Engadget: Jon Rubinstein, CEO of Palm, in a Fortune interview:
One of the analysts on our earnings call asked if we had launched when Droid launched, and Droid launched when [we] launched at Verizon, would the story have been opposite? I said I think we have a better product than Droid, and customers would have been happier with it.
It isn’t merely about who has the better product. Obviously Palm wasn’t able to execute as quickly as Motorola did with Droid and Verizon. Commercials for Droid seemed to have made a positive impact on sales. I can’t say that about the Pre’s. Getting back to the product: I don’t think the Pre is a better product that the Droid. I do think Palm did a better job on the keyboard. The hardware form factor is easier to use. I admit I have a bias toward keyboards that slide out in portrait mode. Palm’s webOS is quite usable and is considerably more polished than Android. These are all areas where Palm executed well. But Palm has to do better than just well to compete and win against Android, HTC, Motorola, Google, etc. One major component where the Pre falls considerably short compared to the Droid is the display. The Droid’s 3.7-inch LCD is supreme. For details why, read Motorola Droid vs. Google Nexus One.
Similar to Chris Ziegler’s editorial suggesting the merger of HTC and Palm, I think it would be better for Palm to concentrate on webOS and allow someone else such as HTC focus on building solid hardware. Owning and controlling the entire experience from software to hardware can be done but as everyone knows is extremely difficult to perfect.