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Palm Pre revisited: An early pioneer of the smartphone age

by Brandon Russell | November 5, 2016

As Apple’s iPhone was gaining in popularity, Palm boldly debuted the Pre at the 2009 Consumer Electronic Show—and people loved it.

It was a fantastically inventive device that had a sliding keyboard and charming rounded design. But it was Palm’s webOS that was the real star. The software acted as the successor to Palm OS, featuring some really cool ideas, including the cards interface used by so many companies today.

Unfortunately, the Pre was hit by a lot of issues after launching, in particular, suffering from a poorly made slider mechanism. That was later rectified in the Pre Plus, but that wasn’t the only hardware issue people complained about.

While a lot of the ideas were sound, the execution left a lot to be desired, and thanks to slow software updates, the early honeymoon period eventually led to many unhappy customers.

Even though it wasn’t the most well-executed device when it launched, the Palm Pre is considered an early pioneer of the smartphone age, introducing ideas that are still being implemented today.

You can learn more about this throwback device in the video above.


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Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...