mocoNews - Palm Investor Predicts The Day The Pre Will Overtake The iPhone

James Quintana Pearce
Friday, March 6, 2009; 7:00 PM

Confidence is good, but it can be taken too far? Roger McNamee from Elevation Partners (which has paid $425 million for a 39 percent stake in Palm) seems to think that the upcoming Palm (NSDQ: PALM) Pre is not only an iPhone killer, it will squash it like a bug. "You know the beautiful thing: June 29, 2009, is the two- year anniversary of the first shipment of the iPhone?Not one of those people will still be using an iPhone a month later" McNamee told Bloomberg. "Think about it?If you bought the first iPhone, you bought it because you wanted the coolest product on the market?Your two-year contract has just expired. Look around. Tell me what they're going to buy."

I think McNamee has underestimated how much the iPhone being the "coolest product on the market" was due to it being from Apple (NSDQ: AAPL). Palm is where Apple was when Jobs came back?but even at its height its brand was never as good as Apple's. Before the iPhone was released I had multiple friends who had every single iPod that had been released...some even tried to justify why they not only needed 5 or 6 different portable music players, but couldn't live without them. Can Palm say something similar? The Pre looks like a good handset with good services, and I hope it's the positive direction Palm has been looking for for the past several years, but it's not going to kill the iPhone?if it just makes Palm profitable again it will be a raging success.

McNamee sees Palm's new operating system as giving the company the edge, noting that RIM's technology is about 13 years old and the tech behind the iPhone goes back almost 9 years. He's also confident that Palm can not only survive the economic downturn, but outrun its opponents?"I'm on a 10-year plan, here," McNamee said. "They are going to run out of gas way before we are." Considering how much of its funds are tied up in Palm, Elevation pretty much has to take the most bullish view possible.


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