Thursday, October 18, 2007

Centro: For the Rest of Us



I have posted week's 1SRC editorial has been posted and talks about some of the advantages that the new Palm Centro has over Apple's much talked about iPhone.

"The Centro can’t stand up to the Apple iPhone. And it doesn’t have to.

Focus on the Differentiation

The iPhone and the Centro are both being marketed to people who use regular old cell phones. In the United States alone there are millions of people up for grabs. Centro is intended for people who wouldn’t otherwise consider purchasing a $500+ phone from Palm, Apple, or High Tech Computing (HTC).

The Centro offers a better user experience when trying to type out a text message or short email to your friends. There is also a large selection of software to choose from. (Apple is planning on releasing the tools to create native iPhone/iPod Touch applications early next year.) Regardless of what you want to do or what interests you, there is likely an application for you that will run on the Centro. When you compare the ease of use of the Centro to feature flip phones you see that it is possible to obtain a better mobile experience for a comparable price for all but the cheapest cell phones given away free with new service agreements.

You also can’t over look the ease of use of the Palm OS platform. Despite its age, Palm OS 5 is still a very capable operating system. At the heart of the Palm platform are the core 4 personal information management (PIM) applications: Contacts, Calendar, Tasks, and Memos. These applications are straightforward and easy to use. It is this ease of use and straight forward approach to PIM tools that has kept me coming back Palm every time I thing about upgrading my phone.

Messaging Matters

If you accept that the Centro is intended for 20 and 30-somethings, then you also must agree that it offers a better messaging experience over feature phones. Cento comes bundled with an IM, test messaging, and, email applications. Using Centro’s built-in keyboard improves up on the process of typing out messages to friends and coworkers.

The Centro is also cost competitive with the iPhone. After carrier discounts and mail in rebates the Centro can be purchased for the low price of $99. The Centro ends up being $300 less expensive than the iPhone and has almost all of the same features. Centro is also cheaper than the consumer oriented BlackBerry Pearl and the T-Mobile Sidekick. Furthermore, Sprint’s voice and data plans are slightly cheaper than AT&T’s. If you are on a budget, the Centro just makes sense.

In Conclusion

The new Palm Centro is an effort by Palm to reach out to customers who would otherwise not consider buying a smartphone. When talking about sales figures it doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing sort of thing. There are more than enough cell phone users for both Apple and Palm to market to. In recent years Palm has lost their leadership position in the smartphone market. The Centro is a good start in working back to that coveted spot. If Palm is serious about getting back on top of the smartphone heap, than future phones will need to be more innovative, look good, work well, and have the marketing muscle behind it to really generate some buzz in the industry. If you are in the market for a new phone and want to have the empowering features of a smartphone without the bloated price tag, the Centro is the device for you."
Via 1SRC.com...
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