The Palm Pre Is The Reason You Love Your Phone

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You know that satisfying feeling you get when you flick your apps off your screen to close them? Or when you finally get used to gestures and realize how much more fluid they feel than buttons? How’bout just typing right on your home screen to find what you’re looking for? Or, my personal favorite: the simple joy of dropping your phone onto a puck to charge it. It’s kinda like … “when you’re driving, and all the red lights ahead of you are turning green … and going ‘bing … bing … bing.’”

All those features – and so many more – can be traced back to a single progenitor: a phone that promised to think ahead … with a name to match. When it broke cover fifteen years ago, the Palm Pre captivated the press and made the still-new iPhone 3G look pedestrian by comparison.

But just two years after its debut, this phone, its acclaimed software platform and the venerable company that spawned it would all be gone. I’m MrMobile; the year is 2009; and this is the story of the Palm Pre.


This is the 24th in a series of MrMobile videos exploring the mobile tech world’s most vibrant period in design and experimentation. In “When Phones Were Fun,” Michael Fisher re-reviews cellphones from the golden age of mobile, the decade-long span from the turn of the century to approximately 2013.

When Phones Were Fun: Episode 24 was produced with Palm and HP products purchased through eBay by MrMobile’s publisher, and donated by friends of the channel cited in the credits. The archive photos featured in this video were shot by Michael Fisher on his personal Palm Pre and HP Veer, circa 2009-2011.

MrMobile does not offer manufacturers the opportunity to preview, edit or approve content before publication. Neither HP nor any other manufacturer provided compensation in exchange for this coverage. The lone sponsor of this video is DeleteMe.


webOS Archive:

Dear Palm: It’s Time For An Intervention [Engadget]:

Pre to Postmortem: The Inside Story of the Death of the Palm Pre and webOS [The Verge]:

Palm CEO Ed Colligan corresponds with Steve Jobs [Internal Tech Emails / X]:

PreDevCamp SF Bay Area at Palm Inc. – a videoblog [Marco van Hylckama Vlieg / YouTube]:

Palm Keynote CES 2009 [diehardboss / YouTube]:

Kara Talks To Roger McNamee About The Palm Pre [Kara Swisher / YouTube]:

Palm Pre Commercial – Go With The Flow [General Chaos / YouTube]:

Palm Pre Cuts The Cheese [Gizmodo / Vimeo]:

SnazzyQ on webOS [Flashback Podcast]:

Benefit Of The Doud [Podcast]:


00:00 This phone is the reason you love your phone
01:23 The smartphone world of 2009
03:27 Beyond the Pre: webOS
08:02 A future 15 years in the making
11:24 DeleteMe
12:30 20090606 – launching a legend
13:48 The weirdest phone commercials you’ve ever seen
15:40 First (and second)-gen problems
18:16 Lethal wounds
20:17 An eleventh-hour savior …
22:27 … turns on a dime
25:30 webOS today
27:57 Acknowledgements



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