The Sprint/Palm Pre Webinar is starting in 20 minutes. We were able to dig up all of the slides from the presentation while we were waiting – and as far as we can tell, there isn’t much new stuff to be seen. We’ll keep dig through the slides – let us know if you spot anything exciting.
- They’ve gone ahead and made it clear, right off the bat, that there will be no new pricing or availability information today.
- David Owens, Director of Consumer Acquisition at Sprint, and Matt Crowley, Product Line Manager at Palm, are on stage.
- David Owens is just talking about the strengths of Sprint’s 3G network. You’re not missing much.
- Owens continues on about perks of Sprint – now talking about their $99 Simply Everything plan
- Owens on Sprint’s Genius-bar-ish Ready Now : “Most of the population, they need assistance to really learn how to use a device”
- 10 minutes in, they’ve moved to talk about the Palm Pre. Matt Crowley is discussing the awards the Pre has won already.
- If you’ve been keeping up with Pre news, you can likely tune out of this live blog without missing much. It seems to be a recap.
- Crowley is demonstrating Synergy, Palm’s system for bringing information (Contacts, related calendars, message notifications, email alerts, etc) from around the device to one place. It’s our favorite part of the Pre, but we’ve seen it plenty of times now.
- Crowley is raving about the ergonomics of the phone, and the way it curves to your hand.
- Demonstrating Universal Search, which lets you search within the device and across the web right from the home screen. Again – another favorite, but we’ve seen it all before. 20 minutes in, and the Webinar is thus far a recap for the folks who didn’t make it out to CES or MWC. Good idea if they were broadcasting to the public, but I’m pretty sure most of the folks watching the webinar have seen this all before.
- Crowley is showing Touchstone, the Pre’s magnetic charging surface.
- Q&A portion is beginning; Owns reminded the audience that there is no pricing or availability update
- First Q: Will all of the Sprint services be available on Pre? A: Some of them. NFL app, Nascar app, Navigation – aaand the video just went down for us. Sorry folks, technical difficulties.
- Next Q: Will the center button light up as shown at CES? A: Yes. There are 3 LEDS. Used for Gesture feedback – just reassurance that its working.
- Q: Is Pre still on target for first half of 2009? A: (Annoyed) Yes
- Is there a limit to the number of cards open? Yes – no specific number yet, but it’s based on how many things you have open. (Wow, good question)
- Q: Will Palm continue to develop WinMo devices? A: Yes. We’ll continue to make Windows Mobile products. [Now talking about the Treo Pro]
- Q: Will there be an App Store? A: Yes. There will be over-the-air applications. We’ll talk about that later
- Q: Why no memory expansion slot? A: Design. It couldn’t be this thin or have the curvature we wanted if we added a microSD slot. We’d have to compromise on the design. 8 GB is a lot – not enough for everyone, but sufficient for most.
- Q: Is there a regular plug if you don’t want to use Touchstone? A: Yes. MicroUSB.
- Q: Will there be games available? A: In the 1.0 version, the games will be simple. Sodoku named as an example
- Q: Are there plans to license webOS? A: No plans for it yet.
- Q: Why the name Pre? A: The idea is that it anticipates your needs – not as in “Here’s what you want to do”, but “Here’s what the options are”. [Funny - I've been told they picked the name because they liked it and thought of the reasoning later.]
- Q: Can you provide additional info about the Ready Now program and how it works with the Pre? [Come on, guys - they've been doing this for months.] A: It’s like a personal trainer. People will be excited about the device – immediately that day, you can go through the ReadyNow service. We’ll give you a card with checkboxes, you tell us what you want to learn about. No cost service. We’ll work with you until you’re comfortable that all your questions have been answered.
- Final Q: More details on which plan is necessary for Pre? A: 450 minutes/Data, 900 minutes/Data, or Simply Everything. They start as low as $69.99, up to Simply Everything. Plus business plans. There are a host of plans available. You don’t have to get the Simply Everything plan. You can choose your minutes – but we want customers to have an unlimited data plan, because we want people to have a worry free experience.
- All over, folks. “We hope you walk away with the answer to ‘Why the Sprint/Palm partnership’?”. They’re wrapping up. “Stay tuned – you’ll see more things as we get closer to launch”
- Slide now reads “The webinar is now over. Thank you for joining us.”, backed by the cheesiest jazz in all the lands.
Recap: 20 minutes of stuff everyone watching (it was a press-only event) had seen before, with a few gems in the Q&A: It’s still on target for 1st half of 2009, Palm will continue making WinMo devices, they have no plans to license webOS, and you won’t need the Simply Everything plan with the Pre.