Back in 2009, the buzz on the CES showroom floor was about a new smartphone poised to take on the Goliath known as Apple's iPhone. It was the Palm Pre, a device from a pioneer in the personal digital assistant (PDA) market. It had a sleek design and a snappy operating system called WebOS. It looked like a winner.
A quick search for videos from 2009 will show how impressed journalists were at this new smartphone. Everyone wanted a chance to play with the device -- Palm was very careful to keep interactions to a bare minimum because it wasn't quite ready for the market. And that's where we get into a problem.
The Palm Pre didn't actually make it to stores until June of 2009. That's six months between causing a stir at CES and becoming available. By then, the buzz had died down to a murmur. Palm struggled to drum up a new round of excitement, but ultimately the smartphone fizzled. Palm itself wasn't in the best position financially -- HP would buy the company in 2010 and dissolve most of Palm by 2011.