June 6th, 2009, the 65th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy in WWII, and quite possibly D-Day for Palm, as it introduced its new Palm Pre and Palm Web OS at Sprint stores, Best Buys, and Radio Shacks nationwide.
Despite the assertions by Palm and Sprint that they didn't want long lines, they got 'em, and sold out at many stores as well.
Lines were nowhere near as long as those for the iPhone and iPhone 3G launches, however, but purchasers were still happy with their new devices. Peter Lewis, who bought phones for himself and his wife at a Sprint store on Chicago's north side said
"I wanted their iPhone killer. I've been anticipating this for a while."
Whether or not it's an iPhone killer remains to be seen. The device, or rather, the new OS is, as I said, meant to be the savior of Palm, and possibly of Sprint as well, the nations #3 wireless carrier, which has been bleeding subscribers of late.
Above Image via efini on Flickr
In Boston, James Groarke said
the new phone had all the features he wanted, and that he wasn't a fan of Apple productions, which meant that he wasn't tempted to buy the iPhone instead:
"I've had no luck with anything Mac, despite its popularity. I know some of my friends will kill me for saying this."
The device is predicted to be a hit. But the question is, will it be a one-weekend wonder? To continue its attractiveness to customers, Palm has to convince developers to create apps for the device. Thus far, Palm has made missteps in this direction, not releasing the SDK to all, as it should have, and facing criticism from many over its lack of aid and cooperation with regards to development.
It should be noted, however, that Palm's main goal right now is survival. Devices first, apps later.