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Comments on: Treo 700p, Hollywood, Lowrider Treos Coming Next Year

Sagio Investments, one of the largest Palm shareholders, has released a new investment report on Palm Inc. The report details Palm's current business strategy and market analysis. The report even goes on to detail a number of future Treo product releases for 2006.
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Take this report with a boulder of salt

The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/21/2005 3:02:50 PM # Q
I haven't seen this much insane SPIN since I rented "Twister".

I guess now we know where Michael Mace is working... Maybe Kirvin could find work writing press releases for these dirtbags.

TVoR

------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm eCONomy = Communismô

The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

NetFrontLinux - the next major cellphone OS?: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=8060#111823

RE: Take this report with a boulder of salt
freakout @ 11/21/2005 5:09:17 PM # Q
Y'know, no-one knows what happened to that crazy Iraqi PR guy (Chemical Ali? i think) after the fall of Baghdad... ;)

Tim Carroll
Your friendly customer service robot
(and big Treo fan)
RE: Take this report with a boulder of salt
hoodoo @ 11/21/2005 5:26:20 PM # Q
What? You mean you wouldn't expect that Palm's third largest shareholder(5%) wouldn't issue a favourable research report? :)

In any case, I would agree that wireless will be where the growth will be for Palm.

I hope that was a draft report though, if anyone at my firm released something that hastily written....

They also said this, pulled from my stock screen:

Palm-PALM third largest holder demands steps be taken to boost stock-Bloomberg Sagio Investment Management SA, owner of 5% of PALM shares, plans to deliver a letter today to management outlining actions the company should take, including a share buyback or sale of company, according to Bloomberg.

Does PALM even have enough cash for a share buyback? I haven't looked at the numbers...it certainly seems like blatant boosterism on the part of Sagio. ie it's bordering on "greenmail"

http://www.investopedia.com/terms/g/greenmail.asp


RE: Take this report with a boulder of salt
cervezas @ 11/21/2005 6:01:36 PM # Q
Does PALM even have enough cash for a share buyback?

Apparently, they've got $411M in cash and a $60M piece of real estate that's on the market (or could go on the market). That really does sound like a pile.

You guys are all kind of missing the point, as far as I'm concerned. Forget about the obvious spin of the sales data and consider what parts of this we could reasonably assume are accurate (i.e. that Sagio had no incentive to exaggerate or that we can corroborate from other sources).

This is the second source that has identified 4 Treos that Palm will be releasing in the first half of next year. Two 700 models (Windows and Palm OS) in Jan or Feb, an antenna-less (presumably more stylish) Treo called "Hollywood" between Mar and May, and an entry level sub-$300 Treo that lacks the 3G radio called "Lowrider" around the same time as Hollywood. There's a range of opinion about the release dates, but corroboration on all the other points.

It's not like the analysts are thrilled about this rapid succession of releases. Forbes actually said it would limit PALM's upside prospects, which doesn't sound like boosterism to me.

Perhaps the most interesting piece of information comes at the end of the letter. Sagio is *plenty* critical of Palm's management right now. They go so far to say that if the management doesn't execute quickly on a laundry list of complaints the Board of Directors should consider selling the company to a consortium or another key player in the industry. It sounds to me that given the financial picture they've painted, the fact of the huge position in PALM they've taken, and the sharp criticism of the management, they are actually planning to agitate for selling the company.

That's a pretty interesting window into the mind of one of PALM's largest shareholders and may very well be a harbinger of the future.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

Hollywood runs WM5
sr4 @ 11/21/2005 6:44:25 PM # Q

I think this company is just a corporate raider, 80's style, leveraging their position to suck out any value from the host (e.g. its mountain of cash), and then discarding the bleeding corpse.

Now if they do have inside information, and we can take some of what they say at face value, they said WM5 is very important for Europe, where POS has poor traction, and also said the antenna-less Hollywood is destined for Europe. Connecting the two, it implied Hollywood runs WM5....if you can believe a word they say...

In Europe where PALM market share is only 5% we think that Microsoft alliance will give an immediate boost to sales and also expand carrier relationship since most of them already support Windows mobile 5.0.

and
Presently PALM has a very strong market position in the US with 31% of market share but is currently very weak in EMEA (4%) and Asia Pacific (5%) The weakness in Europe is mainly explained by 3 factors
- External antenna disliked by fashion sensitive Europeans
- Lack of support and following for PALM operating systems
- No 3G radio and poor camera quality
All this concerns will be taken care of with PALM new product code named Hollywood which will be introduced in May 06.

and
ďHollywoodĒ will be a fancier 3G/GSM smartphone which will represent PALM first attempt at the European GSM market. We know the phone will have no external antenna and will probably he launched by Cingular in the US.

Surur

RE: Take this report with a boulder of salt
SeldomVisitor @ 11/21/2005 6:47:05 PM # Q
Oh good grief!

They have a $60 million piece of property on sale that cost them more than $100 million AND they might not even get $60 million for it (THEIR estimate of its value, not the Real Estate Market's!).

Sheesh.

RE: Take this report with a boulder of salt
cervezas @ 11/21/2005 6:50:27 PM # Q
Forget the real estate. Isn't $411M kind of a lot of cash for a company the size of Palm?

Actually, forget the cash. I was just answering hoodoo's question. I'm more interested in assessing the validity of the release schedule now that we've heard this from a couple of different sources. And I'm curious what others think about Sagio's rather aggressive shot across the bow of Palm's management.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Take this report with a boulder of salt
cervezas @ 11/21/2005 6:58:16 PM # Q
surer wrote:
I think this company is just a corporate raider, 80's style, leveraging their position to suck out any value from the host (e.g. its mountain of cash), and then discarding the bleeding corpse.

Right, that's my concern. The preoccupation with the cash. The fact that they are looking at real estate (which they say no other analyst has bothered to notice). Their concerns seem nakedly financial, with little regard to operational impact, product vision or long term health of the brand. I got a bad feeling when they said Palm should aggressively cut back on its warranty commitments, for example.


David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Take this report with a boulder of salt
hoodoo @ 11/21/2005 7:44:53 PM # Q
cervazas and surur, I totally agree with you guys.

Sagio describes themselves as being involved in "alternative" investments...AKA a Hedge Fund..one of their funds is even called the "Sniper" fund. Their main incentive is to attempt to realize as full a value as possible for PALM shares and as high a return as possible for their investors.

They list in their letter a ton of positive comments but also the ultimatum style comments are interesting. Curiously, if you read the last line of the letter that describes their investment philosophy:

"Sagio's trading approach also applies principles of cognitive and evolutionary psychology to financial market behavior."

I think they're taking that approach here, and giving PALM a not-so-gentle kick in the arse.

I also find interesting the 13G they filed declaring the 5% ownership of PALM: "By signing below I certify that, to the best of my knowledge and belief, the securities referred to above were not acquired and are not held for the purpose of or with the effect of changing or influencing the control of the Issuer of the securities and were not acquired and are not held in connection with or as a participant in any transaction having that purpose or effect."

http://www.sagioinvest.com/reps/Sagio_Investments_Schedule_13G.pdf

That kinda contradicts the letter they wrote to PALM!

A Sales Brochure
pkuhns @ 11/22/2005 9:27:14 AM # Q
This "report" is essentially a sales brochure. A thinly-veiled attempt to showcase Palm's only remaining success: the Treo. As in "Buy this stock/buy this company so we can sell out at a profit". It's a win/win for Sagio.

Sagio spells it out on thier site:

http://www.sagioinvest.com/investment/investment.asp

Their policy is buy companies with goodwill that are on their last legs, puff up their books/branding by bullying and P.R. puffery, then bail out when idiots like us buy their stock. This is unlike Texas Pacific Group, who buy ailing companies with great goodwill and semi-strong balance sheets (J. Crew, Vespa, Ducati, etc.) and hold them till they become hits again.

There's nothing wrong with Sagio's strategy. They wouldn't be a 5% shareholder if Palm had listened to its fans and competition.

My only question is this: will the 700p have a sniveling 240x240 screen like the 700w? How does that constitute an upgrade? From what I can tell, the 650 is close to perfect. Stick in EVDO/3G/UMTS and a 2megapixel camera and you're back on top.

NX70 addict...

RE: Take this report with a boulder of salt
LiveFaith @ 11/22/2005 10:06:54 AM # Q
No, a 700p will not have a 240x240 screen. That is only in place to satisfy WinMolasses5 and it's software base. Dealing with square screen on WM is enough of a glitch, so 320x320 was outta the question.

The Palm OS software base requires 320x320, so they'll sit tight with it.

Pat Horne; www.churchoflivingfaith.com

RE: Take this report with a boulder of salt
hkklife @ 11/22/2005 10:45:17 AM # Q
Since it's asking poor ol' FrankenGarnet (and Palm's R&D budget) to do 320*480 on top of Treo functionality, expect a physically larger 320*320 LCD on the next POS Treo.

Sure the WinMob will have the "advanced" OS and a faster CPU but the Palm version will (likely) be a few $ cheaper, have a smaller antenna and a larger/higher-res screen.

Good for Palm to level the playing field (assuming they do all of the above, of course!)



Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5

RE: Take this report with a boulder of salt
fishtastic @ 11/22/2005 12:49:39 PM # Q
I don't think I'll listen to these guys with quotes like

'ďHollywoodĒ will be a fancier 3G/GSM smartphone which will represent PALM first attempt at the European GSM market'

First attempt at Euro GSM market?. What was the Treo 600 then? It was a GSM phone released into to the Euro market within weeks of it's US launch. Now, I hear pedants screaming it was Handspring but I shall ignore you.

Let's hope these new phones are the dog bollocks, because they will have to be a great deal better than the Treo 600/650/700 to move in the European market.

Fish


RE: Take this report with a boulder of salt
LiveFaith @ 11/22/2005 4:20:14 PM # Q
HKK,

The "analysts" (psychics) report stated that the 700p will use the same form factor as the 700w. This sounds a lot more like the Palm I know. I cannot imagine them going for a new form factor just for a Palm OS version. They have tapped HTC again for the W version and presumably would save the coin by being able to run both devices down the same line with mostly overlapping components. Save the screen and possibly not quite identical momma-boards.

Personally, I am not nearly as attracted to the 700w as the 650s, due to it clunkier corporate look and squarish lines. But the black color scheme is nice IMO. Anyway, I expect them to maximize the economies by making the devices like twins, except for the ROM/RAM/Display and possibly cosmetics. Hey! How about a dual-boot?

Sadly, this scenario means that Palm expects to "go it" again for a year + with that protuding beast on top of the Treo. Another perplexing decision from the "Big Orange". :-(

Maybe it's time for the Treo Flipper?
http://www.churchoflivingfaith.com/images/treoflipper.jpg

Pat Horne; www.churchoflivingfaith.com

RE: Take this report with a boulder of salt
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/22/2005 4:38:31 PM # Q
Now, I hear pedants screaming it was Handspring but I shall ignore you.

Who are you calling PEDANTICAL???

;-O

[Private joke for the Palminfocenter regulars.]

Let's hope these new phones are the dog bollocks, because they will have to be a great deal better than the Treo 600/650/700 to move in the European market.

It's taken over three years for Palm + Handspring to figure out that Europeans don't like bricks with external antennae. I wonder if it's too late to remedy the situation?

TVoR



------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm eCONomy = Communismô

The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

NetFrontLinux - the next major cellphone OS?: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=8060#111823

RE: Take this report with a boulder of salt
hkklife @ 11/22/2005 5:35:11 PM # Q
Pat; Here's one JUST for you. Sony decided to reuse ALL of those old Clie components (especially underpowered i.mx1 CPUs!) they had sitting in a warehouse in Osaka by stuffing 'em into THIS beast:

http://bssc.sel.sony.com/Professional/navitus/index.html

Do note that it's not compatible with MS Pros but I hear it's gonna give the LifeDrive a run for its money!

LOL!
_______________________________________________________
Pat/Voice;
Remember that leaked image that was on someone's blog back in September or so? It was of the supposed Treo 670. It had squared corners, a nub antenna, and a slightly larger 320*320 screen. It looked like the hybrid of the i705's body, the T|W's antenna and a Treo 650. What a shame---the 700W is arguably uglier than the 650/600 are!

Where'd you get that bit about it being in black? I have to admit that the black/dark blue coloring DOES do a good bit to improve the aesthetics of the tired old T|E formfactor.


Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5

RE: Take this report with a boulder of salt
LiveFaith @ 11/23/2005 12:05:46 PM # Q
I think that was .JP site on that rumored Treo. The only place it ever surfaced, so it's doubtful. Black is the color of the outer edge of the 700w. The face is silver, but as a whole it looks attractive to me too ... ecept for the new heavier lines.

Pat Horne; www.churchoflivingfaith.com
RE: Take this report with a boulder of salt
freakout @ 11/23/2005 4:46:51 PM # Q
Anyone else think "Hollywood" might wind up being similar to LiveFaith's "flipper"? After all, if they're going to be aiming for a stylish device, flip phones are all the rage right now...

Tim Carroll
Your friendly customer service robot
(and big Treo fan)
Reply to this comment

Is this really reliable?

AdamaDBrown @ 11/21/2005 3:05:40 PM # Q
Basically all the evidence that we have for the existence of Lowrider and Hollywood are a couple of unconfirmed analyst reports. While it's true that analysts get much better information than anyone else, I have to wonder whether this info is really reliable without more meat to it. There's a lot of reasons why Palm wouldn't want to release more than two, *maybe* three Treos in a single year--cost, carrier difficulties, cannibalism, etcetera.

RE: Is this really reliable?
hkklife @ 11/21/2005 3:50:42 PM # Q
I still maintain that AT MOST Palm will release three Treos in calendar '06:

-700W in January

-700P in March/April (similar specs to 700W but in a SLIGHTLY sleeker looking body w/ nub antena & a bit larger 320*320 screen)

-Low-end Treo (basically the Treo 600 specs but dressed in nifty styling with NVFS, a better camera, and stable FrankenGarnet) for autumn.

I figure Palm's going to have a relatively quiet year for their POS devices in '06. I expect Garnet 5.5 which is basically a final reworking/hacking of the TX's (mostly) stable 5.4.9. Look for 5.5 on both Palm-powered Treos in '06 and whatever final batch of rehashed Z/T/LD PDAs they release throughout the year.

Palm would also be wise to shore up their product release windows with three solid rounds per year. Midrange PDAs and WinMob Treos in spring, Mobile Managers & accessory launches in summer, low-end stuff & POS Treos for fall.

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5

RE: Is this really reliable?
batmon @ 11/21/2005 5:16:53 PM # Q
I have HTC WM4 and WM5 devices and I still can't make them sync with my outlook. The problem is that we use certificate in our corporate environment and WM just won't take it and refuse to sync with my Exchange server. The biggest feature for WM5 is the "PUSH" from Exchange server and able to erase all phone data if someone tries to hack to the phone with too many password failure. I still like PalmOS the best. Hopefully 700P uses "PUSH" Exchange activesync and can have better security settings.

RE: Is this really reliable?
LiveFaith @ 11/22/2005 4:33:13 PM # Q
**Is this really reliable?**

Adam! It's from an "Analyst". These guys give a new meaning to the term "Palm Reader"! About as reliable too.

Pat Horne; www.churchoflivingfaith.com

Reply to this comment

Biased crap

iebnn @ 11/21/2005 3:36:39 PM # Q
This analyst apparently bought 5% of Palm in stocks recently, so I wouldn't trust anything he says.

RE: Biased crap
LiveFaith @ 11/21/2005 6:23:16 PM # Q
**I wouldn't trust anything he says**

His title = Analyst. Therefore, this could have been said without reading the report.

Pat Horne; www.churchoflivingfaith.com

Reply to this comment

what will it be Treo 700p

neuron @ 11/21/2005 5:45:50 PM # Q
Treo 650 is almost perfect, except the stability and memory. I am wondering what will it be for treo 700p? Better stability and more memory will be sure. Can we expect more like 480*480 (640*480 is a dream) or wi-fi builtin?

The more, the better.

By the way, a reset hole without removing backcover will be really appreciated.

RE: what will it be Treo 700p
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/21/2005 7:41:35 PM # Q
Treo 650 is almost perfect, except the stability and memory.

I don't know about you but STABILITY and MEMORY are 2 features I kinda want to have if I'm shelling out $500 - $600 for a smartphone.

TVoR

------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm eCONomy = Communismô

The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

NetFrontLinux - the next major cellphone OS?: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=8060#111823

RE: what will it be Treo 700p
Timothy Rapson @ 11/21/2005 8:23:53 PM # Q
Stability is number 1 with me. If I were a phone buyer it would be numbers, 1, 2, AND 3. I can reset my Zire 72 when the DiddleBug alarm locks it up, but if my phone did that, it would not be my phone very long.

I had a Psion Revo Plus (OK, actually the Diamond Mako branded US version, but identical except for the name.) for 3-4 months before a hardware failure. It never once did anything unexpected. Not once. I want that feature back more than anything in the PDA world.

RE: what will it be Treo 700p
neuron @ 11/21/2005 8:54:29 PM # Q
I know, I know stability is number one issue for treo 650, I also agree that those who say treo 650 is die-hard stable must be blind. But let's face this: If Palm only increases the stablity and addes an extra 32MB memory and call it treo 700p, will you be really happy?

RE: what will it be Treo 700p
freakout @ 11/21/2005 9:54:04 PM # Q
Die-hard stable? No. But from personal experience, the 650's only "stability" issue comes from third-party apps - and then, only poorly written ones or ones that screw with the RAM, that your average user will proably never encounter.

The built in phone, messaging and media apps are rock-solid - an amazing achievement, considering Garnet's "issues".

Lack of memory? That's what SD cards are for! More memory on the device would just mean a more expensive handset, and the information wouldn't be as portable. I do agree, however, that Palm should include one in the box. Or make it an option to get one at a discount with the phone. Also, the 32MB included should be "real" memory, not a good ten meg taken up by ROM apps.

Tim Carroll
Your friendly customer service robot
(and big Treo fan)

RE: what will it be Treo 700c
drw @ 11/22/2005 12:04:42 AM # Q
I'll take a treo 700c that would replace my tungsten c. Frequently I talk on my phone while looking at my pda. Don't want to mess with headsets and bleutooth isn't quite ready for prime time with it's static. Reminds me when I was a kid trying to get a good reception on a TV by moving the rabbit ears around and sitting in a certain position that didn't affect reception.

In place of the cell radio stick something cool in there like a tazer so I could use it for self defense as well.

---
David

RE: what will it be Treo 700p
freakout @ 11/22/2005 4:00:49 AM # Q
The Palm Trazer? Maybe LiveFaith could do a design ;)

Tim Carroll
Your friendly customer service robot
(and big Treo fan)
RE: what will it be Treo 700p
pascanu @ 11/22/2005 5:08:33 AM # Q
3G would be greatly apreciated in Europe. The few CDMA networks implemented in Europe are using 450 MHz, so they are not compatible with handset manufactured for the US market. The only viable option for high speed data transfer is (and will be) 3G.

Handspring Visor -> m505 -> Zire71 -> Zire72 -> Treo650
RE: what will it be Treo 700p
LiveFaith @ 11/22/2005 10:13:00 AM # Q
Freakout,

Palm has already sent me a unit with the tazer. Maybe I can post a photo soon. They are doing market research on either offering it or a laser pointer inside the Treo antenna.

**I can reset my Zire 72 when the DiddleBug alarm locks it up**
Tim,
An OS that could trap system crashes (aka Win NT, XP) and toss them out without a crash would be optimum. But, can you really blame the Treo for crashing when you've loaded it with freeware? I love the cheepy stuff too, but you get what you pay for most times. :-)

Pat Horne; www.churchoflivingfaith.com

VersaMail crashing Treo 650 like a drunken stuntman
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/22/2005 11:45:45 AM # Q
But from personal experience, the 650's only "stability" issue comes from third-party apps - and then, only poorly written ones or ones that screw with the RAM, that your average user will proably never encounter.

The built in phone, messaging and media apps are rock-solid - an amazing achievement, considering Garnet's "issues".

I assume you've never used VersaMail if you believe the Treo 650 apps are all "rock-solid".

------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm eCONomy = Communismô

The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

NetFrontLinux - the next major cellphone OS?: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=8060#111823

RE: what will it be Treo 700p
hkklife @ 11/22/2005 12:13:00 PM # Q
So far, I've managed to get the PATCHED T5 to crash when running VersaMail. The LD crashes quite merrily several times per day when running Blazer or VM.

The TX's version of Blazer does seem pretty solid but VM on it leaves a lot to be desired. It's arguably weaker than the T5's older VM.


I haven't played with a Treo 650 enough to be confident in making any claims one way or another BUT Gekko claims that his 650 is extremely stable.



Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5

RE: what will it be Treo 700p
jamesch @ 11/22/2005 12:35:42 PM # Q
The most important issue that I have with the Treo 650 is the very poor signal network.

I had in the past used the Treo 270 and 600 and none of them had this problem.

Hope than in the new model Treo 700 they could finally fix it.

RE: what will it be Treo 700p
freakout @ 11/22/2005 4:20:36 PM # Q
"I assume you've never used VersaMail if you believe the Treo 650 apps are all "rock-solid"."

You would assume incorrectly. However, I wouldn't consider myself a "heavy" user of Versamail - I've only ever occasionally used it to mail photos etc to friend's PC's. It's worked fine in that respect. I've heard of other people having problems with it, but don't Palm claim to have fixed it with the latest ROMs? (Yes, it should have worked 100% out of the box...)

From the Sagio report, Palm has a warranty return rate of 6% or something? The report seems to have been taken down now. Is that significantly higher than other handheld manufacturers? (curious)

Tim Carroll
Your friendly customer service robot
(and big Treo fan)

RE: what will it be Treo 700p
sr4 @ 11/22/2005 4:37:18 PM # Q
Apparently the return rate for other vendors are around 1.8%, but 6% still sounds incredibly low to me.

Its Sagio's solution which is impressive however - not increase built quality and stability, but to reduce the length of the warranty. Thats why they are millionaires and we are plebes of course. ;)

Surur

Palm warranty reductions???
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/22/2005 5:24:09 PM # Q
Its Sagio's solution which is impressive however - not increase built quality and stability, but to reduce the length of the warranty.

Palm already went that route (3 month Tungsten E warranty)...

------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm eCONomy = Communismô

The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

NetFrontLinux - the next major cellphone OS?: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=8060#111823

RE: what will it be Treo 700p
freakout @ 11/22/2005 7:23:58 PM # Q
Thanks for the numbers Surur. If Palm's return rate is 4% higher (and you estimate it to be even more) than that of comparable manufacturers, then it seems they've got some serious quality control issues!

It seems almost unbelievable. Not that I doubt you. But what would be the cause of this? It can't just be the manufacturers, can it? After all, I was under the impression that big manufacturers like HTC and the like manufacture everyone's devices, not just Palm - so if it's a manufacturing issue, why don't other vendors see the same warranty rates?

Or are Palm just using cheap, shoddy parts?

Tim Carroll
Your friendly customer service robot
(and big Treo fan)

Palm Quality Control
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/22/2005 9:12:39 PM # Q
If Palm's return rate is 4% higher (and you estimate it to be even more) than that of comparable manufacturers, then it seems they've got some serious quality control issues!

Palm does have a serious quality control problem but has recently taken some tentative steps to address them. The problems stem from a combination of greed + stupidity, speccing cheap parts that break in an effort to shave a buck or two where they SHOULDN'T be shaved. Was it really a good idea to spec a crappy speaker or fixed battery on the Treo 600? Or underspec the memory on both the Treo 600 and 650? When Palm switched to Chinese manufacturing companies their PDA quality nosedived. (Tungsten/Dungsten E, anyone?) Some apologists will tell you that the Treos are a whole new game, so growing pains are inevitable. Bull. Handspring created a nearly-perfect smartphone design which was then crippled by shoddy construction and dubious parts selection. Spend $35 - $50 more on the Treo 600 with better parts + construction and it would have been unstoppable. Instead of addressing the flaws and advancing the design with the Treo 650, Palm released a minor revision. After two years of supposed R+D, is that all they could come up with? Ridiculous.

It seems almost unbelievable. Not that I doubt you. But what would be the cause of this? It can't just be the manufacturers, can it? After all, I was under the impression that big manufacturers like HTC and the like manufacture everyone's devices, not just Palm - so if it's a manufacturing issue, why don't other vendors see the same warranty rates?

Or are Palm just using cheap, shoddy parts?

I would suspect the return rate for the Treo was more like 20%. The Treo 600 was simply unreliable if you were depending on the smartphone to be a real PHONE as well. I believe those quoted figures for return rates are BOTH way off the mark.

HTC manufactures devices to their customers' specs. If Company A specs a $5 speaker and Company B specs a 50 cent speaker, obviously there will be differences, even though both are made by HTC. Still, the Treo 650 is a MUCH better quality device than the Treo 600 was. The Tungsten E was a peice of biodegradeable crap, but more recent Dungstens have been a bit better made. Palm STILL hobbles each device with at least one or two showstopping flaws*, but things are looking better overall.


*LifeDrive = riduculous memory architecture, lack of RealRAMô.

TX = ??? (we shall seee...)

T5 = CrapRAM/NVFS nightmare

TE2 = QC

Zire 31 = horrible screen

TE = QC

Treo 650 = CrapRAMô, woefully inadequate memory

etc., etc.



------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm eCONomy = Communismô

The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

NetFrontLinux - the next major cellphone OS?: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=8060#111823

RE: what will it be Treo 700p
PenguinPowered @ 11/22/2005 10:08:26 PM # Q
Consumer reports had an article a while back on cell phone quality. I don't recall the numbers, but 6% strikes me as low. I think the article said at one point that a certain carrier had a fifty percent dead phone rate at one point.

Marty Fouts
Lead Linux Lizard
PalmSource Core Technology Department
Presenting The New & Improved Marty Fouts... give him a hand
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/22/2005 11:42:05 PM # Q
Marty Fouts
Lead Linux Lizard
PalmSource Core Technology Department


Well look what the cat dragged in...

Welcome back, Marty. I trust you're now thoroughly chastened by the corporal punishment you received from your Palm masters. Does it still hurt when you sit down?



------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm eCONomy = Communismô

The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

NetFrontLinux - the next major cellphone OS?: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=8060#111823

Welcome back
cervezas @ 11/23/2005 12:44:47 AM # Q
Good to see you back, Marty.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog
RE: what will it be Treo 700p
freakout @ 11/23/2005 1:24:02 AM # Q
I suppose then I should count my lucky stars my Treo has been as reliable as it has. Seriously, this thing has been dropped onto concrete, onto the hard tiles of our kitchen, even survived my eight-year old sister wanting to "play the drawing program". While in the innopocket hard care, a friend of mine actually played hackey-sack with it (I was not in the room at the time!).

This is why I sing the Treo's praises - my one, at least, hasn't let me down.

I'd be perfectly willing to pay an extra premium of about 50 bucks if it meant higher quality parts. Seems strange Palm don't think that way - surely they'd want as much as anyone to get the warranty rate down?

I will never understand corporations. Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.

P.S. Marty - 50% return rate?!?! Even if that was only a short amount of time, wouldn't that just kill the product?


Tim Carroll
Your friendly customer service robot
(and big Treo fan)

RE: what will it be Treo 700p
PenguinPowered @ 11/23/2005 1:35:17 AM # Q
Hi David,

Good to see you too.

Interesting to be back. Soon I'll be just another pretty face, though. Palmsource^wAccess and I are parting ways -- I resigned and they set 2 Dec as my last day -- and no, I don't have anything to say about it.

I'm sure Skippy will have a field day over that, but hey, gotta give the kids something to play with.

Marty Fouts
Linux kernel developer
Available for work after 2 Dec 05

RE: what will it be Treo 700p
sr4 @ 11/23/2005 2:53:57 AM # Q
Freakout, its all about the software. Palm complains a lot about NTF (No Trouble Found) warranty returns, where some-one was just defeated by the software/OS in some way. Also they compared the return rate to much stupider Nokia phones, where less can go wrong.

They may have better luck with the WM OS, but I doubt it, and if they manage to expand the market more into newbie territory, I expect their return rate will even increase, as more inexperienced people give up after one try.

Surur

PS: Marty, when are you spilling the beans about the future direction of PSRC/Access, and how well it is going.

RE: what will it be Treo 700p
freakout @ 11/23/2005 3:29:57 AM # Q
Surur,

Interesting point about the software. The technology probably doesn't exist right now, but perhaps at some time in the future Palm could implement some kind of Remote Assistance feature, like is built into Windows nowadays. After all, the Treo is a wireless device, so why not use that to help cut down on returns?

Of course such things can work out to be a security nightmare, but if corporations can administer over-the-air updates to their fleet of Treos (as I recall reading David Beers say), then surely Palm could do the same for the mass market.

Maybe it's just too much hassle...

Tim Carroll
Your friendly customer service robot
(and big Treo fan)

RE: what will it be Treo 700p
PenguinPowered @ 11/23/2005 5:09:03 AM # Q
Surur:

I have no idea what the future direction is. I've spoken with no one at PalmSource's new owners.

I have personal opinions on the matter, but won't be sharing them, as the substantiating evidence for those opinions is all proprietary to Access/PalmSource, and I dislike expressing opinions I can't provide my evidence for.

I will say that this is only the second time in thirty years in the industry that I've ever found it desirable to quit without taking the time to find another job first.

Oh, and I will say, independent of PalmSource's activities, that I doubt that Linux will be fast enough for a smartphone until Moore's Law allows the hardware to catch up, in the form of ARM-11 devices -- but that's something you can figure out for yourself by running Debian on a Gumstix processor.

Marty Fouts
Linux kernel developer
Available for work after 2 Dec 05

RE: what will it be Treo 700p
PenguinPowered @ 11/23/2005 5:23:14 AM # Q
Freakout,

I have no idea what Palm's margins are, but using numbers from back-in-the-day, I would be very surprised if any company could afford to do in-warranty remote-support of a telephone. The number of returns you avoid would very probably not justify the cost of setting up and running the remote support operation.

Plus, a lot of phone issues are carrier specific, so you'd need staff trained to deal with the idiosyncracies of every carrier.

It would not surprise me in the least to find that it's an order of magnitude cheaper to write off the returns than to try that.

Marty Fouts
Linux kernel developer
Available for work after 2 Dec 05

RE: what will it be Treo 700p
freakout @ 11/23/2005 6:00:57 AM # Q
PenguinPowered,

Perhaps not Remote Assistance then, but a Palm Update program, similar to Windows Update, that automatically issues patches and updates straight to the devices. Optional for people who'd rather handle it themselves, of course.

Although, this still wouldn't beat the problem of non-computer-savvy users getting stumped occasionally as to how to make things work. I think the only practical way to beat that would be to round up the world's idiots and gas them.

They can start with my local takeaway. It's not very hard to remember "chicken salt please"...

Tim Carroll
Your friendly customer service robot
(and big Treo fan)

RE: what will it be Treo 700p
sr4 @ 11/23/2005 7:50:56 AM # Q

Marty, maybe you can comment on a theory I have. There has been a lot of talk about Access using Palm to crack the (supposedly lucrative) Chinese market. but some reading I did make me believe its all about the Japanese networks, particularly Docomo.

Do you agree that Access is not really making a play for China yet?

Surur

Palm Quality Control
Scott R @ 11/23/2005 9:38:33 AM # Q
"Palm does have a serious quality control problem but has recently taken some tentative steps to address them. The problems stem from a combination of greed + stupidity, speccing cheap parts that break in an effort to shave a buck or two where they SHOULDN'T be shaved. Was it really a good idea to spec a crappy speaker or fixed battery on the Treo 600? Or underspec the memory on both the Treo 600 and 650?"

What on earth does any of that have to do with QC? You've just listed several feature decisions that you don't agree with, but none of those have anything to do with any QC issues that Treo users have experienced.

My biggest QC complaint has been the cheap chrome paint they used on the 650, which is now rubbing off in several places. I never had that problem with my Treo 600. Other users have experienced more substantial QC issues, but it's hard to say how widespread they are. Several polls at Treocentral would suggest that, as is typically the case, users with issues are in the minority but are also more vocal.

I'm not suggesting that Palm has done a superb job QC-wise, feature-wise, or design-wise with the 650, but it's not bad and it's still the best smartphone out there right now, IMHO (which I believe is more the result of the incompetence of the competition as opposed to Palm's self-proclaimed "genius").

http://Tapland.com
- Tapwave Zodiac News, Reviews, & Discussion -

RE: what will it be Treo 700p
hkklife @ 11/23/2005 9:41:09 AM # Q
Marty;

All past things as water under the bridge--I hope Dec 3rd--or at least the dawn of the new year--finds you gainfully & happily employed.


Sooner or later, SOMEONE is gonna spill the beans. Between the bloodletting at PalmSource/Access and the usual circus at Palm, there are gonna be plenty of beans needing to be mopped up in the next 4-6 months.

Voice;
Add to the list of showstopping bugs:

TX-Crippled/GSM-only Bluetooth functionality and the boneheaded relegation/relocation of the home button to a hard button where its old location was just fine on the T3/T5/LD.

T3-Horribly underspec'd battery. Poor quality control with digitzer drift & slider

Zire 72-Peeling blue skin/paint.

The Zire 31's screen, for what it is (a ~$100 device with an otherwise good CPU, SD slot/headphone jack) isn't bad at all. At least it's physically larger than the Z22's! Palm could actually give mass-market retail MP3 devices like the Sandisk Sansa a slight run for their money if they had an ultra sleek/tiny/stylish PDA with a passable 160*160 color screen, an SD slot and decent quality audio output for <$100. I know a guy who uses his Zire 31 to go jogging-he keeps track of his stats on the Zire while playing MP3s on an SD card. Not a bad setup. He's already dropped it a few times and the screen has a slight smudge on it but it's otherwise ok.

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5

RE: what will it be Treo 700p
SeldomVisitor @ 11/23/2005 9:46:48 AM # Q
The between-the-lines (and overt Linux commentary) are fascinating and have all sort of ramifications "elsewhere".

Appreciated, Mr. Fouts.


Aw gee - the affiliation just got dropped
SeldomVisitor @ 11/23/2005 11:10:39 AM # Q
Mr. Fouts has dropped noting he is a PalmSource person.

Okay, probably easier to get away with learned commentary on the feasability of Linux on smartphones that way!

But we'll remember...at least for a week or two!

[and your commentary IS still appreciated]

Marty... Marty...
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/23/2005 11:50:30 AM # Q
Interesting to be back. Soon I'll be just another pretty face, though.

Ahem. You'll NEVER be a "pretty face", Marty. What are you smoking?


Palmsource^wAccess and I are parting ways -- I resigned and they set 2 Dec as my last day -- and no, I don't have anything to say about it.

I'm sure Skippy will have a field day over that, but hey, gotta give the kids something to play with.

Marty, for all your vapid arrogance, I surprised you're slow enough to actually think I wish you any ill will. Then again, maybe I should hire you just so I can fire you, Trump-style.

As an aside, from what I know about PalmSource + Access I think cutting your losses now will be a good thing for you in the long term. I expect that most of the smartest PalmSource employees will have left the company within a few months. I hear Motorola might be hiring... But in the future I hope you'll refrain from running your mouth in public like you did here a few weeks ago.

Your Pal,
TVoR

------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm eCONomy = Communismô

The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

NetFrontLinux - the next major cellphone OS?: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=8060#111823

RE: what will it be Treo 700p
PenguinPowered @ 11/23/2005 4:16:10 PM # Q
freakout:

the problem with gassing all the idiots is you wouldn't have enough people left to be a good market for smart phones. In consumer electronics you've got to make the device simple enough for the user base. The good news is that a smart phone assumes a more computer literate user base than an mp3 player. The bad news is that the level of literacy is that of "IT supports us" and that's still hard to do with a smart phone.

Surur:

I assume you meant "Access using Palmsource" but it doesn't matter. I have no knowledge of what Access plans. There's nothing I could say. I really was just a random kernel hacker there, and I really have no inside information about anything but the state of PalmLinux -- and that I have been forcefully reminded, is covered by NDA, so I won't be talking about it.

hkklife:

Thanks for the kind thoughts.

SeldomVisitor:

I assume you meant "dropped nothing". I am a "PalmSource person" to the extent that what I can speak to is limited by nondisclosure agreements. But there's no point in my speaking about PalmSource. Anything positive I would say would be regarded as spin. Anything negative I would say would be regarded as sour grapes. By the time the nondisclosures expire, any evidence I could use to support a position would be completely stale.

So I shall say nothing that can't be supported by facts already in the public record.


Marty Fouts
Linux kernel developer
Available for work after 2 Dec 05

RE: what will it be Treo 700p
PenguinPowered @ 11/23/2005 5:02:15 PM # Q
Skippy,

I'm genuinely puzzled here. How, precisely, did you get from 'field day' to 'ill will'? That's a big jump even by your standards.

FYI, "Field Day" is defined as "Informal. A time of great pleasure, activity, or opportunity" I merely meant that you would actively respond to my return, and, lo and behold, you have.

I'll leave it up to you to decide whether you are drawing pleasure from the opportunity or not.

Do carry on, that's a good chap.

Marty Fouts
Linux kernel developer
Available for work after 2 Dec 05

RE: what will it be Treo 700p
SeldomVisitor @ 11/23/2005 5:03:57 PM # Q
> ...and that I have been forcefully reminded, is covered
> by NDA, so I won't be talking about it...

Recently?

Giggle...


RE: what will it be Treo 700p
PenguinPowered @ 11/23/2005 5:20:17 PM # Q
>> ...and that I have been forcefully reminded, is covered
>> by NDA, so I won't be talking about it...

> Recently?

> Giggle

I believe the answer to that would be covered by the NDA, so I won't answer it.

Giggling is good for the soul.


Marty Fouts
Linux kernel developer
Available for work after 2 Dec 05

RE: what will it be Treo 700p
sr4 @ 11/23/2005 5:31:31 PM # Q
I personally respect developers, as having dabbled on occasion, I realize how difficult it can be to make something complicated looks effortless to a user. Anyway, I'm glad to see you around. Its nice to have a (relatively) disinterested informed opinion (like e.g. David Beers) to bounce ideas of. You realize while a PSRC employee anything you say would have been suspect.

I hope you find an area you can comment on which wont leave you tangled in NDA's. Do you even own any PalmOS devices? What about the latest WM5 devices in the US?

At least tell us when the NDA ends, so we can set our reminders, and scan Amazon for the Marty Fouts Tell All book ;)

Anyway, welcome back. (Not too Jimmie Geddes I hope :) )

Surur

RE: what will it be Treo 700p
PenguinPowered @ 11/23/2005 6:07:31 PM # Q
I have owned "Palm" devices, and still have three. Quotes because two of them are Handspring Visor NEOs that I got for geocaching. The third is a Tungsten/C that my wife is very happy with.

There's really not much I can comment on. I can talk about the difficulties with Linux, since it's open source and I can point to specific open source examples. I can't talk about PalmLinux at all, especially not schedule. I'd rather not speculate on Palm or ACCESS, because the most I could do is offer opinions without any support.

I will say that it is still my opinion that the two most likely candidates for a usable Linux-phone distribution are Nokia, who, as far as I know, aren't working on one, but have Maemo on the market without telephony, and PalmSource, because of PalmLinux.

Unless, of course, someone wants to fund a startup for me to do a Linux/embedded systems distro. ;)

Marty


Marty Fouts
Linux kernel developer
Available for work after 2 Dec 05

RE: what will it be Treo 700p
SeldomVisitor @ 11/23/2005 6:18:21 PM # Q
Anyone know where we can short ACCESS?

(...)

RE: what will it be Treo 700p
PenguinPowered @ 11/23/2005 8:19:05 PM # Q
Tokyo stock exchange



Marty Fouts
Linux kernel developer
Available for work after 2 Dec 05

Marty... Marty... Marty...
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/23/2005 9:09:12 PM # Q
Marty-Dearest, why must you make it SO difficult for yourself? I hope the events of the past few weeks have been a lesson to you.

Unfortunately, your current posts here suggest that you haven't learned a damned thing. Isn't learning from past experience supposed to be a sign of intelligence? Evidently you are a Linux idiot savant. I should have a field day with your spectacular Fall From Grace, but I won't.

Have a nice day.

[Waiting for Marty to slip up and post the REAL PalmLinux development timeline (bupkis until 2008!) and have Access' lawyers descend upon his rotting carcass like flies on sh!t. It probably won't be long now...]

TVoR

------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm eCONomy = Communismô

The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

NetFrontLinux - the next major cellphone OS?: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=8060#111823

Marty Fouts and the Pavloian response
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/23/2005 9:27:35 PM # Q
> ...and that I have been forcefully reminded, is covered
> by NDA, so I won't be talking about it...

Recently?

Giggle...


Even Pavlov's dumbest dog learned after the 50th shock. Marty's only received 3 shocks* so far (but lawyers strike like lightning and can be equally fatal)...

TVoR


*Perhaps operant conditioning is the best way to train Marty-Boy?


------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm eCONomy = Communismô

The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

NetFrontLinux - the next major cellphone OS?: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=8060#111823

RE: what will it be Treo 700p
PenguinPowered @ 11/23/2005 9:52:32 PM # Q
that's what i like about you skippy, you're so well conditioned.

pavlovian conditioning, by the way, is not the same as aversion therapy, which is what electroshock would be.

i'd have thought with as much time as you've spent in the snake pit you'd know that by now.

HTH. HAND.


Marty Fouts
Linux kernel developer
Available for work after 2 Dec 05

Marty Fouts: "Have Code, Will Travel"
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/23/2005 10:03:42 PM # Q
pavlovian conditioning, by the way, is not the same as aversion therapy, which is what electroshock would be.

I know, Marty. I also knew you would say that. Predictibility is a good thing in behavioral experiments.

Sit, Marty. Sit. Good Boy.

I sure hope you don't end up like Old Yeller. Are you sure that foam coming out your mouth is just toothpaste, Marty? Take care, Buddy. I'd hate to have to have you put down.

Marty Fouts
"Have Code, Will Travel"
R.I.P.

http://www.motorolacareers.com/moto2.cfm?cntry=USA&page=9

38476
Job Title Principal Software Engineer
Location UNITED STATES-HORSHAM-PA-PA06
Job Category Software Engineering
Position Type Full-time experienced
Relocation Available None
Required Education Bachelors / Degree
Required Experience 5 - 10
Department Description Global access control software engineering.
Scope of Responsibilities/Expectations Design software enhancements for the DAC-6000 Controller adhering to standard procedures. Code and test enhancements for the DAC-6000 Controller adhering to standard procedures. Provide Engineering assistance to Product Support personnel in addressing customer issues. Diagnose and maintain previously produced DAC-6000 code and scripts.

Provide engineering-level customer support, performing risk analysis and assessing tradeoff between various technical options considering customer impact, usability, future maintenance, etc.

Perform software development, support and debug in a variety of operating system environments and platforms including UNIX, Solaris, Linux, MS-Windows, PC and Sun.

Able to assess system level ramifications of different design approaches. Design and implement software that integrates products with third party applications or products. Determine and balance short-term vs. long-term tradeoffs. Consider time to market, maintainability, complexity, flexibility, and life cycles. Balance performance, resources, diminishing returns, and risk.

Able to effectively interface with customers, third parties, Program Management, Product Management, Engineering Management and various internal customer support organizations to reach technical conclusions that are in the companyís best interest regarding high visibility issues.

Identify opportunities to improve processes for preventing software problems at all stages of development.

Identify, develop and use tools to help speed the diagnosis of complex problems involving multiple networked products that do find their way to customer sites.

Specifics:
Familiar with structured analysis and structured design methodologies.
Fluent in the C programming language and Unix/Linux operating systems and scripting.
Experienced in TCP/IP application development.
Working knowledge of relational database systems.
BS Computer Science or equivalent.
5-10 years experience.


------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm eCONomy = Communismô

The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

NetFrontLinux - the next major cellphone OS?: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=8060#111823

RE: what will it be Treo 700p
PenguinPowered @ 11/23/2005 10:35:30 PM # Q
17, skippy, it's your number.

Marty Fouts
Linux kernel developer
Available for work after 2 Dec 05
RE: what will it be Treo 700p
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/23/2005 10:36:27 PM # Q
Get back to work, Marty. Is there a reason why you keep getting FIRED? I can think of one: it's somewhere your nose and your chin and it's pretty big.

Please keep frothing, Old Yeller.


http://www.motorolacareers.com/index.cfm?#northamerica

Take care, Buddy. I'll let you know if I come across any positions that your unique skill set is suited for.

TVoR

------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm eCONomy = Communismô

The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

NetFrontLinux - the next major cellphone OS?: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=8060#111823

Thank me later, Marty...
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/23/2005 10:44:40 PM # Q
I'll let you know if I come across any positions that your unique skill set is suited for.


This didn't take me long:

http://sfzoo.snaphire.com/

------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm eCONomy = Communismô

The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

NetFrontLinux - the next major cellphone OS?: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=8060#111823

Is Dr Opinion dead?
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/23/2005 10:49:24 PM # Q














------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm eCONomy = Communismô

The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

NetFrontLinux - the next major cellphone OS?: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=8060#111823

RE: what will it be Treo 700p
PenguinPowered @ 11/23/2005 11:49:53 PM # Q
yup. 17.



Marty Fouts
Linux kernel developer
Available for work after 2 Dec 05

RE: what will it be Treo 700p
marcol @ 11/24/2005 6:32:03 AM # Q
"Oh, and I will say, independent of PalmSource's activities, that I doubt that Linux will be fast enough for a smartphone until Moore's Law allows the hardware to catch up, in the form of ARM-11 devices"

Hi Marty,

Can you elaborate on that? Devices with the first ARM11s are pretty much out there:

http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/051101/datu038.html?.v=33

http://www.commsdesign.com/news/insights/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=173602453

'Linux ain't gonna power a smartphone anytime soon'
SeldomVisitor @ 11/24/2005 11:26:02 AM # Q
> ...There's really not much I can comment on. I can talk about
> the difficulties with Linux, since it's open source and I can
> point to specific open source examples. I can't talk about
> PalmLinux at all, especially not schedule. I'd rather not
> speculate on Palm or ACCESS, because the most I could do is
> offer opinions without any support...

But you already have said something key that, for many of us, was NOT a well-known fact (though I use Linux on one of my home machines (an old pII wired directly to my wireless router as its configuration machine), there is no way I'd know that this very usable OS is not yet ready for prime time on a smartphone - that's a fairly significant piece of information that has all SORTS of ramifications right across the entire sector):

== "...Oh, and I will say, independent of PalmSource's
== activities, that I doubt that Linux will be fast enough
== for a smartphone until Moore's Law allows the hardware
== to catch up, in the form of ARM-11 devices -- but that's
== something you can figure out for yourself by running
== Debian on a Gumstix processor..."

> ...I will say that it is still my opinion that the two most
> likely candidates for a usable Linux-phone distribution are
> Nokia, who, as far as I know, aren't working on one, but have
> Maemo on the market without telephony, and PalmSource, because
> of PalmLinux...

Yet neither, based on your own prior words, will work until that fast processor comes along in a phone.

> ...Unless, of course, someone wants to fund a startup for
> me to do a Linux/embedded systems distro. ;)

I'd bet bucks that one of the "agreements" you were forced to sign was a non-compete which disallows N years of competing work on your part...

So...ya like working with Microsoft OSes?...


RE: what will it be Treo 700p
sr4 @ 11/24/2005 12:41:46 PM # Q

Well, reality insists that Marty is wrong, as these devices exist, work, and sell well in China.
http://www.linuxdevices.com/articles/AT9423084269.html

I think the main thing to say is that there is no such thing as too slow. Its all about functionality. If its the fastest thing that allows you to write in Chinese script, you either buy it or not. No other alternative.

If we are to infer anything from Marty's words, its that the PalmOS environment runs too slow with a Linux kernel. Now that is interesting...

Surur

RE: what will it be Treo 700p
PenguinPowered @ 11/24/2005 1:45:44 PM # Q
marcol:

I didn't say there weren't arm-11 devices. I said it will take an arm-11 device, in my opinion, to get acceptable performance. Note, though, that the TI announcement was just made, and talks about a future product. It will be some (probably short) time before an arm-11 phone is in the market in Japan and some more (probably longer) time before it is available in US.

The issue I had in mind was the cache performance on pre arm-11 devices. It tends to make switching from one process to another very slow because you have to flush caches excessively. Dianne Hackborn already discussed that here some time ago, so it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise to regulars.

Seldom visitor:

I'll take that bet. non-competes are very rare in the industry, and i've never had to sign one.

You can check out Nokia's Linux implementation by buying a Nokia 770 -- not a phone, but it'll give you an impression of how well Linux performs on pre arm-11 devices.

Surur:

Didn't know about the Cellon phone. However, it doesn't necessarily dispute my observation. Do you know what processor it is using? (I'd guess not arm-11, but it'd be nice to know)

Do you have any evidence, by the way, that smartphones are, in fact, selling well in China? As far as I could tell, the Cellon is only selling in Europe right now. Also, it'd be rather difficult to know if a phone that first shipped in q3 05 (that's this quarter) is doing well.

You, of course, will infer negative things about PalmLinux from anything I say, but it would not be wise to infer that my comments have anything specific to do with PalmLinux. They're generic comments about Linux performance on arm-9.

Here's an interesting observation: I compile the basic "helloworld" program (it's about 5 lines long) on a pentium iii running @ 700 mhz. It takes less than a second. I compile the same program on an arm-9 system (ti omap 730) with a 200 mhz processor. It takes a little longer that a minute to compile. This is with the same version of gcc on both systems, and both running the same linux kernel.

In other words, for a typical task, the arm-9 is roughly 60 times slower than the p3, even though the p3's processor is only 3.5 times faster.



Marty Fouts
Linux kernel developer
Available for work after 2 Dec 05

RE: what will it be Treo 700p
sr4 @ 11/24/2005 2:34:44 PM # Q

I base my comments on this recent Canalys report. It makes that interpretation itself, but I do hope some of those Moto smartphone numbers were the motorola WM smartphones.

http://www.canalys.com/pr/2005/r2005102.htm

I have always known that a 624 MHz ARM processor is about equivalent to a 66 MHz 386 (but many people argue with me about this, and say we dont need 800 MHz ARM processors). However when we first got our 386's we were quite happy with them, and thought they were speed demons. We were doing video rendering and ripping mp3's, and we did not say they were too slow to be successful in the market. Being "slow" will not kill a unique product with wanted features (look at WM5 ;) )

Surur

RE: what will it be Treo 700p
SeldomVisitor @ 11/24/2005 3:12:08 PM # Q
> ...I'll take that bet. non-competes are very rare in the
> industry, and i've never had to sign one...

Wow - that IS news to me! Must be a California Thang.

Here in Northern Virginia as a software consultant since '88 and a regular old employee prior to that I can assure you non-competes are very much the norm - some amazingly restrictive, some merely a severe annoyance. Depending on where you sign on as a consultnt, for example, the courts will nail you or say "No problem" (Maryland and DC are severely pro-contract - you sign it, they enforce it. Virginia ia a Right-To-Work state so is much less likely to enforce a non-compete (this is pretty much union-driven in MD and DC)).

RE: what will it be Treo 700p
PenguinPowered @ 11/24/2005 3:24:50 PM # Q
surur:

Thanks for the heads up. I wasn't aware of any of the market stuff.

In that case, I have to amend my claim from "too slow" to "too slow for me". ;)

By the way, I *did* find the 386 too slow, "back in the day", but I've always been lucky enough to have access to high performance computer gear. The first Intel processor I felt capable of running a reasonable Unix (FreeBSD, in those days) was a P-II at, IIRC, 66mhz. But I never put a GUI on it.

SeldomVisitor:

Interesting. I suppose it has to do with the industries you'd be involved with. The valley would have died of inertia decades ago without easy movement of talent from one place to another. Out here, non-competes are usually reserved for "star" talent -- the sort of people who everyone in the industry knows by name.

Instead of non-competes, we usually have non-disclosures, which vary from "don't tell anybody for a fixed amount of time" through "don't even tell anybody that this NDA exists". I don't pay much attention to the time frame on NDAs though. It's easier to just not talk about it at all until you see a press release from the company with it in it.

M$ had some onerous non-competes around NT 'back in the day', but I simply refused to work on it at HP. Other than that, I haven't run into any in the OS business.

Marty Fouts
Linux kernel developer
Available for work after 2 Dec 05

RE: what will it be Treo 700p
SeldomVisitor @ 11/24/2005 4:41:45 PM # Q
Oh, we have NDAs as well - those are pretty rigid and are THE vehicle, I imagine, that they use in CA to restrict like the non-competes. NDAs that I'm familiar with tend to be much longer-term than non-competes (typically a year or so for a non-compete, sometimes (usually?) an indefinite period (i.e., forever!) for NDAs).

Well, all very interesting. There are certain areas around here that are beginning to look like Silicon Valley w.r.t. ability to cross the street and get a job - I'm sure someone will think up soe form of non-something to keep chains around the real workers...

Looks like Marty Fouts is on a roll...
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/25/2005 2:30:37 AM # Q
I didn't say there weren't arm-11 devices. I said it will take an arm-11 device, in my opinion, to get acceptable performance. Note, though, that the TI announcement was just made, and talks about a future product. It will be some (probably short) time before an arm-11 phone is in the market in Japan and some more (probably longer) time before it is available in US.

As usual, you're intentionally vague, confusing newbies and then feign innocence. Yes, old ARM processors will continue to choke badly on Linux as the Nokia 770 experiment has shown so clearly. But adoption of tne new ARM chips is expected to occur quickly, so the current rate-limiting step will be eliminated.

The issue I had in mind was the cache performance on pre arm-11 devices. It tends to make switching from one process to another very slow because you have to flush caches excessively. Dianne Hackborn already discussed that here some time ago, so it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise to regulars.

Finally you post something honest, Marty (even thogh it's merely parrotting something I posted a while ago). Well done. Perhaps you're salvageable after all...

You can check out Nokia's Linux implementation by buying a Nokia 770 -- not a phone, but it'll give you an impression of how well Linux performs on pre arm-11 devices.

What??? A second honest statement from Marty? Shocking. Yes, Linux runs like a sick dog on the 770. But the 770 is a proof of concept/experimental sled that I would be surprised to see Nokia release as-is in North America. Unlike PalmSource, Nokia has massive financial resources that it can throw behind their Linux initiative and get development advanced QUICKLY. They also have the massive advantage of being a hardware manufacturer as well. Between Nokia's financial resources and their hardware/software integration, Nokia's time to market for devices will always beat PalmSource + licensees. In the cellphone business that's an unfair advantage which will be difficult to overcome.

You, of course, will infer negative things about PalmLinux from anything I say, but it would not be wise to infer that my comments have anything specific to do with PalmLinux. They're generic comments about Linux performance on arm-9.

It would be hard to say anything definitive about PalmLinux, SINCE IT'S VAPORWARE. Time for you to cut the charade, Marty. PalmLinux will not be ready for prime time until 2008 (if ever).

Here's an interesting observation: I compile the basic "helloworld" program (it's about 5 lines long) on a pentium iii running @ 700 mhz. It takes less than a second. I compile the same program on an arm-9 system (ti omap 730) with a 200 mhz processor. It takes a little longer that a minute to compile. This is with the same version of gcc on both systems, and both running the same linux kernel.

In other words, for a typical task, the arm-9 is roughly 60 times slower than the p3, even though the p3's processor is only 3.5 times faster.


And this is supposed to be shocking because...??? I suppose we're all supposed to believe that CPU clock speed is the only thing that affects performance? To hell with CPU architecture! Who needs it? Sure, Marty. As always, thanks for sharing your brilliant insights. Don't give up the day job, Bubba.


TVoR

------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm eCONomy = Communismô

The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

NetFrontLinux - the next major cellphone OS?: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=8060#111823

RE: what will it be Treo 700p
PenguinPowered @ 11/25/2005 2:42:00 PM # Q
See Skippy.

See Skippy Dance.

Dance Skippy Dance.



Marty Fouts
Linux kernel developer
Available for work after 2 Dec 05

PalmLinux: NOT READY UNTIL 2008. Ouch!
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/25/2005 3:28:34 PM # Q
Marty, how many people at PalmSource are going to be let go in the next few weeks? 100? Ouch!

TVoR

------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm eCONomy = Communismô

The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

NetFrontLinux - the next major cellphone OS?: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=8060#111823

RE: what will it be Treo 700p
PenguinPowered @ 11/25/2005 3:59:24 PM # Q
See David,

Just as I said: field day.

17, though? Too optimistic. More like 13.

Dance, Skippy, dance.


Marty Fouts
Linux kernel developer
Available for work after 2 Dec 05

Marty The Entertainer
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/25/2005 4:16:03 PM # Q
Thanks for playing, Marty. We have some nice consolation prizes for you to pick up as you Exit Stage Left.


------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm eCONomy = Communismô

The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

NetFrontLinux - the next major cellphone OS?: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=8060#111823

RE: what will it be Treo 700p
cervezas @ 11/25/2005 4:44:27 PM # Q
PenguinPowered wrote:
See David,

Just as I said: field day.

It's a shame. The medications they have today are so much better than even just a few years ago, but so many people still don't get the care they need.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

Reply to this comment

Sagio responds to the rumor mill

cervezas @ 11/23/2005 9:21:45 AM # Q
I got a concerned email from Gualtiero Giori of Sagio Investments yesterday. They want to set some facts straight and asked me to post this part of the letter:

Geneva, 22nd of November 2005-11-22

In response to recent information circulating about Sagio Investments :

The research report titled "Palm is Cheap" was prepared by our research team and published on our website after the appropriate legal disclaimer. This report has been on our website for more than four weeks and explains the case of our interest in Palm. We posted this report in order to give fair access to our research and conclusions to other shareholders and investors. Only then we acted on the information disclosed to progressively increase our position in Palm until Friday's 13G filing. The website makes it very clear that Sagio is an investment advisor and that we own shares in PALM. This report was posted prior to any filing and has been publicly available on our website for a month. There is absolutely no link between this report and our 13G filing of yesterday or any current position.

We did not authorize any distribution or use of this report on other websites than our own. We will be tracking and taking legal action against any unauthorized reproduction of our content that may have been done in the last days.

In response to certain media reports we would like to note that our position in PALM is well known. We have filed a 13G, we mentioned our 5% interest in the publicly available letter to BOD and we have stated on our website that PALM is one of our largest holdings. We also note that our position in PALM is a long term holding and that it is not our intention to take advantages of daily fluctuations.

We also would like to add that at no point in the report we "urge" investors to buy PALM shares and that the report itself does not disclose any buy rating. On the contrary, the report refers to analystís published information which diverges with our view as investors.

In order to avoid any improper use or distribution by third parties of this internal report, we will remove it from our website. We regret to see that once again small investors will be deprived of access to proper independent information, thus perpetrating the misinformation and inefficiency that too often characterizes today's financial markets.

------

Mr. Giori also mentions that since a month ago when they wrote that analysis they have revised their estimate of the release of the Palm OS version of the Treo 700 to Mar/Apr with "high degree of convinction."


David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
SeldomVisitor @ 11/23/2005 9:53:07 AM # Q
That is to say they had a large position in PALM, pumped up the price as they were getting a larger position with an incorrect "analysis", had to note that larger position because of the law, were (interestingly) shocked at the public reaction, and now have started to change that outstanding (and ridiculous) "analysis" to make it much less of a pump job.

Be Careful Out There!

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
Surur @ 11/23/2005 11:41:01 AM # Q
Rather pathetically, this means that even if Palm does not read these boards, Sagio does. But we knew this already, as they felt a significant factor in the future success of Palm was the presence of websites like Palmloyal.

If that report was for the consumption of other analysts (vs internal use) they should be even more ashamed, as Ive rarely seen a more poorly prepared and unprofessional document. And since when was it the done thing to "give fair access to our research and conclusions to other shareholders and investors" before buying more stock in a company. In fact one could make a case that such a fore-warning would waste Sagio fundholders money, by raising the share price of Palm.

Yes, I'm thoroughly convinced that they are fully on the up and up.... not!

Surur

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
freakout @ 11/23/2005 4:59:10 PM # Q
Poorly prepared and unprofessional. Exactly! Were I Sagio, I would have taken the report down for that reason alone. The report had the appearance of a high school student's exam notes.

Cervezas, how did you come across the report in the first place?

Tim Carroll
Your friendly customer service robot
(and big Treo fan)

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
cervezas @ 11/23/2005 5:23:11 PM # Q
I noticed a mention on MobileRead.

They're obviously a bit embarrassed that it's being broadcast and commented on so widely. While it wasn't exactly supposed to be an internal document, they told me it was a draft that was intended for the eyes of their clients. "We are not analysts, we are investors," was what he said.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

Beersy: don't be such a gullible Pollyanna
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/23/2005 8:53:37 PM # Q
Beersy, you're getting used/played/f'ed up the *** (Cane-style) and you're too dull to realize it.

As I told you before, these guys have taken an unusually aggressive stance for a good reason. They are no friends of Palm, you, me or anyone else who gives a rat's a$$ about the PalmOS platform and will not think twice about brutally fcuking Palm with no lube for a quick buck. Try not to be so naive.


TVoR

------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm eCONomy = Communismô

The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

NetFrontLinux - the next major cellphone OS?: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=8060#111823

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
freakout @ 11/24/2005 3:22:12 AM # Q
Preface: I don't have a clue about the stock market, really, other than that it seems slightly less scientific than alchemy.

Sagio only owns 5%, right? How can that give them any power over the company? Doesn't it mean there's another 95% that outweighs them?

Bah. Stocks....

Tim Carroll
Your friendly customer service robot
(and big Treo fan)

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
cervezas @ 11/24/2005 10:04:06 AM # Q
Sagio only owns 5%, right? How can that give them any power over the company?

Really just the power to persuade other shareholders at the margin. In other words, they can't get the shareholders or BOD to do very much that they weren't on the verge of doing anyway.

I don't see a short-run play in this, though. If you were going to publish analysis designed to pump up the share prices why do it a month *before* you acquire a big block of the stock? And why wouldn't you have a professional writer do it instead of some junior guy who knows numbers but not words?

TVoR will always be concocting his paranoid scenarios, but despite his pseudonym he doesn't seem to apply much reason to them.


David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
freakout @ 11/24/2005 5:00:16 PM # Q
"If you were going to publish analysis designed to pump up the share prices why do it a month *before* you acquire a big block of the stock? And why wouldn't you have a professional writer do it instead of some junior guy who knows numbers but not words?"

This is what I've been asking myself since I read it. No answer yet. Other than the possibility that Sagio doesn't have any "pump-and-dump" (if that's the correct terminology) plans at all, but rather simply believes that the Treo *really is* poised to explode.

Naive? Prolly. I still think Parliament belongs to the people, too... ;)

Tim Carroll
Your friendly customer service robot
(and big Treo fan)

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
freakout @ 11/24/2005 5:29:31 PM # Q
Addendum to that: If Sagio genuine believes the Treo will achieve iPod style popularity, then I suppose they would have to be absoulute morons not to invest.

Think about it; if, back when the iPod debuted, you knew just how big it was going to become, then wouldn't you be absolutely *insane* not to invest a big wad of cash in Apple?

Maybe Sagio knows a lot more about "Hollywood" and "Lowrider" than they're letting on. [/hopefulness]

Tim Carroll
Your friendly customer service robot
(and big Treo fan)

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
sr4 @ 11/24/2005 5:52:00 PM # Q
Currently Nokia smartphones are the biggest thing since sliced bread, smartphone wise. They grew 141% year on year, and sold 7 million units last quarter (vs 600 000 for Palm Treo) Yet we do not speak about Symbian phones in the same way we do about Ipods. Its just a whole different competitive kind of market, thats already well occupied by others. Most observers would think their analysis, and their reasoning behind it, is pretty weak and far fetched.

Surur

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
freakout @ 11/24/2005 6:43:46 PM # Q
Surur,

Many people don't seem to think of Symbian phones as "smartphones", either. As a Treo evangelist (which I'm sure must have gotten annoying by now ;) ) it seems to be the only "converged" device that really is an all-in-one. Apart from the lack of Wi-Fi drivers and 3G - which looks like it'll change with the next batch of releases - the Treo (to me) only has four major shortcomings:

1: Style. Functionality needs to be retained, but the 650 is a brick. A very nice, polished brick IMO, but still a brick. Hopefully Hollywood, and maybe Lowrider, is going to fix this.

2: The price of high-capacity SD storage, which is hopefully going to keep coming down if more devices adopt the standard.

3: *Most* importantly: integration of the various third-party media apps. As others have pointed out, keeping track of the disparate third-party apps can be difficult for novice users. Quick Install is a good idea that needs to be expanded so you can drag and drop anything into it, and it's assigned to the relevant app on the device. They could call it the Treo Sync Centre or something. Would be nice if transfer speeds were a lot faster too. And you shouldn't need third-party apps for stuff like mp3 ringtones when there's already an mp3 player in the ROM. And that mp3 player should be Pocket Tunes, not the little-too-simplistic Realplayer.

Licensing TCPMP also seems a no-brainer. It's stable enough, it now just needs some UI improvements, and Palm are experts there. And if that comes on the device, then the Treo will have everything a mass-market user would want out of the box: a good phone, a good messenger, a good mp3 player and a good movie player. If they upgrade the camera to even 1 or 2 megapixels, then you can add "good camera" to that as well.

4: Almost as important as 3 in my eyes, probably more so in others: Marketing. Right now, it sucks. The Treo is marketed solely to business-types. The recent Aussie newspaper campaign on the launch of the 650 was pathetic - solely focussing on the email capabilities. No mention of the media capabilities, the fact that it's got the best SMS/MMS interface on any phone out there bar none (hugely important here in Oz)... They're not selling it hard enough, and they're not selling it to a broad swathe of people. One of my friends has decided they're getting a Treo as their next phones after playing with mine. The idea of only having to carry one device for everything is an appealing one. Palm need to hammer it.

What do you guys think?

Tim Carroll
Your friendly customer service robot
(and big Treo fan)

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
Foo Fighter @ 11/24/2005 7:16:52 PM # Q
>> "Many people don't seem to think of Symbian phones as "smartphones", either."

Agreed, and this is why I often lavish debunking the "superiority" (in terms of market share) of Symbian and Linux in the smartphone space. Symbian is the dominant platform by default as it rides on the back of Nokia. Consumers choose Nokia phones, not the OS that powers them. The average user doesn't even know what they are looking at when they operate their phone, and I doubt more than 5% of all Nokia phone users worldwide could name what OS powers their phone...or what an "OS" even is.

The same argument holds true with Linux as well, even more so. Actually the whole concept of a Linux Smartphone is something of a misnomer. When you look at phones developed by Motorola that are based on Linux, what you are seeing and interacting with is NOT Linux. It's J2ME running on top of a Linux kernel with proprietary software layered on top. In effect, there really is no such thing as a Linux Smartphone...only vendor customized smartphones with a Linux kernal under the hood. There really is no way to compare Symbian/Linux with PalmOS/Windows Mobile. They are two distinctly different market segments that play in the same space.

-------------------------------
Editor, http://Pocketfactory.com
Contributing Editor, http://digitalmediathoughts.com

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
PenguinPowered @ 11/24/2005 7:48:07 PM # Q
Well, I realize the only two people in the whole world it matters to are Richard Stallman and Linus Torvalds, but all Linux *is* is the Linux kernel.

You gotta put _something_ on top of it.



Marty Fouts
Linux kernel developer
Available for work after 2 Dec 05

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
Foo Fighter @ 11/25/2005 10:57:19 AM # Q
>> "Well, I realize the only two people in the whole world it matters to are Richard Stallman and Linus Torvalds, but all Linux *is* is the Linux kernel.

You gotta put _something_ on top of it."

Correct. But my point is that Linux plays a completely backstage role in the smartphone design. What you're using isn't Linux at all. In the case of Motorola, what you are seeing and interacting with a GUI and software layer designed by Motorola. In fact, the only real purpose the Linux kernal serves at all is to simply run J2ME. If anything you could argue these are really J2ME Smartphones, not Linux.

That may not quite be the case with PalmOS Linux if PalmSource does what it's hinted at by layering PalmOS right on top of Linux. Personally I'm excited to see this in action, tragically late to market though it will be.

-------------------------------
Editor, http://Pocketfactory.com
Contributing Editor, http://digitalmediathoughts.com

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
cervezas @ 11/25/2005 11:55:05 AM # Q
foo fighter wrote:
But my point is that Linux plays a completely backstage role in the smartphone design. What you're using isn't Linux at all.

"Backstage" is a much bigger place on a smartphone than you seem to understand. Whether it's Java, X Windows, Qtopia or something else providing the application stack and windowing toolkit, Linux is doing a lot: networking, file system, memory management, telephony, power management, and the underlying framework to support multitasking GUI applications, to list a few.

From what you are saying it seems that you have a very Windows-centric view of what an operation system is. With Windows the application stack and graphical user interface are tightly coupled to the rest of the system, whereas in Linux this is not the case. Perhaps you think you're not really using Linux on a smartphone if you're not running an X server, but there are alternatives to X Windows on the Linux desktop as well (including the venerable command line as well as sophisticated GUIs like WxWidgets, Qt, and yes, Java, including native-widget Java like SWT). Using one of those doesn't mean you're "not using Linux" on the desktop any more than it does on a smartphone.


David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
cervezas @ 11/25/2005 12:38:10 PM # Q
surer wrote:
Currently Nokia smartphones are the biggest thing since sliced bread, smartphone wise. They grew 141% year on year, and sold 7 million units last quarter (vs 600 000 for Palm Treo) Yet we do not speak about Symbian phones in the same way we do about Ipods. Its just a whole different competitive kind of market, thats already well occupied by others. Most observers would think their analysis, and their reasoning behind it, is pretty weak and far fetched.

Again, they're writing from the perspective of being investors not technology analysts. Nokia isn't worthy of this kind of talk not because they aren't enormously successful but because Sagio sees that success adequately factored into Nokia's share prices. On the other hand they see Palm as having strong fundamentals that most of the market has overlooked, which is just the kind of thing investors like this spend their time trying to unearth. No one would agree with you more than Sagio that their analysis differs from the pack consensus. But you have to separate from the pack if you want your fund to perform better than market, as theirs has apparently done, at least in recent years.

I'm not saying their analysis is right. I'm just pointing out that it's not an argument against it to say that it diverges from the consensus view.


David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
Foo Fighter @ 11/25/2005 1:34:09 PM # Q
>> "From what you are saying it seems that you have a very Windows-centric view of what an operation system is."

That's an interesting observation...considering I happen to be a multi-platform user, with OSX being my primary platform.

-------------------------------
Editor, http://Pocketfactory.com
Contributing Editor, http://digitalmediathoughts.com

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
cervezas @ 11/25/2005 1:46:57 PM # Q
>> "From what you are saying it seems that you have a very Windows-centric view of what an operation system is."

That's an interesting observation...considering I happen to be a multi-platform user, with OSX being my primary platform.

Well then, you should know better, right? ;-)


David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
sr4 @ 11/25/2005 2:15:25 PM # Q

David, true.

Surur

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
PenguinPowered @ 11/25/2005 2:44:10 PM # Q
FooFighter:

I'm not sure what you're getting at. Kernels are "just" kernels; but they set the base personality for the system that runs on top of them. That's part of the reason that Java is "write once, debug everywhere".

I'm guessing part of the problem here is that "Linux" to most people means "a Linux distribution" which includes the kernel plus all the user level stuff the vendor sticks in a distribution. So, sure, a PalmOS smart phone based on Linux will be different than a Java smart phone based on Linux, but more in the same way that KDE based Linux distros are different than Gnome based Linux distros.


Marty Fouts
Linux kernel developer
Available for work after 2 Dec 05

Divining the future with tea leaves + scraps of information.
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/25/2005 3:50:57 PM # Q
Currently Nokia smartphones are the biggest thing since sliced bread, smartphone wise. They grew 141% year on year, and sold 7 million units last quarter (vs 600 000 for Palm Treo) Yet we do not speak about Symbian phones in the same way we do about Ipods. Its just a whole different competitive kind of market, thats already well occupied by others. Most observers would think their analysis, and their reasoning behind it, is pretty weak and far fetched.

Surur

Surur, don't play dumb. It reduces you to the level of people like the Intrepid Mr. Fouts. Whether Nokia put Symbian or the Atari 2600 OS on its phones they would still be selling better than the competition. Because people buy Nokias for the phone - not the OS.

Compare apples to apples: in this case it's Treo 600/650 Vs. high end Symbian phones like the Sony Ericsson P910 etc. Vs. Windows Mobile smartphones. Any way you slice it, Palm is doing relatively well in the high end smartphone segment and the Treo 650 is actually the benchmark that the competition compares themselves to. Linux is not yet even competing in this sphere. Until better data is released with sales figures for each of these categories, what you're doing here is akin to reading tea leaves. While reading tea leaves can be fun, never confuse it for a reliable way to predict the future.

TVoR

------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm eCONomy = Communismô

The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

NetFrontLinux - the next major cellphone OS?: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=8060#111823

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
freakout @ 11/25/2005 5:05:29 PM # Q
Everyone (mostly) seems to agree that the Nokia "smartphones" are not really such - or at least, aren't thought of in that way by their user base. As TVoR pointed out, the 650 is the current benchmark for a high-end smartphone/converged device.

So, I think one of three things is going to happen next year:

1) Palm will continue to set the standard, until a more mainstream player finally works out how to clone the "Treo formula" onto their own device. Surely, this is not far off already, judging from some upcoming competitors, like the E61 from Nokia. Once this happens, a scary possibility is that Palm might be crushed completely. I think someone here once used the reference "gupppy swimming with sharks". (or am I just paranoid...)

2) The Treo continues to dominate the smartphone/converged space and is pushed even further along by Hollywood and Lowrider (the two 700 models doesn't seem to be that much of a departure from the 650), positioning it for a not-quite-but-close-to-iPod style explosion in the next round, and keeping them one step ahead of the competition. (More people have phones than iPods. If they can be convinced of the benefits of only having to carry one device for everything, and if Palm can make that device attractive...)

3) Nothing changes. Palm remains a bit player but continues to have the best design. Boring!

Personally, I'm hoping for (2) but expecting (3).

Tim Carroll
Your friendly customer service robot
(and big Treo fan)

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
AdamaDBrown @ 11/25/2005 6:47:47 PM # Q
"Backstage" is a much bigger place on a smartphone than you seem to understand. Whether it's Java, X Windows, Qtopia or something else providing the application stack and windowing toolkit, Linux is doing a lot: networking, file system, memory management, telephony, power management, and the underlying framework to support multitasking GUI applications, to list a few.

Who cares? If it's not handling the user interface and top level applications, if it's just doing the gruntwork for one type or another of proprietary code, then whether it has a Linux kernel is completely and totally irrelevant from any practical standpoint. The user still doesn't get a uniform set of apps. It'd not like a proprietary dumbphone is magically better because it has a Linux kernel in it. Or Symbian, for that matter.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: most of the so called "smartphones" coming from Series 60 and Linux are a joke. Aside from a few serious devices like Nokia's 9000 series and the new E models, they don't come close to being a serious data device.

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
freakout @ 11/25/2005 8:01:16 PM # Q
"...then whether it has a Linux kernel is completely and totally irrelevant from any practical standpoint."

I think the backend stuff actually does matter quite a bit. For instance, I suspect that Palm's current telephony stack (if that's the correct terminology) used in the Treo sucks compared to the one in Nokia phones - hence the complaints about voice quality in calls, less-than-ideal reception even with the enormous protruding antenna, etc.

So some backends are better than others. I'd hazard a guess that you'd prolly be able to count on a Linux-based phone to be more stable than a comparable Garnet-based one. Or WinMob, for that matter. (Of course, that only applies once it actually becomes a real phone OS - whether that OS will be Access' PalmLinux or someone else remains to be seen...)

Tim Carroll
Your friendly customer service robot
(and big Treo fan)

4wd vette
PenguinPowered @ 11/26/2005 3:02:07 AM # Q
The underpinnings matter. You could put a 'vette body on an S10 frame, but other than the novelty of it, it'd be a pretty poor match. If you want a 4wd 'vette then you need to do a fairly significant, but subtle redesign of the 'vette -- and you'd want it for different reasons than you want a 4wd truck for.

The Linux kernel isn't really a very good match for a Java virtual machine, because the thread and memory models are enough different.

It's a bad idea to take a system that's based on one thread/memory model and bolt it on top of a different one because you tend to get the disadvantages of both and the advantages of neither. I've never played with a Motorola java based phone, but from what I've heard, I'd bet that's a large part of the problem they have.

(And yes, you can say the same thing for the Garnet thread/memory model and Linux.)

The problem is you need people who understand both. Java sorts rarely have the background to understand Linux and Linux heads don't go in for OO languages.

The programming environment, by the way, does not guarentee you a uniform set of aps. The only thing that does that is a large library of UI features, a serious programming discipline, and a significant integration effort.

Of course, all of this is moot in the marketplace, as the smartphone is really just a prestige device. The money in the cellphones in the near future is going to be in feature phones.

Very little of this will be visible in the US. Asia (Japan first, China, and then India) is where the large growth is, followed by the EU, and then, a distant third, the US.

The interesting question, especially in densely populated urban areas, is how wifi and telephony are going to interact.


Marty Fouts
Linux kernel developer
Available for work after 2 Dec 05

Get your digs in before the Men In Black come for you, Marty
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/26/2005 8:42:49 AM # Q
It's a bad idea to take a system that's based on one thread/memory model and bolt it on top of a different one because you tend to get the disadvantages of both and the advantages of neither. I've never played with a Motorola java based phone, but from what I've heard, I'd bet that's a large part of the problem they have.

(And yes, you can say the same thing for the Garnet thread/memory model and Linux.)

Bite the hand that feeds/fed, Marty? Treacherous infidel!

The interesting question, especially in densely populated urban areas, is how wifi and telephony are going to interact.

And WiMAX could extend that question beyond urban areas. I have 2 questions about this: how can the telcos keep control of their pie and how will the Net infrastructure survive an explosion of VoIP calling (which inevitably will be free-as-in-beer to everyone)?

TVoR

P.S. If someone knocks on your door to deliver a pizza you never ordered, DON'T ANSWER.



------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm eCONomy = Communismô

The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

NetFrontLinux - the next major cellphone OS?: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=8060#111823

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
sr4 @ 11/26/2005 2:32:46 PM # Q
Wimax will be controlled by the telcos, because they own the cell towers, which especially in built-up areas are a scare commodity. Anyways, its simple to get open wireless networks declared illegal, due to terrorist activities. :)

Most international calls are already routed via IP networks. As demand shifts existing network resources can just be re-allocated.

T-mobile is getting in at ground floor in Europe with their Web-and Walk product. They already own an extensive network of hotspots, and they sell access to this network as part of their regular cellphone subscription.

Lastly, it does sound to me as if PSRC is running into the same difficulty with PalmLinux as they did with Cobalt (slow, resource hungry). Maybe perfect is being the enemy of good enough. They should just throw hardware at the issue. Look at Win Mobile or Vista. Actually needing more powerful hardware is actually touted as a feature these days ;)

Surur

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
AdamaDBrown @ 11/26/2005 3:49:12 PM # Q
PenguinPowered said:
The underpinnings matter. You could put a 'vette body on an S10 frame, but other than the novelty of it, it'd be a pretty poor match.

Thank you for making my point. The existing Linux based offerings are a Model T strapped onto a locomotive engine: an unappealing and out of date surface combined with a core intended for industrial use. Until you can get a simple and coherent system set up for Linux, it has little point or value--it's just another badly hacked core being used for dumbphones, with whatever future potential it might have going completely unused.

The money in the cellphones in the near future is going to be in feature phones.

"Money," of course, being a relative term. The margins on so-called "feature phones" are razor thin, and I have yet to see any evidence that manufacturers will want to cut into their profits to license someone else's software when the whole point of a feature phone is that it only does a handful of things.

Surur said:
Wimax will be controlled by the telcos, because they own the cell towers, which especially in built-up areas are a scare commodity.

You might be surprised. All it takes is one. Besides which, the big cities are only one part of the market, and arguably the one least in need of reform. It's outside places like New York and LA that need cheaper and more plentiful service, because people out here don't have the same kind of disposable income. We can't spend 70 pounds on a restaurant visit. ;)

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
PenguinPowered @ 11/26/2005 4:43:09 PM # Q
I wouldn't go so far as Model T on locomotive. Think more of a Cadilac body on a GM truck chassis. "Embedded" Linux distributions (like MontaVista, Trolltech or anything from handhelds.org) tend to be watered down last-generation GUIs on top of either last generation or this generation kernels. Maemo is the only thing out there that has a GUI/programming-model with any real thought put into making it it suitable for a mobile device -- and it's not (yet) targeted to phones.

Margins are razor thin in all commodity consumer electronics. That's why such things are the province of high volume manufacturers.

If _I_ were going to get into the telephony market at this point with a Linux distribution, I'd work very hard on making a debian/arm distribution work with maemo and a good telephony stack, and I would play nice with the major arm vendors to make it attractive on their development system.

The model that Access described back in that paper in '04 is the alternative way of achieving a set of consistent aps. That's why I'd put them up as the best competitor to maemo.

MontaVista and Trolltech seem to have had a parting of the ways, and neither seems to able to dredge up a complete system without the other.

Of course, there's always the possibility of a surprise coming out of left field, and I'd watch carefully for that.

On the topic of wi-fi: The carriers won't control it. They don't now, and it's getting even more prevalent. Wi-Max may or may not come along and be interesting, but, perhaps, now's the time to do what Ricochet tried too soon?

Also, the telcos in europe and asia are being more flexible in trying to adapt to wi-fi than the telcos in the US. It will be interesting to see if we ever crawl back out of the connectivity ghetto and become first class connected again.


Marty Fouts
Linux kernel developer
Available for work after 2 Dec 05

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
sr4 @ 11/26/2005 4:52:00 PM # Q

The tech will follow the density of money. I'm America especially the some people who own the system now will own it in the future.

Here's a nice article with insight into the issue.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/02/14/wimax_versus_3g/

Surur

PalmLinux on the ropes .
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/26/2005 5:06:05 PM # Q
Wimax will be controlled by the telcos, because they own the cell towers, which especially in built-up areas are a scare commodity. Anyways, its simple to get open wireless networks declared illegal, due to terrorist activities. :)

I believe you are wrong, Surur. Telcos may be able to push their legacy infrastructure and brand recognition to grab a decent piece of the pie but they won't own the pie as they do now.

Most international calls are already routed via IP networks. As demand shifts existing network resources can just be re-allocated.

I'd be interested in hearing what an engineer with intimate familiarity with VoIP and Internet backbones has to say about this. I wouldn't be surprised to see major bandwidth bottlenecks once Wi-Fi and VoIP take off in a couple years. (Not to mention the streaming video demands which are also coming soon.)

T-mobile is getting in at ground floor in Europe with their Web-and Walk product. They already own an extensive network of hotspots, and they sell access to this network as part of their regular cellphone subscription.

Not too many of us in the USA will feel sorry for the telcos if the get hit hard by Wi-Fi/WiMAX. American telcos seem incapable of reacting quickly to changes in technology and their slow reflexes may leave them on the outside looking in in a few years.

Lastly, it does sound to me as if PSRC is running into the same difficulty with PalmLinux as they did with Cobalt (slow, resource hungry). Maybe perfect is being the enemy of good enough. They should just throw hardware at the issue. Look at Win Mobile or Vista. Actually needing more powerful hardware is actually touted as a feature these days ;)

Surur

PalmSource had 3 main problems in designing PalmLinux:

1) Time constraints - the Cobalt Catastrophe burned up all the time advantage PalmSource could have had over its competition and forced numerous design compromises.

2) Trying to avoid throwing out everything in Cobalt in favor of a clean sheet design. FrankenCobalt cobbled together with bits and pieces from various sources is not the ideal next-generation OS design it should have been.

3) Lack of bodies familiar with what needed to be done to create a Linux-based OS.

4) Trying to be all things to all people. If an OS is a resource hog, it is not reasonable to try to force it to run on the underpowered hardware that PalmLinux was touted as being compatible with



------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm eCONomy = Communismô

The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

NetFrontLinux - the next major cellphone OS?: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=8060#111823

Correction (pressed enter too soon)
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/26/2005 5:54:21 PM # Q
Lastly, it does sound to me as if PSRC is running into the same difficulty with PalmLinux as they did with Cobalt (slow, resource hungry). Maybe perfect is being the enemy of good enough. They should just throw hardware at the issue. Look at Win Mobile or Vista. Actually needing more powerful hardware is actually touted as a feature these days ;)

Surur

PalmSource had 4 main problems in designing PalmLinux:

1) Time constraints - the Cobalt Catastrophe burned up all the time advantage PalmSource could have had over its competition and forced numerous design compromises. I believe Palm learned its lessson with Cobalt the hard way that perfect coce is not always A Good Thing if achieving it causes significant delays. Fortunately, the Holy Be Engineeres are no longer running the show (into the ground).

2) Trying to avoid throwing out everything in Cobalt in favor of a clean sheet design. FrankenCobalt cobbled together with bits and pieces from various sources is not the ideal next-generation OS design it should have been.

3) Lack of bodies familiar with what needed to be done to create a Linux-based OS.

4) Trying to be all things to all people. If an OS is a resource hog, it is not reasonable to try to force it to run on the underpowered hardware that PalmLinux was touted as being compatible with. As you suggest, the solution would be to throw better hardware at a greedy OS, Windows-style.


I believe Access doesn't give a damn about PalmOS PDAs and will change from development of PalmLinux to NetFrontLinux pretty damn quick. PalmSource staff are now VERY expendble, as we shall soon see...

http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=8060#111823

TVoR


------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm eCONomy = Communismô

The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

NetFrontLinux - the next major cellphone OS?: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=8060#111823

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
rcartwright @ 11/26/2005 6:06:41 PM # Q
Surer said:
"Wimax will be controlled by the telcos, because they own the cell towers, which especially in built-up areas are a scare commodity. Anyways, its simple to get open wireless networks declared illegal, due to terrorist activities. :)"

Surer, you miss the factor of the cable providers. While wireless does better with higher transponders, wifi has (and will have) a LOT of very cheap access points. Also, in areas where local governments are pushing free wi-fi it has the advantage of being able to hang APs off of every fire, police and other public edifice. Also, where I live the utilities are a city owned corporation, so that opens up even more options. Most of this will be provisioned by the cable companies, who have no love for the telecos. Also, among the wireless carriers, Sprint and T-Mobile seem to be positioning themselves to provide lower cost high bandwith data access. There is a lot of competition out there, and there has been such a backlash from what happend in Pa I do not really see leglislation killing the idea being a factor at this point.

Where does this leave Palm? Well, for one Nokia has yet to get the smartphone right. I find it interesting that no one seems to dwell much on the several failed attempts by Nokia, the Communicator line being the prime example. I do not see Nokia offending the carrier gods by implementing wi-fi in a phone. I suspect that the N770 was a technology demo that is targeted to the internet cafe market in Europe along with vertical markets such as the medical/hospital field. Palm, can get away with it because of its status as a proven, poplar PDA/phone that will never ship in enough numbers to threaten the teloco model.

"Many men stumble across the truth, but most manage to pick themselves up
and continue as if nothing had happened."
- Winston Churchill

Cobalt -> PalmLinux -> NetFrontLinux . Will ANY ever arrive?
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/26/2005 6:14:27 PM # Q
I wouldn't go so far as Model T on locomotive. Think more of a Cadilac body on a GM truck chassis.

You mean like the hideous Cadillac Escalade? Thank, but no thanks.

"Embedded" Linux distributions (like MontaVista, Trolltech or anything from handhelds.org) tend to be watered down last-generation GUIs on top of either last generation or this generation kernels. Maemo is the only thing out there that has a GUI/programming-model with any real thought put into making it it suitable for a mobile device -- and it's not (yet) targeted to phones.

Odds are Nokia will start focusing on its REAL target (Linux-based cellphones) in 2006 and will wind up being the company to finally release a stable, full-featured Linux-based phone within 12 - 18 months.

If _I_ were going to get into the telephony market at this point with a Linux distribution, I'd work very hard on making a debian/arm distribution work with maemo and a good telephony stack, and I would play nice with the major arm vendors to make it attractive on their development system.

How would you beat Nokia?

The model that Access described back in that paper in '04 is the alternative way of achieving a set of consistent aps. That's why I'd put them up as the best competitor to maemo.

NetFrontLinux sounds good on paper, but the devil is in the details...

TVoR

------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm eCONomy = Communismô

The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

NetFrontLinux - the next major cellphone OS?: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=8060#111823

Palm's future phone OS?
freakout @ 11/26/2005 6:40:02 PM # Q
If PalmLinux proves to be unusable like Cobalt, or "NetFrontLinux" too "un-Palm" like for Palm to want to license it, then what does this mean for the future of the Treo and Palm's PDA's?

It seems to lend credence to the idea that was floating around here that Palm is quietly working on it's own version of mobile Linux in conjunction with Wind River. Maybe as a replacement, maybe just as a fallback in case Access screws them...

Tim Carroll
Your friendly customer service robot
(and big Treo fan)

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
PenguinPowered @ 11/26/2005 6:44:25 PM # Q
yes. exactly like the (don't ever take it off road) esclade.

I'm not sure that Nokia thinks that cellphones are its real target for Linux/maemo. They may well be doing what they appear to be doing on the surface: attempting to create a new device class ("internet tablet") and dominate the market for it. As wifi becomes ubiquitous in the home and business, something like the 770 may well have a place, even without wi-fi.

Nokia seems to be skipping the 'smartphone' and trying to get a jump on whatever will replace it as the next hot consumer/business connectivity toy.

I wouldn't try to beat Nokia. I'd try to capitalize on what they've doing by adding value, in the form of a more complete more robust Linux distro in addition to maemo. Do for maemo what ubuntu has done for (to?) debian. Use Ubuntu to do it.

Unlike Nokia, I wouldn't be aiming at being a dominant player in the telephony market, only at being the 'go-to' distribution for arm linux devices, of which, I suspect, telephony is only going to be one player.

I hesitate to call these devices 'embedded', although that's what the market calls them. They're not embedded devices in the traditional sense, they're more like micro-desktop devices.

I see interesting times ahead, and I predict a play out of left field that will surprise everyone, even the current key players.

Actually, if I were good at gathering venture money, I might make that play myself.


Marty Fouts
Linux kernel developer
Available for work after 2 Dec 05

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
sr4 @ 11/26/2005 6:52:40 PM # Q
In combination with ACCESSí Direct-Connect technology, NetFront SDK v3.3 allows developers to create HTML-based UIs that can directly control the target deviceís functions. This means that developers can use general HTML authoring tools to develop UIs, significantly accelerating the overall development process. NetFront SDK v3.3 will be available in January.

# Direct-Connect
- ECMAScript-based technology to control device functions directly from the browser
- Enables development of UI with HTML authoring tools

http://www.wirelessdevnet.com/news/2005/nov/21/news1.html

VOR, NetfrontLinux is coming along very nicely. In the end all they will use POS for is application compatability.

Has it occurred to anyone that Nokia is not planning on a Linux phone. The 770 would seem to be a very expensive market test. Maybe they are entering the very lucrative PDA market :) or maybe this is the first successful Audrey?

Surur

PalmOS commodity market. Say goodbye to profits, Palm...
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/26/2005 6:58:05 PM # Q
If PalmLinux proves to be unusable like Cobalt, or "NetFrontLinux" too "un-Palm" like for Palm to want to license it, then what does this mean for the future of the Treo and Palm's PDA's?

It seems to lend credence to the idea that was floating around here that Palm is quietly working on it's own version of mobile Linux in conjunction with Wind River. Maybe as a replacement, maybe just as a fallback in case Access screws them...

I doubt Access will botch NetFrontLinux like PalmSource did with Cobalt. It's just going to take a long time for it to arrive. Anything that runs PalmOS apps on a smartphone should be more than adequate to do double duty on a traditional PDA.

Palm made a massive blunder by losing control of PalmOS. Windows Mobile will keep them afloat for a while, but then they're screwed. Once Access starts selling NetFrontLinux to all comers at bargain basement prices, who will pay the premium prices Palm wants? No one. Palm can't compete in a commodity market and by losing control of PalmOS, they've created a commodity market for PalmOS devices.

TVoR

------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm eCONomy = Communismô

The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

NetFrontLinux - the next major cellphone OS?: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=8060#111823

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
sr4 @ 11/26/2005 7:04:10 PM # Q
Oops, saying exactly the same thing about Nokia as Marty. I'm glad we are thinking the same way.

Surur

MartyLinux coming soon?
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/26/2005 7:13:14 PM # Q
I'm not sure that Nokia thinks that cellphones are its real target for Linux/maemo. They may well be doing what they appear to be doing on the surface: attempting to create a new device class ("internet tablet") and dominate the market for it. As wifi becomes ubiquitous in the home and business, something like the 770 may well have a place, even without wi-fi.

I'm not saying that the 770 isn't a good product, but its current limitations also severely limit its potential market. How many people really would be willing to buy a Wi-Fi-only small-screened internet tablet? Until Wi-Fi is ubiquitous, the 770 desperately needs a cellphone radio for truely useful connectivity. If you're going to add that expense, you'll probably need a keyboard as well, creating the class of device I feel is sorely lacking in the marketplace: the Palmtopô. (Sharp's Zaurus and Sony's UX50 showed the potential of this class of device. If they also came with cellphone radios they might still be around as major players.)

Nokia seems to be skipping the 'smartphone' and trying to get a jump on whatever will replace it as the next hot consumer/business connectivity toy.

We'll see, but I think they're merely preparing for the launch of a new line of killer cellphones but don't want to embarass themselves with public growing pains like they did with the pathetic N-Gage.

I wouldn't try to beat Nokia. I'd try to capitalize on what they've doing by adding value, in the form of a more complete more robust Linux distro in addition to maemo. Do for maemo what ubuntu has done for (to?) debian. Use Ubuntu to do it.

Most companies are trying to save a buck by rolling their own distribution or else are licensing an el-cheapo distro. Once you add NetFrontLinux and NokiaLinux into the mix, would there be any space left for MartyLinux? Not unless you were very cheap or came with a nice app library or were well-supported by developers. Do you think MartyLinux could top Access' library of 20,000 (PalmOS) apps, thousands of developers or (likely) low licensing fee. That's not the kind of venture I plan on funding, Marty.

So instead how about MartyUbuntu? Isn't Ubuntu free? Is that your business model? Back to the drawing board, Marty.

Unlike Nokia, I wouldn't be aiming at being a dominant player in the telephony market, only at being the 'go-to' distribution for arm linux devices, of which, I suspect, telephony is only going to be one player.

Sounds more resonable, but again you still have a lot of competition.

I hesitate to call these devices 'embedded', although that's what the market calls them. They're not embedded devices in the traditional sense, they're more like micro-desktop devices.

Exactly. These ARE (or will become) microdesktops. And between the brute force of higher ARM CPU clockspeeds + the new ARM CPU architecture, they should PERFORM like microdesktops as well. My UX50 was 3 or 4 years ahead of its time...

I see interesting times ahead, and I predict a play out of left field that will surprise everyone, even the current key players.

Actually, if I were good at gathering venture money, I might make that play myself.

Given how much effort is required to create a decent OS, I'd be surprised to see a dark horse make an unexpected appearance. (That is, unless Dianne Hackborn and the rest of the Holy Be Engineers get together and form a new company called "Never Was"...)

Ven Cap is getting harder to find these days, Marty. This isn't 1999 where a sketch on the back of a bar napkin could get you $20 million. ;-O

TVoR

------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm eCONomy = Communismô

The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

NetFrontLinux - the next major cellphone OS?: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=8060#111823

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
PenguinPowered @ 11/26/2005 7:20:19 PM # Q
We're thinking alike, but I'm not proofreading very well.

Last sentence of the first paragraph should have read:

As wifi becomes ubiquitous in the home and business, something like the 770 may well have a place, even without TELEPHONY.


Marty Fouts
Linux kernel developer
Available for work after 2 Dec 05

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/26/2005 8:09:21 PM # Q
Last sentence of the first paragraph should have read:

As wifi becomes ubiquitous in the home and business, something like the 770 may well have a place, even without TELEPHONY.

I think most of us realized what you meant to say. But Nokia is a cellphone manufacturer and has tremendous connections to carriers. Furthermore, Wi-Fi is still not everywhere + probably won't be for a while. Why would Nokia not capitalize on assets they have NOW rather than releasing a series of devices that will be sales duds because they're too far ahead of their time? Nokia is not run by idiots (assuming N-Gage was an anomaly) and won't ignore the easy money. Palm/PalmSource essentially has given away the smartphone OS market to the Flying Finns and I expect them to execute the way they usually do.

TVoR

------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm eCONomy = Communismô

The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

NetFrontLinux - the next major cellphone OS?: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=8060#111823

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
rcartwright @ 11/26/2005 9:02:17 PM # Q
VoR said:

"Most international calls are already routed via IP networks. As demand shifts existing network resources can just be re-allocated.

I'd be interested in hearing what an engineer with intimate familiarity with VoIP and Internet backbones has to say about this. I wouldn't be surprised to see major bandwidth bottlenecks once Wi-Fi and VoIP take off in a couple years. (Not to mention the streaming video demands which are also coming soon.)"

VoR,

THere is a lot of dark fiber out there from the dot comm build up/bust. Capacity is not a problem.


"Many men stumble across the truth, but most manage to pick themselves up
and continue as if nothing had happened."
- Winston Churchill

Commodity, maybe so, but it might not kill them
freakout @ 11/26/2005 9:48:51 PM # Q
"Palm can't compete in a commodity market and by losing control of PalmOS, they've created a commodity market for PalmOS devices."

Scary possibility. But from what I understand, at least with the Treo, the Phone app interface and backend is all Handspring's (and thus, now, Palm's) own work, as are the superb Messaging and Camera apps. Not sure how much they shared with PalmSource though.

Palm still might be able to compete by having a superior phone UI and media integration. And if the OS is dirt-cheap, it might enable them to drop the prices on their devices. It all depends on how well they can market the Treo brand, I think. Convince people it's a superior product and they'll be willing to pay a slight premium. But they won't be able to win a price war, if it comes to that.

Tim Carroll
Your friendly customer service robot
(and big Treo fan)

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
freakout @ 11/26/2005 10:11:04 PM # Q
"THere is a lot of dark fiber out there from the dot comm build up/bust. Capacity is not a problem."

*Offtopic* Certainly not for Google, who have merrily been buying vast swathes of it for bargain prices. Smart company...

http://tinyurl.com/a3ees

^Interesting article from the beginning of the year about cheap fiber.

Tim Carroll
Your friendly customer service robot
(and big Treo fan)

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
rcartwright @ 11/26/2005 10:23:25 PM # Q
freekout,

I thought about mentioning Google. I wonder if they could be the wildcard in the telco vs. cable war that is going on now.

"Many men stumble across the truth, but most manage to pick themselves up
and continue as if nothing had happened."
- Winston Churchill

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
SeldomVisitor @ 11/26/2005 11:06:01 PM # Q
IMS, on which everyone and their brother is basing their future, is IPv6 based.

No worry about bandwith or address space there.

Check out SONS or LU - VoIP Biggees and IMS all-the-way for the future.

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
PenguinPowered @ 11/26/2005 11:40:01 PM # Q
Nokia has the phone market pretty much covered with their traditional offerings. Perhaps they agree with me that it makes sense to wait until more powerful arm processors are battery efficient enough for Linux?

IPv6 has its own problems, not the least of which is the reluctance it has met among technical people. As one who has been involved in the internet since the early 80s, I've written in the past in other forums that the IPv6 reluctance is a very good example that the internet has reached the point where existing infrastructure weighs it down enough to slow innovation to a snail's pace -- at least at the wide-area network protocol levels.

Marty Fouts
Linux kernel developer
Available for work after 2 Dec 05

Unused bandwidth for Internet + VoIP
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/27/2005 2:51:28 AM # Q
VoR,

THere is a lot of dark fiber out there from the dot comm build up/bust. Capacity is not a problem.

You might be right. I'd forgotten about all the buildup for demand that never materialized in the dotbomb days. Northern Telecom and WorldCom probably produced a lot of unused bandwidth that could be brought into play over the next couple years.

TVoR

------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm eCONomy = Communismô

The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

NetFrontLinux - the next major cellphone OS?: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=8060#111823

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
AdamaDBrown @ 11/27/2005 5:53:32 AM # Q
Regarding WiFi/WiMax and current telecom companies, I agree that they can't maintain the same dominance. Their control is based on owning the cables, and owning the airwaves. With technologies like WiFi that sit in unlicensed radio space, they can't control it as easily.

The big reason that the existing mobile phone carriers have a virtual monopoly is cost. It takes huge amounts of money to buy a license for spectrum, and even more money to buy and deploy gear for mobile phone and basic data service. You're easily talking a startup cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Now, in the next few years a lot of space in the 700 MHz range is going to be recycled and redistributed by the FCC. If we can get unlicensed space set aside in this range, and WiMax gear becomes commoditized, than anybody with $10,000 can set up a tower and compete with the big boys for 20-30 miles in all directions. When you're talking about providing mobile phone service, mobile/fixed internet (both consumer and business), and even newer techs like IPTV, then that $10k looks pretty paltry. One tower could make that back for you in a month, maybe less.

WiFi is great. I deeply love WiFi. But it will never have *complete* saturation coverage because it just wasn't designed for it. You can get great range with the right antennas, but most WiFi devices weren't designed with the sensitivity, the power, or the antenna gain to do really long distance connections without hacking. That's what my hope for WiMax is: that it does what WiFi can, but designed for better range.

The Treo hasn't evolved in 3 years. Inertia = DEATH.
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/27/2005 2:34:45 PM # Q
"Palm can't compete in a commodity market and by losing control of PalmOS, they've created a commodity market for PalmOS devices."

Scary possibility. But from what I understand, at least with the Treo, the Phone app interface and backend is all Handspring's (and thus, now, Palm's) own work, as are the superb Messaging and Camera apps. Not sure how much they shared with PalmSource though.

The single most impressive aspect of the Handspring Treo 600 was the stunning degree of hacking Handspring engineers did to wheezy old PalmOS 5 to create an OS that could be controlled almost completely with a single finger. I think people still don't appreciate how difficult it was for a tiny company like Handspring to have done this, create the slick physical design and stuff in the telephony, email, SMS, etc., etc. in the short time frame they had. The Treo 600 was 2 or 3 YEARS ahead of its competition (who still have not yet caught up). Unfortunately, Palm sat still on Handspring's design and has fallen back into their familiar game of Incremental Upgrades. That won't cut it when you're competing with the likes of Nokia and Sony Ericsson.

Palm still might be able to compete by having a superior phone UI and media integration. And if the OS is dirt-cheap, it might enable them to drop the prices on their devices. It all depends on how well they can market the Treo brand, I think. Convince people it's a superior product and they'll be willing to pay a slight premium. But they won't be able to win a price war, if it comes to that.

Once someone has shown what works well as a design, it's easy to simply copy this and that's exactly what's going to happen/is happening. The number of phones you'll see over the next year that look lke Treo clones is pathetic. The one-handed UI can also be copied and ALL upcoming major players do integration as well as PalmOS - if not better. PalmOS is already cheap (less than $10/license) - prices are high because that's what Palm figures the market will bear. Prices will have to plummet when cheap "Treo-killers" are on the market. At that point Palm can kiss any future profitability goodbye.

Had Palm regained ownership of PalmOS and ended other licenses they would have been the only game in town for those of us wanting PalmOS on a smartphone. THAT could have assured them a future. But Motorola and Access dashed those plans. Yes, splitting Palm into PalmSource and palm0ne was a really bright idea... Way to go, Benhamou et. al. Thanks for plundering the company, you a-holes.

XXOO,
TVoR

------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm eCONomy = Communismô

The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

NetFrontLinux - the next major cellphone OS?: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=8060#111823

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
PenguinPowered @ 11/27/2005 3:06:53 PM # Q
Wi-fi is more ubiquitous than people seem to realize. While wide-area wi-fi nets are rare, wi-fi hotspots are common. But the initial appeal of the 770 isn't going to based on wide spread access to public wi-fi. It is aimed at private wi-fi, like home networks and business wi-fi.

There are said to be more than 150 Linux distros for the PC. Of these, maybe a dozen do well. I don't have an accurate count for embedded distros, but, I'm sure, the number is large. That doesn't matter.

Why would MartyLinux be a success over the others? Because the others are all attempts to figure out how to make cleaner burning oil lamps with improved wicks. MartyLinux would be an attempt to introduce electricity. (And, no, I'm not going to explain that, I have to keep _something_ back for the VCs ;)

*any* Linux could approach the 20,000 ap number. Debian claims 16,000 all by itself. Hack a third rate Garnet emulator and you could also claim the 20,000 PalmOS aps as well. But the number of aps is a red herring. The question is how well do the aps that matter do in the market that counts. I'll take the _right_ 10 aps over 20k random aps any day.

The problem with rolling your own distro is that in the end, it's just as expensive as rolling your own OS. The amount of money you save by not being in the OS design and development business you more than spend by being in the OS integration business. This is fine if you don't have the inhouse skills to do an OS, but it's naive to think you'll save money that way.

As far as a business plan, I'd give the Linux away. The money is in services, not in product. Witness IBM, and what RedHat has morphed into.

As far as "new OS", making an appearance, prepare to be surprised. Conditions are ripe, and while it may turn out to be just another linux distro on the surface, I fully expect one to come from a very unexpected source. There are, by the way, other ways to fund such a product than venture capital.

I don't see wi-fi as needing complete saturation coverage. It's fine for it to be hot-spot based if the hot spots are convenient. Over the road truckers can get wi-fi at truck stops now. As far as they're concerned, that's enough coverage to justify the switch, especially as the wi-fi hardware is cheap. That's only one example of how wi-fi that's not wi-max is having a larger than expected impact.



Marty Fouts
Linux kernel developer
Available for work after 2 Dec 05

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
freakout @ 11/27/2005 4:29:33 PM # Q
TVoR,

As someone who desperately wants to see his favourite gadget *ever* assured a bright and happy future, I believe there's only one correct response to your analysis:

(plugs fingers in ears)

LA LA LA LA LA LA LA NOT LISTENING LA LA LA LA LA LA LA CAN'T HEAR YOU LA LA LA LA

;)

Hey, it seems to work for the record industry...

Tim Carroll
Your friendly customer service robot
(and big Treo fan)

TVoR reality check
cervezas @ 11/27/2005 7:42:41 PM # Q
It's amazing how much complete nonsense can accumulate here if you just let TVoR blather for a few days. Let's see....

Palm can't compete in a commodity market and by losing control of PalmOS, they've created a commodity market for PalmOS devices.

If the fact that multiple licensees can develop Palm OS devices makes it a "commodity market" then I'd say Palm has thrived in that commodity market pretty much since inception. You used to believe that competitors like Sony and Handspring helped to keep Palm honest by holding them to a higher standard, TVoR. So what happened to that argument?

Prices will have to plummet when cheap "Treo-killers" are on the market. At that point Palm can kiss any future profitability goodbye.

Nothing would be better for the Treo right now than a flock of "Treo killers." This is one case where it's really true that your competition validates you and increases your market (as well as that of your competitors). With its aggressive plans to release no less than four different Treos next year Palm is gambling that even competition from itself is going to matter less than capitalizing off of and expanding its reputation as the smartphone to beat. They believe that 2006 is the year of the smartphone and from where I stand I think they may very well be right. Even in 2005 when Palm started to see some significant competition in the smartphone market, their revenues and margins did not decrease, they increased. Quite dramatically, in fact.

Regarding the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet TVoR wrote:
I'm not saying that the 770 isn't a good product, but its current limitations also severely limit its potential market. How many people really would be willing to buy a Wi-Fi-only small-screened internet tablet? Until Wi-Fi is ubiquitous, the 770 desperately needs a cellphone radio for truely useful connectivity.

The 770 already has a cellphone radio. It's inside your Bluetooth enabled cell phone. IMO, the 770 may very well be the first small tablet device to really succeed in the market. This is in large part because it leverages the ubiquitous connectivity and ubiquitous device presence of low-cost Bluetooth-enabled phones.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

Why you will care that Linux is under the hood
cervezas @ 11/27/2005 7:52:46 PM # Q
AdamaDBrown wrote:
Who cares [if Linux is powering your smartphone]? If it's not handling the user interface and top level applications, if it's just doing the gruntwork for one type or another of proprietary code, then whether it has a Linux kernel is completely and totally irrelevant from any practical standpoint.

I agree that users aren't going to buy a smartphone because they know it has Linux under the hood. What they will care about is that devices with innovative capabilities and form factors come to market faster, which Linux can provide because new chipsets and hardware components are generally released with Linux drivers first. They'll also care that their phone is rock stable. And as security threats for mobile devices become greater they will care that their phones are rated as among the most secure.

Still, in the final analysis it won't be the end users that drive the demand for Linux phones, it will be the device vendors and wireless operators. This is already true in Asia, but will increasingly become true in Europe and the Americas. These vendors see Linux as scaling better than competing kernels, making it possible to use it across devices with a wider range of capabilities. That reduces costs, which of course end users care a lot about, too. The demand for mobile phones is proving to be very elastic (price sensitive) so that price reductions increase total revenue. This means cost reductions have a multiplied effect on net revenue. That's going to be hard to resist.


David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
AdamaDBrown @ 11/27/2005 7:53:18 PM # Q
PenguinPowered wrote:
I don't see wi-fi as needing complete saturation coverage. It's fine for it to be hot-spot based if the hot spots are convenient. Over the road truckers can get wi-fi at truck stops now. As far as they're concerned, that's enough coverage to justify the switch, especially as the wi-fi hardware is cheap. That's only one example of how wi-fi that's not wi-max is having a larger than expected impact.

But if you're talking about wireless as a way to bypass existing telecom monopolies, hotspot coverage isn't nearly good enough. That's the original point. You can't replace a mobile phone with a WiFi phone that you can only use at a handful of locations.

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
PenguinPowered @ 11/27/2005 8:10:51 PM # Q
Oh, I wasn't talking about a wi-fi phone -- just about what the market for the 770 is. I was talking about what wi-fi is doing to what people think about connectivity. phones are for simple two way communication, maybe a party-line (read conference) call, but not very effective for the things people want to do when they're 'connected'.

A 'smart phone' is a compromise in the same way that a Swiss army knife is. I'll take a bowie knife and a real screwdriver, thanks; and, I suspect, so will most people. So my guess is that the 'smart phone' market is going to be remain a very small part of the phone market, and a new class of devices -- of which, nokia is hoping the 770 is first -- will take over the bottom end of the connectivity niche from the laptop.



Marty Fouts
Linux kernel developer
Available for work after 2 Dec 05

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
cervezas @ 11/27/2005 8:35:32 PM # Q
A 'smart phone' is a compromise in the same way that a Swiss army knife is. I'll take a bowie knife and a real screwdriver, thanks; and, I suspect, so will most people. So my guess is that the 'smart phone' market is going to be remain a very small part of the phone market, and a new class of devices -- of which, nokia is hoping the 770 is first -- will take over the bottom end of the connectivity niche from the laptop.

I've been thinking the same thing, Marty. One thing that we're seeing is that while 3G networks are starting to roll out there really hasn't been a compelling reason for people to want that bandwidth on a device with a tiny phone screen. Most people say they're not that interested in streaming video on their phone, for example. As this reality starts to sink in with the wireless operators they are going to be looking for other ways to get people interested in pricey EV-DO and wCDMA data contracts. Before long they're going to realize that 3G network bandwidth is mainly interesting to people if they have commensurable visual bandwidth, i.e. a little more screen real estate. But people don't want big screens on their phones. Small tablets like the 770 are going to become quite popular in the next few years, I think, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if we start to see the wireless operators subsidizing these devices the way they currently do phones.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
freakout @ 11/27/2005 11:45:40 PM # Q
"A 'smart phone' is a compromise in the same way that a Swiss army knife is. I'll take a bowie knife and a real screwdriver, thanks; and, I suspect, so will most people."

I'd have to disagree. Most people to whom I've shown my Treo - once they get over it's brick-like styling - *love* the idea of one device that does everything. Especially impressive are TCPMP and some of the prettier games like Sky Force, zQuake. The GPS capability via Bluetooth is also a good crowd-pleaser. Give them five minutes to play with it and realise it's really quite simple to do all these things (okay, zQuake excepted ;) ) and they're sold.

The real barrier to entry is the price of the Treo - currently at around $850 AUD for the unlocked GSM - and the price of high-capacity SD storage.

There's a reason the Swiss Army Knife is still a big seller...

"there really hasn't been a compelling reason for people to want that bandwidth on a device with a tiny phone screen"

Ah, but the Treo's screen ain't tiny. At least, not compared to a standard phone. Heck, if people are going to watch movies on their iPod...

By the way David, your comments about Palm surviving give hope to a fanboy like myself. Thanks :D

Tim Carroll
Your friendly customer service robot
(and big Treo fan)

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
AdamaDBrown @ 11/28/2005 2:11:23 AM # Q
David Beers wrote:

I agree that users aren't going to buy a smartphone because they know it has Linux under the hood. What they will care about is that devices with innovative capabilities and form factors come to market faster, which Linux can provide because new chipsets and hardware components are generally released with Linux drivers first.

So that's what, a two week advantage over other OSes? Realistically, I don't see why someone would base their entire chosen development platform around a few pieces of hardware which may or may not come with limited existing drivers. And you still haven't explained how and why people will choose this platform when there's no one interface and no one set of applications.

They'll also care that their phone is rock stable. And as security threats for mobile devices become greater they will care that their phones are rated as among the most secure.

I'm afraid I have bad news for you. Linux is only as stable as the software company makes it. I was once able to crash a brand new Linux install within 15 minutes, without installing new software or even connecting to a network. So no, Linux is no magic bullet with regard to stability. Nor, for that matter, is it guaranteed any greater security. Mobile devices on the whole are really very secure, since they don't have the same code complexity of desktops, which is what helps security problems pop up. Name a single serious security threat to Palm or Windows devices.

Before long they're going to realize that 3G network bandwidth is mainly interesting to people if they have commensurable visual bandwidth, i.e. a little more screen real estate. But people don't want big screens on their phones. Small tablets like the 770 are going to become quite popular in the next few years, I think, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if we start to see the wireless operators subsidizing these devices the way they currently do phones.

So you're suggesting that handhelds are going to be killed off by smartphones, only to have smartphones killed off by handhelds?

Well, whatever you're saying, welcome to the pack. Me, I've been scoffing at this smartphones-conquer-the-Earth nonsense as long as it's been around. There will always be a market for larger screens and more power.

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
sr4 @ 11/28/2005 2:47:37 AM # Q

People are NOT going to start walking around with a mobile phone AND a mini-tablet. Thats just crazy talk. Thats just another way to carry a PDA and a phone, and we know thats on way out. What will happen is that the internet (which is what we are really talking about) is going to adapt better and better to a small screen (Yahoo especially reformats well) as mobile devices become more and more common browsers, and people who want bigger screens will be able to choose devices with bigger screens, from a selection of clients, e.g. Livefaith's Treo 800w (http://www.palminfocenter.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=28865 )

The Nokia is not for taking out and about. It has a very poor battery life. Its all about keeping on the coffee table for a quick browse of the TV times. For serious functional browsing (e.g. checking your bank balance or e-mail) mobile device browsers will be adequate (and catered fully for) very soon.

Surur

Beersy, time for you to cut out the B.S.
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/28/2005 3:08:44 AM # Q
It's amazing how much complete nonsense can accumulate here if you just let TVoR blather for a few days. Let's see....

Beersy, you're so full of sh!t, it's actually scary. I hope for your sake that you don't actually believe the things you post.

>>>Palm can't compete in a commodity market and by losing control of PalmOS, they've created a commodity market for PalmOS devices.

If the fact that multiple licensees can develop Palm OS devices makes it a "commodity market" then I'd say Palm has thrived in that commodity market pretty much since inception. You used to believe that competitors like Sony and Handspring helped to keep Palm honest by holding them to a higher standard, TVoR. So what happened to that argument?

Beersy you don't have a clue what you're talking about. First of all, so far Palm hasn't had much in the way of real competition over the years. Licensees have tended to be companies that served niche markets that Palm was incapable of catering to and therefore would not significaltly hurt Palm's sales. AlphaSmart, Garmin, Symbol, HandEra, Tapwave, Aceeca, Fossil, etc. were never significant threats to Palm. Samsung has had its PalmOS phone (which is actually a better quality smartphone than the Treo) effectively killed off by Sprint, likely as a favor to Palm. Handspring and Sony were the only two legitimate competitors Palm has had over the years and both of them hurt Palm. Had Sony been more competitive with its pricing Palm would have lost a lot more marketshare years ago. Handspring merely lacked the funds to last long enough to launch the Treo 600 properly on their own. Had they been able to survive another year without merging with Palm, Handspring might have bought Palm, rather than vice versa.

You claim "Palm has thrived in that commodity market pretty much since inception". Really? You seem to have a rather bizarre definition of "thrived". Those of us who have been around PDAs for a while know that the majority of Palm's profits came in around 1999 - 2000 when Palm had little competition and Palm V/Vx were the overpriced executive toy du jour. How many hundreds of millions of $ has Palm lost since 2001? I'd suggest you review a few old SEC filings before you post more crap here, Beersy. Only recently has the company eaked out some meagre profits - again due almost exclusively to the success of the Handspring Treo + its derivative. Had Palm not been given the Treo, it probably would already be bankrupt.

And I've ALWAYS said that licensing the OS to other manufacturers was just about the dumbest thing Palm could have done as a company. If someone bought a competing CLIE or Handspring, Palm/PalmSource would gain $10 from the licensing fee, but then lose $50 - $200 from loss of profits they could have made selling that customer a Palm-branded PDA. Real smart. I guess Palm figured they could lose money with every sale but make it up with volume...

Part of the argument in favor of licensing the OS was that licensees would advance the OS and Palm would be given the rights to use this code for themselves. How clever. Palm should have been a lot less lazy and just done the OS development themselves while maintaining complete control of PalmOS.

>>>Prices will have to plummet when cheap "Treo-killers" are on the market. At that point Palm can kiss any future profitability goodbye.

Nothing would be better for the Treo right now than a flock of "Treo killers." This is one case where it's really true that your competition validates you and increases your market (as well as that of your competitors). With its aggressive plans to release no less than four different Treos next year Palm is gambling that even competition from itself is going to matter less than capitalizing off of and expanding its reputation as the smartphone to beat. They believe that 2006 is the year of the smartphone and from where I stand I think they may very well be right. Even in 2005 when Palm started to see some significant competition in the smartphone market, their revenues and margins did not decrease, they increased. Quite dramatically, in fact.

"Nothing would be better for the Treo right now than a flock of "Treo killers."" Did you really write what I just read? With a straight face? If you did, please contact your local chapter of Crackheads Anonymous for help. So you think it would be a good thing for Palm if the (tiny) smartphone market was divided between Palm and several new competitors? Wow. You're arguments at Palminfocenter are becoming incoherent, Beersy. You also seem incapable of grasping the fact that Palm is barely making any profits at all, despite the advantage Handspring conferred upon them with the Treo. Please get someone to READ your comments BEFORE you post them here. The things you're saying have become as bizarre as Dr Opinion/Jeff Kirvin.

Regarding the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet TVoR wrote:
>>>I'm not saying that the 770 isn't a good product, but its current limitations also severely limit its potential market. How many people really would be willing to buy a Wi-Fi-only small-screened internet tablet? Until Wi-Fi is ubiquitous, the 770 desperately needs a cellphone radio for truely useful connectivity.

The 770 already has a cellphone radio. It's inside your Bluetooth enabled cell phone.

Very funny. And how many people have Bluetooth phones? Sprint no longer even sells a "regular" phone that supports DUN over Bluetooth. And I hear Verizon also cripples the few Bluetooth phones they offer. So much for around 50% of the US market being able to use Bluetooth...

IMO, the 770 may very well be the first small tablet device to really succeed in the market. This is in large part because it leverages the ubiquitous connectivity and ubiquitous device presence of low-cost Bluetooth-enabled phones.

I believe you need to look up the definition of "ubiquitous" since you clearly don't have a clue what the word means. The market for a half pound Wi-Fi Internet Tablet that lacks a cellphone radio (and can't yet even do VoIP) and has just 150 minute battery life won't be very big. Use a little common sense. But when Nokia introduces the second generation Internet Tablet with a GSM cellphone radio, Bluetooth headset and streaming music profiles, optional Bluetooth folding keyboard, ARM 11 CPU, better battery life and at the same time introduces a compact NokiaLinux cellphone in a traditional form factor, they'll probably have major hits on their hands. The 770 is merely a public beta for the devices Nokia has planned.

What's happened to you, Beersy? Your posts are getting ridiculous.

TVoR



------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm eCONomy = Communismô

The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

NetFrontLinux - the next major cellphone OS?: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=8060#111823

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
freakout @ 11/28/2005 3:30:54 AM # Q
On the subject of battery life, has anyone else noticed besides me just how damn good the Treo's is? ;)

And if Palm are planning on making the 3G "Hollywood" thinner than the current Treo, then that obviously means slimming down the battery too - so how are they going to get around 3G's rather horrendous power-sucking tendency? (I have a sneaking suspicion the answer is going to be "They aren't." Which is not a good thing for an all-in-one device...)

Tim Carroll
Your friendly customer service robot
(and big Treo fan)
Hollywood: thin, large screen, no keyboard
cervezas @ 11/28/2005 4:07:03 AM # Q
Hollywood is supposed to be thinner, and with a larger screen than the 650 but no antenna and no keyboard. That according to (sigh) another analyst with a research outfit called ThinkEquity Partners. Sounds a lot like Pat's Treo 800g, actually (sans GPS). And may have about the same level of credibility, but its more fodder for the rumor mill.

Just wrote something up about this along with some figures (from the same source) on the comparison of Treo 6xx phones to the iPod. Turns out Sagio wasn't making this up:

http://www.pikesoft.com/blog/index.php?itemid=37


David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
cervezas @ 11/28/2005 4:16:59 AM # Q
AdamaDBrown wrote:
So that's what, a two week advantage over other OSes? Realistically, I don't see why someone would base their entire chosen development platform around a few pieces of hardware which may or may not come with limited existing drivers.

Tell that to PalmSource. The biggest problem they had with selling vendors on Cobalt seems to have been the fact that driver support for every single component on the device had to be developed from scratch. It's something that's measured in months, not weeks.

And you still haven't explained how and why people will choose this platform when there's no one interface and no one set of applications.

What's to explain? Linux as a smartphone OS is a non-starter at the moment. But in case you haven't noticed, that's about to change. Take a look at what the Linux Phone Standards Forum is about: http://lipsforum.org . Under PalmSource's leadership they are standardizing the API for Linux phone application stacks.

I wrote:
They'll also care that their phone is rock stable. And as security threats for mobile devices become greater they will care that their phones are rated as among the most secure.

I'm afraid I have bad news for you. Linux is only as stable as the software company makes it. I was once able to crash a brand new Linux install within 15 minutes, without installing new software or even connecting to a network. So no, Linux is no magic bullet with regard to stability. Nor, for that matter, is it guaranteed any greater security. Mobile devices on the whole are really very secure, since they don't have the same code complexity of desktops, which is what helps security problems pop up. Name a single serious security threat to Palm or Windows devices.

So your argument is that because Linux isn't a "magic bullet" it isn't in general more stable or secure? Well, you can assert that, but I can assure you that you are in a minority in believing it. More to the point, the vendors and operators themselves seem to believe it. I'm sure there are crappy Linux distributions out there, given that there are hundreds of them with vastly different levels of support. What does that prove?

So you're suggesting that handhelds are going to be killed off by smartphones, only to have smartphones killed off by handhelds?

Why is everything black and white with you guys? Products can't be successful without "killing off" all the other categories? Understand me: we are going to see all kinds of new device categories for all different kinds of users in the coming years. Yes, I think there will be a good market for Nokia 770-like and larger tablets that haven't succeeded to date. And there will be a good market among more business-oriented users for all-in-one smartphone concepts.



David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
cervezas @ 11/28/2005 4:48:50 AM # Q
Oh yeah, forgot to respond to this:
Mobile devices on the whole are really very secure, since they don't have the same code complexity of desktops

I'd be willing to bet that Windows Mobile 5.0 has at least as many lines of code as Windows 95 did. Whether I'm right or wrong, though, the point remains: smartphones now have most of the complexity of desktop systems, while lacking the resources to do the kind of heavy scanning for viruses and malware that we are accustomed to doing on our PCs.

Name a single serious security threat to Palm or Windows devices.

I notice you excluded Symbian. Is that because you're aware of the security threats to the most popular smart device OS? Here's one example: http://www.mobilephonevirus.com/article174.html

I'm not aware of serious threats to Palm or Windows devices at this time, but I think it's pretty naive to think they won't happen as these devices start to be more prevalent and carry more critical information.



David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

Beersy + Marty: PLEASE buy a vowel
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/28/2005 5:49:27 AM # Q
A 'smart phone' is a compromise in the same way that a Swiss army knife is. I'll take a bowie knife and a real screwdriver, thanks; and, I suspect, so will most people. So my guess is that the 'smart phone' market is going to be remain a very small part of the phone market, and a new class of devices -- of which, nokia is hoping the 770 is first -- will take over the bottom end of the connectivity niche from the laptop.

You might prefer to carry a separate PDA + cellphone but many (most?) people's needs would be well served by a well-designed smartphone. I believe we have yet to see the smartphone design that will appeal to the Average Joe. Size Matters, and in cellphones, small is best. But at the same time, a large rectangular screen is needed for ease of use when browsing the Internet or checking email. A 3 or 4 ounce smartphone (running the Treo 600 OS) the size of a Sony Ericsson T630 with a virtual number keypad + a Treo 600 D-pad and almost all of the front of the device taken up with an OLED screen would probably be all the "PDA" that 95% of people would want. Power users will always want the bigger screen afforded by a standalone PDA, but this will become a vanishingly small market segment.

LiveFaith nailed it with his design. THIS is the phone that will remove most compromises from owning a smartphone and finally bring smartphones to the masses:

http://churchoflivingfaith.com/images/treo800big.jpg

(It would need to be around 75% the size of the current Treo 650, though)

I've been thinking the same thing, Marty. One thing that we're seeing is that while 3G networks are starting to roll out there really hasn't been a compelling reason for people to want that bandwidth on a device with a tiny phone screen. Most people say they're not that interested in streaming video on their phone, for example. As this reality starts to sink in with the wireless operators they are going to be looking for other ways to get people interested in pricey EV-DO and wCDMA data contracts. Before long they're going to realize that 3G network bandwidth is mainly interesting to people if they have commensurable visual bandwidth, i.e. a little more screen real estate. But people don't want big screens on their phones. Small tablets like the 770 are going to become quite popular in the next few years, I think, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if we start to see the wireless operators subsidizing these devices the way they currently do phones.


Guess again.

http://churchoflivingfaith.com/images/treo800big.jpg

Suddenly that half pound Internet Tablet doesn't seem worth lugging around...


TVoR

------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm eCONomy = Communismô

The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

NetFrontLinux - the next major cellphone OS?: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=8060#111823

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
freakout @ 11/28/2005 5:50:30 AM # Q
Avast agrees with you, David: http://avast.com/eng/avast_4_pda.html

And the PalmOS version is only 30k with a 1k virus database too, so no harm for everyone to have a copy. Palm should include one standard, especially if the start to penetrate a wider market. My brother's Symbian Nokia phone was crippled with a virus a few weeks ago that was sending random MMS messages to people in his phonebook and trying to spread itself. Cost him a bunch before I fixed it.

Your Treo vs. iPod analysis is interesting too. It would be nice to see if the numbers for accessory sales also correlates, as I think that was also one of Sagio's reason for their (amusingly hopeful) prediction of an iPod-esque Treo fad.

Cervezas said:

"And there will be a good market among more business-oriented users for all-in-one smartphone concepts."

I think one of Palm's biggest mistakes has been to market solely to the corporate emailing types. It was the sole focus of the ad campaign here in Australia when the 650 was launched. Now if they pushed the media capabilities and the great SMS/MMS capabilities (I have yet to see a phone that integrates the camera with the messaging app as well as the Treo), maybe did what hklife suggested and included an SD card full of goodies... I think they might have done even better than they have so far.

It'll be interesting to see what Hollywood's marketing strategy is.


Tim Carroll
Your friendly customer service robot
(and big Treo fan)

Edumacating Beersy + Marty
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/28/2005 6:24:12 AM # Q
A 'smart phone' is a compromise in the same way that a Swiss army knife is. I'll take a bowie knife and a real screwdriver, thanks; and, I suspect, so will most people. So my guess is that the 'smart phone' market is going to be remain a very small part of the phone market, and a new class of devices -- of which, nokia is hoping the 770 is first -- will take over the bottom end of the connectivity niche from the laptop.

You might prefer to carry a separate PDA + cellphone but many (most?) people's needs would be well served by a well-designed smartphone. I believe we have yet to see the smartphone design that will appeal to the Average Joe. Size Matters, and in cellphones, small is best. But at the same time, a large rectangular screen is needed for ease of use when browsing the Internet or checking email. A 3 or 4 ounce smartphone (running the Treo 600 OS) the size of a Sony Ericsson T630 with a virtual number keypad + a Treo 600 D-pad and almost all of the front of the device taken up with an OLED screen would probably be all the "PDA" that 95% of people would want. Power users will always want the bigger screen afforded by a standalone PDA, but this will become a vanishingly small market segment.

LiveFaith nailed it with his design. THIS is the phone that will remove most compromises from owning a smartphone and finally bring smartphones to the masses:

http://churchoflivingfaith.com/images/treo800big.jpg

(It would need to be around 75% the size of the current Treo 650, though)

I've been thinking the same thing, Marty. One thing that we're seeing is that while 3G networks are starting to roll out there really hasn't been a compelling reason for people to want that bandwidth on a device with a tiny phone screen. Most people say they're not that interested in streaming video on their phone, for example. As this reality starts to sink in with the wireless operators they are going to be looking for other ways to get people interested in pricey EV-DO and wCDMA data contracts. Before long they're going to realize that 3G network bandwidth is mainly interesting to people if they have commensurable visual bandwidth, i.e. a little more screen real estate. But people don't want big screens on their phones. Small tablets like the 770 are going to become quite popular in the next few years, I think, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if we start to see the wireless operators subsidizing these devices the way they currently do phones.


Guess again.

http://churchoflivingfaith.com/images/treo800big.jpg

Suddenly that half pound Internet Tablet doesn't seem worth lugging around...


TVoR



------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm eCONomy = Communismô

The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

NetFrontLinux - the next major cellphone OS?: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=8060#111823

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
freakout @ 11/28/2005 7:00:04 AM # Q
"LiveFaith nailed it with his design. THIS is the phone that will remove most compromises from owning a smartphone and finally bring smartphones to the masses: http://churchoflivingfaith.com/images/treo800big.jpg"

It's so pretty! :-O But I want one in black.

And dammit, why is everyone so hell bent on doing away with the keyboard? It's not pretty, but it's one of the Treo's most useful features. Hide it on a slider on the back, or on a flip on the bottom, but *don't* do away with it completely. Or at least include a physical 0-9 keypad. In SMS-crazy Australia, no keyboard or keypad would very likely mean no sales. I can't imagine it would be any different for the Asian and European markets, either.

Tim Carroll
Your friendly customer service robot
(and big Treo fan)

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
hkklife @ 11/28/2005 9:48:11 AM # Q
My ideal smartphone would basically be something with TX specs but a decent-sized 320*480 screen. Having the 0-9,*,# buttons below the d-pad & hard app buttons or as a slider would be ideal as well.

Until then, I'd be content with something like a Razr BT phone and a VERY well thought-out, assembled, and reliable PDA.

In reference to Voice & Beersy's ongoing comments, I can chime in some firsthand experience:

"The 770 already has a cellphone radio. It's inside your Bluetooth enabled cell phone.

Very funny. And how many people have Bluetooth phones? Sprint no longer even sells a "regular" phone that supports DUN over Bluetooth. And I hear Verizon also cripples the few Bluetooth phones they offer. So much for around 50% of the US market being able to use Bluetooth..."

Sprint sells NO standard phones with BT DUN enabled or operable. Verizon sells one or two Motorolas + the Samsung PPC phone and there's an LG that had DUN enabled but the latest firmware update removed that functionality.
I have personally tested the LifeDrive & TX with all of the BT Motorolas that Verizon sells. Hacked or stock, the above Palms DO NOT work with BT DUN. The Moto phones work fine with all earlier Palms (T5, T3, E2, Zire 72 etc) so it's obviously a change/break by Palm to the BT stack of these models. It could've been done at the request of the carriers but I just think it was done by Palm in order to try and sell more Treos. They knew not to mess with GSM BT DUN functionality as there are more "gearhead" users worldwide with GSM and Palm has always failed to acknowledge the gigantic CDMA presence stateside anyway.

I am so disgusted with both Palm and Verizon right now that it's not even funny. The "best" network and the "best" mobile OS but each one has SO MANY damm caveats and restrictions that you cannot get full functionality out of each of them.

I really wish Voice's almost-prediction had come true and Handspring had lived long enough to rake in the $ from the Treo 600 and absorb Palm. Had HS made a earlier Springboard-to-SD transition (or even shipped a Prism II with dual slots) and made the Edge their first SD-exlusive unit, they'd likely have done fairly well during that nebulous period that they were transitioning from the Visor line to the Treo line.

Oh, anyone notice the frightening similarities between Palm and Handspring? Handspring milked the Visor with tiny updates (OS 3.5.2, rechargable battery, 16mb RAM) and their cash cow ended up dying before the Treo was ready for primetime (the early first-gen Treos were a joke in every way possible). Now Palm is trying to milk the tired old T|E and Treo 600 as long as possible without having any COMPELLING new product ready in the wings. On top of that, they're OS-less. At least Palm is, for another quarter or so, turning a profit. On the OS front, the Treo 650/700 are now being handicapped in the same way by FrankenGarnet as the Treo 180/300s were by OS3 Arguably, the early Treos did better under OS 3.5.2 than the "new" Treos have done under OS5.


Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
cervezas @ 11/28/2005 10:29:29 AM # Q
hkklife wrote:
And how many people have Bluetooth phones?

I don't know, a billion? Several hundred million at least. A lot more than have home Wi-Fi networks. Nokia sells millions of them every month (even if they don't sell so many in the US) so it wouldn't surprise me if they consider the 770 to be kind of an accessory for these phones.

I doubt Nokia thought they needed to sell as many 770s as they do S60 phones for it to be successful in their eyes. It's not going to be for everybody and it's not intended to be. It's more in the "do one thing and do it well" philosophy than most of their other high-end products. But in places where 3G networks are starting to light up it wouldn't surprise me if we start to see a light going on in peoples' heads with regard to these small tablets and other larger-screen devices. Including "Mobile Managers" like the LifeDrive if Palm gets these right with a higher resolution screen and other improvements.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
cervezas @ 11/28/2005 11:01:40 AM # Q
freekout wrote:
I think one of Palm's biggest mistakes has been to market solely to the corporate emailing types.

It sounds like it's a mistake they plan to remedy next year with Hollywood and Lowrider.

TVoR wrote:
LiveFaith nailed it with his design. THIS is the phone that will remove most compromises from owning a smartphone and finally bring smartphones to the masses

We may have a chance to see that prediction tested, too, since the description ThinkEquity Partners gives of one of the planned Treos features is "consumer focused, thin, large screen, lower ASP, no QWERTY keyboard." As I read this first I thought they were referring to Hollywood, but as I read closer it seems to occupy the spot that others said would be the Lowrider Treo.


David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
hkklife @ 11/28/2005 11:17:54 AM # Q
David;

LOL! Reread my post more carefully. "How many people have BT phones?" wasn't MY comment, it was Voice's that I was excerpting on my post!

*I* gave Palm props early on for adopting BT & SD as far back as 2001/2002 BUT the market wasn't quite ready at the time with the proper phones. To date, BT support in Windows has been a buggy, mixed big. There needs to be a DEAD SIMPLE, universally compatible Windows BT generic driver (ala mass storage devices) and setup wizard. In addition, the BT consortium needs to put the smack DOWN on any company intentionally crippling BT functionality and/or limiting the supported profiles to just headsets. By s**t canning DUN & OBEX, the vast majority of data-over-Bluetooth functionality is destroyed.

I think the BT camp needs to be split into two pairs. "BT Lite" for just headsets/telephony needs and "full BT" for stereo A2DP wireless headphone support/DUN/OBEX etc.

A better question (impossible to answer) would be:
of the millions of BT phones out there how many are :
1. Use their BT at all
2. Use BT for just voice (headsets, speakerphones etc)
3. Use BT for DATA transmissions/DUN/syncing

Ideally, Palm should have grafted the cellular radio of the T|W onto the T|C's (advanced for the time) specs & battery life, retained the wi-fi and added Bluetooth. That'd have made for a VERY compelling Treo alternative. Cellular data ONLY (voice be dammed) with no headset fumbles or the bloat/added burden of FrankenGarnet having to shoulder voice functionality.

A tri (BT, wi-fi, GPRS or EVDO) wireless device (quad-wireless for those pedantic types who insist on counting IR) would be superb for a long-lived specialty device (MUCH like the T|C) that would still have its core functionality even without a subscription to a cellular data plan. That'd keep the carriers happy but also keep Palm's power users happy...and make up somewhat up for the crippled BT on recent Palm devices as well as give a NON-carrier subsidy/contract dependent Treo alternative. It could, in essence, be Palm's version of the 770. Concept-wise, the 770 is the most forward thinking thing I've seen out of Nokia since the original 9000 but it still needs tweaking.


Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
Surur @ 11/28/2005 11:55:39 AM # Q
I think it would be relatively easy to see iif Nokia intends the 770 to be used on the go using bluetooth or not. I think many of the people here talking about bluetooth access to the mobile phone networks forget how confusing and difficult it can be to first set up. If Nokia intended really for this device to be used out and about using BT they would need to include a BT Wizard with local dialing settings for the local networks. This whole device is about internet access, and if they did not make it easy to get online via BT then I think its easy to deduce that this was not the main intention. If however a wizard with local settings were included (e.g. you just chose your phone model and network, and it does all the heavy lifting) it would be clear Nokia has done their homework.

Surur

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
hkklife @ 11/28/2005 12:29:59 PM # Q
Surur;

Good points BUT as Palm has shown over the past ~3 years, the phone/carrier model list must be CONSTANTLY updated and checked for incompatibilities. Also the support of the carriers must be guaranteed. When you have Palm's greed clashing head-on with Verizon/Sprint's greed, chaos is sure to ensue and the consumer is going to be left out in the cold.

Another option would be to permit user-created init strings etc. Quite ofen (at least here stateside) a mere firmware update to fix a bug on a phone will result in the loss of BT DUN or the ability to copy pictures/ringtones to a TF/mini-SD card. There's been an entire industry spring up around trying to reverse hack the carriers' crippling but it starts to get very old and time consuming after a while. Now we have a standardized universal UI on all new Verizon phones and things like service menus etc are much harder (if not impossible) to access by the average "semi hardcore" user.

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5

Down with Bluetooth!
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/28/2005 12:35:42 PM # Q
David;

LOL! Reread my post more carefully. "How many people have BT phones?" wasn't MY comment, it was Voice's that I was excerpting on my post!

Beersy is not well in the head these days. Forgive him - his confusion stems from a "chemical imbalance".

*I* gave Palm props early on for adopting BT & SD as far back as 2001/2002 BUT the market wasn't quite ready at the time with the proper phones.

Too bad Palm became the laughingstock of the PDA industry for its cult-like embracement of Bluetooth (at the detriment of Wi-Fi) lead by Carl "Bluetooth" Yankowski long before Bluetooth was ready for prime time. (Some feel Bluetooth STILL isn't ready for prime time.)

To date, BT support in Windows has been a buggy, mixed big. There needs to be a DEAD SIMPLE, universally compatible Windows BT generic driver (ala mass storage devices) and setup wizard. In addition, the BT consortium needs to put the smack DOWN on any company intentionally crippling BT functionality and/or limiting the supported profiles to just headsets. By s**t canning DUN & OBEX, the vast majority of data-over-Bluetooth functionality is destroyed.

Amen, Brother! Can I get a "Glory Hallelujah"? My IBM X40 comes with Bluetooth. Too bad it doesn't support all profiles. And when I disabled it and installed a USB Bluetooth adapter, all he11 broke loose and I ended up with so many headaches I had to reformat the laptop. Thanks. My Sony Ericsson T608 (the ultra-rare Sprint Bluetooth phone that only had 10,000 copies made before Sony Ericsson cancelled all development of CDMA phones) works great as a modem with my UX50 and TH55. But I can download about 50 KB with the laptop using Bluetooth DUN before the connection hangs. IBM tech support is utterly clueless about Bluetooth and Sony Ericsson (understandably) says they're not to blame. Sprint has no clue + is not be too keen on Bluetooth DUN anyway. Earlier Bluetooth phones I've used have been buggy as he11 and setting up devices typically involves chanting, sacred rituals and the occasional sacrifice. Yes, Bluetooth is a cult experience second to none. Palm is probably the only company I've seen that actually has well-designed setup menus for Bluetooth.

Bluetooth is not totally useless, though - my HP Bluetooth printer adapter is rock solid and works exactly as advertised.

I think the BT camp needs to be split into two pairs. "BT Lite" for just headsets/telephony needs and "full BT" for stereo A2DP wireless headphone support/DUN/OBEX etc.

Amen! I'm sick of having to search to see what profiles are supported. I have yet to come across a tech in ANY company selling a Bluetooth device that is even familiar with what "profiles" are! Even the terminology used to describe profiles is inconsistent.

A better question (impossible to answer) would be:
of the millions of BT phones out there how many are :
1. Use their BT at all
2. Use BT for just voice (headsets, speakerphones etc)
3. Use BT for DATA transmissions/DUN/syncing

According to a study just published by TVoR Research Associates, Inc the answers are:
1) 5%
2) 4%
3) 1%

Ideally, Palm should have grafted the cellular radio of the T|W onto the T|C's (advanced for the time) specs & battery life, retained the wi-fi and added Bluetooth. That'd have made for a VERY compelling Treo alternative. Cellular data ONLY (voice be dammed) with no headset fumbles or the bloat/added burden of FrankenGarnet having to shoulder voice functionality.

A tri (BT, wi-fi, GPRS or EVDO) wireless device (quad-wireless for those pedantic types who insist on counting IR) would be superb for a long-lived specialty device (MUCH like the T|C) that would still have its core functionality even without a subscription to a cellular data plan. That'd keep the carriers happy but also keep Palm's power users happy...and make up somewhat up for the crippled BT on recent Palm devices as well as give a NON-carrier subsidy/contract dependent Treo alternative. It could, in essence, be Palm's version of the 770. Concept-wise, the 770 is the most forward thinking thing I've seen out of Nokia since the original 9000 but it still needs tweaking.

That would have been a bold device for Palm and probably would have sold well to business users.


TVoR

------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm eCONomy = Communismô

The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

NetFrontLinux - the next major cellphone OS?: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=8060#111823

laptop, not PDA
PenguinPowered @ 11/28/2005 1:52:08 PM # Q
One of the points I haven't been making clearly is that devices like the 770 aren't intended to replace PDAs or to be carried everywhere. They're more to replace the laptop we haul off to meetings or have sitting on the coffee table so that we can be connected while we're away from our desk but still in the building.

This class of devices will have an impact on the 'smartphone' market because it will be bought out of funds that might otherwise have been spent on a smartphone, but it's not meant to be, and it doesn't need to be, a direct competitor to a pda.



Marty Fouts
Linux kernel developer
Available for work after 2 Dec 05

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
PenguinPowered @ 11/28/2005 2:25:43 PM # Q
There are always two camps around the swiss-army-knife versus full-tool-box argument. The problem with applying it to feature phones and smart phones is that the camp with the money tends to be the full-tool-box camp. There's a reason why a mechanic has a complete socket set instead of a crescent wrench, after all. The swiss-army-knife only sells when it's much cheaper than the full-tool-box, and, as far as I can tell, in consumer electronics, this isn't true about the smart phone -- and may never become true.

The handheld that's being 'killed off' is a device that was meant to be used standalone, except for the occassional synchronization with a 'mother ship' pc. The handhel that might take off is a different sort of device with a different basic purpose.

About LiPS: "The thing about standards is that there are so many to chose from".

One of the problems that smartphones face (and can't fix) wrt connectivity *is* screen size. People want their phones to have a small form factor. But they want their intarweb to be readable, and we're getting older as a population, so higher density small screens ain't the answer.



Marty Fouts
Linux kernel developer
Available for work after 2 Dec 05

What do you get when you cross the 770 with the SoulPad?
cervezas @ 11/28/2005 2:31:52 PM # Q
PenguinPowered wrote:
One of the points I haven't been making clearly is that devices like the 770 aren't intended to replace PDAs or to be carried everywhere. They're more to replace the laptop we haul off to meetings or have sitting on the coffee table so that we can be connected while we're away from our desk but still in the building.

Exactly. I'm not sure if people here have really caught on that the 770 has almost three times the screen resolution of any Palm PDA (800x480) and is designed to view and work with documents and web pages in exactly the format you'd have on a laptop or tablet PC.

It's really interesting that it's running a full-blown Debian Linux distro with X Windows and all. Theoretically you should be able to run X applications on remote Linux boxes with it, though I realize that that's not terribly compelling if you're not a Linux geek. But look a little farther and start thinking about devices like this some day going the direction of IBM's SoulPad: put some serious USB 2.0-connected storage on it and a virtual machine that can run a guest operating system so you could boot a PC off it and carry your PC environment with you wherever you go. (http://www.research.ibm.com/WearableComputing/SoulPad/soulpad.html) Only unlike the SoulPad, you'd have the nice screen and OS that would let you interact with your data and applications in a disconnected mode as well. No synchronization: your files and applications always live on the device that you carry with you, not the PC.

For a lot of people this would be a beautiful world.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
sr4 @ 11/28/2005 2:54:32 PM # Q
The main difference between a swiss army knife and a full tool set is that one is meant to be carried around everywhere whereas the other one is meant to stay in the garage or back of the truck. Professionals may put up with carrying a full set of best-of-class devices, but for consumers a good compromise is usually good enough. That will keep this a niche product vs mobile phones, which is swallowing up all other electronic devices which are meant to be carried around everywhere.

Surur

Marty, have you caught Beersyitis?
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/28/2005 2:59:34 PM # Q
...it's not meant to be, and it doesn't need to be, a direct competitor to a pda.

Rubbish.

Unconnected PDAs in 2006 make about as much sense as a cellphone without a phone book, alarm and calendar. Sure you can build an unconnected PDA, but why would you want to? Once LiveFaith's Treo 800g concept arrives, the only way to justify standalone PDAs will be if they are the always-connected microlaptops + Internet/email devices I've advocated for for the past 3 or 4 years. How hard would it be to stick a cellphone radio in a UX50 or 770? I suspect we'll find out in a few months...

TVoR

------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm eCONomy = Communismô

The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

NetFrontLinux - the next major cellphone OS?: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=8060#111823

The future = smartphones + PalmTopsô + laptops + desktops.
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/28/2005 3:20:26 PM # Q
A 'smart phone' is a compromise in the same way that a Swiss army knife is. I'll take a bowie knife and a real screwdriver, thanks; and, I suspect, so will most people.

In that case, why not also take a machete, a chainsaw and a 1000 piece Craftsman toolkit, including torque wrench and battery-operated screwdriver? You don't mind carrying 100 pounds worth of tools with you everywhere you go, right? Guess what: if I have to CARRY something with me, I want it to be as small and light as possible ("and, I suspect, so will most people.")

Imagine LiveFaith's "Treo 800g" with a 5 megapixel camera, 4 GB RAM, all Bluetooth profiles, Wi-Fi, USB host ability, voice recorder, etc. For a LOT of people (but not ALL people) this would allow them to happily say goodbye to lugging their iPod, digital camera +/- camcorder, card reader/USB flash drive, digital or cassette voice recorder, PDA, (and possibly even laptop) around all the time. Not bad for a 5 ounce device that also functions as a cellphone, address book, calendar, to do list amd memo pad.

That's the future, Marty - it's inevitable. The only reason to buy anything bigger than a cellphone (besides a full-fledged laptop) will be to get a reasonable sized screen (at least 4 or 5 inches) and a decent keyboard to create a true PalmTopô.

TVoR



------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm eCONomy = Communismô

The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

NetFrontLinux - the next major cellphone OS?: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=8060#111823

RE: Marty, have you caught Beersyitis?
cervezas @ 11/28/2005 3:30:09 PM # Q
Huh? Who said anything about disconnected anything? Laptops aren't disconnected these days so why would a laptop replacement device be?

Truth is, we're in one of those moments of delicious uncertainty when I don't think anyone has a very good idea what kind of devices people will be using just a few years from now. I may be wrong, but I have a feeling the next 5 years or so are going to turn a lot of expectations on their heads.

One thing we can be sure of, though: TVoR will be there to make his bold and invariably wrong predictions. I wish he wouldn't keep going on about Pat's Treo 800 designs; I feel like he's jinxing them. Well, maybe even The Voice of Reason could guess something right once in a blue moon, eh? We can only pray.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
sr4 @ 11/28/2005 3:41:30 PM # Q
Disconnected PDA's are justifiable if the PDA is much ahead of the technology of the converged solution e.g. on the WM side PDA's had VGA screens two years before PDA-phones, WIFI 3 years before. There's still no phones with USB Host. Integrated GPS is still only now coming along. There's no smartphones with CF card slots or bar-code readers.

Individually these may not seem compelling, but if there is a killer feature you want while mobile you may sacrifice being converged to get it.

Surur

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
rcartwright @ 11/28/2005 4:02:28 PM # Q
Just some quick observations,

Regarding the 3G and 4G phones and bluetooth. Recall that there is a trend, especally with the 20somethings, to have the cell phone be the ONLY phone. That means that unless you go cable (the solution right now) the cell phone is the only pipe for internet access. The telcos would love to be the same all in one solution that cable companies are pushing right now. iTV makes that possible, provided that there is a way to hook the phone into the system. Bluetooth, even 2.0 does not have enough bandwith to pump that kind of data through, so either wi-fi or a cabled solution is going to have to be the way to go. I suspect that sooner or later there will have to be some implementation of wi-fi in the phones as I really don't see a cabled solution working out, short of some sort of base unit you drop the phone into such as Cingular tried (and apparently failed) to market a few months back. I say failed, because the base sets were in the "clearence" bin at the Cingular store.

THe second thing is that the aging US baby boomers are going to demand larger screens, becuse they can't see a small screen! That said, the N770 is no answer because it will not fit in your hand for phone purposes. I submit that its got to feel "right" as a phone, which the Treo does and a lot of other smartphones do not. If it feels like you are holding a paperback to your ear, then its not going to fly.

As for thumbboards/keypads, on one hand I do not think the general public is yet ST:TNG enough to embrace virtual keypads. On the other hand I HATE thumbboards and non standard phone keypads. THe geezer factor comes into play here as well. You have to be able to see what you are doing. Gripping hand, I really don't have a good answer here.

"Many men stumble across the truth, but most manage to pick themselves up
and continue as if nothing had happened."
- Winston Churchill

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
freakout @ 11/28/2005 4:08:37 PM # Q
"The swiss-army-knife only sells when it's much cheaper than the full-tool-box, and, as far as I can tell, in consumer electronics, this isn't true about the smart phone -- and may never become true."

Oh, really? ;) (Aussie prices here)

Decent unlocked GSM phone: $200
iPod (with video to avoid a seperate video player): $450
Cheapo PDA for BT internet: $300
Game Boy Advance: around $75 now i think
GPS unit: $600, minimum for one with a screen

Total: $1625

VS:

Unlocked Treo 650: $850
2gig SD: $200
Bluetooth GPS: $400

Total: $1450

Treo wins by $175 dollars, and is only one device (two with GPS) in your pocket vs. *five* seperate devices. What's more, it does everything the above do pretty damn well too.

Granted, it's still pretty expensive, but I don't think you could say that the Treo 650 is more expensive that the sum of its parts. Once SD cards start to come down in price... (fingers crossed they actually do)

Tim Carroll
Your friendly customer service robot
(and big Treo fan)

Swiss Army Knife
SeldomVisitor @ 11/28/2005 4:25:07 PM # Q
RE: The future = smartphones + PalmTopsô + laptops + desktop
cervezas @ 11/28/2005 4:34:06 PM # Q
TVoR wrote:
The only reason to buy anything bigger than a cellphone (besides a full-fledged laptop) will be to get a reasonable sized screen (at least 4 or 5 inches) and a decent keyboard to create a true PalmTopô.

So why all the argument? The Nokia 770 has a 4.1" WVGA screen and accepts input from Bluetooth or USB keyboards, thanks to the hacker community. It seems to me that's a pretty decent laptop replacement for a lot of folks, especially since it weighs less than a quarter of the smallest Windows XP laptops and is only a little larger than a Tungsten T3.

Glad that (at least from the title you gave your post) you're finally acknowledging that there doesn't have to be just one successful mobile device category.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Swiss Army Knife
cervezas @ 11/28/2005 4:49:17 PM # Q
SeldomVisitor wrote:
-- http://discussion.treocentral.com/showthread.php?t=33796
"So what I want is a large screen PDA with keyboard and tapscreen with a DETACHABLE Piggyback phone with a dinky screen and standard numeric buttons, etc."

Yeah, I keep thinking about this, too. The large display and slide-out keyboard could be just an input/output device that interfaces with the phone rather than having its own processor. Very inexpensive to build and sell as a phone accessory. It'd have its own battery and could charge the phone in a pinch. And to drive video from the phone it would need to have a fast hardwire connection, so you'd make it so the two could "dock" in a nice way.

http://www.pikesoft.com/blog/index.php?itemid=10

It could be made a little smaller than this, and certainly better looking, and as you say you could lose the Treo keyboard in favor of a better phone keypad, but you get the idea.


David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

Swiss Army Knife Revisited
SeldomVisitor @ 11/28/2005 5:28:51 PM # Q
Actually, I was thinking something like an old TREO 300 with a humongous display - you know, a PDA - AND with full QWERTY keyboard with a detachable phone on the back with standard numeric-only keyboard. The "smarts" could be whereever (or shared!). The phone would talk to the PDA portion either hardwire directly or via Bluetooth or both. If one ONLY wants to talk on a phone you simply have the phone in your hand, if you want PDA-style functions with a large screen you have both (or if you want a large-screen browser, etc). Since PDA users don't really care TOO much about thickness I think that would work. Data connectivity, of course, is paramount - PDA to phone, phone to PDA, phone to world, PDA to phone to world, etc ad nauseum.

Maybe combo unit to ANY bluetooth (or whatever) device.

======

In other ramblings - there is new flexible display technology http://lfw.pennnet.com/Articles/Article_Display.cfm?Section=ARTCL&ARTICLE_ID=201619&VERSION_NUM=2 that could allow a device to fold completely ala any flipphone yet still have a relatively HUGE display. Maybe have to create a small well-like depression at/either side of the hinge to allow the display to bend into a little relatively-low-curvature loop (rather than a pure sharp creased bend) but otherwise everything else remains the same.

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
PenguinPowered @ 11/28/2005 5:34:30 PM # Q
The "SoulPad" is reality of sorts now:

http://www.projectblackdog.com/

Given the reports on battery performance, it would probably be unreasonable to stick a cellphone radio in a 770 now.

The carry argument isn't a very good one. When I go backpacking, I take custom built, lightweight, single purpose stuff. There's more of it, and, all told, it weighs less than the colman/swiss-army-knife version that you'd get with the all-in-one model.

The "all-in-one" device has been "the future" in every industry over all time. It's never been the present though. Flying cars have been around since the 50s, and people are still trying to develop them, but they never end up making sense.

Sure, there will always be casual users who will take a compromise camera, a compromise phone, a compromise av player, in an all-in-one package, because of weight or other reasons, but they have always been and will always remain the minority.

I think the cellphone-only trend is a passing fad, but I don't have hard numbers. Anyone have stats?

Here's a prediction for you: "NestingDoll(tm)" -- the model where the laptop goes into a docking station so that you can get the wired net and big screen when you want it but the portability when you don't gets taken two more levels:

1) A tiny screen mostlyPhone(tm) phone device that mainly serves as a dumb cellphone and has your typical phone pad and small screen

that can plug into

2) a port on the laptop so you can see what's going on when you're using it on the road. Laptop is the backup for the mostlyPhone

and it can plug into

3) the traditional docking station so you can use the big screen when you're at your desk.

The trick (and the difference between electricity and cleaner burning oil wicks) is to divy up the bits appropriately between the devices.


Marty Fouts
Linux kernel developer
Available for work after 2 Dec 05

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
cervezas @ 11/28/2005 6:00:36 PM # Q
SeldomVisitor wrote:
Actually, I was thinking something like an old TREO 300 with a humongous display - you know, a PDA - AND with full QWERTY keyboard with a detachable phone on the back with standard numeric-only keyboard.

I get it. So the whole thing is really not much bigger than a nice PDA. That's a pretty neat idea if you can really make it fit together sleekly.

PenguinPowered wrote:
The "SoulPad" is reality of sorts now: http://www.projectblackdog.com/

I know... it's on my "to buy" list right now. This is actually more like what I'm talking about than the SoulPad, since the SoulPad hardware is really just a USB hard disk and has no processor of its own. It seems like it would be a nice hacker project to make a BlackDog-powered PDA or mini-tablet. The BlackDog would act as your PC when plugged into your PC and as your PDA or laptop replacement device when plugged into that. It'd be some work to do it right, but it sure would be in the spirit of Palm's motto: "The future of computing is mobile computing."

What's the performance of a 400MHz PowerPC with 64Mb or RAM like, anyway? What applications could you run, practically speaking? I realize that would be a pretty weak PC, even running Linux, but I'm awfully curious to try it for when I want access to my own Linux box while I'm on a PC at a client's site.

You're right that the challenge with all of these modular computing ideas is to figure out the right division of labor and implement it cleanly. Sure seems like a promising line of research. I've been hoping that Jeff Hawkins' "Third Business" of Palm was something in this direction of modular computing, but the vision I have for it is probably a little far-out for a company like Palm.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
Surur @ 11/28/2005 6:01:52 PM # Q

The best test will be if mp3 phones overtake ipod's or not. If they do then convergence is the future. If they dont we would have seen for ourselves than specialized devices will rule the day.

Surur

They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
AdamaDBrown @ 11/28/2005 6:13:24 PM # Q
David Beers wrote:
Tell that to PalmSource. The biggest problem they had with selling vendors on Cobalt seems to have been the fact that driver support for every single component on the device had to be developed from scratch. It's something that's measured in months, not weeks.

I was talking about hardware vendors playing with pure Linux, David, as you well know. Don't try to change the subject. And as I understand it, the reason that PalmSource couldn't sell anyone on Cobalt was that it was essentially unfinished. You have to start from scratch for drivers under Palm OS 5, Windows, Symbian, etcetera, but that doesn't seem to bother anyone.

Take a look at what the Linux Phone Standards Forum is about

Take a look again at my comments about how irrelevant LiPS is. You'll never get a successful pure Linux unified standard out of committee. One entity has to define the standard, whether that's PalmSource or somebody else.

So your argument is that because Linux isn't a "magic bullet" it isn't in general more stable or secure?

On a mobile device, no, it's not. Show me the last security hole that affected any Palm or Windows based handheld. They don't have the underlying complexity, the open services, the code loopholes that cause security issues on a desktop.

Why is everything black and white with you guys? Products can't be successful without "killing off" all the other categories?

That's MY line, David. My point for years has been how "smartphones" are never going to completely take over the market--they're a part of it, not the whole thing. My comment was in mockery of the constant ridiculous predictions of how one thing will kill another--laptops being killed by tablets, iPods being killed by music phones, etcetera.

I'd be willing to bet that Windows Mobile 5.0 has at least as many lines of code as Windows 95 did. Whether I'm right or wrong, though, the point remains: smartphones now have most of the complexity of desktop systems, while lacking the resources to do the kind of heavy scanning for viruses and malware that we are accustomed to doing on our PCs.

David, WM5.0 is, in fully deployed configuration with attendant progams, a full 60 MB in size. As I recall, W95 was something like 150-200 MB at a minimum.

A lot of security holes happen because of clutter in the code, like Outlook's capacity for running ActiveX. Mobile devices are by nature very lean, with a minimum of code to keep things fast and organized. In that kind of environment, it's unlikely that the developers would allow the open ports, rogue services, etc. that open up vulnerabilities. H--l, the default WM5 email client doesn't even recognize HTML, let alone active scripting.

I notice you excluded Symbian. Is that because you're aware of the security threats to the most popular smart device OS?

In truth, I was just thinking about the major market players. To me, Series 60 doesn't come off as an actual platform. It's bought on the basis of being Nokia hardware. But since you mention it, that virus you pointed to requires the user to manually install it. That's what I mean by mobile devices not having the same problems as desktops. You can't just have a self-propagating virus in the same way.

(Talking about Bluetooth phones)
I don't know, a billion? Several hundred million at least.

Try half of that second figure, and you might be closer to the mark. Bluetooth is mainly popular in Europe, and to a lesser extent in the US. Many of those sales are upgraders.

The test of a successful convergence
cervezas @ 11/28/2005 6:51:53 PM # Q
surer wrote:
The best test will be if mp3 phones overtake ipod's or not.

I agree that's a good question, but I'm not sure if it says very much about whether other kinds of convergence will succeed. I think it was Mike Mace who said that "converged" devices only fly in the market if there is almost no compromise made in any of the important functions of the device as compared to what you could do with separate devices. In a way that's a pretty strong statement against the value of convergence, but if you actually can reach that no-compromise threshold (as many feel the Treo has done) you can obviously be very successful.

I don't see any technical reason why a mobile phone couldn't also be a perfectly good iPod--i.e. it sounds like it would pass that zero-compromise test. I think an iPod phone would be a wildly popular device if the various powers that be (esp the wireless operators) would ever let it come into being. The failure of the ROKR makes me question whether that will happen for a while, but that's more a question of unfortunate power plays than lack of consumer demand.

But the screen is really the biggest battleground where compromises seem to arise time and again, as SeldomVisitor pointed out so well. Sometimes you want it small so your device is sleek and pocketable, and sometimes you want it big so you can do stuff you might otherwise want a laptop for. If someone can figure out how to deliver the best of both worlds--small devices that can somehow operate with larger screens in a moment but return to being small in the next--that may very well be the trick that brings "converged" devices toe to toe with PCs as primary computing devices.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
freakout @ 11/28/2005 6:54:50 PM # Q
Marty,

Why does it have to be a compromise? The only compromise in my Treo is the rather shoddy camera. The phone actually has a superior UI to most "dedicated" phones, and stuff like SharkMsg enhances it further.

Surur,

I think you're right. But first an mp3 phone has to be released that isn't intentionally crippled by carriers or device makers. (i.e. the craptacular ROKR)

Tim Carroll
Your friendly customer service robot
(and big Treo fan)

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
Surur @ 11/28/2005 7:39:54 PM # Q

Foldable screens will save the day, say in 3-5 years.

Here's a 7inch VGA TFT screen on plastic substrate. They dont talk about folding radius, but if they fold in on the outside of a clamshell folding device a typical 3 inch wide device could have a 6 inch screen when opened up.

http://www.akihabaranews.com/en/news-10725-The+largest+flexible+LCD+screen.html

Here's another.
http://www.engadget.com/entry/1234000457027717/

Give it a few more years, and this whole debate may be passť.

Surur

They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
PenguinPowered @ 11/28/2005 8:45:59 PM # Q

freakout:

There are always compromises even in single purpose devices.

The combination of time to market, cost, and physics work against the "perfect". We've been discussing one such compromise for smartphones in this thread. The "perfect" cellphone is tiny and weighs very little. But the "perfect" UI requires a much larger display. if you design towards one, you compromise the other.



Marty Fouts
Linux kernel developer
Available for work after 2 Dec 05

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
freakout @ 11/28/2005 9:39:52 PM # Q
The "perfect" cellphone is an extremely subjective matter, as I'm sure you've noticed Marty! ;) (waves my chunky Treo around)

For instance, my mum *loathes* her Nokia, in part because it's too damn tiny for her to read/operate properly. And some people I know who have 3G prefer their chunky 3G phones over smaller phones because of battery life issues.

Shouldn't the perfect cellphone also have the perfect UI? ;)

Tim Carroll
Your friendly customer service robot
(and big Treo fan)

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
freakout @ 11/29/2005 12:02:39 AM # Q
Actually, on re-reading your post, I see what you were getting at - pocketability (essential for a phone) vs. usability necessitates a compromise between form and function, so nothing can ever be truly perfect.

I'm glad I'm not a phone designer. What a pain...

Tim Carroll
Your friendly customer service robot
(and big Treo fan)

Marty WAKE UP!
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/29/2005 12:57:26 AM # Q
The carry argument isn't a very good one. When I go backpacking, I take custom built, lightweight, single purpose stuff. There's more of it, and, all told, it weighs less than the colman/swiss-army-knife version that you'd get with the all-in-one model.

And how much does that custom equipment cost you?



------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm eCONomy = Communismô

The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

NetFrontLinux - the next major cellphone OS?: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=8060#111823

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
PenguinPowered @ 11/29/2005 2:02:14 AM # Q
Per trip? Very little. Here's a tip: buy the best you can afford. It lasts longer, is more reliable, and per-use, costs far less than buying cheap stuff.



Marty Fouts
Linux kernel developer
Available for work after 2 Dec 05

Marty, cut the B.S.
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/29/2005 2:36:28 AM # Q
Per trip? Very little. Here's a tip: buy the best you can afford. It lasts longer, is more reliable, and per-use, costs far less than buying cheap stuff.

No, not per trip. What is the TOTAL cost of your fancy "custom built, lightweight, single purpose stuff" compared to cheap all-in-one equipment that the commoners use?

I love it how both you and Beersy are incapable of conceding when you've lost a debate. As usual, you try the old Misdirection Play and hope no one will notice. "Hey! Look over there! [As Marty quickly runs away in the opposite direction...]

1) Convergence devices are - by their nature - more compromised solutions than single purpose devices.

2) A well-designed convergence device can provide users with much - if not almost all - of the benefits of single purpose devices. If it replicates those functions well enough, casual users will be satisfied with convenience of a "good enough" convergence device.

3) Convergence devices are often cheaper overall than the sum of all of the devices they replace.

Your responses in this thread have been ridiculous:

"A 'smart phone' is a compromise in the same way that a Swiss army knife is. I'll take a bowie knife and a real screwdriver, thanks; and, I suspect, so will most people."

"The carry argument isn't a very good one. When I go backpacking, I take custom built, lightweight, single purpose stuff. There's more of it, and, all told, it weighs less than the colman/swiss-army-knife version that you'd get with the all-in-one model."

>>>And how much does that custom equipment cost you?

"Per trip? Very little. Here's a tip: buy the best you can afford. It lasts longer, is more reliable, and per-use, costs far less than buying cheap stuff."

"Sure, there will always be casual users who will take a compromise camera, a compromise phone, a compromise av player, in an all-in-one package, because of weight or other reasons, but they have always been and will always remain the minority."

Here's a newsflash, Marty: the average consumer doesn't buy the best/lightest/most durable devices available. They buy based on price and (to a lesser degree) style. Your arguments against the success of a well-designed (i.e. few compromises) smartphone are ludicrous. Smartphones already could easily replace standalone MP3 players, voice recorders, digital cameras, etc. With few compromises. Of course you know that, but need to play dumb to avoid admitting your posts here don't hold water. Stop flailing, Marty - you're looking more and more like Beersy every day...

TVoR

------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm eCONomy = Communismô

The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

NetFrontLinux - the next major cellphone OS?: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=8060#111823

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
cervezas @ 11/29/2005 9:04:13 AM # Q
TVoR wrote:
Stop flailing, Marty - you're looking more and more like Beersy every day.

That's probably the nicest complement you'll get all day, Marty. ;-)

Unfortunately, TVoR is right. I mean, haven't you noticed? Since the Treo 650 came out, no one buys digital cameras, camcorders, laptops, PDAs or feature phones any more. Those multi-billion dollar industries have simply vanished, filling eBay with tens of millions of obsolete devices that sell for pennies on the dollar. Meanwhile, Palm has surpassed Sony, Samsung, Dell and Nokia in gross revenues.

How you can still stand there and argue that most people prefer single-purpose, unconverged devices I'll never know, but it's starting to get embarrassing. ;-)

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
PenguinPowered @ 11/29/2005 12:38:48 PM # Q
The total cost, over the useful lifetime of the gear, is less than the total cost of buying the cheaper all-in-one stuff, because the higher quality gear lasts much longer. That's the point of the "per-trip" comment and the reason you should buy the highest quality you can afford.

1) I've already said several times in several different ways that all-in-one devices (and this includes "convergent" devices) are bigger compromises. Only skippy would try to make agreeing with me appear to be 'winning an argument'.

2) Yes, an all-in-one device can be "good enough" for casual users. That's why swiss army knifes are still popular. But smartphones are "high end" devices in their category and casual users don't buy very many high end devices.

3) all-in-one devices are cheaper because they do less and they do it less well.

The smartphone isn't going away. It's also not going to become a big thing. It, like so many other all-in-one devices, is going to hang on for a long time, precisely because of those consumers who prefer style over substance and convenience over qualify. As Walmart has proven time and again, there's plenty of money to be made from such consumers.

Consumers who buy on price and style rather than substance, by the way, tend also not to be comparison shoppers. They don't add up the list of prices of equivalent devices and then decide that the feature set of the all-in-one is sufficient. They tend to be impulse buyers and they tend to buy consumer goods in certain price ranges. They also tend not to buy the high end of a product class.

We haven't had a debate, Skippy. We've discussed various aspects of the industry, and made some differing guesses about the future. You agree with some of what I say, and disagree with other bits. Neither of us has convinced the other to change any positions. You are entertaining when you try to make agreeing with me appear to be winning a debate, and childish when you resort to ad hominem.



Marty Fouts
Linux kernel developer
Available for work after 2 Dec 05

The perfect cellphone UI
PenguinPowered @ 11/29/2005 1:06:01 PM # Q
Why yes, the perfect cellphone _should_ have the perfect cellphone UI.

For those of us who wear glasses, here it is:

The entire cellphone is in the glasses, especially the heads up display.

The microphone should be directional and noise cancelling, so that it picks up my voice but nothing else, especially not the sound of my breathing.

The display should be operated either by voice command, or by responding to eye activity and head motion.

It should not add noticable weight to the glasses and it should not detract from the style of the frames.

;)


Marty Fouts
Linux kernel developer
Available for work after 2 Dec 05

The test of a successful convergence redux
cervezas @ 11/29/2005 3:18:49 PM # Q
The point of my mocking TVoR on this was to remind folks that all-in-one smartphones, no matter how well they are designed will always attract only a fraction of the consumers who would otherwise use separate devices. It was not to prove that that fraction is insubstantial or that you can't build a decent business off of those users. Convergence isn't a new thing and there are good examples of where it has been very successful.

Modern SUVs are "converged devices," for example. They operate not only as means of personal transportation, but as trucks for hauling stuff, entertainment centers, places to enjoy a latte, and even as handsfree mobile phone receivers. There are arguably compromises in all these functions and there are a lot of folks who'd much rather own a nice car and a pickup truck, but there are a couple of reasons why so many embrace the compromises.

First, is that people sometimes only have so many "slots" for things in their lives. Maybe the garage won't fit two separate vehicles, so they need a single multipurpose one. For some people this can be true of mobile devices, too: they just don't have places to put more than one device and there are enough times when they wish they could do different things that a compromised multi-purpose device is acceptable. If the compromises are small.

The second reason is that for some products (like an SUV or almost any modern car) convergence is something that creates an environment that you actually want to spend more time in. People have cars that are equipped like their livingrooms in part because they spend more time in their cars than they did 50 years ago, but the reverse is also true: people spend more time in their car because it offers much of what they used to have to be home to enjoy. Some power users of mobile devices spend enough time with their devices that they become an environment for them by the fact that they are so multi-purpose. Today that number is exceedingly small, but as mobile devices get better at reducing the level of compromise people may very well start to "live" in them more and more. It's certainly happened with the PC--another example of a very successful converged device.

Members of PIC disproportionately fall into the category of people who "live" in their mobile devices so it's not at all surprising that a lot of us embrace all-in-one devices like the Treo. But most people aren't there and see a confusing clutter of function where the rest of us see our "****pit."

It may very well be the case that all-in-one smartphones will be as commonplace as PCs at some time in the future. But at the moment we're still a long way from that happening. The alternative isn't necessarily carrying multiple devices: it's often just doing without certain stuff to keep things simple. Wait until you get to the office to read your email. Take that picture another day. Jot a note on a scrap of paper. Simplicity is the gatekeeper for mobile technology adoption. If you can't add features and still keep things simple there is a low ceiling on the adoption you can expect.

That's why Palm keeps emphasizing simplicity in their advertising and why subtle differences in the Treo that make it simpler to use than other smartphones make it the more popular than all the rest. But Treo users are still a tiny, tiny slice of the people who own separate mobile phones, digital cameras, and laptops. It's a very difficult thing to expand that slice and Palm/PalmSource have arguably done better than anyone else in showing the way. Lately, perhaps RIM has done a little better, but only by dialing back on features to deliver more simplicity.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
AdamaDBrown @ 11/29/2005 4:00:24 PM # Q
And how, pray tell, are you going to dial the glassesphone? And where is the battery?

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
freakout @ 11/29/2005 4:06:56 PM # Q
"The smartphone isn't going away. It's also not going to become a big thing. It, like so many other all-in-one devices, is going to hang on for a long time, precisely because of those consumers who prefer style over substance and convenience over qualify. As Walmart has proven time and again, there's plenty of money to be made from such consumers."

Hey. Very happy smartphone user here. I don't consider myself a mass-market sheep (then, who does?). I'm 21. I've always hated mobile phones and actually never planned to get one, until I saw the Treo 270. It was love at first sight, and then at first play.

When it came to getting my 650, I weighed it all up: I also wanted an mp3 player, something to play games on on the train/bus and mobile internet for stuff like movie times (a godsend!). The 650 does all of the above brilliantly, so why on Earth would I go to the hassle of buying a myriad of devices when I only needed one? (My own bias towards Palm notwithstanding)

I think it's a quality device too, with a long life ahead, as long as I stop dropping the damn thing. ;)

I think smatphones *will* become a big thing. People are now used to carrying a device with them (cellphone) at all times. Adding extra functionality to *that* device seems to make the most sense for anyone hoping to create an "all-in-one". My treo is barely bigger than an iPod, so pocketability isn't really a problem.

I think Palm was always uniquely suited to this business. To me, it seems they always put simplicity and ease-of-use at Number One, where it should be. The key to a good smartphone is not innovation, it's *integration*, and Palm are well on their way to having the most integrated, easiest-to-use smartphones on the planet. (they already have it, actually) If Hollywood is half as good as I hope, then they're also going to have the most stylish ones as well.

I'd hesitate to write the smartphone off as a nice device - at least at this stage of the game.

Oh, and also Marty, I work for a company that makes contact lenses. If you can perfect your perfect UI, come see us. We'll make you rich ;)

Tim Carroll
Your friendly customer service robot
(and big Treo fan)

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
SeldomVisitor @ 11/29/2005 4:20:30 PM # Q
Speak it?

"Phone, call my brother Bob"

"Phone, call The Old Lady"

"Phone, rename yourself Luscious"

"Luscious, call The Boss"

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
PenguinPowered @ 11/29/2005 4:42:02 PM # Q
speak it, or use the eye/head motion feature. There are already so-called "gesture recognition" phones on the market in asia.

The battery, of course, is the rub. It is clear that mobile device users need a cultural awareness (read "ad") campaign to validate the battery as jewelry.

Of course, such battery jewelry would encase the battery in bling in order to make it fashionable.



Marty Fouts
Linux kernel developer
Available for work after 2 Dec 05

alternative energy
cervezas @ 11/29/2005 4:58:48 PM # Q
It is clear that mobile device users need a cultural awareness (read "ad") campaign to validate the battery as jewelry.

Jewelry is a stop-gap solution. The most portable and natural source of power is the glucose in your blood. You're a walking 100Wh battery, Coppertop. We just have to figure out how to get some of that juice on the outside of you without poking too many uncomfortable holes. On the other hand, poking holes in our bodies with sharp metal things seems to already be a popular social norm, doesn't it? Hmmm.



David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
freakout @ 11/29/2005 6:14:23 PM # Q
Don't give them ideas, David. The day the human body runs Microsoft Glucose will be very, very scary... ;)

Tim Carroll
Your friendly customer service robot
(and big Treo fan)
RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
Surur @ 11/29/2005 6:26:55 PM # Q

Remember its only 60 watt if you are a woman. Will mean less volume in that breast implant Ipod ;)
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/10/13/mp3_breast_implant/

Surur

They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...

We're not getting OT are we?
cervezas @ 11/29/2005 6:52:33 PM # Q
surer wrote:
...breast implant Ipod ;)
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/10/13/mp3_breast_implant/

See, there you have it! Crank up the volume and burn extra calories to lose a few pounds, too. Since you can share your music collection with your boyfriend over Bluetooth it'll be even easier to talk him into footing the bill for the surgery.

Palm should definitely look into this for a future smartphone design. They could call it the Duo. They'll want to rethink the "one-handed dialing" for this one, though. ;-)

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

Absolutely getting OT
cervezas @ 11/29/2005 7:17:33 PM # Q
One word: Boobcasting.


David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
freakout @ 11/29/2005 7:37:01 PM # Q
"They could call it the Duo".

Much like the Treo, it has a customisable side button. But in a questionable design decision, it's now located on the bottom of the device.


;)

Tim Carroll
Your friendly customer service robot
(and big Treo fan)

WAY-OT
SeldomVisitor @ 11/29/2005 7:37:06 PM # Q
What!!? YOu mean you FORGET the Boob Tube?

Sheesh.

This one installed the vibrate-mode iPod:

-- http://finance.messages.yahoo.com/bbs?action=m&board=1600811427&tid=sons&sid=1600811427&mid=491091

Ok, I think that's quite enough
cervezas @ 11/29/2005 7:53:56 PM # Q
I think we've crossed a line, now, people.


David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
freakout @ 11/29/2005 8:12:00 PM # Q
You started it :P

Tim Carroll
Your friendly customer service robot
(and big Treo fan)
RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
Surur @ 11/29/2005 8:51:24 PM # Q

As we not allowed to discuss hooters, mp3 players and other musical instruments anymore, here's an interesting article regarding the swiss army knife debate:

Nokia Set To Become World's Biggest Camera And MP3 Manufacturer

03 May 05

Nokia continues to be the Big Cheese of the worldwide mobile handset market, shipping nearly twice as many phones as its nearest competitor, Motorola.

According to a report by IDC, Nokia shipped 53.8 million handsets in the first quarter of 2005, representing a chunky 30.9% share of the market.

Nokia anticipates continued success and expects to shift 25 million smartphones in 2005 - twice as many as the 12 million it sold in 2004.

According to data from Canalys, it's already off to a flying start, shipping almost 5.4 million smartphones in the traditionally slow first quarter, a triple fold increase from last year.

Phenomenal camera phone sales are also predicted by Nokia, which looks to ship 100 million camera phones and 40 million phones offering MP3 playback.

This would make Nokia the biggest camera and MP3 player sellers in the world, toppling Canon and Apple respectively off their thrones.

As we reported last week, Nokia has announced a range of high quality two-megapixel camera phones, making the phones an attractive alternative to a dedicated digital camera.

Similarly, their spanking new N91 phone has both a camera and an MP3 player built in, with a 4 gig hard drive rivalling standalone digital music players like the iPod mini.

The new phone is expected to come with a wallet draining price sting of around $800-$900 (~$422-£475 ~ Ä623-Ä700), although telecom carrier deals are expected to bring the price down to around $500 (~£264 ~Ä390) in the US.

Things are heating up in the handset industry, with the big players trying to out do each other on the feature lists.

Sony are about to release the W800, their first walkman phone, while Samsung is already offering camera phones offering higher resolution images than Nokia.

It's not all going Nokia's way though. In the US, Motorola remain the top dogs with a mobile market share of 31.7%, while Samsung overtook Nokia, grabbing 18.2% of the market compared with Nokia's 14.6%. In fourth place was LG Electronics with a market share of 12.6%, with Kyocera in fifth at 5.2%.


Irrelevant bits snipped
http://digital-lifestyles.info/display_page.asp?section=platforms&id=2165

Once they get to 2 megapixel with good quality optics the stand alone digital camera market, which has been very robust, will decline steadily. It is already occuring to a degree in Europe.

Jessops hit as digital camera sales bomb

The sale of digital cameras bombed in February according to the latest industry figures. While sales of digital cameras grew by 36 per cent in November they only managed a measly increase of 0.1 per cent in February.

The sudden drop in demand has been highlighted by high street camera shop Jessops, which reported today that trading in February and early March saw "an unprecedented decline in digital camera sales and the toughest trading conditions...since digital cameras were launched onto the market in the mid 1990s".

[Blocked Ads]It explains that the industry-wide plummet in sales gives "some context to the sudden decline in the [company's] sales in the second quarter".

Digital cameras are a major part of Jessops' business accounting for 45 per cent of the company's total sales over the last six months. While total sales were up 4.2 per cent to £161m in the six months to the end of March, profit fell 18 per cent to £5.7m.

Despite the apparent collapse in digital camera sales, Jessops remains upbeat. With just a third of UK households owning a digital camera (compared to eight in ten that own a standard camera) it reckons there's still plenty of scope for future sales.

"We expected to see a gradual recovery in sales from the very disappointing and significantly negative store like for like sales experienced in February," said the retailer.

In March, shares in Jessops plummeted by almost a third after it warned that demand for digital cameras had tailed off.

Although Jessops said it maintained its market share overall, it admitted that sales were "considerably below management's expectations". The "difficult trading conditions" have been made worse as rival retailers cut prices to compete for fewer shoppers


http://www.channelregister.co.uk/2005/05/10/jessops_camera/

Ive certainly seen more snaps being taken (spontaneously) with camera phones than with stand alone camera,s and soon they will be good enough, which is all most people require. This "good enough" effect can occur in ALL areas. As an example, specialty shops are better, but they are more expensive, and the local supermarket is usually good enough, so they get your money.

Surur


They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
freakout @ 11/29/2005 9:29:56 PM # Q
Very, very interesting example Surur. It'll be very telling to see if it's just a one-off thing or if this marks the beginning of a trend. I'm betting on the latter, David and Marty seem to betting on the former.

We need a booking agency around here. Anyone want to step up to the plate? ;) (also, can we bet with loose change, 'cause i certainly don't have any money...)

Those Nokia smartphone numbers are pretty scary too. Even if the Treo were to take off like the iPod (unlikely, but possible), that 6.15 million (according to ThinkEquity) units vs. 25 million. Granted, their so-called "smartphones" are lobotomised compared to the Treo but even so...

Palm has a long road ahead of them.

Tim Carroll
Your friendly customer service robot
(and big Treo fan)

Pity the dullards can't see it coming... Convergence KILLS.
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/29/2005 10:11:55 PM # Q
Phenomenal camera phone sales are also predicted by Nokia, which looks to ship 100 million camera phones and 40 million phones offering MP3 playback.

This would make Nokia the biggest camera and MP3 player sellers in the world, toppling Canon and Apple respectively off their thrones.

Ive certainly seen more snaps being taken (spontaneously) with camera phones than with stand alone camera,s and soon they will be good enough, which is all most people require.

Why would the Average Joe even WANT to buy and lug around extra devices if their 4 or 5 ounce smartphone already can serve as a digital camera, MP3 player, PDA, voice recorder, etc.? Simple: they won't. Most people don't need more than 4 GB storage in their MP3 devices. Unless Apple can cash in on the iPhone, the iPod market could evaporate within a year. Easy come, easy go...


TVoR


How long did it take for Kodak to realize film was dead?


------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm eCONomy = Communismô

The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

NetFrontLinux - the next major cellphone OS?: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=8060#111823

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
PenguinPowered @ 11/29/2005 10:48:54 PM # Q
I don't know for sure when Kodak figured out that film was dying, but I do know that it was more than 25 years ago, which is the first time I'm aware of a Kodak attempt to move into digital, when they tried to challenge Xerox in the high end copier business.

Film's not dead yet, by the way; although, alas, it is clearly on its last legs. I would guess that color film has 5-10 more years to go, probably more in high end commercial and fine art work.

The computer industry has had a buzz about 'convergence' since Green broke up AT&T. Every year the buzz takes a different form. Never has it gotten much traction year over year. Maybe smartphones will finally do it, but I'm still convinced that they'll be replaced by something out of wi-fi as the 'next big thing' in convergence real soon now.



Marty Fouts
Linux kernel developer
Available for work after 2 Dec 05

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/29/2005 10:59:34 PM # Q
I don't know for sure when Kodak figured out that film was dying, but I do know that it was more than 25 years ago, which is the first time I'm aware of a Kodak attempt to move into digital, when they tried to challenge Xerox in the high end copier business.

Kodak didn't see the digital photography wave coming until it already hit the shore tsunami-style and washed away most of their posessions. They're making a brave attempt at a recovery, but unfortunately for them, new photographers don't care about history and are just as inclined to buy a camera from a consumer electronics firm (Sony) or computer company (HP) as they are from Kodak. But Kodak isn't alone. Besides Canon, Nikon, Olympus and Fuji, most camera companies are getting left behind in the digital revolution.

Film's not dead yet, by the way; although, alas, it is clearly on its last legs. I would guess that color film has 5-10 more years to go, probably more in high end commercial and fine art work.

Film might not be dead yet, but it's playing the part REALLY well. As someone who has worked with film for many years, I was a holdout who lectured everyone about the "evils" of digital. "Can't compare to Kodachrome", I said. "Won't be a threat until it reaches 12 - 15 megapixels", I said. Then I got a Cybershot T-1 (strangely, all the subsequent T series cameras are not as well-made, though). I've gone from being a purist using a high end Canon system + Kodak and Fuju slide film to using a tiny 5 megapixel camera that's "good enough" because of convenience. If even I've been "converted", I'd be surprised to hear that film is around for anything but the hobby and art markets in a couple years. News photographers have already abandoned their film cameras.

The computer industry has had a buzz about 'convergence' since Green broke up AT&T. Every year the buzz takes a different form. Never has it gotten much traction year over year. Maybe smartphones will finally do it, but I'm still convinced that they'll be replaced by something out of wi-fi as the 'next big thing' in convergence real soon now.

Marty, I think you already realize that it's inevitable that smartphones will dominate in the near future. It's just TOO easy for them to absorb the functions of several different standalone devices without having to make significant compromises. Everone carries cellphones, so the market is already there for smartphones, since they will just be cellphones with more "features". Give up, Marty. Smartphones will replace regular cellphones just like connected PDAs will supercede unconnected ones.

Evolve or DIEô.

TVoR

------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm eCONomy = Communismô

The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

NetFrontLinux - the next major cellphone OS?: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=8060#111823

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
freakout @ 11/29/2005 11:01:23 PM # Q
Why not a smartphone with Wi-Fi? ;)

Tim Carroll
Your friendly customer service robot
(and big Treo fan)
RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
PenguinPowered @ 11/29/2005 11:50:24 PM # Q
Actually, Kodak was one of the first players in digital photography. The problem was they did a horrible job of it. (Remember the digital N90 they cobbled together?) There's a tendency in technology industries for the company that dominated technology X to not make it into technology X + 1. The oft cited example is the number of major tube makers who didn't make the transition to transistors, followed by the number of transistor players who didn't make it to semiconductors. You see similar trends in railroads (steam locomotive makers that didn't make it to diesel) aircraft (prop makers not surviving to jets) and computers (mainframe to minicomputer to workstation to pc) and so forth.

smartphones will have their day and then they'll drift away. perhaps january will be "the year of the smart phone".


Marty Fouts
Linux kernel developer
Available for work after 2 Dec 05

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
cervezas @ 11/30/2005 12:44:33 AM # Q
TVoR wrote:
It's just TOO easy for [smartphones] to absorb the functions of several different standalone devices without having to make significant compromises.

Not so fast. The features you describe as being converged into a phone (digital camera and media/music player) are not smartphone features. You're describing feature phones. Smartphones are mobile computers that run office applications and other sophisticated 3rd party apps.

There's no question in my mind that people like having cameras and music players in their cellphones. It's a much more open question as to how many will give up carrying a laptop in order to use the mobile computing capability in a smartphone. So far the answer is very few, but for a company the size of Palm "very few" (2 or 3 million out of the roughly 700 million handsets that sell each year) can still be a pretty good niche if they can hang on to their leading position in it.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

Digital camera timeline=smartphone timeline?
hkklife @ 11/30/2005 12:55:48 AM # Q
Not to stray TOO far off-topic, but I had one of the earlier Kodak consumer digicams-the DC50. Horrible, horrible, horrible! Prior to that I had been using a borrowed Casio 640*480 swiveling lens digicam.

I gave up on digital for several years and went happily back to film (see this as analogous to someone using one of the original Qualcomm PDQ Palmphone but going back to their Nokia/Moto cell phone + Palm V).

I then gave digital another shot in '01 with the Panasonic iPalm (the first SD-compatible digital camera)-the m500/505 launch event showcasing that camrea sold me on it along with all of the SDIO vaporware Palm exhibited there! ;-)

(Think of this as the Treo 600 phase-getting there but still plenty of room for improvement)

I still wasn't content with the compromises that digital cameras entailed (battery life, miniscule memory cards etc) but I shot MOSTLY digital with some 35mm here and there depending on the conditions (vacation etc). The first NO-COMPROMISES digital camera I've owned (I've had 10 in less than ten years' time) is my current Casio Exilim EX-Z750-a unit similar in size & concept to Voice's T-1.
(This would be analogous to Pat Horne's Treo 320*480 Treo concept)

My point is that smartphones are not ready for the power users' primetime YET but Palm is just going in circles. Their glacial release schedule still tickles them in all of the right places and yet the competition is improving QUICKLY.

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
freakout @ 11/30/2005 2:33:22 AM # Q
Cervezas said:

"There's no question in my mind that people like having cameras and music players in their cellphones. It's a much more open question as to how many will give up carrying a laptop in order to use the mobile computing capability in a smartphone."

The kinds of mobile data management a laptop/tablet/desktop PC are suited for a quite different from a smartphone's. Smartphones are for quick emails, quick document editing, maybe some remote admin stuff too. I don't think anyone would be crazy enough to try to replicate the functions of their laptop on a device with a 320x320 screen. Or even 320x480. It's just too limiting. (As has been said a few times in this thread, a smartphone is a Swiss Army Knife, not a Bowie Knife.) Smartphones may hurt laptop/tablet sales a little, but I doubt they'll kill them. A large screen is just essential for some tasks.

That said, I think the difference between feature phones and smart phones are going to vanish over the next couple of years, as mobile OS's (ala` NetFrontLinux) become more powerful and add third-party application support. And we'll wake up one day and suddenly all the new feature phones will be smartphones, even if their manufacturers don't define them that way.

Tim Carroll
Your friendly customer service robot
(and big Treo fan)

Former market leaders can't adapt to new markets
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/30/2005 2:50:38 AM # Q
Actually, Kodak was one of the first players in digital photography. The problem was they did a horrible job of it. (Remember the digital N90 they cobbled together?)

I didn't say they didn't have any early models available. The problem is that Kodak didn't take digital serious as a format and it showed. They have come up with a few good ideas over the like the easy docking/printing and Wi-Fi photo downloading, but actual camera quality trails Canon, Nikon and Olympus.

There's a tendency in technology industries for the company that dominated technology X to not make it into technology X + 1.

Precisely. Adapting to a "paradigm shift" is easiest for small, nimble, focused companies and companies that aren't "married" to the older technology being superceded.


TVoR

------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm eCONomy = Communismô

The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

NetFrontLinux - the next major cellphone OS?: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=8060#111823

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
Surur @ 11/30/2005 3:01:42 AM # Q
And we'll wake up one day and suddenly all the new feature phones will be smartphones, even if their manufacturers don't define them that way.

Hear hear. And one day some-one will make it very easy to buy movie tickets via phone (not by spending 20 minutes listening to "press 4 for the next menu" either) and we will all be using them like smartphones also.

The main thing holding back smartphones in the UK is extremely high data rates (like $4/megabyte) Ive helped some-one disable their GPRS settings on their GPRS/WIFI smartphone as they were afraid of running up a £100 bill (which does happen to people). But affordable flat rate will come one day....

Surur


They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
freakout @ 11/30/2005 4:53:46 AM # Q
Surur said:

"The main thing holding back smartphones in the UK is extremely high data rates (like $4/megabyte)....But affordable flat rate will come one day...."

It's the same problem here in Australia too. I originally signed up for Vodafone's $20 a month "data" plan here, which gave me 2mb a month, more than enough for the simple net stuff i wanted to do (mainly movie times, news headlines and answers.com to settle trivia arguments). But the call costs and messaging costs built up quickly to about $100 a month, more than I was willing to pay. So I switched to a prepaid "all-you-can-eat" plan - $49 gets you $230 worth of calls, messaging and data. Data use is subject to a "fair use" policy which I apparently violated and they have now shut off my data. :(

TVoR said:

"Adapting to a "paradigm shift" is easiest for small, nimble, focused companies and companies that aren't "married" to the older technology being superceded."

There's a fascinating contradiction within Palm: on the one hand, they are relatively small and nimble compared to the big phone makers and the Treo is a killer and innovative product (yes, I know it was Handspring's idea ;). Precisely the kind of company that by your definition could adapt best to the emerging smartphone trend.

And on the other hand, they're currently married to old, buggy Garnet - they desperately want to divorce, I think, but their white knight hasn't come along yet. It certainly isn't Microsoft. Precisely the kind of company by your definition that won't be able to adapt to the shift.

Of course, this is only a contradiction if Palm don't have something secret up their sleeve. I thought 3G technology and features like video calls etc were pretty much impossible on Garnet (am I wrong there?) So what's going to be powering Hollywood?

I really, really hope it isn't WinMob.

Tim Carroll
Your friendly customer service robot
(and big Treo fan)

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
Surur @ 11/30/2005 5:30:35 AM # Q

For a Turing complete machine, by definition no computation than can be done by another system can not also be done by any other, given sufficient time. With creative programmers anything is possible, see e.g. the limited multi-tasking in PalmOS.

However, if we believe Sagio, the Hollywood is almost certainly Windows Mobile 5, which already has a working implementation of 3G services, out in the form of the HTC Universal, which reportedly works quite well for video calling etc.

Surur

They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
ChiA @ 11/30/2005 5:55:30 AM # Q
Surur said The main thing holding back smartphones in the UK is extremely high data rates (like $4/megabyte)

Sounds like your mobile company is ripping you off. I've looked at Orange UK and yes, if you pay as you use, they charge up to £3 (about US$5.20) if you use less than 3MB. But if you sign up to any of their schemes, even the pay as you go phones are charged at most £1 per megabyte. Their unlimited package for contract customers is steep at £88 per month but you can get 400MB for £53 and 25Mb for £16.

Evidentally prices are coming down for the UK consumer but they're still not at the level of those offered in the US.

"What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog" - Dwight D. Eisenhower

RE: Sagio responds to the rumor mill
Surur @ 11/30/2005 6:32:00 AM # Q

I'm on Vodafone UK, and have a 9 pouind half-price "bolt-on" which means about 10 MB at the price of 5. This is just enough for essential surfing, but I've got a 3G phone (SE V800) which is completely fast enough to stream music from my PC (I tested this briefly) and is usable to connect via Terminal Service Client over bluetooth from my PDA. However I can not use any of these cool features, or even poll my email regularly, due to how quickly the charges run up. I understand even keeping signed in using MS messenger uses about 500Kb/hour. 10MB wont last very long.

Having all the best phones with uncrippled bluetooth is pretty useless if we afraid to use it due to excessive cost.

Surur

They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...

Reply to this comment

Treo 700w manual now available

Surur @ 12/4/2005 8:08:00 AM # Q
https://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/prod/oet/forms/blobs/retrieve.cgi?attachment_id=594787&native_or_pdf=pdf

There has been a lot of talk about how Palm would transform WM into Palm-like simplicity. This line does not give me much confidence.

Closing applications
You can have several applications open at once, so you donĀft need to exit an application to open another one. In most cases, applications close automatically when available memory is low, but you can also close applications manually.
1. Press and hold OK to open the Memory Settings screen.
2. On the Running Programs tab, do one of the following:
Ā° Select the application you want to close, and then select Stop to close it.
Ā° Select Stop All to close all of your open applications.
NOTE You can also open the Memory Settings screen by pressing Option + OK, or by pressing Start, selecting Settings, selecting the System tab, and then selecting memory.

The main additions seem to be simple today plug-ins and some nicely integrated software, but nothing terribly special. Still, it looks relatively slick.

Surur

They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...

RE: Treo 700w manual now available
SeldomVisitor @ 12/4/2005 9:12:12 AM # Q
I like that all the photos in the manual show flip phones...

Giggle.

RE: Treo 700w manual now available
freakout @ 12/4/2005 10:42:36 PM # Q
Bah. Sounds like overkill. Why not just put an "X" in the corner like with desktop Windows? (I suppose the equivalent would be opening the Task Manager everytime you wanted to close a program)

I'm not very familiar with WinMob, so tell me if I'm just being ignorant. Does this manual look like it offers any other improvements over standard WinMob handhelds?

On another note, I *do* like the idea of a permanent OK button. If there was room for one amongst Palm hard buttons I'd suggest they include one...

Tim Carroll
Your friendly customer service robot
(and big Treo fan)

RE: Treo 700w manual now available
Simony @ 12/5/2005 2:03:25 AM # Q
Pages 36 - 38 are a bit rich - 'staying organised' with a poor-excuse-for-an-organiser!!!

Also, where is the ActiveSync troubleshooting guide? (People are going to need this.)

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