Comments on: Sprint PCS to Release Wireless Phone/Modem Springboard

Sprint PCS and AirPrime will unveil today the Digital Link, a Visor Springboard that functions as both a wireless modem and cellphone, according to Reuters. It provides 7 hours of talk time and 300 hours of standby time and weighs 3.4 ounces. It will be available at the Sprint PCS webstore and in Sprint's retail stores in September for $250.

Naturally, this product immediately invites comparison with HandSpring's VisorPhone, which has similar functions and was recently dropped to just $50 with a service activation.

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Visor Phone for Sprint PCS

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/2/2001 7:49:14 AM #
It's great to see a Visor Phone for the CDMA users on the Sprint Network.....but it's going to be very difficult to sell at $250.00 when HandSpring just dropped the TDMA model to $50.00

RE: Visor Phone for Sprint PCS
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/2/2001 8:20:39 AM #
Handspring's phone is GSM.

RE: Visor Phone for Sprint PCS
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/2/2001 9:34:56 AM #
GSM is really just TDMA anyway...

RE: Visor Phone for Sprint PCS
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/2/2001 12:22:12 PM #
You mean TDMA is GSM anyway...

RE: Visor Phone for Sprint PCS
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/3/2001 4:10:10 AM #
None the less, Sprints phone will be ready for 3G. You can't do THAT with a Visor Phone..

RE: Visor Phone for Sprint PCS
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/3/2001 9:39:03 AM #
3G is still a long way off. Whats the use of having a Visor/Sprint PCS system if 3G is several years away.

RE: Visor Phone for Sprint PCS
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/3/2001 9:48:40 AM #
The best part of the Springboard system is you know it will work with your next Visor. You can buy this modem now, sure that even if you are using an aging Deluxe, you can still use it with the next Visor you buy. Planning for the future is A Good Thing™. Of course, if your modem is just $50, you should worry less about this.

Oh yeah, I heard Sprint is going to do a 3G test run before the end of this year.

took way too long...useless now

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/2/2001 9:24:51 AM #
Unbelievable that they'd price it at this level with Kyocera smartphone gaining market penetration and other fully-integrated Palm phones on the way.

This collaboration took way too long to produce a product -- I know they had to test for awhile and work the kinks out -- but this is a classic example of a good idea stewing in testing for so long that the technology advanced while they were sleeping and now they'll die a slow and painful death with this product.

I must ask: who wants a blocky Visor Deluxe made even blockier by a cumbersome cell phone attachment? Good luck carrying this baby around in the front pocket! Or, maybe one could purchase one of those excellent 10-lb. super-size leather flip cases made especially for the visorphone/sprintphone and hang that bad boy off the belt loop.

What a nightmare fumbling around with springboard cartridges: "Hold on, let me get that call (pause while CDMA springboard is inserted)... Wait, let me run those huge DBs off my flash springboard (pause while springboard swapped -- cringe when CDMA springboard is dropped accidentally onto train platform and casing shatters).

The Kyocera makes more sense now that they've got the design right -- that is if it's important to you to have an integrated Palm/cell phone to begin with. I'll stick with a slim Palm and tiny cell phone combo.

RE: took way too long...useless now
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/2/2001 4:01:29 PM #
What you are missing is the upgrade path to 1x with very compelling transmisison speeds. Sprint has been testing their system a while and has the spectrum. Early next year the airprime experience will be the cause of great envy and I am a Kyocera user ( and lave it).

RE: took way too long...useless now
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/2/2001 5:40:12 PM #
What is "upgrade path to 1x"? Is that the same as the ability to upgrade to 3G speeds next year???

Thanks, Rob (the nontechie)

RE: took way too long...useless now
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/3/2001 11:41:51 AM #
Yes, "upgrade path to 1x" means that the product WILL work on 3G networks when they become available (mid-2002 from what I've heard). That's the key benefit of the Digital Link . . . no need to purchase additional hardware to take advantage of 3G data speeds of 144 kbps. That's a nice jump from 14.4 kbps, regardless of when 3G becomes available.

RE: took way too long...useless now
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/3/2001 12:06:01 PM #
Thanks, I appreciate your response!

What's Around the corner? What to buy? Help, nongeek!

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/2/2001 2:26:45 PM #
Hi, everyone out there!

A couple of Questions:

I am ready to believe that Sprint’s CDMA coverage is way better than the VisorPhone’s GSM coverage in the US. But even in central New Jersey, I hear lots of complaints from Sprint cell phone users about poor coverage. I also hear lots of complaints about poor coverage in this area by MCI and Nextel (The worst!). Verizon seems about the best around here.

Are there any really good coverage comparison maps or data that we can use to make informed evaluations of these wireless phone modem palm things as they start coming out?

If I am mostly interested in web browsing on my palm, what would I be sacrificing by getting one of these cell phone–modem combos? Speed? Maybe that’s not a long-term problem with 3G supposedly being available next year?

What other options are just around the corner that it might make sense to wait for rather than buying one of these Sprint things???

I greatly appreciate everyone’s advice for some of us less geekier, nontechnical types!

Thanks, Rob

Included software???

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/2/2001 6:50:24 PM #
What software will be included in the module? I'm hoping that it will include Web Clipping and Blazer.

RE: Included software???
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/2/2001 9:43:49 PM #
Blazer is now owned by Handspring so I wouldn't expect it to be included.

RE: Included software???
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/2/2001 10:03:03 PM #
And Web Clipping is a Palm-only technology.

RE: Included software???
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/3/2001 11:37:39 AM #
On the contrary . . . The Digital Link will not only ship with Blazer, but also with AOL IM, FusionOne, and will work with ALL Palm OS email clients.

RE: Included software???
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/3/2001 11:46:00 AM #
Source of this information, please?

RE: Included software???
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/3/2001 11:58:56 AM #
LA Times, Thursday, Aug. 2, Handheld columnist Mark Kellner: "My demonstration unit featured the Blazer Web browser created by Handspring, and a PDA-friendly version of the Eudora e-mail client. Other programs could be loaded to perform similar functions."

Sprint is the shiznet

Rob @ 8/3/2001 12:22:47 AM #
I have a normal sprint phone and a visor phone and the sprint phone is the better of the two.....I am looking forward to the new modle....Sprint has a better ervide...better coverage...and a better wireless web service...yo dont need a extra dial up to connect to the internet. Thats a pls for us cable and dsl users that need to get somthing new tto access the web with a module. Sure sprint will be selling the modle at the same price as a Smart phone...but compare the two units and a visor prism eats up the smart phone then if the rmers of the new visor handheld are true then there will be no contest....In conclusion Sprint is the better of the two and is there anyone who wasnt to buy a visor phone.....$150....thats a deal if you all ready have voicestream service...I feel sorry if you do mail me with comments at
RE: Sprint is the shiznet
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/3/2001 8:54:12 AM #
What are the "rumors about the new visor"? Are any of them well founded??? Rob, what are your sources. You're not the nontechie Rob, are you?


RE: Wireless Visor
Ed @ 8/3/2001 9:15:13 AM #
Handspring's CEO announced in April that her company is developing a handheld with integrated wireless capability like Palm's VII series. When she announced it she said it would be available by June of next year but I've heard some predictions that it will be out by the end of this year.

Read more:

News Editor
Palm Infocenter

A CDMA Visor Phone !

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/3/2001 6:13:53 PM #
Yes, I'm sure Qualcomm had their hand in this one and I'm glad they were able to get it done. I've had a Visor for about 9 months now but absolutely didn't want a separate cell phone and didn't want to touch the GSM Visor-Phone (even at $50). I suspect that this CDMA Visor Phone will sell at a much better pace than the GSM one (even at $200 more).


Alex @ 8/3/2001 6:15:42 PM #
Kind of off topic but...

Anyone know of any way to wirelessly connect a visor in Canada??? Prices ???

RE: Canada??
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/5/2001 2:21:26 AM #
I heard from a reliable source that the AirPrime VisorPhone will be carried by Bell Mobiliry in Canada in the Fall.



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