Here's some unsolicited advice to the foolhardy marketers at Palm: Don't ever try to trump Apple again. It's like watching an old golfer melt down against Tiger on a Sunday. It's painful to watch.\u00a0 Palm's best days, of course, are long gone. Its balance sheet bleeds red ink today. And so the company made a heroic stab at a comeback with the Pre smartphone. Palm engineers and designers, who undoubtedly spent late nights creating the Pre, delivered a technological piece of art. They should be proud.But then the marketers with visions of grandeur got involved: Let's release the Pre two days before Apple's iPhone 3G S announcement. Apple's powerhouse marketing machine\u2014the best there ever was in tech\u2014didn't even blink.Apple buzz has been building for months as the giddy Apple faithful waited for the unveiling of Snow Leopard and a new iPhone 3G S at Apple's worldwide developer conference. It reached a crescendo only days before the event with rumors that the great innovator himself, Steve Jobs, might make an appearance after a six-month layoff (which, of course, he didn't).More than 5,200 developers at Apple's sold-out conference watched new Apple ads bash Microsoft and laughed at speakers' snarky comments about the Pre. Then came the iPhone 3G S: a cool smartphone chock full of new features, such as faster speeds and video capabilities. The Pre doesn't have video.The iPhone pricing model was a stroke of genius: A 16 GB iPhone 3G S costs the same as an 8 GB Pre. With sheer bravado, Apple also shook up the low-end smartphone market by announcing that the older iPhone 3G will cost only $99.Palm's share price, which spiked after the Pre release, fell on Apple Monday. The Pre is still good technology so there's a chance Palm can carve out some market share. But its two-day preemptive strike against Apple - a wayward shot off the first tee - makes for a pitiful start against the world's greatest marketing machine.