Palm has a new device coming out called the Palm Pre which looks like it will be spectacular - like an iphone but with a slide-out keyboard. It will run WebOs a linux variant that will it allow to multi-task, which the iphone can't (yet) do. It will run old Palm programs in an emulator. It will have GPS and Wifi and pretty much everything else the iPhone has except for the number of add-on applications.
I lust for it.
But I'm probably not going to buy it. Here's why.
1. Lack of removable storage. Though the device comes with 8 gigs built in, I like being able to take the mini-sd card out of my current Palm, load it with audio and put it back in. That seems to be faster than connecting through the USB cable and using the Palm "install" software. I'm not even sure if the Pre has a USB connection - it may expect to have everything loaded via wifi (or cellular) - or worse, wifi (or cellular) AND the use of a web-site.
2. Palm may not survive. Certainly the stock is down and Palm is basically betting the company on the Pre (and on the similar products that may follow it.) Unfortunately, no matter how good the Pre is it faces an uphill battle: Apple and Blackberry hold a huge swath of the smartphone business and at least in Apple's case their customers are truly enthusiastic. The Pre has to poach some of those customers while selling to a good chunk of the people buying their first smartphone. And some of those people, also know Palm is in trouble, so this one's a self-fulfilling prophecy. Still this isn't one of the key reasons for me. I've often gone ahead and worked with technology I thought was superior even when the market passed it by *cough* OS/2 *Cough*.
3. With previous Palm devices all your data was mirrored on your desktop computer and you could sync it up easily. This made it easier, for example to add data by typing it into the desktop and syncing and you had a nice desktop client that also provided address book, calendar, notes - all your data. Based on some of the stories I've read, I am worred that the Pre won't sync to the desktop but will back your data up somewhere on the Internet and instead of a desktop client you will browse to your account. I don't want my data on the Internet. I want it on my desktop so I have it even without a network connection - and nobody else does. This is the one that's probably a deal-breaker for me.