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Comments on: Mystery Investor Loans Palm $50 Million

An unknown investor has loaned Palm Inc. $50 million, which it will use "to strengthen its balance sheet and to support wireless and enterprise initiatives." These are two of the company's most important current goals: getting out a new handheld with built-in wireless capabilities and increasing sales to large companies. Clearly the price war with its competitors and slowing economic conditions have cut into Palm's cash reserves, as shown by its recent round of lay-offs, and the company is in need of ready funds to accomplish these critical goals.
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wireless monochrome

huggy @ 12/8/2001 11:18:49 AM #
In sight of the latest pocket pc additions, I don't think Palm can really mantain market share with a monochrome wireless pda. With Omnisky in bankrupcy, and GPRS gowing among phone manufactures, I really don't believe in the success of a Monochrome 40kbits/sec. device. Palm should create a GPRS-wireless pda with a color screen. I'm not saying it neds a TREO, the treo is a different product; in fact, I can't see the benefits of a combination pda-phone device, as you'd have to update a more expenive product.

-------------- huggy ---------------
RE: wireless monochrome
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/8/2001 11:09:23 PM #
> In sight of the latest pocket pc additions [...]

Huggy, those $500-$700 devices aren't even in the market of consideration.


RE: wireless monochrome
Coyote67 @ 12/8/2001 11:18:05 PM #
This is going to be really interesting. Palm's HW fate seems very bad. If this new wireless handheld comes out, I don't see it working out in any market at all. Treo will grab all market shares from it as it has all the features it has, plus voice and it seems to be about the same size and a keyboard. Really don't see this thing doing well at all, shame. Quite a shame. Wouldn't be something if HS and Palm HW merged leaving Palm SW the only Palm left.

---------------------------------------
When you have a Clie shoved up your mouth, you can only talk in vowels.
RE: wireless monochrome
peter167 @ 12/8/2001 11:34:25 PM #
Treo has not yet support always-on e-mail and by the time it is avaiable, you have to pay extra fees each month. That's life.

On Handspring.com, the Treo never states that it has always-on e-mail. Why do you think it can?

Don't complicate simple things. Treo is just a PDA plus a phone and use the current mobile network.

RE: wireless monochrome
peter167 @ 12/8/2001 11:40:59 PM #
'Expecting an important email?
Or need to send out one of your own? Don't despair, you've got your Treo communicator. Just launch the email application that's included and you'll be connected to your email inbox (POP3-compatible). Then simply choose send or receive?and relax.'

This is it.
http://makeashorterlink.com/?H3D22173

Give up, Coyote67. I know you are one big promotor of Treo.

RE: wireless monochrome
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/9/2001 12:23:33 AM #
"If this new wireless handheld comes out, I don't see it working out in any market at all. Treo will grab all market shares from it as it has all the features it has, plus voice and it seems to be about the same size and a keyboard. Really don't see this thing doing well at all, shame. Quite a shame."

There's always a Market for Wireless always on email/web browsing device like 7xx series. Most people already has a Cell phone plan that they love for maybe 30 dollars a month, so why should they change plans just for a phone. Also with 7xx series (palm.net) you'll have always on net access/email/ICQ/Yahoo messenger, isn't that just fun. You can't do that with Treo, well you can but that would be about 10-20 times more expensive. And it'll be a matter of time before peaple putting voice messages funtion into Palm version of ICQ/Yahoo Messenger.

btw: That keyboard thingy you talking about, you can only choose between keyboard or Graffiti, so that might be very good or very bad for some people. Shame, Quite a shame.

RE: wireless monochrome
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/9/2001 12:31:41 AM #
The TREO will have always on email by Spring. Didn't you see the press releases about the agreement they had with Visto Corp? Perhaps you should take a look at the Visto interview at Visorcentral from comdex...neat stuff.

RE: wireless monochrome
peter167 @ 12/9/2001 12:35:45 AM #
I think many of us have misintrepret the meaning of auto-notifying of email and auto-syncing.

Always-on email means that you do not need to do anything, so that when an e-mail arrives, it will notify you. Just like dialing to a phone, and it rings.

But the Treo has never talked about the auto notification any of you have mentioned. It may be possible, but from any articles you guys refer to have not stated this function. Rather, it only says it can to an auto-sychronize with your corporation's Exchange server if you have installed Visto's solution.

That's it. Nothing more. Due to the fact that the GSM network Treo used to connect to the Internet is not built for it, it is assumed that Treo can do only things that a PDA with a cell-phone can do. If a PDA and a cell-phone cannot have always-on e-mail, so does Treo. It's just that simple.

RE: wireless monochrome
peter167 @ 12/9/2001 12:59:56 AM #
In early-2002, Handspring plans to deliver a downloadable "push" email solution that will provide secure, automatic delivery of desktop email to the Treo communicator. It will offer tight integration with the desktop email inbox, so email read, replied to or deleted on the Treo communicator will appear as such on your desktop.

http://www.handspring.com/products/treo/faq.jhtml?sub_nav_section=FAQs&prod_cat_name=Treo#general2

It is called a downloadable "push" email solution, which means that something have to be done before e-mail can automatically delivered to your Treo. Also, you will almost be sure that this solution costs extra each month.

RE: wireless monochrome
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/9/2001 5:18:57 AM #
Pushed or not, it is still automatic regardless on how you look at it.

GPRS will enable automatic email (according to your definition). I have a GPRS-enabled GSM phone (Ericsson T68) and it receives my email automatically.

Ill wait for the colored version. Monochrome simply wont make the internet fun.. even if its wireless. :)

peace

My guess is Apple, Sun, Oracle, AOL, or Kleiner Perkins.

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/8/2001 12:05:06 PM #
They all hate MSFT and a stronger Palm would help siphon resources from MSFT which could be used to fight other battles.

AOL to invest in Gateway
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/8/2001 5:03:21 PM #
COINCIDENCE? The timing, the players, and the method lead me to think otherwise.

The AOL to invest in Gateway
By Reuters
December 7, 2001, 5:20 p.m. PT
The new agreement will see America Online, the nation's leading Internet service provider, invest the $200 million in Gateway Series A convertible preferred stock.

http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1006-200-8105813.html?tag=lh



RE: My guess is Apple, Sun, Oracle, AOL, or Kleiner Perkins.
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/8/2001 11:44:33 PM #

My thinking is IBM. They are an OEM for Palm and a heavy hitter in the enterprise arena...


RE: My guess is Apple, Sun, Oracle, AOL, or Kleiner Perkins.
edabe @ 12/9/2001 5:54:38 PM #
IBM is a good guess, but I think it comes from a
pool of Palm devices manufacturers. Besides the
competition, they are tied to the success of Palm,
if Palm goes bad obviously they go bad also, and if
Palm dies, all their investment (specially from Sony)
will be lost...

The PalmOS is very bind to Palm,Inc. It is too much
for a small company to fight in two different
battle fields, hardware and software. I would like
to see Palm taking care of the PalmOS uniquely,
leaving the devices to Sony, Handspring and others.



The problem for Palm is that MSFT spent $50M on toilet paper

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/8/2001 12:10:50 PM #
last week so that their employees could wipe their azzes. This is a drop in the bucket and the inompetent management at Palm will burn through this money like a bunch of drunken sailors. Lack of Money is not the real problem at Palm, it is LACK OF TALENT. Behanamou, Nagel, Mace, Chahill et al must all go.

RE: The problem for Palm is that MSFT spent $50M on toilet paper
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/8/2001 1:48:44 PM #
> Palm will burn through this money like a bunch of drunken sailors.

The quote of the year. Unfortunately, everything you said is true.

RE: The problem for Palm is that MSFT spent $50M on toilet paper
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/8/2001 8:28:41 PM #
I think Palm probably has engineering talent, but it's the management that needs help.

RE: The problem for Palm is that MSFT spent $50M on toilet paper
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/8/2001 8:35:14 PM #
Actually the new ceo, benhamou, is doing a good job. muich better than carl! He has already had the company have better stats in their recent Quarter and Beos is already close to being intergrated into os 5. He is doing wonders compared to carl ofwhich sat down and watch palms stock sink below the dollar point! Just think about it. They are doing better than they were months ago!
PDANature - http://pdan.has.it - Great hourly refreshed pda news, discussions, chat, reviews, commentarys, software, software update notices, features, and what not! Simply the best. http://pdan.has.it


RE: The problem for Palm is that MSFT spent $50M on toilet p
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/8/2001 9:38:55 PM #
This CEO isn't new. He has always been the chairman.
And he is responsible for running 3com to ground from
a network company once only second to Cisco.
And he is responsible for picking up Carl also.


RE: The problem for Palm is that MSFT spent $50M on toilet p
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/8/2001 10:36:23 PM #
And yet, Palm OS based products continue to outsell PPC. Why is that I wonder?

Anyway, we will find out who this investor is when the quarter ends. They have to report to the SEC where the funds came from. You know, federal law.

MSFT spends way too much on toilet paper
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/8/2001 10:54:42 PM #
> And yet, Palm OS based products continue to outsell PPC. Why is that I wonder?

Microsoft hasn't got a clue how to make an OS for a handheld. Even 5 years after the first WinCE version, they are still a niche player. If it didn't have a desktop monopoly, no one would give any attention to PocketPC.

Everyone thought IBM would crush Microsoft back in the 80s. Didn't happen. Being big in one market doesn't mean you'll be big in another.

RE: The problem for Palm is that MSFT spent $50M on toilet p
peter167 @ 12/8/2001 11:29:39 PM #
PPC fails primarily because of one thing - price.

Look at Mircrosoft's past victories, we can find a trend that:

1) Word is cheaper than wordperfect because of bundling with Excel in Microsoft Office

2) I.E. is the same price as Netscape

3) Win NT is cheaper than Novell on licensing

4) PCs are cheaper than Macintosh

From the data bove, Microsoft won because their products are cheaper. They may not be better, but they are definitely cheaper.

So now do you know why PPC flops?

RE: The problem for Palm is that MSFT spent $50M on toilet paper
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/9/2001 8:47:23 AM #
Cheaper? Yes, for now.
But let's not compare apples and oranges.

When Palm and the rest of the licensees move to OS 5 and ARM with more features like a PocketPC, the prices for the new PDAs will increase quite substantially. I don't see a future OS 5/ARM PDA from Palm costing less than $500, which puts it into the PocketPC range.

We'll see. But call me a skeptic. Palm will charge consumers to subsidize OS development costs and the move to ARM.

RE: The problem for Palm is that MSFT spent $50M on toilet paper
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/9/2001 11:29:27 AM #
From: [RE: The problem for Palm is that MSFT spent $50M on toilet paper
[Posted by: I.M. Anonymous @ 12/9/2001 8:47:23 AM

"When Palm and the rest of the licensees move to OS 5 and ARM with more features like a PocketPC, the prices for the new PDAs will increase quite substantially. I don't see a future OS 5/ARM PDA from Palm costing less than $500, which puts it into the PocketPC range."


From: [Another important goal/market.
[Posted by: Alan @ 12/9/2001 6:53:58 AM
"Why is this so important?, well the GBA uses an ARM processor just like all new PDAs
including PalmOs5 but unlike the PDAs, the GBA runs at only 16Mhz!. The PocketPC so far has
206Mhz, with talk of 450Mhz etc..."

It's not the numbers. The only place anybody cares about numbers is on boards like this one.
It's the UI. Palm's interface is tons faster than the PPC's.

You'll notice that, untill VERY recently, Microsoft diden't /MAKE/ computers. They like to point at the hardware and go 'It's slow! That's why your user experience sucks. Yeah! It's not OUR fault! Honest!'
Palm diden't cheap out that way - They bit the bullet, and wrote an OS that fit good, cheap (Pager! The DragonBall was originally made for chineese pagers, dontchaknow) hardware. The idea is so totally alien to Microsoft that they're STILL getting slapped in the face with it.

It's entirely possible to make an ARM platform in the same spirit as the DragonBall platform. Hell, I'm sure that the unit pricing on that 16mhz ARM is cheap as it gets. And you know what, with a little work, the UI would be light years faster than WinCE.

Whether Palm is willing to be bright about the ARM transition, or if they're going to chase Microsoft's Swamp Gas operating system off into the bog of system performance remains to be seen, of course.

From a recent conversation:
"...Yeah, I've had my Journada for about a year now."
"What do you do with it?"
"Scheduling. Read E-books. Phone book. Some games."
"No MP3's?"
"I had a few on there. Had to delete 'em to make room. Only time I'd listen is in the car - and it's easier to burn the music to CD's."
"Movies?"
"It took an hour to get a movie clip onto the machine, and five minutes to watch it. No point, really."

The guy seemed pretty happy with his machine. But not 3x happier than a grayscale palm owner.


RE: The problem for Palm is that MSFT spent $50M on toilet paper
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/10/2001 2:49:51 AM #
>>
Actually the new ceo, benhamou, is doing a good job. muich better than carl!
<<

He's only the interim CEO. He's been the Palm chairman of the board for awhile.

He has already had the company have better stats in their recent Quarter and

>>
Beos is already close to being intergrated into os 5.
<<

Neither BeOS nor BeIA ran on ARM-based platforms. And neither are being integrated
into Palm OS 5. Palm is using the Be, Inc. engineers to further enhance Palm OS's multimedia
and other functions. No one ever said anything about incorporating BeOS into Palm OS.

>>
He is doing wonders compared to carl ofwhich sat down and
watch palms stock sink below the dollar point!
<<

PALM never sank below $1. It's 52-week low is $1.35. That's lower than it's $57 high,
to be sure, but it wasn't into de-listing territory.

>>
Just think about it. They are doing better than they were months ago!
>>

This is the only true statement you made.



ARM PDA Pricing
bcombee @ 12/10/2001 3:31:31 AM #
A few things:

I think Palm could come out with an ARM-based PDA for at least $100 less than a comparable Pocket PC device. They have much better manufacturing know-how than the US PPC manufacturers, and their ARM-based OS should be much more lightweight than Windows CE.

Also, they've said they will support all variety of ARM CPUs -- why not have a 66MHz ARM7 CPU device to replace the m125 on the low-end of the market? It wouldn't cost more than the current Dragonball devices (it may even be less!)... Nintendo has already shown that they can get cheap ARM-based devices out there with the GameBoy Advance, and Sony used ARM7 CPUs on their PocketStation game cards that were sold for $40 in Japan.

The Reason why the product isnt out yet

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/8/2001 12:53:48 PM #
With Handspring making there Treo official Palm couldnt release this product. As mentioned theres has voice. I believe there is a chance that i705 could have that and that function Palm is putting into the device.

Also Treo has a color device coming out in March or April. If Palm isnt ready for a color i725 maybe they are screwed. The future is color people dont want grayscale.

Also the Tero comes with 16MB which looks like it will be the new standard in Palm OS devices. Would be nice if palm included like 20 MB just to be different. But I am sure it will have 16.

So thats why the product hasn't been released because they know if they dont have these things this product wont do well.

I would be excellent if Palm said you know what lets make it a 320x320 display. In my opinion a lot of people would be more inclined to buy a device that had that vs one that doesnt for around the same price

However we know Palms track record and they usually only do what there competion does and never seem to inovate any further. So that probably wont happen

However expect a device that is

Grayscale
16MB
maybe voice functions

and a color device out in about June or so.

RE: The Reason why the product isnt out yet
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/8/2001 1:24:26 PM #
I belive that the Current DragonBall VZ processor that the Palm, Handspring, and Sony are using, can handle a Max 16MB of RAM. Handspring has defintly been leading by makeing the 1st move from 4 to 8 and now from 8 to 16 so i think palm and sony will just follow, like they always do.

Palm m505 user

RE: The Reason why the product isnt out yet
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/8/2001 4:32:38 PM #
I disagree about the need for voice. I don't think this is necessarily true. I think that "always-on" is more important than voice/data, though both would be best. I also completely disagree about color. Most of the purchasers of these types of wireless PDAs have been and will be business folks. These guys value longer battery life more. I, personally, can't go back to B&W since I switched to color, but I'm a geek.

The problem their VIIx has had is that they didn't have always-on, so they couldn't compete with RIM and their monthly costs were too high, so they couldn't win over the consumer market. The i705 fixes the always-on part, I guess (possibly using some trickery). I think the reason they didn't release it was because they would still have to compete with RIM which has already established itself in this market and the size of this market may be smaller than they hoped it would be by this time. While it's possible that they're scrambling to create a model which offers voice, I hope not. Not unless they completely redesign it. I don't believe the average person wants to talk on a PDA. They want a device which operates more like the phones they're used to.

No, if they're smart, they're rethinking the pricing model for monthly access and/or working hard to ensure that they have everything they need in place to win over most of RIM's market and grow it further.

Scott

RE: The Reason why the product isnt out yet
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/8/2001 4:42:36 PM #
I'm sick and tired of people here saying "Business users don't want or need color." This is BS! If this was true, companies would all still be using Black & White PC/Notebook Screens!!! I am a business user with 1,600+ contacts and I want COLOR! So the self-described "Geeks" should stop proclaiming what we business users want and what we don't. My prediction is that within 3 years, your chances of finding a B&W PDA will be about as easy as finding a B&W Television set or Computer monitor/Notebook! COLOR IS KING AND BLACK & WHITE IS DEAD!

RE: The Reason why the product isnt out yet
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/8/2001 7:00:10 PM #
Well, there's a difference between "need" and "want". I'm a business user who WANTS a color model, but only NEEDS a b&w one. I use a Sony S320 (used a Palm III previously) because it does everything I need it to do, and I use it almost constantly every day for inventory, employee info, maintenance records, production control, etc., etc. Also, I use my Clie
out on the factory floor quite often and I don't know if I could live with myself if I dropped a $450 color model - $169 not so bad. Then again, I'm at home writing this post on it and boy would it be nice to have color! :-)

RE: The Reason why the product isnt out yet
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/8/2001 8:29:04 PM #
I wonder what kind of technical reasons might make a color i705 difficult. To me you plug in a different screen and/or controller and go. All i can think of are battery life and external form factor issues. but handspring's already announced a color treo, so if they can do it...

RE: The Reason why the product isnt out yet
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/8/2001 8:46:48 PM #
Comparing PDAs to laptops is like comparing apples to oranges. MS just hasn't figured that out yet. A PDA serves particular purposes well. Most of the purposes that businesses care about do not require color. That said, I firmly believe that B&W PDAs will be completely replaced by color PDAs one day. But until a color PDA can be made for under $150 (with decent battery life to boot), the B&W PDAs will continue to dominate sales.

Scott

RE: The Reason why the product isnt out yet
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/8/2001 8:50:38 PM #
Regarding the difficulty of making a color i705...

Sticking a color screen onto an i705 isn't difficult. Giving it acceptable battery life is. Remember, with the i705 we're dealing with wireless. Wireless sucks a lot of battery life.

Scott


RE: The Reason why the product isnt out yet
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/9/2001 8:50:17 AM #
>Most of the purposes that businesses care about do not require color.

***

Let me guess, Scotty boy, you're a gen-u-wine ANALyst. Let me give you some friendly advice: don't speak for us business users as you come across as a complete moron.

Most consumers prefer a color model to a b&w. It's that simple. Maybe some of you Power Lusers think otherwise, but that's why companies don't put geeks in charge of marketing (well, Palm is an exception).

As always, beware geeks and power lusers bearing gifts.



RE: The Reason why the product isnt out yet
Scott @ 12/10/2001 2:54:28 PM #
I don't know how to respond to this (or why I am at all).

I am a business user, so I think I can speak for business users. I don't even understand the point you're making? First you talk about business users, then you state that "most consumers want color". When did I ever state anything different from that? Of course, everyone wants color. The question is, are most business users willing to pay extra for color and lose battery life to boot? Palm OS devices continue to outsell PPC devices by a huge margin. I think that answers that.

Scott

could it be SONY?

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/8/2001 3:57:05 PM #
COuld it be sony who loan the money to Palm (first step to take over the whole Palm market)?

RE: could it be SONY?
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/8/2001 4:39:52 PM #
No, it couldn't be Sony. Sony's mode of operation is not to take over an entire market, but rather to milk a market of what it needs and keep looking for the next big thing. Sony would benefit if a Palm 5.0 OS were shipping in the very near future, but this loan doesn't address that. Sony is hurt by a competing hardware standard in the abscence of software around which it can out-innovate its competition. Look for Sony to release a T-615, similar to the Japanese T-600 early next year in Europe and the Americas. If Palm OS 5.0 is in Alpha stages by that point, Sony will stay with Palm. If not, look for Sony to turn *quickly* to Pocket PC, with a product introduction by Q3. With Sony's handheld infrastructure already in place, that money would be enough to make this happen.

Sony is just about the only company around that can spin on a dime like that and it does so again and again. It will happily stay with Palm only so long as Palm gives it something to work with. Sony has no need to invest that kind of money into a third-party OS.

Sony should hedge its bet and do a PPC device too.
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/8/2001 4:51:14 PM #
I wouldn't be surprised if they are working on it already.

Or it could be Handango
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/8/2001 8:18:00 PM #
You'll never know...

Maybe it's Santa !
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/8/2001 8:36:00 PM #
hmm ....... watched too much TV .......

RE: could it be SONY?
peter167 @ 12/8/2001 8:56:42 PM #
Sony making a PPC device?

Rather than that, Sony should make a Linux device to leverage its Clie Models.

Sony has no needs and does not like to work with/for Microsoft.

Just dreamers will think they can make money on devices on PPC. Now, PPC 2002s sales flopped. But the dreamers still live in the past and pretends now it was the 2nd quarter, when Compaq's REVENUE just slighly tipped Palm's.

Now to demise of PPCs. We should put a section called Palm's Rivals' Graveyard.

Isn't that great?

Linux will have a market share closer to PPC (PPC drops and Linux increases) in the coming two quarters, believe it or not.

P.S. If you still live in the time when you dream PPCs are dominant, please wake up. Ask someone beside you to knock your head. PPC FLOPPED MISERABLY. Only the stupid manufacturers follow suit to make devices based on PPC. Look how the tide turns when everyone figure out that their inventory sits forever in their warehouse.

RE: Handango's investors are my guess.
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/10/2001 2:36:28 PM #
Gee, lets see... Palm makes this sudden change over to Handango for it's software partner (of which no one can figure out WHY they would make such a move), and now all of a sudden they are given $50 Million dollars?? And they said something about "enterprise/corperate" sales. Seems that the ONLY thing Handango has over PalmGear is that it is more aligned to the "business/corperate" market than Gear. Sounds like a deal with the devil if you ask me.....

Could it beeee.... MICROSOFT?

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/8/2001 10:20:02 PM #
Get them to take the chump change (Maybe through a front?), do something PR-wise to sink Palm's stock below the $5 mark, then call in the loan and take the company?

Why not? Isen't M$'s mantra 'If you can't beat 'em, emulate 'em, or bury 'em in lawsuits, buy 'em?' They've done similar lowball deals on other companies before.

Just what percentage of Palm's stock is ten million shares, anyways?

Pure paranoid conspiracy, of course - Has anybody else read 'The first $20 Million is the hardest'?



The mystery investor is IBM

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/9/2001 4:48:55 AM #
You can stop speculating now - all will be revealed in a few weeks.

RE: The mystery investor is IBM
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/9/2001 7:43:34 AM #
nope we're probably pulling out of ibm-branded pda's and will just resell palm, casio, or blackberry devices...

Another important goal/market.

Alan @ 12/9/2001 6:53:58 AM #
"These are two of the company's most important current goals: getting out a new handheld with"
"built-in wireless capabilities and increasing sales to large companies. Clearly the price war"
"with its competitors and slowing economic conditions have cut into Palm's cash reserves, as"
"shown by its recent round of lay-offs, and the company is in need of ready funds to accomplish"
"these critical goals."

During PalmSource2000, Palm talked relentlessly about the importance of innovation, thinking
differently, find new markets, and I see a similar theme for the next Palm Source, as their
keynote page demonstrates http://www.palmsource.com/devconf_key.html (A quick count shows this
page has the word 'innovation' 8 times!).

Palm currently needs money just as all PDA companies need to expand their markets if they are to
hold onto their market position and even grow. That's all obvious, but how they do it is the big
question. They all want as many sales as possible. Ultimately they want their machines to become
mass market products, with sales counted in the tens and perhaps even hundreds of millions of
machines. The only way they are going to expand to this level is to appeal to the whole family,
and not just corporate 40 and 50 year olds who need electronic appointment books (with or
without a phone built in) or have PDAs seen as just businesses perfect answer of being portable
computer terminals for data entry and retrieval. There are other markets. And Palm wants
"Innovation" and to find new markets. How about an existing market they are over looking?.

There is one existing market which all PDA companies consistently so far fail to currently
take much notice of and more importantly, exploit to their own advantage. (Although PocketPCs
are doing better in this respect than anyone else). This "other" market is the Video Games
Industry. Sure, all PDAs can play games to some degree, but the PDA manufacturers (and phone
companies) do not see games as another core business. Their overall strategic thinking does
not include games. Yet there is huge public interest in games for PDAs. Just look at the number
of games on sites like for example, www.palmgear.com etc..

So why the Video Games Industry?, not a serious industry is it?. How about an industry in 2000
worth $17.7 BILLION and projected to expand to $26.7 BILLION by 2005. But not only this, the
Games Industry has a consistently high media & public profile. Also, when times are good, people
want to use their extra money to buy new 'toys' for themselves. But also, when we get "slowing
economic conditions", people want to cheer themselves up by buying things to entertain
themselves. As a result, the Games Industry is insulated from recessions to a greater degree
than many other industries.

So what potential is there for PDA companies?. Well, Nintendo have sold an estimated 114 MILLION
GameBoy's and they are now selling the Game Boy Advance (GBA), which is going really well for
them. Why is this so important?, well the GBA uses an ARM processor just like all new PDAs
including PalmOs5 but unlike the PDAs, the GBA runs at only 16Mhz!. The PocketPC so far has
206Mhz, with talk of 450Mhz etc... (And I would expect Palm to follow suit with the same speeds,
as there will be direct comparisons made between all PDA companies, once their products are all
ARM based). Imagine the extra potential of this kind of speed to beat the competition (Nintendo)
& produce games which catch the public's attention & imagination & so drive PDA sales forward.

Here's another example about games. One estimate I heard, had Sony earning a quarter of their
money from the Playstation. Games have huge potential, and who has never hear of a Playstation?.

PDAs which are also phones is fine. How about a PDA games machine which is also a phone. All it
takes is a change of thinking. For example, for a start, all PDAs (not just some, but all) need
to include a standard 8 way games controller instead of the Palm up/down only buttons which are
useless for some games. (Palm are not alone, some phone button layouts are appallingly designed).
(And it would cost virtually nothing extra to change the Palm 2 way to an 8 way controller, and
Palms other apps could just use an 8 way as if it were only a 2 way controller without any code
alteration at all). ARM based PalmOs5 machines can offer games huge potential. (Also for games
developers, I've found PalmOs is in general easier/quicker to program than WinCE or Symbian).
Plus Palm have 175000 developers ready and waiting to get their hands on PalmOs 5 and many of
them are interested in games.

The market is there waiting for them. All the PDA companies have to do, is recognizes it & start
to work far more closely with it. Their machines have the potential, all it takes is some simple
extra design considerations and a recognition of the *extra* potential of including another
market in their overall plans. A few years ago, Intel were surprised that their processors were
selling faster than expected. Their research into why, showed it to be home users. So they
responded with the MMX addition to their processor to make it more appealing to the home users.
Also, Hitachi stated a few years ago, that one of the driving forces for new processor designs
in the future will be the Games Industry. And look at the profits of NVidia. Recession?, what
recession?. So all PDA (and phone) companies need to recognize the importance and potential of
the Games Industry and what effect it can have on their own futures.

Alan from 3DAGames
info@3dagames.com
http://www.3dagames.com


RE: Another important goal/market.
mikecane @ 12/9/2001 1:08:28 PM #
Please see http://www.palminfocenter.com/print.asp?ID=818

Some of us were ahead of you.

RE: Another important goal/market.
popko @ 12/9/2001 2:23:48 PM #
What Alan said was mostly true, but nVidia's success isn't all due to the gaming market. The 3d chipset for the desktop market as long reached statuation. Back in '97 there were as many as 50 players in the market, and now? Only 4 or 5 are still alive (namely nVidia, ATI, Matrox, and maybe Intel & VIA's build in graphics). Why did nVidia do so well? $200 million from Microsoft would make any graphic chip company "fat." It's not becae ATI and Matrox suck at R&D. But rather Microsoft have payed for the developement for the nVidia's GeForce line of chips when they give the XBOX bussiness to nVidia.

Damnit, this is Palminfocenter, did i got off topic again?

RE: Another important goal/market.
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/9/2001 5:12:48 PM #
GeForce existed before Microsoft picked nVidia to supply the XBox graphics core. Get that straight.

RE: Another important goal/market.
Alan @ 12/9/2001 5:14:02 PM #
"Some of us were ahead of you."
Come on, be fair, your article is not the same thing at all. Perhaps you were just using this opportunity to get your views heard about Interactive quiz shows. However, I agree entirely that electronic quiz games as a game genre have potential and connected game play quiz shows in particular do have a lot of potential. (A number of companies are working in this area, with all forms of interaction, e.g. Internet, set top boxes, mobiles etc.). But this is not at all the same thing I was talking about. And supporting one barely interactive (quiz show) form of video game genre is hardly the same thing as supporting all genres of games and actively changing their marketing goals and long term strategies to include far greater thought for the Video Games Industry. The PDA (and phone) companies are failing to recognise the potential of the games industry and their designs sometimes fall way short of what they could do with even their existing technology simply because they did not even think of the possibilities. (For example, even 8 bit home computers had far better sound capabilities than Palm machines, so its not a technology limitation that gave standard PalmOs machines very poor sound capabilities). But this is another example of failing to consider PDAs (Palms in this case) as having the potential to be a gaming machine. (If it was just down to business needs, the PC would never have got beyond the ability to make a beep sound, yet look at today's PCs sound capabilities. Interesting how Palms also only beep). The thinking in the PDA industry is mostly about just targeting other Business users. Ironic, because the fear is that PDA prices are going to fall, and so profit margins are getting squeezed, yet it is business machines which can get away with the lower, older spec machines and rarely require upgrading.

PC business machines didn't really need CD players. Business machines didn't need DVD players. Business machines don't need 3d graphics cards (or sound cards). Most business machines don't actually need much more processing power than they have today. Yet now business machines do have these extra capabilities, we can barely imaging going back to the old days of PCs. But it was not business needs, which fuelled the change. One of the biggest leaps for the PC was when games like Wolfenstien and its successors and so many other games appeared. It made the PC get recognised as a serious gaming machine. From this point on, the PC grew into a full gaming capable machine. The hardware manufacturers noticed the interest growing in the PC, and could barely keep up with demand of ever more powerful machines. These are the premium profit margin machines the PDA industry is so afraid of loosing out on in the business markets.

Yet look at the PocketPC. As a business machine, it is expensive. A cheap Black and White only Palm can do more or less everything the average business user requires. Many business users feel they don't need a colour display (yet once they all have colour, just like the PCs, they will probably not want to go back to the old days). But as a gaming platform, the PocketPC is very powerful. It costs I guess roughly 6 times as much as a GBA, yet a (206Mhz) PocketPC has over 12 times as much processing power as a GBA. Even though the current PocketPCs are expensive, some games players are already buying them, and PocketPCs are not even really (yet) being marketed as gaming machines. Once the prices fall, if Palm do not re-think their strategy, the PocketPC will rapidly overtake them in the home markets. In the long term, I'm convinced if companies like Palm are not careful, the PocketPCs will become as common as home PCs. And they will loose their fight not because of the low profit margin business markets, but because of the massive sales into home markets. (114 million GameBoy users can't all be wrong about wanting mobile gaming machines. The market potential is there).


p.s. Popko, I agree with you about ATI and Matrox, but my point was just a quick note about the profits nVidia have got from gaming in general, (even if this is via Microsoft for development costs for the XBox games console).


Alan from 3DAGames
info@3dagames.com
http://www.3dagames.com


RE: Another important goal/market.
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/9/2001 5:38:16 PM #
"PC business machines didn't really need CD players. Business machines didn't need DVD players. Business machines don't need 3d graphics cards (or sound cards). Most business machines don't actually need much more processing power than they have today."

Your above quote is B.S. Ever hear of businesses using CD/DVD/Graphics Cards to do multimedia business presentations and training sessions??? Also, as far as processing power goes, there is an infinite demand for processing power. As processing power increases, new and updated applications will be born to make use of that increased power. The bottom line is that you have no idea what you're talking about - you'd better stick to games.

RE: Another important goal/market.
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/9/2001 5:58:58 PM #
Alan actually you are not as insightful as you think you are.

"One of the biggest leaps for the PC was when games like Wolfenstien and its successors and so many other games appeared. It made the PC get recognised as a serious gaming machine."

... in case you don't know the reason why Nintendo existed is because they want to compete with gaming on PC, the reason why Apple was successful in the early days' because of gaming. everybody knows that gaming will help sell machines. What is "serious gaming machine" ?? you mean there's some "not serious gaming machine" ??

"Even though the current PocketPCs are expensive, some games players are already buying them, and PocketPCs are not even really (yet) being marketed as gaming machines."
Is there any game on PPC that's better than game on GBA ?? if no, I really don't see any reason for people to buy PPC as a gaming machine, if they do they must be out of their mind.

"(114 million GameBoy users can't all be wrong about wanting mobile gaming machines. The market potential is there)."

I know they are not wrong, but if you ask me if I can afford to pay 3-4 times the money to buy a PPC or a Palm just for playing games, you must be kidding me :)

RE: Another important goal/market.
Alan @ 12/9/2001 7:16:07 PM #
It is *NOT* B.S. and cut out the insults and the arrogance. (And how about showing your name).
Business machines today cannot do without these features. They have endless uses for them. Just like I said, "Yet now business machines do have these extra capabilities, we can barely imaging going back to the old days of PCs.". However, there was a time when business users were *believed not to require* these extra features. (I don't believe this, but it was believed by some people). *Early* PCs were barely seen (*by some people*) as much more than text entry boxes for *most* businesses. And the *facts* are *early* business machines *were* NOT even sold with a sound card (*as standard*). Graphics such as it was back then, was *mostly* done on Workstations, so perceived to be different and very high end machines. The roles for PCs were very different in their early days. Just as the roles perceived for PDAs (*I believe* - Hell I'm tired of all the disclaimer comments I need to put in, just get the overall point across without insults launched at me).

As for processing power, this is partly due to the operating systems wanting to eat more power. That's why I said today's processing power (about 2Ghz). Sure, some power users need every bit and a thousand times more power, but this is not average users. But again, just as I said, "Yet now business machines do have these extra capabilities etc..". I fully recognise that processing power will increase, and new uses will naturally (*and OBVIOUSLY!*) appear.

BUT, most businesses do not in general buy the highest spec machines for business usage and so they are not the premium profit machines for the manufacturers. And that is my point!, so there is no need for the hostility.

And as for the other poster, "everybody" *it seems* does not see gaming as a core business. Look at the controller on a Palm?, that is not designed with *all* games in mind (and an 8 way controller is very obvious, yet they didn't do it). The sound also isn't designed with games in mind. The controls on some phones are not designed for games. Some parts of the Os on *some* PDAs could be better suited to help games. Etc.. And how about Commodore and the Amiga1000 (*Not A500*) The *very first* A1000 machines, Commodore wanted their early machines to be seen as a business machine to compete with IBM. They didn't want it to be seen as a games machine, (even though many, many other people, (me included) wanted it as a gaming machine). My point is that *the bosses* at Commodore did not want it originally seen as a games machine, but they came around to the idea and eventually we also got the A500 as well etc..

As for Nintendo, they were around before 1990, yet look at the games on a PC in 1990. I think you will find competing with Amiga's and STs are more believable, (An Amiga can leave an early PC display standing), but even then there was earlier machines, e.g. MSX, and so many other home computers etc.. so you cannot claim just PCs as Nintendo's reasoning, as that is wrong.

"not serious gaming machine" - means the main stream Games Industry did not see it as a serious financial proposition (*in general*) to back the PC machine *at that time*. It does not mean that games were never put on it. (And you know this, so you're just trying to pick fault for what ever reason is really motivating you).

Also, when I said about the PPC "some games players are already buying them" meaning not *all*, that is why I went onto say about prices falling. (Which again you can read, so you have some other motivation for your comments). So I'm not asking you to pay 3-4 times as much or whatever.

As for games on PPC, how about for example, Tomb Raider, textured, real time, full 3d. The PPC can leave the GBA standing for 3d gaming. ('Standing' disclaimer: the word standing does not imply stationary (for the few people who wish to pick fault) it is merely an expression. :)

All I was trying to do was bring in some comments about the Games Industry. I have wanted to comment about this for a long while. And I stand by what I said in my first post. :)


Alan from 3DAGames
info@3dagames.com
http://www.3dagames.com


I did it.

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/9/2001 6:54:48 PM #
It was I who granted them the generous loan. No need for applause.

RE: No you didn't
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/10/2001 3:13:44 AM #
It wasn't you...it was me!

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