Despite the blockbuster launches of the iPhone 3GS and Samsung Jack, the Palm Pre is still managing to sit pretty and sell well. Palm's fourth quarter earnings report showed lower losses than expected, due in large part to the success of the Pre. Palm's first smartphone sold about 50,000 units during its opening weekend, and it's managed to sell an additional 100,000 or so since.
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Unit sales aren't the only benchmark of smartphone success. These days app downloads are almost as important as sales. Apple brags endlessly about their app store, and they even ribbed Pre's app store several times during the WWDC conference.
With over a million apps downloaded the Palm Pre now has reason to brag. Despite a bit of a shaky start the new smartphone doesn't seem to be having any trouble attracting a dedicated fan base. Pre users download, on average, 26x more apps than iPhone users. The average app in the Pre catalogue is downloaded 16x more often than the average iPhone app.
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It's obvious why. The Pre userbase is much smaller than the iPhone's, and the Pre has far fewer apps available as well. It also appears that the average Pre user is a bit more inclined to download apps than the average iPhone user, which is news that will make designing apps for the Palm Pre a very exciting proposition for a lot of developers. Even though the iPhone is a much more successful phone, building apps for the Pre has a greater likelihood of being profitable.