How to Kill the Buzz: Say-Nothing Briefings for the Palm Pre

Palm and Sprint team up for a yawner that only fuels skepticism about much-hyped phone

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2009_01_Palm_Pre_without_keyboard.jpg
Palm Pre with keyboard closed

At best, Sprint and Palm left journalists baffled after a webcast that said virtually nothing new about the Palm Pre. At worst, the companies fueled doubts that the phone will live up to the hype.

The partners revealed that the Pre would work with Sprint's usual service plans. That was about it. Yawn. They did also reiterate that the Pre would arrive sometime before July.

Maybe they felt compelled to do so after recent rumors the phone would be delayed. But those reports had quickly faded, anyway.

"Pre-diculous" is what John Paczkowski called the briefing at Digital Daily:

...we’re to understand that the Pre “feels great in the hand” and that the two companies are very excited to be working together. Fascinating.

Kevin Ohannessian at Fast Company:

If Palm is going to compete with Apple, then it needs to keep people excited. The company definitely failed to do that today.

Even worse from Tom Krazit at CNet's Wireless blog:

...by continuing to remind people that the Pre is cool (few people disagree on that notion) without revealing any of the important details, Palm is leaving room for skeptics to wonder if the Pre actually is far from finished.

Apple has an event next week where it is expected to give a peek at a new system for the iPhone, amid growing expectations a new model will arrive this summer. Knowing Apple's prowess for marketing, I suspect Palm could learn something by watching.