audience there are fans, defenders (and often product managers!) of all manner of devices and platforms. I fully expected someone, somewhere, to jump in with some kind of defence.

Is there anyone in the UK or Ireland — or Europe, for that matter — enjoying their Palm Pre?

Or better still, does anyone know of somebody who’s actually bought one? If so please do post below and tell us about it.

My overriding memory of the Pre is being told not to touch it last year at Mobile World Congress. Kind of difficult to evaluate a device when you can — literally — only look at it.

What do you think? Is Palm dead to you?

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

36 replies on “Are we ready to declare the Palm Pre dead in the UK & Ireland?”

I’m a Palm lover – still using a Tungsten T3. Would love a Pre but not prepared to move from Vodafone. O2 network is hopeless in Ireland. Phone too expensive, package too expensive.They did no advertising . When iPhone first released on the O2 network there was a huge amount of advertising. They also had real iPhones in the store to play with. They did nothing like this for the Pre. The staff in the stores new nothing about it and didn’t care. It doesn’t matter how good a product is – if you don’t choose the right partners and don’t market properly it will fail.

I got a free one from O2 Litmus and really liked it. I tried using it as my main phone for a day, and was considering switching from my iPhone. Annoyingly, the touch screen decided to pack in and I had to get it replaced. Can't use it if I can't rely on it working though, and there's not enough people using a Pre to warrant developing for them.

I gave the replacement to my girlfriend, and she really likes it. She upgraded from a Sony Ericsson W810 to a G1 (another of my hand-me-downs) last year, and then from the G1 to the Pre. As to which she prefers – G1 or Pre – well, the boat is out on that one!

I actually wouldn't mind giving a Palm Pre a go, to see how I get on. I watched a few video's on YT, and the UI doesn't look too bad, once you get used to it.

The problem with Palm in the UK is that they have never had the loyal following like they have in the US. Kind of like Nokia, but the opposite way around. The Palm Pre sold (relatively) well in the US because people had heard of Palm in the first place, whereas over here that is not the case. Then for O2 to spend £10.47p on marketing for it is ridiculous.

Is the Palm Pre dead in the UK? No. I don't think it ever lived in the first place.

I'd love to have one, (or a Pre Plus), but the contract was just too expensive for the phone – people are always willing to pay a premium for an Apple product, but the Palm name over here hasn't resonated with anyone for almost a decade so can't command such a price. It's also the same price as the HTC HD2 which – though a WinMo (yuk) device – has much better presence due to the awesome screen, so why buy a slippy little fella, with a sub-Blackberry keyboard and a low-res screen from a manufacturer who you've not heard of for years?

Which is a real shame, as WebOS is actually very nice indeed (still some rough edges, but slowly getting better all the time).

well i have a pre. o2 sourced. o2 signal sucks so its on 3 via another method. with constant upgrades of firmware its slowly becoming sort of useful in a tonka toy mobile sort of way. I await version 1.4 next month to really sort of the hidden crappyness that is palm os 😉

Love my Palm Pre – gave my iphone to the kids. Multi-tasking is the way ahead and the synergy with my google calendar, contacts & email is seamless – and no ,ore typos thanks to keyboard.

I think O2 shop training has been awful

As a multi device user (well, I am Mobile Director at my agency!), I still like the Palm. The problem with the Palm is that it doesn't have enough friends.

The open source web OS system is fairly robust, but it needs more applications. And it needs more friends.

Alas, time is running out. You will never, ever get an iPhone user to switch and the Nexus One is will be where the curios head next.

But I will always have a soft spot for it. Unless it packs in within 3 months…

i have had a palm for about 3 months now and i use it as my main device…i like it…its a refreshing change to the iphone and i like the potential it can have…just need to sort the apps out and get the Web OS in line with everything that it can i think we have a good device. I am not a heavy app user so it does what i need…have found a good twitter and facebook app and the flixster app is great…soem good ones generaly…(some poor ones too) I think some big names need to get behind the device somehow…i have been talking to a couple of pre users and they like it too….Palm…dont forget about us UK users.. i'm out of work i'll promote the Pre over here if you let me 😉

I bought one from movistar, I'm from Spain The main problem is lack of App Catalog (we can't buy apps) and updates of firmware. We still have 1.3.1 update.

I'm very happy with the device. I think the major problem is lack ok promotion. There are no many adds.

I like the look of the Pre and seriously considered it when the announcement was made more than a year ago. However, by the time it came out in the UK I had lost interest and moved on. It was a really strange marketing campaign.

Palm is a bit like Apple was about ten years ago so it might take them a bit longer to sort themselves out. They definitely have a real following particularly in the US and assuming the money doesn't run out first (courtesy of Bono and friends) this might be the start of something big.

Im not a UK or Ireland user, but from Germany.
And I think both countries have the same problem as all europe
countries where the Pre is available. The support for entire Europe
lags a lot. We have 1.3.1 not the actual version, also the App Catalog
is still not usable here. Only selected Apps (the free ones) no buy
So why should a iPhone user switch to a platform that lags a lot of
support in this elementary things.
I have no iPhone. Also I have no Pre exactly of this and some hardware
issues, cause the Pre is the only available webOS Hardware available
for about 480 EUR here and that's to much for the quality you get.

Just my 2 cents.

I’ve had my pre for about a month now and haven’t yet seen another one in public in the UK.

Until I give them a demo, the general reaction I get from friends is “why didn’t you just get an iPhone?”. Which I guess sums up the poor sales..

I was in the US when the Palm Pre was announced. I was disappointed when I found out that it wasn't out until October in the UK. So the second it came out I switched from a PAYG Orange phone to the Pre. I know Palm well as I used to have 3 Palm PC's (still have my T/X actually somewhere) and was really hoping for a phone like this. I never liked the Treo's, but jumped on this as soon as I read about it.

So I've had this phone for a while and I love it. I'm going to say for the record that I am not an iFan. I have not used an iPhone, neither have I used a HTC / Android. I shall therefore not compare these devices to the Pre. The one main reason I wanted a Pre so badly was the multi-tasking. It's like using a futuristic touch computer in a Sci-Fi movie.

Until today I was a bit disappointed with the lack of apps as I expected the old Palm developer industry to jump on the new OS. However, after looking through the currently available apps and downloading a few, and especially after reading this palm blog entry (…), I am looking forward to what Palm have to offer in 2010.

I’m in Dublin, and have a Palm Pre. I love it, easily the best phone I’ve ever owned. I really liked my iPhone 3G, but this is just a far better experience. I also know a few other people who own Palm Pres, so I’d really doubt the 220 number.

Will, very kind of you to offer. I suppose I should try one out at some point … I've still only ever SEEN one and not been allowed to touch!

multi-tasking, great screen, and … most importantly … it isn't an iPhone!

To clarify that last bit, the Pre is accessible at the code level; I can get into it via SSH and see the full linux stack running there (a mobile web *server* would be possible, though silly). It isn't locked down to the degree that some 'smart' phones are.

btw, a few days after I bought mine I was at a BarCamp and three of us had Pre phones. All of us loved them.

Well no 😉 But then again, I don't know all 4 million people in Ireland.

I bought my phone on the first day, and got the last one in the O2 shop. They'd sold out the other 15 they had on stock, and he told me that the other O2 stores in Dublin had pretty much sold out of their stock too. In the first day. So that's 50 or so phones in Dublin in one day. Obviously things may slow down after that, but I still think 220 is a very low estimate.

I wrote two apps for the Pre, specifically for Ireland, one has been downloaded about 1500 times, and the other over 2000, with no promotion or advertising. So I doubt the 220 number is correct.

I'm using the Pre as my personal iPhone replacement, alongside a Hero as my work Blackberry replacement. The Pre is significantly more user-friendly than any Android device I've used (I've heard “more human” as one description of the UI, which fits perfectly).

It's not as good as the iPhone – yet – but the steady incremental improvements show satisfactory progress.

I got my device free from @O2_Litmus but am buying a second one and a couple of Touchstone chargers.

Just upgraded to the Palm Pre from a Nokia N95.
My two sons are iphone/ipod savvy and reckon the pre's interface is as good if not better than the iphone.
I'm just getting to grips with it since it's totally different to an N95 and am definitely warming to it.
I got the touchstone charger with it but!!! Apparently the phone needs a compatible back cover to work with it! Will be onto o2 tomorrow asking them why they send out the charger without the back panel, there's no point.
Was originally going to go for the HTC HD2 but the cost/plan was prohibitive, got the Pre for free.

Palm made a huge mistake coming to Europe: they arrived holding hands with Telefónica/O2/Movistar. And I don't know how it is in UK/Ireland, but in Spain Telefonica's a bitch of a telco. That on one hand.

On the other hand, it's stupid to sign exclusivity with the same operator that has exclusivity for the iPhone. What will that telco do? In Spain, the iPhone data plans are much better than the general plans they sell you with the Pre. Like 5GB data traffic with the iPhone vs. 1GB with the general data plan for the same price.

And to round it all off, when I signed for the iPhone (August '08) I got no questions. The phones arrived on schedule, I paid 150€ and went out of the store with my activated shiny new gadget.

I wasn't able to get a Pre on October '09. I waited three months until they told me they had one available. Telefonica didn't approve the deal, asked me to fax my ID card to “check my personal data”, I sent it three times and they always said it should be arriving badly so the system didn't recognize it. It was a hell of a buying experience for two weeks.

You know what I did? Went to Vodafone, got a phone and contract portability in five days (the time needed to change the number from one operator to another) and sworn never to make any deal with Telefonica ever.

So I will get my webOS telephone when they sell it free or when Vodafone gets access to it. If Palm is still alive by then, I mean.

Wow, that sounds like a horrible experience. I had the exact opposite experience with O2 in Ireland – walked into the shop, and out again in 15 minutes with the phone. However I agree that it was a mistake to go with the network that has the iPhone. If they'd gone to Vodafone they would at least have gotten some advertising from them. O2 did none at all.

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