Saturday, September 05, 2009

Streaming Video Better on Pre Than on iPhone?

Though it got off to a slow start, Palm’s App Catalog is slowly evolving into the ecosystem for which the company had hoped. It recently surpassed four million downloads and is poised for a bit of a growth spurt now that more applications have begun to appear on its virtual shelves. Indeed, in the last week, the number of applications available for the Pre increased by 40 percent to 58.

Now, that’s still a trifling number when compared to the 50,000 or so available in Apple’s (AAPL) iTunes App Store, but it’s something, and it shows that Palm (PALM) is managing to convince iPhone-addled developers that writing WebOS applications will be lucrative business.

Among the latest and most promising of those new apps, DirecTV’s (DTV) NFL Sunday Ticket. Though the app–which allows users to watch NFL games on their cellphones–is available for the iPhone as well as for the Pre, it may offer a better experience on the latter, as Pali Research analyst Walter Piecyk notes in a research alert this morning.

“We will be interested to see how this application performs on Sprint’s (S) network compared to how it will perform on the iPhone on AT&T’s (T) network,” Piecyk writes. “Sprint is more likely to allow a less compressed stream and therefore higher quality video on its network as we have seen with Sprint’s implementation of YouTube, which is much higher quality than viewing YouTube clips on the iPhone over the AT&T network. When the iPhone is forced to WiFi, the quality of the YouTube clips improves to the level we experience on the Palm Pre but that kind of defeats the purpose of the mobile internet.”

An interesting point and an interesting potential selling point for Palm and Sprint–especially given the beating AT&T’s network has been taking in the media lately.

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