Last updated: June 24, 2009 - 8:40am
By all accounts, Palm's new Pre smartphone is elegant and powerful. On sale for just a few weeks, it has a crisp touch screen, a pull-out keyboard aimed at e-mail devotees and a new operating system that can manage multiple applications at the same time. But in a world crowded with iPhones, BlackBerrys and other smartphones, success for the Pre — and possibly the survival of Palm itself — is going to take a lot more than a well-designed device. These days, it is all about the apps. Industry experts and programmers say that the company needs to cultivate a system of developers eager to write and publish small useful programs, or applications, for the Pre and its core software, WebOS. Palm also needs to provide an easy way for Pre users to download, pay for and install those apps, similar to Apple's App Store.
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