Palm and Sony Trump Apple

And Now, the Bad News

Unfortunately, these great new products are being dropped into the middle of a recession.

The Palm Pre will be reasonably priced, no doubt, but people aren't upgrading phones like they used to. This would be OK, but Palm is on the ropes financially, and the Pre's stunning innovation may come too late to save the company.

Sony's Vaio P is awesome, but expensive. They say it starts at $900. But with the flash-storage upgrade you want, and the RAM upgrade Vista needs, the real price will be higher than your average full-size laptop. In a recession where netbook prices are dropping well below $300, that's a tough sell.

There's no doubt that Palm and Sony shocked and impressed everyone with their announcements, and stole Apple's Macworld thunder. But while industry watchers worry about Macworld, Jobs and Apple, we really should be worrying about Palm and Sony. With Palm Pre and the Sony Vaio P, we have new reason to pull for these companies to come through the recession in one piece.

Apple, on the other hand, will be fine.

All three companies have proved that they've still got what it takes to thrill consumers. It's great to see that innovation and competition are still alive.

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