My Palm Pre died in less than 72 hours


It is now 7:50 PM about 7 hours after my first Palm Pre died.  After much hassle (see below) my original Sprint store was able to replace my first dead Palm Pre with a brand new Palm Pre, which I’m calling, Palm Pre #2.

I must say that once I turned on Palm Pre #2, my new Palm profile setup for Palm Pre #1, immediately kicked in & started updating Palm Pre #2 with all my email address configurations (cool!) & my Google GMAIL contact info (Gmail contacts suck, but this did pull them in).  My Facebook settings did not work quite so well, but after entering my password all was well with Facebook too.

My Palm Pre #2 came with firmware version Palm webOS 1.0.2.  I’m not going to update to 1.0.3 nor 1.0.4 anytime soon, because I have no idea what killed PP#1 and can’t afford to waste more time if PP#2 dies on me.


I started this article to chronicle a couple important issues with my Palm Pre.  The second was apparently a terminal condition for my phone, and as I write this update, I’m trying to find the fastest way to replace my 3 day old phone.  Palm phone support kept me on the phone for about 146 minutes through 4 dropped calls, and ultimately told me they would call me back, maybe by tomorrow morning.  🙁

Below is the original article and below that is the stream of twitter comments I made while on the phone with Palm for far too long.

In general I am extremely unhappy happy with my new Palm Pre.  I upgraded from the G1 to the Palm Pre last week, and this is a much much better phone on more levels that I’ll tick off here.  In the last 2 days, day 2 & 3 of my ownership I have noticed 2 problems that are somewhat troubling.  They have not yet repeated themselves, but I wanted to mention them as I document my initial experiences with the Palm Pre.

The first happened when I attempted to go into camera mode.  I tapped the camera application and instead of the rapid fire transition to camera, a function that has been amazingly fast thus far, the application seemed to hang as it started up.  I was unable to take a picture as the viewer never showed up on the screen.  It took some effort to close the application as well, which kept going from full screen to a tab / page view.  Finally it ended and no more issues since (that happened yesterday).

The second was a death sentence apparentlymore problematic.  I missed a call that went to voice mail.  I tapped the notification at the bottom of the screen indicating the voice mail existed, it dialed my voice mail and then my screen went black.  Nothing I could do could awaken the screen.  The voice mail played, but I could not tap any buttons or work the voice menu.  The speaker worked but the screen and the qwerty keyboard were both dead.  I attempted to power down the phone, but that button was dead also, so was the volume button.

So mid stuck-call, I had to figure out how to remove the battery cover, something not mentioned in the users guide that I could see. 

It involves pushing a button at the bottom of the phone then plying the back cover off despite the fact that it bent in an odd way that made me fear the cover would break.  Fortunately it did not break and the slight bend did not alter the shape of the cover permanently.

Then I pulled on the plastic tab to remove the battery.  That also was an unintuitive experience with no guide. 

Tip pull away from phone, not down nor up, the plastic tab is NOT attached to the battery, just used to lever the battery out.

Super Troubling Palm Pre Failure

After I reset the device, I attempted to dial my voice mail again.  All the fuss with the phone made it impossible to get my message.  When I went to the keypad and hit the voice mail button again, my screen and keypad went dead AGAIN!

This time the voice mail system hung up on me after it timed out.  Even after it hung up, my phone was still dead, so I removed the battery again to reset the phone.

Question – Is there a reset button on the Palm Pre?  Haven’t found it yet, but I hope so! Partial Answer – apparently there is, but it deletes lots of information from the device, still do not know where it is.

In the comments section of this Engadget article you’ll find some other complaints from other users

Now, keep in mind the restarting of the Pre takes about 1 minute and 45 seconds.  This is normally not a big issue, because I usually only restart it once a day, if that, but having to restart it twice in a 10 minute period, well. it gave me the time to write this silly 550+ word article.


Here’s  a reverse order run down of my twitter accounting of what happened when my Palm Pre died a partial Death


  • ended 147 minutes w @Palm support-my 3 day old dead Palm Pre, still does not work-Tier III may call me back by tomorrow 🙁 @Sprint15 minutes ago from web

  • @Palm Tier II guy came back told me Tier III might call me back by tomorrow (trying to stay calm) my dead Palm Pre fm @sprint25 minutes ago from web

  • been on hold now 37 min to get to @Palm Tier III support after working with Tier I & II for 98 minutes for my dead Palm Pre31 minutes ago from web

  • The static filled, broken nasty hold music that @Palm plays for Tier I, II, & III support is grating on me while staring @ my dead Palm Pre38 minutes ago from web

  • on hold 10 minutes awaiting Tier II trsfr to Tier III fm @Palm after waiting 13 minutes for tier I to Tier II trsft for my dead Palm Pre42 minutes ago from web

  • @gtowna not getting any work done here, fooling with a dead Palm Pre and @Palm support 🙂 about time to get a beer or 4about 1 hour ago from web in reply to gtowna

  • If this were SnowCrash Pizza delivery instead of Palm Pre smart phones, I’d own Uncle Enzo’s Ass by now @Palm @Sprint 😉 #idiocracyabout 1 hour ago from web

  • @Palm tier II is now putting me on hold to connect me to @Palm Tier III at 17:13 of 4th call- on phone w @Palm 114 minutes so far todayabout 1 hour ago from web

  • back on the line with the latest tier II service specialist, only a 13 minute wait to get to him from tier I @Palm in re: my Dead Palm Preabout 1 hour ago from web

  • @learningSEO before my Palm Pre died, I would have DEFINITELY recommended it, having some doubts now that @Palm can’t seem to fix it . . . .3 minutes ago from web in reply to learningSEO

  • @Palm Tier I is putting me on hold for Tier II so Tier II can put me on hold & refer me to Tier III for my Dead Palm Pre @sprint5 minutes ago from web

  • @sprintcare thx for the offer, just sent you an email, calling @Palm tier II back now after firmware 1.0.4 install completed – Pre dead10 minutes ago from web in reply to sprintcare

  • Installing firmware upgrade 1.0.4 for my dead Palm Pre fm @Palm @Sprint – 2 chk 4 updates type U P then click Updates on your Palm Pre19 minutes ago from web

  • figures 30 sec after @Palm hangs up 1.0.4 dwnld finishes, hope this fixes my dead Palm Pre got calls to make, business to salvage @sprint21 minutes ago from web

  • 3rd call to re-re-escalation rep, tier II, ended after 43 minutes-no resolution 4 @Palm Pre death-don’t call us we’ll call you ahmm @Sprint23 minutes ago from web

  • @Palm escalated representative is now telling me to just wait an hour and see if it works later 🙁 dead Palm Pre 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁28 minutes ago from web

  • @JGoldsborough thx 4 quest, Yes, called them 1st, told me to return Palm Pre to store, but store has few/no replacements, trying to fix 1st33 minutes ago from web in reply to JGoldsborough

  • Put my Pre into airplane mode to turn off @Sprint forcing wifi which is on, but download still seems to be stuck coming fm @Palm35 minutes ago from web

  • @WarrenWhitlock Yes I have a Pre @Sprint is telling me to return it, on phone with @Palm escalated service rep -was great phone till it died38 minutes ago from web in reply to WarrenWhitlock

  • download of Palm Pre firmware 1.0.4 fm @Palm failed while on phone with re-re-escalated tech support40 minutes ago from web

  • after over an hour on phone w @Palm they now have me checking for firmware updates, per my mention I’m on old version @Sprint42 minutes ago from web

  • while on hold for the last 20 minutes (3rd call w @Palm) Learned there is Palm Pre firmware upgrade 1.0.4-wonder if it can be pushed to me?about 1 hour ago from web

  • Got to the re-re-escalated rep-kate, she didn’t read the case notes, wanted me to start fm begining -nonstarter- she’s now reading the notesabout 1 hour ago from web

  • Apparently @Palm ‘s Alex was also disconnected when talking to re-escalation team & so I’m getting re-re-escalated now-time for Idiocracyabout 1 hour ago from web

  • apparently rebooting a Palm Pre really drains the battery, having to recharge while on hold for @Palm re-escalation of call – 15 Pre crashesabout 1 hour ago from web

  • apparently tier 1 @Palm person-alex after putting me on hold has to re-escalate my call I can’t just call back & be escalated post drop callabout 1 hour ago from web

  • just confirmed that my Palm Pre crashes when making calls whether wifi is turned off or on (crashes either way) @Palm @Sprintabout 1 hour ago from web

  • back on hold with @Palm as they track down my last service repabout 1 hour ago from web

  • @Palm Like yourself, I am recording these calls as well for quality improvement purposesabout 1 hour ago from web

  • OK, refill of coke zero, choc chip cookie, time to call @Palm back after dropped call to get my Palm Pre fixed – maybe I s/become a Luditeabout 1 hour ago from web

  • @Palm dropped my call on the other line while trying to call my

    mobile to see if it would kill my Palm Pre again- Deep Breath Aaaahhhhmm Ahmabout 1 hour ago from web

  • @Palm is calling me now to figure out why my Palm Pre crashes (screen keyboard become unresponsive during calls) @Sprintabout 1 hour ago from web

  • @Palm has me back on hold while Palm Pre boots up after crash – Speed tests show Palm Pre takes 1:45+ to turn on 1 hour ago from web

  • my Palm Pre dies when i dial phone numbers from the qwerty keyboard too @Palm @Sprint Palm Support going 2 try calling me nextabout 1 hour ago from web

  • @Palm transferred me to a higher level specialist, who has me on hold while reading case notes from previous specialist #PalmPreDeadScreenabout 1 hour ago from web

  • @cartermason had great experiences w Treo on tmobile but Treo on Verizon was awful-> Verizon loaded too much crapware & killed the phoneabout 2 hours ago from web in reply to cartermason

  • Back on hold with @Palm re my Palm Pre that dies whenever it makes a call on @Sprint awaiting transfer to higher level of supportabout 2 hours ago from web

  • Palm just dropped my call while transferring me to higher level of support for my Palm Pre Crash, hope I don’t have to go through this againabout 2 hours ago from web

  • @ldbaldwin My Palm Pre was awesome up until today. 🙁 I hope they can fix it, I do want to keep it.about 2 hours ago from web in reply to ldbaldwin

  • getting escalated to higher level of Palm support for my failing Palm Preabout 2 hours ago from web

  • Deleted all my downloaded aps on my Palm Pre per Palm but the phone still crashes when I call my voice mailabout 2 hours ago from web

  • My new Palm Pre crashed again while on phone w Palm support-recalling smug Palm Developer @CES He smirked at reset button question 🙂about 2 hours ago from web

  • on the phone with Palm about my dying Palm Pre, Sprint told me to returnabout 2 hours ago from web

  • @thepete lol I AM THE IPHONE KILLER!!!! 🙂 Suspect if I bought an iPhone 3Gs it would go up like white phosphorousabout 2 hours ago from web in reply to thepete

  • Sprint doesn’t know how to fix my Palm Pre, suggested I return the phone to the store. Odds of store having replacement Pre VERY LOW.about 2 hours ago from web

  • I truly have the worst phone karma in the world 🙁 5 Treos on Verizon -> all dead, 1 G1 on tmobile -> won’t sync/slow, Palm Pre dying next?about 2 hours ago from web

  • calling sprint, I think my 3 day old Palm Pre might be half dead (screen and keyboard die when I make calls)

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