iPhone’s Design Influence on Palm Pre

Submitted by lalit on January 23, 2009 - 9:36pm.

In our previous article about Palm Pre we wrote that Palm’s design philosophy is very similar to what Apple did with the iPhone two years back. And, the latest detail about Pre’s design that was reveled by product manager Matt Crowley in Facebook chat confirms Apple’s influence on Pre’s design.
On Facebook chat Matt revealed details about design decision to leave out microSD slot and infrared port. For microSD slot Matt Crowley said:

“’Design’ was the highest goal on the Palm Pre project. The phone has to look and function great in the hand and up against the face on a call. The decision to include or not include expandable storage is an easy one when design is the highest priority. The physical size of the device would have been compromised if we added another physical component to Pre. Just a millimeter can seriously impact the curvature of the design in a way that minimizes the design intent. We wanted to maintain a slick curved slider design without building out too much thickness. When you look at the two parts of the product and see how thin they really are, you may be amazed that we were able to fit everything in. And yes, all the stuff does fit. The other advantage of embedded memory is that you have a large amount of storage out of the box for media and files. Including 8GBs of storage on the phone is a large amount of storage for many people, but not all. Yes, not all. We know that not everyone will be happy, but that is one of many decisions that needs to be made and the product goals.”

Regarding lack of infrared port Matt Crowley stated:

“IRDA was one of those legacy HW items which was actually not a simple decision to pull. We had a lot of debate on this one as well, but the overall IR usage was diminishing and the cost was not justified. I still think there is a need for simple pairing and content sharing in a personal space. I also believe there are some really cool ways to handle similar behaviors without the use of IR. Sony did a great job with their PSP on application demo handling via WiFi. For example, some games you can send a demo version of the game via WiFi to your friend’s PSP directly. To be honest, I like the “Remote” application on iPhone. I don’t use it a lot, but it is a cool demo and the implementation was done really well.”

iPhone was one of the first smartphone that didn't feature a microSD card slot and IRDA port. Palm has been trying to position Pre as a better alternative to the iPhone, but as more details emerge about the new Palm device it becomes more and more clearer how much the Pre is inspired by the iPhone.
[Via Palm Infocenter]