updated 02:05 pm EDT, Wed April 22, 2009
ATT iPhone vs Palm Points
AT&T is handing out a memo to sales staff that encourages them to counter the Palm Pre with a set of pre-made talking points promoting the iPhone. The note slipped through PreCentral points to objective data, such as the Pre's lack of music sync software, the absence of a 16GB version, and its inability to roam outside of North America. However, it also makes more questionable arguments, claiming that the multi-touch aware webOS is "not intuitive," that the App Catalog is "unproven," and that the iPhone is mostly metal and glass where the Pre is plastic.
In our experience previewing the Pre at CTIA, the phone has many of the same gestures as the iPhone, including pinching to zoom photos and websites. It also has a gesture area that allows for tasks that aren't possible on current iPhones, such as multitasking and navigating forward or backward through app views without on-screen buttons. Palm hasn't described how many apps it plans to carry on launch but intends to have looser conditions than on the iPhone's App Store. In hardware design, the iPhone uses an almost exclusively plastic back.
However legitimate, the talking points allude to a rare concern at AT&T about a perceived challenger that wasn't evident with the launch of the BlackBerry Storm at Verizon in November. The Pre is the only non-iPhone handset to have a true multi-touch interface and will also have both own app store as well as over-the-air music purchases through Amazon MP3.