This story is interesting for a couple of reasons. First is Palm's use of Facebook to connect with customers and potential customers. Second is Gizmodo's strange criticism of the Palm Pre for only having 8 GB of storage and no replaceable storage - a la a MicroSD slot. The iPhone, earlier and 3G were both available with only 8 GB with no expandable storage and Apple has sold a ton of those - some are saying nearly 17 and a half million iPhones. Not a deal breaker for me - even though I chose the 16 GB iPhone.
Palm's Matt Crowley explained the Pre's unfortunate lack of a MicroSD(HC) slot as a choice based on the confines of the Pre's hardware. This omission might be a deal-breaker for the media-centric crowd.
Crowley is currently holding an open chat on Facebook to answer any questions people might have, although it's heavily selective. Among the questions Crowley won't answer: how intrusive is the multi-platform personal information program Synergy going to be? What about the lack of desktop synchronization, or cloud storage? But he does take a crack at a question on MicroSD expandability.
‘Design' was the highest goal on the Palm Pre project. The phone has to look and function great in the hand and up against the face on a call. The decision to include or not include expandable storage is an easy one when design is the highest priority. The physical size of the device would have been compromised if we added another physical component to Pre. Just a millimeter can seriously impact the curvature of the design in a way that minimizes the design intent. We wanted to maintain a slick curved slider design without building out too much thickness. When you look at the two parts of the product and see how thin they really are, you may be amazed that we were able to fit everything in. And yes, all the stuff does fit.
The other advantage of embedded memory is that you have a large amount of storage out of the box for media and files. Including 8GBs of storage on the phone is a large amount of storage for many people, but not all. Yes, not all. We know that not everyone will be happy, but that is one of many decisions that needs to be made.
We really like the Pre, but 8GB is just not enough these days and given the Pre is thicker than certain competitors, it seems there could have been a way to fit in a slot for expandability or at least double the embedded storage. Crowley's excuse seems kind of lame, but the Pre was never presented as a multimedia-focused phone. What do you guys think? Is only including 8GB a mistake on Palm's part, or will the mass public not care?