Who Loses In Battle Of Apple iPhone Vs. Motorola Droid? Palm Pre

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Motorola and Verizon have pulled out all the stops to position Droid as a viable competitor to Apple's mighty iPhone. And why shouldn't they? Both companies need a smartphone hit, they're both backing a hot horse with a phone based on Google Android 2.0 operating system, and the smartphone market is getting more crowded every day.

Come this Friday, when the Droid launches, Motorola and Verizon will have successfully managed to capture the most buzz among the glut of new smartphone launches happening this month -- and they're already readying an encore, it seems, based on just-announced international availability of Droid, dubbed Milestone abroad.

Besides, even if Motorola and Verizon executives aren't as assured as they appear, they're at least putting a game face on with that barrage of anti-Apple and anti-AT&T ads, from "iDon't" to "there's a map for that." So who loses in all of this?

Palm, and it's shoulda-been-a-contender Pre.

Granted, Palm's Pre -- and its forthcoming Pixi -- are far from out of the smartphone supremacy game, and as seen in Palm's most recent earnings, Pre is helping Palm make encouraging gains in smartphone sales.

But despite a decent hype cycle and a number of improvements from previous Palm smartphone entries, the Pre, which was released in June, failed to capture the type of mainstream excitement the Droid is currently enjoying. And that's not just because both of its Pre launch and its Pixi announcements were both overshadowed by hype over Apple events earlier this year.

Analysts, especially, have for months been unwilling to drink Palm's Kool-Aid. Most recently, Citigroup downgraded its rating of Palm to "sell," the same day it upgraded Motorola to a "buy."

It begs the question: what have Motorola and Verizon tapped into -- culturally, commercially or technologically speaking -- that Palm did not? Or was it just bad timing on Palm's part, or, with Sprint, its choice of carriers?

Leave a comment in our ChannelWeb Connect community and let us know where you stand. What is it about Motorola's Droid that has "iPhone killer" talk reaching deafening levels, and why couldn't Palm get that kind of action?

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