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Comments on: palmOne Prepares Airport Ad Blitz

A recent Wall Street Journal article reports that palmOne is about to launch a new advertising campaign aimed at business travelers. The ads will mostly be located at airports and will promote the Treo 600 smartphone.
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Excellent move!

hkklife @ 6/11/2004 2:56:08 PM #
Contrary to the retail kiosks in shopping malls (A bad PalmOne move IMHO), I think focusing on airports & biz travelers is a very smart move. I've spoken to people in a variety of industries & businesses (retail & otherwise) who have focused solely on airports. Often times, a business traveler stuck at an airport in between flights will buy just about any manner of gadgetry to play with as long as it's not hideously overpriced (ie if a portable DVD player sells for $20-$40 than a conventional B&M store it'll still sell at an airport but if it costs $100 more than there's no way it'll sell).

If Palm could somehow partner with someone like the mini Staples (mark the Treo billboards with "available at Staples in Concourse B) I've seen while traveling or one of those airport mini-electronic shops to sell their stuff at the same prices they sell it for on palm.com, it'll likely do very well.

I'm guilty of buying more than a few entertainment MMCs at an airport or an office supply store when out of town and looking for a way to pass time.

RE: Excellent move!
Altema @ 6/11/2004 4:49:53 PM #
"Often times, a business traveler stuck at an airport in between flights will buy just about any manner of gadgetry to play with as long as it's not hideously overpriced"

Hmm, now you've got me thinking. How about movie rentals on SD cards? They could take your credit card info and give you the movie of your choice plus a Power To Go charger so you don't drain your battery. If you bring them back, you get billed $5 or $10. If you don't bring them back, you get billed for the cost of the two items. Unlike DVD's or VHS, the rental place could just reload the cards with whatever is in demand.

RE: Excellent move!
hkklife @ 6/11/2004 5:04:52 PM #
Good concept but someone's gonna have to invent a "universal" AC plug power pack b/c the numbers of Palms out there in the field with a UC is dwindling daily.

I think Palm needs to relase a revised PTG that's a tiny brick with a very short cord on it for charging while on the go.

Other than having a helluva time trying to get teh movie studios onboard to support another format, it's a great idea. I've also thought a sort of "IR & BT" Kiosk for downloading/zapping new software to your PDA would be a great fit in an airport too. Imagine someone beams over a demo of Warfare Inc. or Bejeweled for free, plays the demo until it locks up while on the plane, and then registers the game when they get home...

RE: Excellent move!
Altema @ 6/11/2004 5:30:47 PM #
Thanks for pointing that out, I forgot about the not-so Universal Connector. Maybe they should come up with a standard. Oh, wait...

;)

The Warfare Inc. demo would be a good one. If ANYONE has the registered version, then they can host the game and everyone else (well, up to 4 players) can join in on any level. Even if you quit playing, you can stay linked as an observer and watch the others play. Generous demos attract me like a fly to honey.

RE: Excellent move!
kp* @ 6/11/2004 6:08:06 PM #
This seems like a good area for them to heavily market the Treo. I haven't travelled lately, but I was on the road for the second half of last year, and every airport we passed through was plastered with ads for PPC. I don't remember seeing any Palm ads, certainly they were not as pervasive or eye-catching.

RE: Excellent move!
JKingGrim @ 6/11/2004 7:53:54 PM #
Why come up with a new format? Why not just put the DVD data onto an SD card, and have a program written to read and operate it just like a DVD player? PalmOne is good at working with devs to get them to tune apps for thier PDAs (Kinoma, DTG, ect). Im sure they could work with the guys behind MMPlayeror someone to write a stable app for DVD reading.

I'm not sure if this would be profitable though. Are PDAs common enough for this to catch on. It would be a great idea if it did. Grab a movie on your way to the plane.

RE: Excellent move!
Token User @ 6/11/2004 10:13:19 PM #
Rip VideoCD or DVD to ISO format, copy ISO to media (CF or SD), mount media as virtual CD.

could add digital right management into the ISO reader - purchase the movie for x views or y period of time.

Neat idea, but I would prefer a larger screen. Only way to make it profitable is by making it a rental.

~ "Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed." - DV ~

RE: Excellent move!
IanJD @ 6/12/2004 11:16:38 AM #
"Why not just put the DVD data onto an SD card, and have a program written to read and operate it just like a DVD player?"

Because DVD data files are Gigabytes in size?

RE: Excellent move!
The Black Moose @ 6/13/2004 10:37:49 PM #
Screen issue again...

DVDs are gigabytes in size, but why have such high quality for only 320x320, 320x480 or even less pixels? I also do not think it necessary to include surround sound (keep the stereo though). The DVD quality can be downgraded to a size formatted for the palm screen. It is like a zire 71 photo looks fine on the palm screen and takes little space, but zoomed to a larger screen of a laptop it would look okay if not poor.

I do concur with those who believe this would not happen soon. It sure would be nice though.

--------------------------
In case you did not know, the stop signs with the white border are NOT optional.

RE: Excellent move!
Winter_ @ 6/14/2004 6:29:36 AM #
Actually, DVD is "only" 720x480. But MPEG2, the format used on DVDs, focuses on quality, not on high compression. MPEG4 uses more powerful compression techniques, so MPEG4 (/DivX/XViD) + sensible audio reduction/compression + reduced video resolution + reduced FPS should be interesting for portable players.

Someone talked about ISO format. I guess you're talking about ISO9660? That's just a standard filesystem for CDs, it has nothing to do with video per se. DVD uses MPEG2 with a specific file structure, VideoCD uses MPEG1 with a specific file structure. In each case you can extract the video & audio info as a "simple" file (that will be playable on any standard-compliant-enough video player: Quicktime, Windows Media, even Java and hardware players). That file is the only thing you need. And that file is the one that can be recompressed to be played on a PDA.

Furthermore, IIRC, the MPEG4 standard provides for DRM...

Why advertize an out-of-stock model?

Patrick @ 6/11/2004 5:56:03 PM #
Perhaps someone with more marketing savvy than me can explain the logic in advertizing the Treo 600 at this point, given that they can't make enough of them, by all accounts, to fulfill current demand.

Wouldn't it make more sense to delay these ads until demand slacks off or the supply chain is invigorated?


RE: Why advertize an out-of-stock model?
SeldomVisitor @ 6/11/2004 6:46:34 PM #
You are confusing "demand" with "demand" - PalmOne WANTS you to be so confused, but you should not be anyway.

The "demand" PalmOne has ALWAYS - got that? ALWAYS - talked about is "sell-in demand" where PalmOne ships TREOs to venues that will turn around and sell them to end-customers. Those TREOs that have been shipped are considered "sold in" by PalmOne and are accounted for in their financial reports. PalmOne has been careful to note that some/all of those sales COULD be "on consignment"-like; the unsold TREOs can be returned to PalmOne and PalmOne has to undo the financials at a later date.

Anywho, this is all discussing sell-IN demand. That only works up to a point, however - EVENTUALLY PalmOne has to have sell-THROUGH with TREOs as well - sell-through is where the END-CUSTOMER actually buys a TREO.

PalmOne does NOT discuss sell-THROUGH nor sell-through demand!

Some of us believe PalmOne does not discuss sell-through for a very good reason.

AND...

Some of us think this NEW ad campaign is because the sell-THROUGH of the TREO 600 has been exactly what the sell-THROUGH of prior TREO communicators was when it reached steady-state - somewhat less that 20,000 TREOs per month (it isn't clear what the prior TREO sell-through was either but I believe it was between 10,000-maybe 15,000 per month - the early-adopter buy rate).

Bottomline - listen to what PalmOne says VERY CLOSELY and know that what THEY mean by "demand" is not what WE mean by demand...

RE: Why advertize an out-of-stock model?
chzhd @ 6/11/2004 8:36:36 PM #
Interesting points, however, sell-thru does not seem to be a significant problem with this Treo. Discussing the availability of the Treo through our carrier has shown demand to be far greater than supply.

Palm's move toward advertising in airports is a good one. I travel weekly and must admit to being surprised by the number of Treo's I see. My company is now exploring the possibilty of deploying this device in the field based on a suggestion made after talking to business travelers. There are many benefits to the Treo that the Blackberry does not provide to business travelers. This seems like a natural channel for this device.

RE: Why advertize an out-of-stock model?
svrontis @ 6/11/2004 8:51:14 PM #
Patrick,

You are right, of course. But maybe what this means is that palmOne has solved the production problems and that they expect their inventories to increase very soon.

Remember what happened with the old Vx? They had huge demand and so they ramped up production (through their contract manufacturers). Then demand suddenly dried up, leaving them with too much inventory - which caused real financial problems. This can't be allowed to happen again.

Also excess demand is great for palmOne because it will allow them to continue to charge premium prices for the Treo. The gross margins on some of the other models are probably pretty thin, so they will need this to improve their bottom line. It's PROFITS that pay for R&D, innovation and all the other things we ask for.

Anyway, its great to see palmOne putting up a good fight against the M$/HP juggernaut.

Note to Mr Hawkins - how about a Treo model without a keyboard? Treo + graffiti would very tempting (much as I hate shoephones!)

Cheers.

Palm FINALLY realized they need more corporate TREO sales.
;-(( @ 6/11/2004 9:53:56 PM #
You are confusing "demand" with "demand" - PalmOne WANTS you to be so confused, but you should not be anyway.

Palm's problem is they can only cook the books for so long. In the past two years they've done some very "creative" financing and accounting, but tat doesn't change the fact that Profits = Sales - Costs. And you can't continue to operate as a business if you fail to generate profits year after year.

Palm finally relized they need more TREO sales to businesses. If CEO Smith sees a TREO advertisement at LAX or SFO, etc and goes home and tells his IT managet to order 1000 for the company droids, suddenly Palm's investment pays off. As the Treos become more common as a business tool, sales will mushroom. Palm's (VERY LATE) advertising push is essential to help them find new business customers. They didn't have to buy "buzz" for the Vx, but now times have changed. Why they've waited so long to target the proper customers is baffling.

Go ahead. Try it.

RE: Why advertize an out-of-stock model?
rsc1000 @ 6/11/2004 10:08:12 PM #
I'd say sell-thru demand is a problem too. i've been to a few stores here in Toronto - they actually have waiting lists of customers. When the few treos come in (palmOne cannot supply all that the stores want) - they go to the 1st on the list, with many customers who ordered weeks ago still unable to get one. there are certainly no stock leftover to sell.

RE: Why advertize an out-of-stock model?
Calroth @ 6/12/2004 3:36:00 AM #
You're not getting a Graffiti version of a Treo. They released the original Treo 180 in two models (keyboard and Graffiti), and the keyboard version outsold the Graffiti version 3 to 1. That's justification enough for PalmOne not to try again.

RE: Why advertize an out-of-stock model?
gmigueis @ 6/12/2004 8:51:28 AM #
Excellent move! Sounds good.

PalmOne copies RIM

Gekko @ 6/13/2004 9:12:56 AM #
RIM has been doing large lighted wall sign airport ads for the Blackberry for years. PalmOne is once again a day late and a dollar short. Nothing new or innovative here.



RE: PalmOne copies RIM
TooMuch @ 6/13/2004 12:42:17 PM #
"Nothing new or innovative here."

The is a "new" ad venture for P1. And, are you suggesting that BB "innovated" airport ads? :0)

RE: PalmOne copies RIM
Token User @ 6/14/2004 2:34:10 PM #
Gekko - you don't get out much. I can remember Palm V and Minstrel/OmniSky modems being advertised in airports. I remember Apple Newton adverts in airports in Australia, Canada, and USA. I also remember Handspring Visors advertised as well ... so, who is copying whom?

Advertising isn't new or unique. The fact that palmOne are advertising isn't really a newsworthy post. But if you read between the lines, the fact that they are advertising in airports means that they are shifting the focus from individuals to corporates is interesting.

~ "Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed." - DV ~

RE: PalmOne copies RIM
mic_cord @ 6/15/2004 5:31:42 PM #
Now that you mention is...I was seeing Pocket PC ads in airports two and a half years ago. That was when they were comparing the crappy monochrome Palms to the "Windows-like" PPCs. Airports are a great place to put ads. I saw the PPC ads in Hawaii, Vegas, San Francisco and Oakland. Maybe they'll help boost sales for Palm.

It's not just PalmOne that has to do so...

vesther @ 6/13/2004 12:29:14 PM #
There are other carriers that have to support PalmOne's cause regarding about the Treo 600 Smartphone if the Treo 600 is to crush the Symbian pact.

Sprint, AT&T, Cingular, and even T-Mobile has to start advertising the Treo 600 to help support PalmOne's cause. I'm pretty sure that T-Mobile might want Catherine Zeta-Jones to demonstrate the usefulness of the Treo 600 in the future.

Also, if Nextel, Verizon, US Cellular, and other limited-area carriers are planning to get the Treo 600 deployed, they all should do the Palm Economy a favor and support PalmOne's cause.

Verizon: Have the "Can you hear me now?" guy hold nothing but the Treo 600
Nextel (I hope Nextel is listening): Work with PalmOne to get an iDEN edition of the Treo 600, and then use this device with all Nextel Commercials.
US Cellular: Commercials should make full use of the Treo 600.

Television Shows, Movies, other Entertainment Media: Use the Treo 600 as a prop.

I hope that some Sitcoms will plan on using the PalmOne Treo 600 as a prop sometime in the future.

A Palm-Powered Handheld is the bread and butter for many people. Without a Palm-Powered Handheld, your progress is all for naught.

RE: It's not just PalmOne that has to do so...
SeldomVisitor @ 6/13/2004 1:06:42 PM #
The only problem with the Verizon guy saying "Can you hear me now" while holding the TREO 600 is most of those in the know would be assuming the TREO once again lost connectivity...

RE: It's not just PalmOne that has to do so...
SeldomVisitor @ 6/13/2004 3:20:08 PM #
Ah - I didn't know that - okai dokie, mum's the word!

Oh... that's just GREAT!

riverbruce @ 6/13/2004 3:40:40 PM #
Tell me please the wisdom in a two million dollar advertising campaign when you can't even deliver the advertised product in a timely fashion. Seems to me it will only succeed in producing more frustrated and angry customers like me.

My touchscreen went dead. On May 11th a replacement was order for me with the understanding of a 10 day backorder. It's now June 13th and STILL NO REPLACEMENT. Hell... they can't even support the customers they have now, much less some new ones.


"Up the creek...Try the River!"
www.riverontheweb.com

Business tool? Yes, but you have to be a geek, too.

beneden @ 6/17/2004 11:12:01 AM #
Subject line said it all. I have a business contact - a director of a big non-profit. He's quite computer savvy, in love with macs and all, always gets all the new updates and all.. He manages his contacts in a big custom FileMaker database, uses high-end DTP sw.. Not the average computer illiterate.

Yet he always needs help with his palm.. recently he got a Treo 600 - and was using it as a phone until I happened to visit in the office and cleared a sw conflict/ mis-setup on his computer. He has no idea of the need to do backups, not to speak of not knowing how. Etc.

Myself, I've been dancing in circles around my various palms.. finding out about all the quirks in syncing, etc.. backing up, resetting, restoring.. I still love the palm as a device AND concept, but it's not a tool for someone who just needs a (cool) agenda replacement. If it works for a while, it will crash and data will get lost..

Happened to me on a Treo 270 - I went on a business trip with all my info in the thing.. I swapped my sims on destination.. and there it was, hard reset needed..

I'm still interested in swapping my 515 for a 600.. but very, very cautious. The technology just isn't rock solid. Anyway, I asked a question here a while ago that went unanswered: What happens when I receive a call while syncing the Treo?

Thanks,

Ben

Documentary Photography: http://www.beneden.com
Wedding Photography: http://www.beneden.com/wedding/

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