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Comments on: Rumor: Sony to Release S360

According to the online retailer J&R, Sony has discontinued the S320 and will soon be replacing it with the PEG-S360, which will have 16 MB of RAM instead of the S320's 8 MB. It will cost $200, which is the price the S320 was released at, though it has since been dropped to $170. Of course, the S360 will run some version of OS 4, presumably 4.1. J&R doesn't know when it will have the S360 in stock; it's just telling its customers who try to order it that it'll be in very soon. It is already taking pre-orders for the new model.
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SONY sets the pace

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 10:37:08 AM #
....will others keep up?

RE: SONY sets the pace
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 10:43:33 AM #
Yes, Sony sets the pace of dropping their relatively current products like flies. No OS 4.x for the older S series, even though people paid money for flash ROM on them. I can only assume that this new S360 still doesn't work with any of the the MemoryStick devices designated as only for the N and T series. The N series devices were pretty nice, and then they release the T415 with its garbage screen. With the T series out, I'd guess the N series will be dead soon, if not already. For Sony, their one hand doesn't know what the other is doing in the PDA market.


RE: SONY sets the pace
Ronin @ 1/2/2002 10:43:54 AM #
You know comments like this really confuse me.

How is this setting the pace. I read on this site comments, all the time that, the Palm OS has had no improvements in years (although I disagree with this, it is regularly repeated in comments here). That minor changes in the hardware, i.e. the addition of greater memory is not enough to save Palm.

One could just as easily pose these comments in relation to this device or for that matter any of the Sony devices that have been released over the past year with the exception of their first wave of new devices. Each newly released device has been incremental in nature and has appeared in a remarkably short time after the device it is replacing. In fact, one could argue that this short product span will/is hurting the Palm handheld market. I am not going to go into any Sony bashing here because it is not necessary or appropriate, each of the Palm licensees (including Palm) advance the platform and cater to a different market segment. Too me this is a good thing because I believe that this is the true we to keep Palm alive in the long run, with diversification of the product line. Unlike the PPC devices that are virtually identical at this point, when you shop for a Palm there is real choice.

Anyway, if one is being completely impartial in examining the Palm licensee landscape, the innovator head and shoulders above the other (even without a color screen) is HandEra. But even with HandEra's innovation (dual expansion, high-res screen, virtual graffiti area) they have not set the world on fire. So maybe, just maybe we tech nerds that visit this site and others like it need to have a broader view of the actual market and make room for the realities of the situation.

Finally, while I look forward to the developments that this year may bring, I hope that Palm devices do not become more complicated because of it. I hope, that more capable does not need to be synonymous with complicated.

RE: SONY sets the pace
Ed @ 1/2/2002 10:46:36 AM #
Don't forget, Handspring released the first Palm OS model with 16 MB of RAM back in September.

---
News Editor
RE: SONY sets the pace
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 10:47:53 AM #
Nobody can keep up with the speed at which Sony releases/obsoletes it's products... most of the time not even their customers.

RE: SONY sets the pace
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 11:02:59 AM #
The $200 price tag will force Handspring to drop the $300 price of it's 16 Meg Visor Pro.

Palm's m125 is a bit over priced ($200) if this rumor is true. What will palm do w/ all the m125's.

Say what you want about Sony, but my 7 month old 710c still rocks.

Mark



RE: SONY sets the pace
mikecane @ 1/2/2002 11:08:40 AM #
Waiting for PalmOS 4.1 -- for my S320!

RE: SONY sets the pace
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 11:11:07 AM #
Sony is the PALM hardware killer. 200 bucks for 16MB of RAM and a memory stick slot.

Oh, and to the Handera guy, what have they released in the past year other than the 330? Nada.

RE: SONY sets the pace
scaught @ 1/2/2002 11:16:58 AM #
oh. so its quantity rather than quantity that impresses you? handera should have released a couple dozen different handhelds and given them all shoddy support?

RE: SONY sets the pace
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 11:17:49 AM #
> Oh, and to the Handera guy, what have they released in
> the past year other than the 330? Nada.

I think that was his point. Sony is releasing and obsoleting lots of devices, but as far as innovative features go, they haven't offered much new other than hi-res color. If this S360 is just a 16MB S320 with Palm OS 4.x, it is actually a much less significant upgrade than Handspring did with the Pro (added rechargable battery). Heck, even the TRGpro was far more innovative than the S320 and was released years before it.

If I was someone with an S320, I'd probably rather see Sony give me an OS upgrade than tell me my relatively new handheld is dead and essentially tell me to get an S360. Anyhow, HandEra has released various OS upgrades as well as new CF drivers like 802.11b support for both the TRGpro and 330 since the 330's release. Features much more interesting than sticking more RAM in the S320 and an OS upgrade (that they won't even sell to their current customers) and calling it a new model. By Sony's standards, HandEra probably has released 2 or 3 models this year.


RE: SONY sets the pace
Dark @ 1/2/2002 11:29:03 AM #
IMHO, Sony is doing a good job of improving their hardware and still manage to sell them at a lower price. This stirs the competition. We now have a lot of devices to choose from compared before when people had to spend $350+ for a Palm III. It's all up to the educated buyer where to put those hard-earned bucks.

RE: SONY sets the pace
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 11:36:23 AM #
> We now have a lot of devices to choose from compared
> before when people had to spend $350+ for a Palm III.

Uh, that was Handspring that helped provide more options and brought the prices down since the Palm III.


RE: SONY sets the pace
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 11:46:16 AM #
What's the BIG DEAL with Sony phasing out older models of their CLIE? Are you guys still PalmOS users? Why do you have to chase new models of CLIE while you can be perfectly happy with your old Palm III before?

RE: SONY sets the pace
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 12:21:49 PM #
I think I have problems with calling a model that's only a few months old "older" and Sony's willingness to completely drop support for it. Basically Sony wants to treat these devices like TVs or CD players, and not like the computers that they are.

RE: SONY sets the pace
Ronin @ 1/2/2002 12:33:52 PM #
>>I think I have problems with calling a model that's only a few months old "older" and Sony's willingness to completely drop support for it. Basically Sony wants to treat these devices like TVs or CD players, and not like the computers that they are. <<

I have to agree with this comment.

Sony is an excellent consumer electronics company, they stay abreast of the competition and do not hesitate to add new features to their products. Unfortunately, a computer (even a handheld one) should not be on the same type of product cycle. First, when you put a device on this type of cycle the interest of significant customer support is diminished because the device is no longer being produced.

Second, I buy a Sony VCR and two weeks later Sony discontinues my model and releases a new VCR with one more feature, two weeks after discontinues that new model and releases another model with one more additional feature. Six months of this and you might a VCR on the market that truly does something that the one I bought does not but this is not such a big deal because it is still a VCR and it still works and does the job well. Also because the VCR is a consumer product it is probably cheaper to replace it then to get it repaired if it is out of warranty, so the notion of it being obsolete is not a significant consideration. When a computer device is treated as a commodity like this, the value of your $200 - $500 investment is diminished far sooner than one should reasonably expect and all because of incremental, superceding devices. Soon the device you bought just 3 months ago will be on a shelf at a small electronics store for $50 right beside the Sony radio/cassette player.

Is that what we, as users, really want?

RE: SONY sets the pace
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 12:35:04 PM #
My issue is with a few of the above posters who say that Sony is making current models 'obsolete' when a new model comes out. When the 760 came out, the 710 didn't magically become obsolete...it was, and still is, an exellent PalmOS-based handheld. If you think the new S360 makes the S320 model obsolete, then you could argue that when the Palm Vx came out, the V immediately became obsolete. Well, I know three people that I work with who are perfectly happy with their 2MB Palm V's, and have no need to upgrade any time soon. Believe me, when a 16MB replacement for my N760 comes out, I will be a bit bummed...but that doesn't make the PDA that I chose at the time, and I use everyday instantly obsolete...it's the same PDA I was happy to shell out my hard-earned $$ for in the first place.

Sony has pushed the PalmOS (at least in its current version) to a place no one could have envisioned just 12 months ago, and the whole PalmOS community is benefitting. Hey...a 16MB Palm device with expansion and a jog dial for $200!! That's great no matter how you look at it (I remember paying $399.00 for a Palm IIIx not too many years ago!). And just think of the lucky people who were able to snap up N710's, N610's, and now S320's for great, low prices.

I fail to see any problem with having more choices available...

Just my 2 cents worth.

RE: SONY sets the pace
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 12:35:29 PM #
When I say sony has set the pace, I am referring to the combnination of innovation and reasonable prices. If Sony was not around the H'spring 16MB device would have been released 6 mos later for $350, not $300. I really don't like the ergonomics of Sony's products, and I don't own one. But they have forced H'spring and Palm (which I do buy) to price their PDA's more as a commodities, and less as "special little magic boxes" that they only can make, roll out SLOWLY, and charge a fortune for.

For that, SONY ROCKS!!

RE: SONY sets the pace
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 12:46:26 PM #
> When I say sony has set the pace, I am referring to
> the combnination of innovation and reasonable prices.

There still isn't anything innovative about the S360. You could just as easily say that the Handspring Neo and Pro were setting the pace a month ago. For that matter, if you don't need an expansion slot, Palm sets the pace then.

RE: SONY sets the pace
Ronin @ 1/2/2002 12:52:55 PM #
<<When I say sony has set the pace, I am referring to the combnination of innovation and reasonable prices. If Sony was not around the H'spring 16MB device would have been released 6 mos later for $350, not $300. I really don't like the ergonomics of Sony's products, and I don't own one. But they have forced H'spring and Palm (which I do buy) to price their PDA's more as a commodities, and less as "special little magic boxes" that they only can make, roll out SLOWLY, and charge a fortune for.

For that, SONY ROCKS!!>>

I agree with this comment, to an point.

Sony has been very aggressive in pricing their devices. And this has certainly caused both Palm and Handspring to forego the pricing scheme that they enjoyed for so long (although I am sure that the downturn in the economy had a little to do with this as well). But competition is something different from what Sony seems to be doing which is releasing new devices with minimal changes and an incredibly short life span. For example, with built-in memory expansion, isn't addition of increased internal memory a minor upgrade? And doesn't it beg the question that if they can release a device for the same price and form factor, why didn't they do it originally?

RE: SONY sets the pace
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 1:37:52 PM #
> I fail to see any problem with having more choices available...

There aren't any problems, you're analysis is correct.
No one in their right mind would be "bummed" over the release of a $200 pda with 16MB of memory....EXCEPT someone who just doled out $170 for a S320 (to those, my condolences).

My guess is that these complainers are the same people who haven't missed a single Windows upgrade since 3.0 and they're finding it financially difficult to buy every new pda that pops up at CompUSA.

RE: SONY sets the pace
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 1:55:41 PM #
Its all about competition... when only palm existed they set the pace of innovation and it was slowww!

Enter handspring and TRG and it picked up again, but the innovation model now was... stay with what we have until a competitor innovates something new, then one up it with the next release. This somewhat shortened the pace of innovation but it was still slow as both companies would only release new product when they felt they needed to to maintain market share, etc. In other words their sales were dropping so its time for something new.

Sony takes a different approach to this for better or worse... they see it as a consumer product like a walkman or minidisk player. They are used to adjusting their products very frequently as the consumer segment is MUCH more competitive than the handheld market is. Its not likely sony will change and their approach will force the competition to keep up or be left behind. Im sure customer support will suffer, and sonys upgrade policy stinks... but on the plus side theres something new to drool over much more frequently and just as frequently you can find old models at great prices on clearance.

As far as innovation goes... most of the licensees have done something... its palm that lags behind in general.

Sony - Highres pixel doubled screen, VFS, Jog Dial
Handera - Proprietary CF support (later VFS), hires reflective TFT, soft graffiti.
Handspring - Springboard, 16mb, first 33mhz unit.
Palm - PalmVII wireless, palmV formfactor.

Im sure im missing some things, but most companies have done some innovation... palm counted on this, and they are the folks that merge all the innovation into the next OS release. I figure they did this so they wouldnt have to spend as much time on R&D but they didnt count on how 'behind' their units seem as it takes a few months or longer for new features to make their way into the Palm OS proper.

Battery Peformance Tests and More at... http://www.pocket-gizmos.com

RE: SONY sets the pace
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 4:04:10 PM #
It's funny...

When someone actually is innovating, there's still people who whine. People want this and that, but when they finally get it, they still find something to complain. You folks are pretty sad.

Get a life!

RE: SONY sets the pace
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 5:11:30 PM #
Yeah, it's funny. Nothing pleases people. If a company innovates too much, then people are pissed off because of so-called "obsolescence". If a company doesn't innovate, people are pissed off.

Well, take your bitchin' elsewhere. If you don't like Sony's than go buy yourself a Palm Vx or the ever stellar m505 with crappy backlight.

'Nuf said.

RE: SONY sets the pace
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 5:58:06 PM #
Sorry, but Sony hasn't innovated since the 710, it has just obsoleted.

RE: SONY sets the pace
Coyote67 @ 1/2/2002 6:08:18 PM #
Sony's problem is that they don't understand the Handheld market. It isn't like dvd players, where once you sell it, support from the manuf. is pretty much not needed. DVD players or TVs have no upgrades because if people just kept using their old equipment, the profit would dry up. People buy new TVs or DVD players or whatever when there is some new innovative useful feature that they don't already have. Handhelds are not like this. Handheld users need to be supported by their manuf./OS developer to make sure their current features are used to their fullest. People buy handhelds only when they feel they have gotten the most out of their current device. Sony needs to realize this or they will lose customers fast.

---------------------------------------
When you have a Clie shoved up your mouth, you can only talk in vowels.
RE: SONY sets the pace
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 6:25:26 PM #
> Sony needs to realize this or they will lose customers fast.

***

This statement confirms why you are not making the big bucks as a marketing guru or subgenius.

Sony went from 0% market share to 11% in less than a year. They must be doing something right to attract customers.

RE: SONY sets the pace
jeremyf @ 1/2/2002 6:27:13 PM #
Whatever. You guys are nuts.

I bought my 900 mhz dell back in february. A month later they had 1ghz. Then 1.13ghz. Then 1.3ghz. Now they're up to 2ghz!!

Dell doesn't care about their customers! They should still be selling my 900mhz dell for the same price!!

As for Sony dropping support, they still support the ancient S300 and release updates for it. And even if they do "drop support," it's a Palm device. There are a million avenues for Palm support, like this one right here.

RE: SONY sets the pace
Ronin @ 1/2/2002 6:43:04 PM #
Comparing the PC to the handheld market is like comparing apples to oranges. But I should point out that the PC market and PC makers are struggling right now because of the very same approach to the market that Sony is taking. The PC makers serve up product that has minor, barely noticeable additions/configurations and no one upgrades because there is no reason to do so. The days when people upgraded a PC to solely get a faster CPU so they could run the current crop of software are long gone because the average user has no need for that power any more because the PC they have can run the latest and greatest software with any trouble. And the days when you had to upgrade your PC to run the latest and greatest version of Windows are gone too. No PC are dirt cheap and they are not selling enough for these companies to make decent money because they have become a commodity. I would prefer that Palm did not go that route because I believe true innovation would suffer.

Granted Sony released a compelling product early last year but since then, describing the parade of devices they have released as innovation is stretching the definition of this much abused word to new heights. And if you are truly excited about the release of this device and the discontinuance of the S320 (so shortly after its release) then I am forced to conclude that it is because it has the SONY name on it. If this was released by Palm, I am sure that the cries of correcting mistakes; too little, too late, etc. would be deafening.

RE: SONY sets the pace
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 6:58:22 PM #
Please do not flame me for saying this, but sony nor does palm set any pace. Sorry to say, but many people have their own ideas of what is needed and what should be on this, that, etc. Sony is obviously not aiming for the enterprise market, they are aiming for the consumer market, they might be known to set the pace for what CONSUMERS like to see. But a mjority of consumers did not buy a palmos pda for multimedia. So now you can say they set the pace for that group. Now handspring has their new TREO almost out, that is to be aimed at the Enterprise market, as will the i705 from palm. They might be known to set the pace for the enterprise market. In other words, who ever is setting the pace is in determined by what you prefer personally, not in general. Not a fight, just my 2 cents :D. Happy new year all BTW!
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: SONY sets the pace
Coyote67 @ 1/2/2002 10:00:27 PM #
*Sony went from 0% market share to 11% in less than a year. They must be doing something right to attract customers.*

You don't understand the idea of market saturation. Its the same reason why PC market has pretty much died out. Once everyone has a handheld, few will upgrade. It goes back to that first "Wow" effect also. A general idea in marketting is that the wow effect sells. Sony got Palm people who saw something new. Now once they get everyone and their family dog to have a handheld. Why would anyone want to buy a new one if its pretty much the same except with oh....a universal connector, or a useless expansion slot. Slight differences are nice, but so is distinctive innovative improvements. Sony hasn't done this for a while,just like palm did.


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When you have a Clie shoved up your mouth, you can only talk in vowels.

RE: SONY sets the pace
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 10:21:23 PM #
The fact IS Sony does set the pace.

Years ago, Palm was the only player (I had a Palm III), then came Handspring with its PDAs (I upgraded to the incredibly thin Edge model), but now Sony is the innovator PDA manufacturer.

I bought a color Sony 610 (upgraded from the Edge) a few months ago, and couldn't be more happier with it. Two friends in my office recently purchased Sony Clies and it seems Sony is now the name of the game.

It's sad that Palm and Handspring got caught napping at their own game only to be surpassed by the newcomer in this market. Good luck to Sony and keep the new models coming...

RE: SONY sets the pace - so what?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 10:33:23 PM #
Granted that Sony keeps rolling out new models every few months - so what? Good for them. More of you PDA wannabees will pay full retail price for the exclusivity of being the 1st one to own the new models, while us real users will be buying your used "obsolete" models for 1/2 off on eBay. A PDA is suppose to help you organize and save time, but you all keep spending the saved time discussing more about PDAs. Net gain = zero.

RE: SONY sets the pace
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/3/2002 12:08:43 AM #
I wonder if Sony is making any money on their PDAs? My guess would be that they are not even close to profitability. I think Sony is aiming not to compete, but to eliminate the smaller competitors in the PDA market -- notably Handspring and Handera. They can afford to drown the market with releases after releases because they can take moeny from one department and give it to the other. Handspring, Handera and Palm does not have that option.

RE: SONY sets the pace
SaxonMan @ 1/3/2002 12:09:51 AM #
First of all I want to criticize that Sony doesnít take of their customer (technical support). Ok that might be true.
But donít you see that Sony is redefining the whole Palm OS Handheld market.
I personally own a Visor Platin. I bought it in Nov. í00. Back then I think this handheld gave you the best performance for your money. Thatís ok.
So why are you guys complaining about that Palms are getting better and cheaper. Isnít this the way itís supposed to be? Sony does a great job in producing new handhelds. If they keep on doing this they going to overtake the Palm OS market pretty soon.
Sony is really setting the pace. Yeah palms are losing their values very very fast. Thatís true. But nobody can stop this.
The new S360 gives you nice performance for your money. I think this handheld doesnít really have a competitor. I mean look at Handspringís Neo. 200 bucks for a palm running (still!!?) 3.52, 8MB, AAA batteries and a plastic cover. I think thatís a joke. I used to like Handspring very much. But their quality is really not what you can except from a ( back then $299 device ). I mean the buttons are barely working and itís getting even worse. I mean why are they producing the Treos with OS 3.x?
Good job Sony and keep on producing nice customer orientated handhelds.
But I see no real use for a new Handheld. Maybe in 12 months. I believe in Palm OS 5.
The product pipeline is ok. And Iím a pretty positive that Palm OS wonít give Windows CE a chance ( ya I know I should say Windows powered handheldsÖ excuse me ).
Or do u guys have another opinion about it?
Please let me know!

SaxonMan

RE: SONY sets the pace
SaxonMan @ 1/3/2002 12:34:56 AM #
Last but not least. I would like to mention that people who are clicking on this website know what handhelds are. But the most people i know dont barely know how to use a palm.
Let's call those people uneducated ( when we are talking about handhelds ). But "uneducated" people dont compare prices ( like www.pricewatch.com www.ebay.com ) nor really care about the latest palm models i think we should realize that!

Second, the palm hardware isn't that great! Isn't the software which make your system overall valuable?
Software like WordSmith, ThinkDB, NoahPro, ActionNames, SilverScreen, AvantGo, PowerOne Graph set the pace to.
Don't they make your palm worth the money?
ThirdParty products like memory expansions, the Stowaway Keyboard ( which i own ) and other think i forgot. They make your palm useful.

yours
SaxonMan
long live the intelligent user!

If u wanna criticize my english and tell me that a person who writes this cant be intelligent...
maybe that's because i'm german.


RE: SONY sets the pace
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/3/2002 8:31:18 AM #
Sorry, but once again Sony's only innovation has been a hi-res color screen. There has been nothing innovative from Sony since the 710, but lots of new models.

Comparing what Sony is doing to coming out with a PC with a faster processor is flawed logic. That older PC can still use the same peripherals, and unless it is really old, it supports the latest OS upgrades and you still get support from the vendor. In comparison, Sony obsoletes recent models by not providing (or making it darn difficult to get) OS updates for essentially identical models, changes connectors, and/or creates MemoryStick devices that work with this device but not that one for no real reason.

I half think that some of the Sony fanatics here are deluded by the fact that their devices are so new that they don't realize that Sony has already dropped them.

RE: SONY sets the pace
TDS @ 1/3/2002 8:53:55 AM #
To the gentleman that complained about the Handsprings still running 3.52 OS. Remember that a very large amount of the code in 4.0 comes right from Handsprings OS 3.52. The USB code, 16 bit support, and I think even the silent alarm are the ones that come to mind. I agree that the Treo should have OS 4.1 just because it is the latest, and it would sound better from a marketing standpoint. But in reality there is not a huge change between 3.52 & 4.1

RE: SONY sets the pace
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/3/2002 9:39:54 AM #
Does the Treo support the Telephony Manager API that is in Palm OS 4.x?

RE: SONY sets the pace
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/27/2002 12:14:01 AM #
I've been reading the comments made about Sony's incredible rate of upgrading their Clie's. I agree with many statements made. Pumping out new models of Clie's (especially S series) is kind of a bummer. However, it is like someone said, the changes are not that significant. In the case of the S360 it was only a little extra RAM. Fine, if S320 users really need that extra memory, they can get 128MB more if they want for a few extra bucks. No big deal.
However, what gets me is the way they made the S360 model incomapitble with 320 accesories. For example I wanted to get a Targus Keyboard for my 360, but since they changed the connector, the new 360 is not compatible with the keyboard anymore.
My comment is if they want to pump out new models like their life depended on it, that's fine. But at least make the accesories interchangable. I mean, don't change the stuff that doesn't need to be changed--like the connectivity port! Would you agree?

RE: SONY sets the pace
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/27/2002 12:24:03 AM #
"However, what gets me is the way they made the S360 model incomapitble with 320 accesories. For example I wanted to get a Targus Keyboard for my 360, but since they changed the connector, the new 360 is not compatible with the keyboard anymore. "

Check the facts b4 talking out of your *** please, the S-series and N-series has the same freaking connector, just the T-seriese has a smaller connector.

RE: SONY sets the pace
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/27/2002 3:04:08 AM #
I own a s320 and love it.
Best you can get to for $$$ I paid.

Sony's support does leave something to be desired and I can only hope they will learn.

Sony is leading the market in palm os

Each new model adds something
High res screen (colour and grayscale)
more ram(not really needed if you got MS)but still nice
Jog Dial (old idea now) cant be ignored because it is so usefull.

All at very affordable prices

The only thing I would have like is having all the models the same size so 3rd party cases would be compatable with all clie's


Ordering

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 11:24:54 AM #
Ed,
Can you please post the URL for the s360 page? I went on their site to pre-order but couldn't find it.

thanks!

RE: Ordering
Ed @ 1/2/2002 11:36:41 AM #
If you call them (1-800-221-8180) and ask to order an S320, they'll tell you about the S360 and will offer to let you put in a pre-order. That's what they did for me.

---
News Editor
T615C uncovered!!!!
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 2:51:38 PM #
Thank you so much Ed. I read that guys question and your reply. I thought to myself that maybe since they preorder the S360, they could preorder the T615c also. They do and it will be available at the end of the month(Jan.) for $399.99usd they said.

RE: Ordering
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 10:54:57 PM #
I called JandR also to confirm the new S360 model is forthcoming, but didn't place an order. I usually buy from Dell.com - they give you a discount on PDAs, somtimes as much as 20 percent off, plus free shipping, and no tax. Just a word to the wise.

Life cycle?

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 6:13:11 PM #
Something that no one pointed out. What will others think about a so sort product life cycle?

In don't mean Palm, Handera or Handspring. But all of theses others little others that produce all accessories, new use and comfort, for current models like, cables, chargers, bags, compatible utilities modules, etc...?

Theses have also greatly contributed into the interest and the usage diversification of the Palm world.

But I think, if I was one of theses, having to invest in search & developpment, production, publicity with no so big margins in a very competitive place, I would seriously be annoyed to do expensive compatible products for models that will most probably dissapears three months later. With no assurance at all that my just released product will remain compatible with "new" ones.

Just have a look at the products that are now announced or released for new Palm models (keyboards, etc...). And check the compatibility list. Don't you see what's systematically missing? Yes, you pointed it. About 90% of theses don't mention Sony Palms as compatible. Most of them doesn't even annouce any future availability date for them.

I think it's logic. If I have to invest into that kind of products, I hope to have a reasonable amount of time and large market to get my money back. How to do that with such quickly "dying" products?

On the other side, I can see companies like Palm, Handspring, Handera, that, maybe, doesn't release so much and so frequent innovative products. But, with them, I can be sure to have at least the time to develop my products for Palms that will remain for a certain time on the market. I can produce an extension for a "old" Vx model, and still find large number buyers for it.

Even with Compaq's Pocket PC, life cycle is not so short. And they continue to support "old" products. Compare to Sony who's "discontinuing" products even six month after release date and, thus also, before the end of official warranty date.

So, I can understand those who apologize about the Sony fast innovation speed. But I'm not sure this approach is really adaptated to Palm World.

I'm not buying such expensive product that a Palm is the way I would buy toys for a little child. I want to use it, for a certain time. I want to extend possibilities, like I do for my PC. I want, if I paid a lot of bucks, to, at least, get some minimal resale value. Can I do, actually, do that with Sony "buy and forget" conception?

Maybe peoples, at Sony, think Palms are essentially some kind of brilliant toys. But, if they are that, they still cost too much for that kind of use.

RE: Life cycle?
popko @ 1/2/2002 7:39:23 PM #
You have a good point, but some times this is just the way Japanese-style econemy works.

You missed something here
achen @ 1/2/2002 7:56:31 PM #
1.
Your Clie accessries does not just "dissapears" or "become useless" three months later with the updating of product, please notice that most Clie accessries are compatible in S and N series, ranges widely from S300 to N760C, which covers more than 5 models and an overall life period of 1.5+ years, and this will still be extended by S360.

The real big difference begins at T series, its accessaries are not compatible with S and N. But it isn't that bad if you consider two things:

(1) It had been 1.5 years since the first S came out, accessaries spec of S and N are almost identical, it's not too bad to have another standard of accessries after this period of time. (And also, S and N are not out of market yet!)

(2)The major change in T series is the thickness, they can't put the same connector into it if thay want to make it small. So it must be changed!

2.
The reason 3rd party manufacturer did not make many accessries for SONY Clie is because it was not so popular as it is now. When it becomes to be the majority of the Palm PDA market, they'll begin to make more and more accessaries for Clie because they have enough end users (which are equal to potential customers) to MAKE ENOUGH REVENUE for them.

3.
Think about this:

=================================
User A wants to buy a PDA in April 2001, what does he get? Palm m500/m505 or low-end m105.

User B wants to buy a PDA in June 2001, what does he get? Palm m500/m505 or low-end m105.

User C wants to buy a PDA in August 2001, what does he get? Palm m500/m505 or low-end m105.

User D wants to buy a PDA in Octorber 2001, what does he get? Palm m500/m505 or low-end m105.

User D wants to buy a PDA in November 2001, what does he get? Palm m500/m505 or low-end m125.

User E wants to buy a PDA in Febuary 2002, what does he get? Palm m500/m505 or low-end m125.
=================================

ISN'T THAT TIRED and LACK OF CHOICE?? Is a long product cycle really a good thing to a manufacturer?


Then, how about this?
=================================
User A has a budget in May 2001 to buy a PDA, what does he get? Clie N710C or low-end S300

User B has a budget in July 2001 to buy a PDA, what does he get? Clie N610C or low-end S320.

User C has a budget in September 2001 to buy a PDA, what does he get? Clie N760C or low-end S320

User D had a budget in November 2001 to buy a PDA, what does he get? Clie N760C or N610C (both dropped $50) or T415C!!

User E had a budget in Febuary 2002 to buy a PDA, what does he get? Clie T615C or low-end S360 !!!!
===================================

AS A COMSUMER, I rather to see the choices SONY gives me instead of Palm inc. gives me -- they stopped innovating in technology and just keep working on painting new color and celebrities on their devices.

If I am spending my money to get a PDA for myself, I want to get the latest one with the newsest technology, ABSOLUTELY NOT the same thing which my friend got 8 MONTH AGO although probably I'm paying $50 bucks less than he did.

Another respect of short life cycle shows this company is excel at R&D and itd creativity also the ambition to lead in this market.

(~To be continue, I have to leave the office now~)

RE: Life cycle?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 9:19:34 PM #
Outstanding response. Its variety in both functionality and price that makes Sony the best out there!

RE: Life cycle?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 11:08:49 PM #
I like the innovation, but I've been thinking along the same lines. I've been waiting on accessories for the N series that are "in the queue", and due out 1st quarter of 2002. Consider that the N series was just coming into popularity, causing 3rd parties to look at, say thumbpad keyboards, etc., designed specifically for that series. The N series really took off about the time of the advent of the N610 three months ago. Just as products are coming out of R&D and about to hit production, you discover that the connector and form factor is being discontinued.

As a manufacturer do you [1] go ahead with the expense of setting up production and rolling out the product in the hope that there is enough existing user base that won't upgrade to even break even, knowing there is no hope of that market base expanding, of [2] re-tool for the new platform and hope it doesn't change before the product gets out the door and enough units get in the market to break even or maybe even profit, or [3] give up on Sony and switch to developing for a product like the Palm line with their "Universal Connector" that you know will give you a large potential customer base. Given that the Palm UC customer base is ALREADY THERE, and likely to continue to grow for at least another year before they drop it.

At least Palm learned this lesson. That is why the "Universal Connector" was such a big deal for them.

achen made the point that the reason 3rd parties didn't develop for the N series is that it didn't become popular enough until recently. But now it will not continue to get more popular. Few companies will expend R&D and production costs on an already limited market with no growth potential. Not when other markets do have that potential. You only get a few products like the StowAway Keyboard and the like that can be made so that the same product can fit multiple products for with a minor and inexpensive connector change.

And from a consumer standpoint, many won't expend lots on accessories knowing that if their unit dies or is damaged, it will likely have to be replaced with a different unit that wont work with those expensive add-ons they've already bought.

Also, the US market is not like in Japan. We don't replace all our electronics every three to six months just to have the latest thing. If we spend $300 or more, we expect a year or two of use out of it before it becomes incompatible with the current models.

I think Sony should have continued the N610 as well as introduce the T615, just like Handspring kept the original line when they introduced the Edge. I also hope they put enough thought into the connector to not change it for a year or so.


RE: Life cycle?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 11:30:28 PM #
An addendum to my last post -- I didn't mean to sound so negative. I'm not against new models, or form factors. But Palm has shown that it can be done and still preserve compatibility with 3rd party products.

I just hope Sony realizes a Palm OS handheld isn't just a Walkman and that they need to think about the 3rd party add-on accessories. They need a "universal connector" too, just like Palm. One that is around longer than the N series was around!

Sony doesn't have a very good history in this area. They tend to have a "if we don't offer it, you don't need it" philosophy.

RE: Life cycle?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 11:52:06 PM #
I have been thinking along the same lines too. How can a consumer decide when to buy a Sony if they release a new unit every 3 months? If I buy a Sony today I wuld be really pissed off if they release a batter product with the same price point 3 months later. I would even be more pissed off if they discontinue the model! Even for a gadget freak like myself, 3 months is too short a time for me to be changing my PDA. I think a one year cycle is reasonable.

I am willing to bet that SOny is losing a whack of cash on the Palm line. But they can afford to take money from their profitable businesses and poor it into their Palm line. Handspring, Handera and Palm dont have that luxury.

RE: Life cycle?
achen @ 1/3/2002 2:10:51 AM #
Here is my point base on the reply above:

1.
I personally do not think releasing a new model every 3 month is a bad thing. A new model is a choice for new customers, that does not mean old customers have to, or be forced to upgrade.


When you buy a Pentium III 850Mhz and 1GHz is out after 3 months later, would you just dump your 850 and go for 1GHz? Of course not! The releasing of 1GHz means another improvement in technology and available for new customer's choice.

If the fact of "realeasing a better technology after you spend your money" pisses you off, then you don't have a correct concept as a computer product consumer.

This is all about technology and innovation, improvement! If anybody has the same thought in palms, then I think he does not really "need" a palm, he just "wants" a palm.

2.
What's wrong about keep using your stuff after it is discontinued?

Does discontinuing Clie S300/N710/N610/S320 makes the users of them not able to keep using their device? Or will it terminate the wonderful moment it had been helping you on managing your life/business?

NO. That only means, they can make a better device now and wish the customers who taking out $$ from their pocket now, to get a new stuff instead of old ones.


2.
Base on your words "How can a consumer decide when to buy a Sony if they release a new unit every 3 months?"

Well.. ask yourself: "How can I decide which CPU to get for my computer if they release a faster one every 3 months?"

If you have this thought in your mind, then this is absolutely not correct.

When I need a PDA, I spent my money on what's the best at the time. I can not wait for the next one because a better one will eventually be on the market and I NEED IT NOW.

The next time I'll upgrade my palm is when I feel this is not powerful enough for the tasks I wish it to do for me and I need a better device to serve me, NOT WHEN THEN ANY NEWER MODEL IS RELEASED.


3.
A one year cycle for Palm device is absolutely too long.

Take a look at Palm Inc., Making a long-term-life of their m1xx and m5xx series; how much revenue (or I should say, loss) they got in last quarter? I can only say.. poor business strategy.

Take a look at SONY, how many new innovations had been made in one year while Palm only made a tiny move? HiRes(color and monochrome), MP3, FM sound effect, super slim, seamless case....


4.
I agree on your point at that SONY might not be making profit on those Clies and they seal this hole by selling other electronics products.

However this is a good move in trying to lead the trend, also a good thing to consumers -- you pay less to get a better thing.


RE: Life cycle?
qurgh @ 1/4/2002 8:36:04 AM #
>3.
>A one year cycle for Palm device is absolutely too
>long.

It is? I hope not, I really can't afford to buy a new one each year.

I've had 4 palmOS devices, a III (which was stolen), a IIIxe (the replacement which was dropped and broken), a IIIc (the replacement for the xe) and a N760c. I had to save up for months for the 760c, and I hope it lasts longer than a year, unless your willing to send me money to upgrade to another model when it comes out.

I still have an use my other Palms, the xe (I had it repaired recently) is used with my palmpix camera, and my IIIc is used by a friend. Both of these are over a year old, and still are great PDAs.

The average, non-rich user, is only going to upgrade their PDA once the price of a better one drops to less than they paid for the orginal one, or they are going to save up a lot of money to buy a really high end model and have it for a good number of years until they can save up an afford to get another high end one.

As for who is better, Palm, Sony, Handspring, Handera... NONE of them are better than the other. I remember a time when people would being arguing about PalmOS v PPC devices, now the Palm comunity is fighing among itself. It's like saying that my HP desktop PC is better than your Dell desktop PC. It's rediculus!

All the devices are different, and each of them fits with what the owner wants it to do. Just as some people us Windows and some use Linux. Neither is better, they are just different. This type of menatilty is what lead to raceism in the world (I'm better than you because of )

When will you people who spend your days arguing about which PDA is better grow up and realise that every PDA fits in somewhere. They all get sold to the people who need to use them. We as a comunity should be banding together to teach others about PDAs, and help them get the best out of them, no matter which model they own. We should be proud we have all these choices, not attacking each other because we each choose other models.

Well, I'll get off the soapbox now.

Chris
-------------------------------------------
Senior Programmer
Wizage Programming
http://www.wizage.net/

RE: Life cycle?
achen @ 1/4/2002 10:29:06 AM #
>>3.
>>A one year cycle for Palm device is absolutely too
>>long.

>It is? I hope not, I really can't afford to buy a new
>one each year.

Apparently you did not get what I mean in my (1) and (2).

Why you need to by one PDA each year? I can't afford this, either! But why do you think you MUST upgrade it whenever a new model is out in the market?

If a PDA works for you and is enough for you, of course you can use it for 5 or 10 years.

My PDA retires when it is not enough to work for me, NOT when it does not keep its 1st place in market as the next model released.


>I still have an use my other Palms, the xe (I had it
>repaired recently) is used with my palmpix camera,
>and my IIIc is used by a friend. Both of these are
>over a year old, and still are great PDAs.

I really love to know what makes you think both of your Xe and IIIc can last one year and still are great PDAs *BUT* N710C, N760C or N610C can NOT work for you for one year and/or can not still be great PDAs after one year??

RE: Life cycle?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/4/2002 4:26:52 PM #
> I really love to know what makes you think both of your Xe and IIIc
> can last one year and still are great PDAs *BUT* N710C, N760C or
> N610C can NOT work for you for one year and/or can not still be
> great PDAs after one year??

Well, I'm not the one that originally posted what you refer to, but it is because the IIIxe and IIIc are still having new add-on devices made for them and Palm is still releasing OS updates for them. Something you cannot rely on even after 6 months from Sony.

RE: Life cycle?
qurgh @ 1/6/2002 10:11:23 AM #
achen, I guess you read my post as much as I read yours :)

To me the term life-cycle means how long something lives, or is useful. So saying something has a one-year life cycle means that after a year it becomes useless or so out of date that that is the case. What I was trying to say was that I hope that my devices don't have a one year life-cycle, and I went on to say that I still use my older devices, so they must have a longer life-cycle than one year. I guess I get that from being intrested in biology, and saying somethings life-cycle is how long it will biologically live.

I'll still be using all my PDA's in some fashion for years to come. Just like I used my C64 for years and years and years.

I think every piece of hardware lives for as long as someone can use it. Maybe one day I'll donate my older PDAs to someone who could use them. (Well I already did that for my IIIc)

As for new devices for my older PDAs, no, I don't buy anything for them. I have a palmpix camera, a GPS and a modem and thats all I'll ever have for them.

As for sony tech support. I have never had a problem with them, but then I only contacted them once. Being a long time PDA user I know what they will say, "Hard reset"... thats what everyone says. I know how to fix my PDAs, having hacked one IIIxe to play mp3's to headphones and having replaced a screen on another. I'm not saying I'm an expert, far from it, but I would say I am a power user.. and a nerd ;)

Chris

old news

Karshikinpa @ 1/2/2002 11:09:01 PM #
If anyone was paying any attention, they'd notice that I posted that a S360 was going to be released in the forum on the T615C on the 28th. anyways... once again, here is CompUSA's sku# for it is 289707. Still, I have no ETA on it officially. Unofficially it will be available between 1 and 2 months. I've also heard that the T615 will be announced at CES and available shortly thereafter.

RE: old news
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 11:40:44 PM #
The T615 will be announced on the 8th or 9th. The rebate offer for the memory sticks expires on the same date. Concidence?

As for actually availabity, I've heard everything from "a couple of weeks after announcement" to "first week in February".

I do know that my local CompUSA had the T415 about a week before it officially went on sale. I got to play with one, even though they weren't supposed to show it yet.

More Facts about this Palm

SaxonMan @ 1/3/2002 1:21:07 AM #
ok i wanna know if this palm has a metal cover.
and i wanna know waht kinda of batteries it is using. THanks

SaxonMan

Sony vs UC!

mikecane @ 1/3/2002 10:41:51 AM #
I do wish Sony had used the Universal Connector for the new T-series; all those m505 accessories would have been instantly available (ie, Stowaway, thumboards, etc). But as it is, they have already flooded RCS in NYC with all of the T-series accessories (I will be posting this in various other groups, with details and prices).

RE: Sony vs UC!
pontif @ 1/3/2002 1:12:32 PM #
Exactly. Innovation is great. There is nothing wrong with a new model monthly, as long as the 3rd party hardware and software still works. I don't get pissed if I buy a unit and a new model comes out a month later with more features for the same price. (Ok, maybe a little.) But mine still works, and I'm fine with that. Except when Sony kills the incentive for 3rd party hardware developers to produce products that will work with my unit by changing the interface standard.

The only 3rd party products you buy for a walkman are the CD's (or tapes) and a generic case or strap. Sony just doesn't "get it" regarding the handheld market.

Palm had the same problem when they came out with the V series and manufacturers had to produce both III and V version peripherials. They learned that lesson and developed the UC for the M series.

At first Sony seemed to know that, by keeping the connector the same from the S to N series, but now with the T, they are dropping the S line, without any assurance that the new T connector will be a standard for any length of time. And just at a time when products were starting appear for the N series.


RE: Sony vs UC!
mikecane @ 1/4/2002 9:53:03 AM #
I think it will only take the average consumer (not geeks like us) one time to get burned by Sony like this -- and that will stop CLIE sales dead in their tracks. I hope Sony learns before then.

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