back to article Palm Pre's inner iPhone revealed

The Palm Pre has been available for only a few short days, but that's been long enough for the good folks at the online repair-and-parts-shop iFixIt to get their hands on one and perform a loving vivisection. The iFixIters have good things to say about the Pre's WebOS operating system, 3-megapixel camera, and replaceable …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    "Inspired by" California?

    Yeah - this will be typical California. The original adopters will get the phone for the least amount. They will then limit the number of new pre-phones that can be put on the market - causing the market to hyper-inflate for no good reason. They will also force massive (stupid!) changes to any new phone (individual hand set!) sold - so as to match the handbags of all of the previous purchasers. Finally, they will demand additional services until Sprint goes belly up in a major bankruptcy - having lost $1000000000000000000000.02 (or ~£10).

  2. Steve

    Here we go again!

    If the iPhone is really that bad, why is everything compared to it?

    For Christs sakes move on, get over it. Yes I love my iPhone, no I don't own a Mac and I have no brand loyalty, they show me none so why should I?

    It's just another device.

  3. James Downes

    Inspired by California

    Tha'tll be Randy California of Spirit fame no doubt

  4. jeffrey


    That is some impressive circuit board part density going on there.

  5. David Edwards

    Keyboard killed it for me

    I had 3 palm devices, I allways wanted a Palm phone without a keyboard and a nice big screen, they never made one. They dropped Graffiti and seemed to maek thier PDA's more like phones, when everyone else turned thier phones into PDA's.

    Now I have an iphone, not that much better in many ways than my old Palm Pilot, but its a phone too.

    Sorry palm, 5 years (even 10 yeas) ago you were close, now you are in the backwoods.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns


    Why is everything being compared to the iPhone?

    It's a glorified mp3 player which has only now with the release of V3 started supporting the kind if mobile functionality the whole of Europe has been enjoying for decades.

    Sure it has a nice user interface, but I find it really sad that this is enough to win over so many fans. Surely the most important things for a camera phone should be a good camera and a good phone. Only now has it got a vaguely reasonable camera, but 3mp is hardly woo, wow territory, and still no flash! And only with V3 has it supported MMS messaging and application switching. The former has been standard on any camera phone since the dawn of time, and the latter the norm on Symbian for years!

    Oh wait, you can record video on an iPhone now? Wow, now I haven't really been doing that on my old Nokia for years have I!

    Did Apple not think it worth looking at the features of the competition? Maybe they realised what a sad superficial lot their customers were.

    Honestly, ignore the user interface and compare the features of a new iPhone with a years old N95 and you'll see what I mean.

    Only now, with the release of the V3, does the iPhone deserve any kind of attention, and to be honest it's still nothing amazing.

    The iPhone is a triumph - a triumph of marketing, packaging and hype...

  7. Andy
    Thumb Up

    Damn, I should have waited zzzzz

    And I got a shitty Storm (with no keyboard for people who text).

    At least I have off-loaded it onto a colleague.

    Hope it isn't a turkey...

  8. Thomas

    @Anonymous Coward

    If you'd actually used an iPhone, you'd be aware that it's browsing experience is substantially better than any device Nokia have put out to date. People who have adopted the iPhone are those that have been willing to sacrifice MMS and video recording in order to get a browser that is actually usable — with the advantage of the fixed price data tariff that was previously rare (yes, a fault of the carrier, not anyone else's hardware).

    People like you might be obsessed with tick chart feature comparisons (oh no! The iPhone can't do WAP! It doesn't have replaceable covers!), most consumers care about functionality and are happy to trade a leap in functionality in one area they value for the absence of functionality in others.

    You seem to be attempting to extend a dislike for Apple's laziness in skipping a few less interesting features to their entire customer base. I suggest you attempt to get some perspective.

  9. Shakje


    Maybe so that you'll eventually realise how much money you've wasted on substandard kit?

  10. Julian Lawton

    Batteries and that

    I'm sure the iPod counts for more than 1% of portable consumer devices, and despite the criticism, it seems most people don't actually care about sealed batteries. The number of people who carry a spare battery for their phone is probably miniscule (although probably higher in the Crackberry crowd who need all-day useage without recharging).

    For the rest of us - being able to recharge by plugging into the USB socket kindly provided by work on our computers is great.

    As for our Anonymous Coward - I love the idea that if you ignore the user interface (because as all El Reg readers know, that's the least important thing in any piece of engineering) and focus on the iPhone's weakest feature (camera) it's not that great. I don't own an iPhone, but I do own both a Nokia, and an iPod Touch, and I've played with both the N95 and N96, having considered them both as my next phone.

    There is just no way the N95/N96 can run anything like the applications available on the iPod (particularly some of the audio apps and games) as the platform lacks an equivalent SDK, and both devices are also significantly slower to respond (the N95 because it has far less RAM than the iPhone).

    But I have noticed that owners on Nokia N-series phones don't actually know this, until you thrust something like iShred or technoBox in front of them - even people who should be able to grasp the notion of a software platform.

    That said, cameras do seem to be a very significant sales factor in European phones, and I'd say that it's actually Nokia who have a better grasp of marketing in the EU, as reflected by their sales.

    (The fact that we're having this discussion at all shows how well they have marketed the N-series to people who want a Swiss Army knife).

  11. Kevin Johnston


    Why compare everything to an iPhone?

    Well in testing circles this is known as a reference point, you know, something most people will be aware of and may have looked at when selecting their most recent phone. It doesn't say it is particularly good or particularly bad, it's just a reference. A bit like saying your garden is 1.723 Olympic swimming pools big, you are allowed to say thing like that even if you don't swim.

  12. Richard 2

    @ignore the user interface

    Wooosh ... what was that? Oh it was only "The Point" which this AC sadly misses.

    To quote the famous calender and tyre maker, Pirelli ... Power is nothing without control.

    There are millions of overspecced but under utlilized gadgets in the world, crippled by crapware.

    I've used the iphone but not the pre and its the UI that is interesting on both .. along with the SDK and developer support (very easy on the iphone .. the pre is too early to tell).

  13. B 9

    @ac 10:33gmt

    "Honestly, ignore the user interface and compare the features of a new iPhone with a years old N95 and you'll see what I mean."

    My reply to that is ignore the features of the N95 and compare the user interfaces instead and your point becomes even less valid, doesn't it? . . . You can't just "ignore this feature and then do the comparison". That's not really a valid comparison is it? It's just a way to rig the competition so your point of view comes out on top.

    The reality is everyone is using the iPhone as the gold standard because right now it IS the gold standard. It has shortcomings to be sure, and missing features that some people would like, but on the whole it appears to be head and shoulders above the crappy phones that we've been served by other manufacturers.

    As for feature list comparisons, take a step back and realize that they are only beginning their 3rd year of making a revolutionary phone, mobile OS, UI, and experience. You can either hold the product until every possible feature is complete and then release it, or release the features high on your priority list and then build on it year over year. Apple has taken the second approach, as have all other phone/computer/electronics manufacturers (including your precious Nokia). Try applying the same standard of judgement to everyone instead of just being the anti-fanboi.

  14. David Edwards

    Ignore the Interface?????

    "Honestly, ignore the user interface and compare the features of a new iPhone with a years old N95 and you'll see what I mean"

    Look you cant ignore th interface, do that in software or web development and your an idiot.

    People buy the iphone becuase they ignore the feature list and enjoy the interface, not not becuase its "pretty" but becuase its USABLE. Give any average consumer an iphone and a winmo phone and I strongly suspect they will do more with the iphone, and not jsut fart aps, but real stuff like itimesheet, evernote, TODO etc etc. This is not becuase they are dum, its becuase unlike you and me they have not spent years accumulating a mass of knwoledge about how IT works and second guessing crappy interfaces. I appreciate Android is going the right way and BB is catching up but you really really need to realise specifications is not the be all and end all of a device.

    I had a N95 and it was dissapointing, I had a storm and was shocked to find I had to re install a different bluetooth driver to make it work, and then the intrface to the PC apps was totally disjointed. I can work out alll these things, I just chose not to becuase now im a grown up I have more important things to do like spend time wiht my family etc

  15. Scott 19

    Work Mates

    My work mate pointed out the iPhones a smart phone for dummy's and i got it.

    Luckily i'm not dumb so no iPhone for me.

    And yes the money that i'm saving not having to cut an arm off each month for the contract of an iPhone allows me to go to California this compare the styling, be over soon Arnie.

  16. vincent himpe

    delicate disassembly ?

    jutdging fro mt he picture that shows the innards they applied some serious force on the board.

    I see at least two inductors that have their core broken ...

  17. Frank Bough

    @Scott 19

    Are you absolutely sure about that? How do you compare other smartphone's features when the iPhone has so many 3rd party apps?

  18. Robert E A Harvey

    solder porn

    What is this fixation with taking things to bits? It seems as empty as you-tubing yourself unpacking the shipping boxes.

    I just want to know if I can sync the address book with anything other than MicroDim's LookOut, and if I can load it with music from my linux box. Oh, and when I can get a second hand unlocked one from the nice lady on Lincoln Market.

  19. J 3

    @ AC

    "Sure it has a nice user interface, but I find it really sad that this is enough to win over so many fans."

    Welcome to the world of real people. Now get over it.

    Note: I don't have, or even want, an iPhone. But it's fun to see how much hate it inspires on the lifeless geeks out there.

  20. Nic 3

    @ Scott 19

    Your work mate sounds like a prat.

  21. shane fitzgerald


    The n-Series is great

    the i phone is great

    the pre looks great

    technology is great.

    i love beer.

  22. Alan Dougherty
    Paris Hilton


    I hate Apple, and I own no other Apple products. I hate Jobs. I hate Gates, yet, due to being a gaming slacker, I have to use his bastard OS. I have never used any phone other than a Nokia or a Samsung since 1997.

    Got an iPhone last year.

    It's solid. It doesnt 'creak' when handled. It's UI is not just easy, it's fun, esp. when jailbroke.. which says more for the hardware than the software. I dont use the camera. I have a proper camera for pictures, because it's a phone. Oh, and on business tariffs, it's about the same price as any other top line mobile.

    As much as I dislike both Jobs and Gates, the iPhone has not been surpassed as a mobile hardware platform.. yet.

    Safari could use multiple tweaks, like not auto-refreshing pages, and not replacing view to top left after page load, since you're already reading and scrolling before it finishes loading.. but that's not a hardware issue.


    Paris, because she knows not to refresh before you're finished.

  23. Scott 19

    @Nic 3

    No not a prat just 21 and very optimistic...oh to be that young again.

    Now wheres my walking stick need to chase some kids off my lawn.

  24. Robert Forsyth

    Why all the comments about iPhones

    ... and the Pre is not very like the iPhone than any other phone, either?

  25. northern monkey
    Thumb Down

    @AC 10:33

    I absolutely hate my N95 (original, not 8GB)!!

    * It's a brick

    * It keeps warning me I'm running out of memory (but giving me no way to easily rectify this!)

    * It's far too easy to accidentally exit any app you're in

    * It's slow (possibly related to point 2)

    * It's poorly integrated - it has these features you're so proud of but it's such a disjointed user experience, everything just stands alone.

    Frankly I can't wait to get rid of this brick (oh I forgot to mention, the battery compartment cover is held on with blutack because the clips that hold it on are made of pathetic plastic that breaks far too easily). And who designed the two-way slider!! Bane of my life!!

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