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What the Palm Pre Stole from the iPhone

Tue Jan 13, 2009 - 7:12 PM EST - By Jennifer Chappell


Our pal Rene over at our sister site The iPhone Blog has written a very interesting editorial entitled "What the Palm Pre Stole from the iPhone... and What the iPhone Should Steal From the Pre". Rene points out several things on Palm Pre that look to be stolen right from Apple's iPhone. When I first saw the Pre, I thought to myself that it looked sort of like an iPhone, only smaller. And the more I've seen and read about the Pre, it sound a lot better than the iPhone.

Note: I love Rene's pic of the iPhone and Pre in the UFC ring! ;-)

So Rene starts out by saying:

First, stole is exactly the right word. No, I'm not talking about Rubenstein's verbiage (you can copy a Jobs script, but not the delivery, b'okay?) Feature for feature - gesture for gesture - the former Apple team headed now by Rubenstein as Palm straight up jacked whole swathes of iPhone functionality to a degree that I'm pretty much certain Apple's lawyers are drafting up whole heaps of infringement claims against them for all those patents Steve Jobs mentioned during his first iPhone introduction back at Macworld...

I figured that Palm's newest smartphone would have to be something great to be able to compete with the iPhone. And Palm sure did get a few former Apple guys onboard, namely Jon Rubinstein, so they had some new players to get the ball rolling.

Anyway, below are some things that Rene lists as being stolen from the iPhone. I'm just showing Rene's list. He expands on each item:

  • Form Factor
  • Specs
  • The Dock
  • Real-World UI Interactions
  • Multi-touch
  • WebKit

Rene also lists what the iPhone should immediately steal from the Palm Pre:

  • Multitasking "Cards"
  • Merging the Cloud
  • Status
  • Auto-Save
  • Keyboard Launcher

I sure enjoyed reading the editorial. Rene said that he didn't touch on everything, including the swiped App Store, aka the App Catalog.

Dieter and Mike touch on the subject of some things that the Palm Pre "stole" in their special TreoCentral Palm Pre TreoCast. They definitely admit that the Pre stole from the iPhone. Mike mentioned a quote from Steve Jobs in "Pirates of Silicon Valley" that is originally by Pablo Picasso, which is:

"Bad artists copy. Good artists steal".

...which is followed by Dieter exclaiming, "And Palm stole!" And Mike said that Palm took the dock and made it mobile, and they took Spotlight, which is kind of like a global indexing service, and they made it mobile. Dieter adds that Palm took Android's notification system and improved it. Dieter and Mike mention more stuff too. If you haven't listened to their special Palm Pre edition of the TreoCast, be sure to go and check it out.

And head over to TiPb and read Rene's full editorial. It's a great read! And you can comment below the article. There are already some very interesting comments posted. ;-)

Will we see any lawsuits from Apple? I guess we shall see. The Pre is only the first smartphone to run on Palm WebOS, so there's no telling what other features we might see on future devices. Will those devices also have very similar iPhone features? I cannot wait to find out! Heck, I'll be happy to just get a Palm Pre in my hands first!

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