I thought I’ll take time after work today and go to the Sprint store at 34th St in NYC to play a bit with the new Palm Pre.
Sure enough, there was a Pre corner. And there were places for two Pre devices, but only one of them was there. But this one was turned off with no visible way to turn it on or otherwise use it. So, it was just a brick.
The Pre hardware felt nice in hand. I don’t care too much for hardware keyboard, but the sliding action of closing and opening was really good, and the buttons of the keyboard felt OK under my fingers. But since there was no software, I couldn’t try it out at all.
If I was Palm, I would be really worried about this retail experience. What’s the point of making all this great device if customer’s can’t play with it at the store? Not everyone is as persistent as me. Many people have seen and heard the hype and are lured to the Sprint store, only to find themselves playing with a nonfunctional brick that is not very interesting.
Compare this to Apple store where you have not one, not two, but tens of iPhones and iPods to people to play with.