OK, few disclaimer first. I am a Palm fan (not a “fanboy”. Too old for that). I owned Palm IIIc as my first PDA 12 years ago. When the PDA and phone world was converging, I also choosed Treo 650 as my first PDA+phone combo.
Well, as we all know, thing has not been going too well in Palm economy. The convergence of PDA business with telephone exposed Palm to unfamiliar territory. They found themselves competing with big names like Sony Ericsson, Nokia, and now, Blackberry and Apple. To sell their products in US retail market, they can’t do through retail stores anymore, they have to forge partnership with carriers. Suddenly they become niche player. They needed big cash to be able to compete adequately. And they didn’t. As result, Palm were struggling big time. They tried to hang on with the introduction of Treo phone line-up, powered by Windows mobile (fanboy found it as “taboo” when Palm was leading the PDA market.) And it never really a success.
Until early 2009, when Palm surprised the industry by announcing their stunning Palm Pre phone and webOS, a completely new operating system to replace the outdated Palm Garnet OS. It surprised me as well, and I was excited and thought I will be the first one to line-up if the phone comes to Indonesia. But alas, Palm decided to go exclusively with Sprint in US (and it’s CDMA). And the sales was not as expected. Especially when iPhone sold like hot cakes and Android phones gained more popularity.
The same case happened the GSM model was out in Europe. Palm could only entice Palm devotees, or those who realized that Palm webOS offering actually has interesting proposition which iPhone or Android did not offer. But still, those numbers were very small, and Palm again lost in the shuffle. The low demand probably influenced the decision of Asia carriers not to bring Palm Pre to the region, instead focusing with iPhone and Android. Not one.
So there goes my hope of getting Palm Pre here in Indonesia. Or not.
One day, in a freak of moment, triggered by the losing of my Samsung i780 phone (which eventually returned by a store keeper – God bless em!), I googled for “Palm Pre GSM Unlocked”. And as if it has been scripted from heaven, I found an ad selling Palm Pre GSM in Jakarta! An unlocked one. It was not new, but it appeared to be, as the owner never really used the phone. The phone was Germany-based, and I think I was so lucky to get this one in a very reasonable price and in a mint condition. Not to mention, it was the phone I had aspired since more than a year ago!
So after 2 weeks of usage, did Palm Pre live to my expectation? Stay tuned for the Palm Pre Hands-On review!