Monday, June 08, 2009

Apple Set to Rain on Palm's PRErade

Today begins Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference -- and the buzz is off the charts for two reasons: (1) the rumored return of the Great Black Mock Turtleneck (Steve Jobs); and (2) introduction of a new iPhone.

Meanwhile, Palm's long-anticipated and highly praised new smart phone, the Pre, has been essentially lost -- literally, rained out -- by Apple's buzz.  In a reality that only Apple's marketing savvy could conjure up, the Pre debuted Friday night at Sprint's flagship store in New York City Friday night amid heavy rains and with only 11 folks waiting in line.  (In contrast, remember the long lines around the world for the iPhone's debut; and remember the beautiful New York City weather at the time?; almost makes you wonder if Apple's marketing machine is THAT powerful!)

Anecdotally, I am aware of one friend who plans to get the Pre -- but virtually everyone else has or still wants the iPhone.  Kinda' the same phenomenon that surrounds the iPod.  Even if someone makes a device that is "better" than the iPod, everyone still wants the iPod -- for years, there simply has been no substitute in the minds of consumers (especially influencers).  Thus is the expected fate of the Pre.  It may be a great smart phone, but the aura of Apple likely is simply too hard to beat.  And, why Palm decided to introduce the Pre 2 days before Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, I'll never understand.

Palm's marketing folks have a lot to learn from Apple ...