Elevation Partners founder Roger McNamee, whose company is currently keeping Palm afloat financially, publicly declared that the upcoming Palm Pre will poach current iPhone users away from AT&T.
And he's basing this not so much on the Pre's features as he is on…an anniversary:
"You know the beautiful thing: June 29, 2009, is the two-year
anniversary of the first shipment of the iPhone. Not
one of those people will still be using an iPhone a month later."
Um…yeah. McNamee also thinks users will flock to whatever phone is the "coolest" device on the market, especially since they're no longer tied to that pesky two-year AT&T contract.
Now, even though we here at iSmashPhone haven't actually gotten our hands on a Pre, we think it has the potential to be a "cool" smartphone. It certainly takes some of the iPhone's biggest plusses (including a multitouch-capable webOS) while addressing some of the minuses (true multitasking, a better camera, and a calendar/contact system that can synch with Facebook and Exchance).
But there are plenty of iPhoners out there for whom these issues are not deal killers. Apple has not only set the "cool" bar with their handset (whose own upgrade could be right around the corner), but the gazillion-or-so programs available from the App Store make it the 800-pound gorilla in the room. Meanwhile, Palm is not only bleeding money, it's seeing current Centro and Treo owners not upgrading their hardware until the Pre's release.
There is a fine line between confidence and blind faith, and we wonder which side of the line McNamee is on.
(On the other hand: since singer Bono is one of Elevation's investment team, Palm might want to consider hiring U2 to shill for the Pre the same way they did for the iPod…)