Oranges and Apples

So I stopped by one of those little mobile phone kiosks in the mall last night to ask for directions to the bathroom. Out of curiosity I also asked if they had heard of the new “Treo 650”:http://www.palmone.com/us/products/smartphones/treo650/ or knew when it would be available from them (as far as I know only Sprint carries it now, and it’s only on pre-order).

The guy asked me why I would want a Palm phone, so I explained to him that I use a Palm and a mobile phone and would love to have a single device. Then he said something to the effect of “No, that’s not what I meant. Why would you want to use a Palm phone?” He then proceeded to tell me how great the “iPaq h6315”:http://www.shopping.hp.com/cgi-bin/hpdirect/shopping/scripts/product_detail/product_detail_view.jsp?BV_EngineID=ccckaddddkkdiljcfngcfkmdflldfgf.0&landing=null&category=handhelds&subcat1=ipaq_phone&product_code=FA239A%23ABA&catLevel=3 is.

In my experience there are pretty heavy loyalty lines drawn between the various PDA brands. Unbeknownst to him, this guy was trying to sell a Pocket PC to a dyed-in-the-wool Palm user. In trying to impress me with his (very limited) knowledge, he couldn’t have turned me off faster.

His reasons for suggesting that I switch to the iPaq:

# “You can check your email on here.”
# “You can even open attachments and edit them right there on the handheld!”
# “You can surf the internet.”
# “My buddy got a Treo and he wishes he had an iPaq. He couldn’t do any of this stuff on his Treo.”

Um. What rock have you been living under, pal? You can do all that stuff on a Treo, I couldn’t care less what your “buddy” thinks, and Palm has a better user interface, better memory management, and more third-party apps (we’re talking orders of magnitude here!). I had a Pocket PC once for about a week and I couldn’t find software to replace basic functionality I had with my first Palm. I’ve spent a lot of money (more than I’d like to admit) putting together a set of programs that serve my needs, from Bible software to school planning software, and I’m not about to ditch all that to start over with an operating system that hogs memory and has a crappy UI.

A word of advice to salesmen: Don’t try to sell cats to dog lovers, don’t try to sell Fords to Dodge lovers, don’t try to sell Macs to PC lovers, don’t try to sell IE to Firefox lovers, and don’t try to sell Pocket PC‘s to Palm lovers.