There were a couple of noteworthy announcements today in the world of Smartphones. First, and more important, Palm finally announced the launch date and price of the much anticipated Palm Pre. The phone will launch June 6 for $299. There will be a $100 rebate bringing the price to $199. The phone will be available from Best Buy, Radio Shack and, of course, Sprint stores. Several accessories will be available, including the charging station and car adaptor.
The timing of the launch is a bit odd given that Apple has its day a few days later. Apple is expected to announce a new version of the iPhone. I will leave it to the Apple fan sites to speculate on what Apple will announce.
The other announcement was interesting. Microsoft’s new Windows Marketplace for Mobile will, like the iPhone store, allow you to purchase and download apps directly to the phone. The difference, however, is that the Windows Marketplace for Mobile will allow you to install the application on up to five devices. So, if you have a personal phone and work phone, you will be able to install the application on both. The twist here, is that you can also SHARE the application with friends as long as you authorize their phone. This is an interesting and compelling feature and one that definitely sets this app store apart from the rest. On the surface, though, this does not look all that great for developers. However, I think if an application is compelling enough that you would want it on multiple phones, you would probably be more inclined to buy another application from that same developer. Likewise, if you did share the app with a friend, that friend is more apt to purchase apps from the same developer. I think this is a win-win for both the consumer and the developer.