Is the Palm Pre Robust Enough?

By  |  Monday, June 29, 2009 at 6:34 pm

Internet forums are atwitter about Palm Pre build quality issues. The revelation that the Palm Pre might be shoddy could not come at a worse time for the company, as it struggles to find sure financial footing.

A comment left at Palm enthusiast Web site sums up many of the quality problem that early adopters claim to be experiencing:

“Im [sic] on my THIRD pre (yellow box). Over the last two weeks, i’ve noticed an increasing amount of play with the screen. I’ve also noticed that on the left side of the device the two sections are separated enough that i can almost see the innards. When I push them together, you can hear squeaking. On top of that, the device came with a loose power button that doesn’t click nearly as firmly as that of other devices.”

Last week, RBC Capital analyst Mike Abramsky estimated that Palm has sold 150,000 Pre units so far. That is not as widely successful as the iPhone 3GS, but it’s a promising start. However, the Pre’s promise might fall short if it gains a reputation for being unreliable.

The iPhone is stiff competition, but Palm faces an additional challenge from RIM’s Blackberry Tour and new Android phones. Palm’s acclaimed WebOS operating system cannot keep pace on unreliable hardware. Meanwhile, Palm’s stock has become a new favorite of short sellers due to its dismal earnings report last week and lack of guidance about future Pre sales. Palm’s Pre could be its last best hope, but the company still has a huge challenge in front of it.


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7 Comments For This Post

  1. BigPreFan Says:

    Those reports you mention on Precentral are by Apple fanboys. I have three Pre’s all working perfectly. You couldn’t give me an Iphone. The Pre is everything I wanted in a smartphone and more.

  2. Disappointed by Apple Says:

    Well, my iPhone 3G S had a defective touchscreen (was DOA on opening day and it was a complete hassle to return it). And a friend’s 3G S locks up after making phone calls. So it isn’t like Apple has a lock on quality.

  3. joecab Says:

    BPF: Fanboys accusing other people of being fanboys? In no way a convincing argument.

  4. kws Says:

    Just another case of crybabies in the Internet Echo Chamber complaining about their 1st production run toys. I haven’t seen a Pre with any of the screen gaps or slider problems. They do get hot when trying to watch Sprint-TV in a bad signal area or can get cracked when put into tight pants pockets. The people returning them because of a tiny blemish or one stuck pixel are just being picky. I swear…based on the photos that some have posted to Precentral, the person would have to be going over it with a magnifying glass. These sorts of sites aren’t good for ‘news’. People there are either a) hard core fans of the device or b) people with problems looking for solutions. Other people are busy using their phones to care for sites like that.

  5. AJ Says:

    I love my Palm Pre and have not had one issue. It’s solid and brilliant. No one should ever come to conclusions based on anectodal evidence such as ‘comments’ on a web site… i mean, cmon!

    Do a study and then post the results, or else these people complaining about their phones may just as well be iPhone or BlackBerry lovers hatin’

  6. emergency cell phone Says:

    Personally I don’t care what “features” a phone has. I just want it to be durable and make phone calls.

  7. Chris Says:

    I love the phone, it does everything I could possibly want. But, I am already on my second unit (soon my third) because of the outside speaker blowing out and getting crackly. Also had a bad power button on the first one and now extreme looseness on the slider of the second one. Great phone, very questionable quality on mine so far and also a friends (his has slider, power button and now speaker problems as well).