Palm Greets $1,500 App Giveaway with Vitriol

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Palm, the smartphone maker recently acquired by HP, was reluctant to publish an app requiring no registration and promising $1,500 to a randomly drawn winner. Further skepticism was shared by Palm phone users and developers who vocally attacked the app developer, Cloud Genki, accusing them of running a scam to collect personal data. The allegations turned to approval however, soon after the developer contested the accusations in an attempt to prove their legitimacy and win-over the naysayers.

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What’s fantastic about this whole experience is not just that folks gave us a chance to earn their trust and support, but also knowing that the Palm community is supporting each other by trying to maintain a safe and high quality app catalog.

The old adage goes, 'if something sounds too good to be true it probably is', and the consensus in the Palm community seemed to be that the app, One Year Free Service, fit the description. This was made apparent by an onslaught of cynicism found in Palm community forums and in the app’s own reviews. Cloud Genki attempted to fight back by responding to virtually every gripe and accusation, yet skepticism persisted around the young company giving away $1,500 without an apparent reason. Recurring fears echoed the following comment left on a Precentral writeup of the app:

'In this day and age of scam after scam it's not good enough to just say hey download our app for a chance to win free service for a year, without validating assurances that it's not going to come back and bite the user in the rear end. You need the same type of disclosure information as any other giveaway.'

David Baxter, founder of the popular Palm community website, webOSroundup, had been watching the firestorm unfold and stepped in to understand the developer’s intentions. After understanding the promotional and unobtrusive nature of the app, a positive interview with Cloud Genki was featured on webOSroundup. The site further helped the struggling developer by brokering the prize giveaway and providing legitimacy to the offer. Almost overnight the developer earned a new level of trust with Palm users and developers while downloads and positive app reviews began piling up.

Cloud Genki’s Sean Alexander remarks, "What’s fantastic about this whole experience is not just that folks gave us a chance to earn their trust and support, but also knowing that the Palm community is supporting each other by trying to maintain a safe and high quality app catalog."

In the first 24 hours of its release One Year Free Service generated over 2,000 downloads. It is a free app that offers a chance at winning $1,500 and will run until September 30, 2010.

Cloud Genki was founded in August 2010, in California to make mobile apps on iOS 4, WebOS and Android platforms.

If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Sean Alexander, please call him at 559-906-1923 or e-mail him at sean(at)cloudgenki(dot)com

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Noah Canton
Cloud Genki
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