There will be blood

Well the good folks at Palm have decided it wasn’t enough to steal our ideas — now they want to steal our customers too. Which is funny, because for the past two years they’ve been going around saying that they weren’t trying to compete with Apple. Nope, not all. Nothing to do with Apple. Why, their target audience was completely different. Palm wasn’t going after iPhone users, they were going after all those people who are using feature phones and haven’t yet migrated to the broad, sunlit uplands of the smartphone. Hacks would try to cast this as a “Palm v. Apple” showdown, and the Palm folks would chide them and say they really didn’t want to talk about Apple, and they really wished people would stop viewing it that way. Remember all that happy horseshit from Ruby and McNamee? And now, gosh and golly, they’re running ads telling early iPhone adopters that they should switch when their two-year contracts run out. Well at least they’re now telling the truth.

A few thoughts on this.

1. If this really is your business plan — if you figure you can build a company by winning over some tiny percentage of iPhone users who are unhappy enough to switch — well, I pray for your souls.

2. Your big point of differentiation is price. You’re claiming to be $50 per month cheaper. That’s an exaggeration, but let’s assume for the sake of argument it’s true. Let’s think about this. You’re trying to lure away Apple users by offering them lower prices. But as you must know, since so many of you used to work at Apple, our users aren’t attracted by low prices. In fact, they’re put off by them. They don’t want cheap. They want premium. They want to pay more than everyone else. It makes them feel special. To put this another way: They don’t care if the 2010 Camaro SS can outrun a Mercedes SL550 and costs $30,000 instead of $100,000. They want the Merc. Did you frigtards not learn anything during your time working for me?

3. You’re running ads about feeds and speeds (better browser, true multitasking) but the market has moved past that, and the key thing now comes down to “developers, developers, developers,” as my good friend Steve Ballmer once said. The iPhone is our castle, but the App Store is our moat. You’ve got — what? Thirty apps? Fifty? We add more than that every hour.

But hey. Maybe you’ll lure away some of our developers. Maybe you’ll lure away some customers too. So this is your business plan: You’re going to set up a Camaro car lot across the street from the Mercedes dealer, and put up some bright balloons and streamers and maybe some huge signs about how your cuh-raaaazy prices can’t be beat! Oh, and maybe some kind of big inflatable dog or something. And a bouncy castle for the kids! Free hot dogs! Girls with big hair, wearing shiny shorts and tiny T-shirts! A year’s worth of free gas!

Yeah. Good luck with that. Really.

(Much love to Kevin for the tip.)