MobileInfocenter

Comments on: Palm Lowers the Price on the LifeDrive

Palm LifeDrive Mobile ManagerThe LifeDrive Mobile Manager has just received a $50 permanent price drop. The new price for the handheld is $449, and it includes a entertainment CD. The LifeDrive features a 4GB hard-drive for storage, a 320x480 high-resolution color screen, and both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. You can read the full review here.
Return to Story - Permalink

Article Comments

 (55 comments)

The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. PalmInfocenter is not responsible for them in any way.
Please Login or register here to add your comments.

Start a new Comment Down

Too little too late

WileyCoyote @ 1/13/2006 1:42:56 PM # Q
Palm had the chance to carve a nice niche in the portable media center market by leverging its PDA experience but has pretty much been left standing at the dock with no competitive product and no market share.
Even with the measly $50 price cut it is way over priced compared to what is out there. Whats with a brick like form factor and a ridiculous 3GB hard drive? A number of the mp3 players now offer video playback, syncing with outlook and 20 GB or more hard drives with a much smaller form factor. They have lost the market and playing catch-up just by giving price cuts won't do it.

RE: Too little too late
KultiVator @ 1/13/2006 2:12:46 PM # Q
I agree.

Video iPods and Archos units show the kind of angle Palm should have taken by actually producing a unit that plays common video formats (AVI, MPEG, DivX, Quicktime, etc) straight out of the box, without messing about with 3rd party codecs and transcoding software.

If there ever is a LifeDrive 2, Palm needs it to address this issue, or it will have another lacklustre PDA with a welded on HDD , rather than the desirable personal media station folks are demanding.



RE: Too little too late
danmas0n @ 1/13/2006 2:28:15 PM # Q
This may seem a little self-serving, but it's a convenient place to announce that we just launched MobiTV for the LifeDrive. The TX has been out there for a week or so already and is doing well. See http://www.mobitv.com/palmwifi.html for details. Make sure to update to LifeDrive Update 2.0, the original ROM has some nasty bugs with SSL.

On a personal note, I think LifeDrive 2 has the potential to kick ass. I could duct tape an iPod nano to the back of my TX and it would be only slightly more expensive and a lot faster than a LifeDrive 1; it doesn't seem to make sense to go with a hard drive approach seeing how flash prices are plummeting. I don't necessarily think you need massive storage either to make this work. Customers might still not buy a LifeDrive with 5GB of flash in a case half the thickness and three times the speed (without the stupid HDD in there), but they might think twice before buying an iPod video. That's a pretty lucrative bunch of customers if you can get them.

RE: Too little too late
hkklife @ 1/13/2006 2:30:42 PM # Q
First of all, this thing needs to have another $50 taken off the MSRP for it to be worth even a 2nd glance.

Secondly, its combination of huge size, measly 4gb HD capacity, and the high pricetag will forever doom it to a niche status.
That said, Palm's PROBABLY going to want & try and get something of a return on their investment. So I'd expect a 2nd LD to launch this spring or summer at $400-$450ish with a 6gb or 8gb HD, more RAM cache and not a whole lot of other improvements.

The Palm Media app needs to first of all become an MP3 player--it's sad to have "Media" and then ANOTHER app for playing MP3s (PTunes, Real). Media needs to come out of the box with a ton of codecs pre-installed and a 1-touch connection (BT, wi-fi, Hotsync) to Palm's server for easy downloading of new codecs.

Finally, a much better idea for a LifeDrive 2 would be something maybe a tad larger than the TX but with 1gb internal storage drive and TWO SD slots. Then you could realistically have ~9gb of flash-based storage with NONE of the compromises entailed by using primitive/fragile Microdrives.

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

RE: Too little too late
LiveFaith @ 1/13/2006 5:13:48 PM # Q
Not to throw a wrench in all you guys joy, but I have to disagree here. Yes, the LD could have some improvements such as better memory management and better video integration. But, the LD offers things that the iPod and the Archos can only dream about and may never even come close too.

Such a device has just about everything AND the kitchen sink to boot. C'mon, would you rather watch a 2.5 hr on a 2" iPod or a gorgeous 4"HVGA? What kind of software base does the archos have? How are the PIM apps etc etc etc. All three have advantages and disadvantages, but each is a different device for different tastes.

For me I would choose the LifeDrive hands downn for my own personal use. Of course I'm a PDA junkie, so throw that out of the sample. The LifeDrive is loaded with everything except cell technology. Just line up everything that it does against the other two and it would get ugly quick.

Yes, I would like to pocket the iPod better and love the massive HDD in the Archos. But if Palm will deal with the memory bottleneck next time and offer DVD x-fers, TiVo type captures or iPod like vid service, along with 8-10GB microdrive or flash ... it will be a hit IMO.

I would have it now, but she's just a wee bit too big for my PDA in wallet tastes. So is the TX imo.

Pat Horne; www.churchoflivingfaith.com

RE: Too little too late
jdfdc7 @ 1/14/2006 9:08:46 PM # Q
Lifedrive 2: Treo with a 8gb hard drive. Now that would be inovative.

RE: Too little too late
Altema @ 1/16/2006 5:01:17 PM # Q
I'd consider the LD if they shoe-horned a 20 or 40 GB drive even if it still did have some of the delay issues. With freeware that lets you watch avi, mpeg, and divx movies at full screen, this would kill interest in the video iPod with it's itty bitty screen.

RE: Too little too late
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 1/16/2006 6:05:38 PM # Q
http://www.palminfocenter.com/view_story.asp?ID=7106

The Lexus of PDAs

------------------------
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

Reply to this comment

LifeDrive being dropped?

Surur @ 1/13/2006 2:47:23 PM # Q

I think the LifeDrive is being phased out.... forever. If you listen to Palm, Inc. Chief Financial Officer Andrew J. Brown, when he talks about the Palm device line-up, he conspicuously forgets to mention the LifeDrive.

http://www.wsw.com/webcast/needham13/palm/

Listen to the audio from the webcast (between 5 and 8 minutes) or this compressed version. http://surur.sytes.net/palmcfo.wma

http://www.wsw.com/webcast/needham13/palm/2__Slide6.JPG
It goes with this slide over here, where the LifeDrive IS present. He still forgot it however. Coincidence?

Surur

They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...

RE: LifeDrive being dropped?
medevilenemy @ 1/13/2006 3:05:27 PM # Q
calm down. Actually, palm almost always drops the price of mid- and high- end models by $50 shortly before they replace them... I read a rumor on palmaddict yesterday that said palm would be releasing a new LD next month, and i didnt believe it given there was no real information... but now i think it is true.

It is unusual for palm to release new devices outside of october or april, but it isnt totally unheard of.

And for the record, if they were getting rid of the LD "forever" they wouldnt drop the price, they would just EOL it.

As for palm's lack of marketshare in the mobile media market... well that's just a stupid comment. The LD was never meant to be a media device, it was meant primarily as a high-powered business device with media capability. It isn't meant to compete with the iPod, etc.

RE: LifeDrive being dropped?
AdamaDBrown @ 1/13/2006 4:41:41 PM # Q
Actually, that's not quite true. Media was a considerable portion of Palm's sales strategy for the LD. Their PR materials emphasized music, pictures, and video, as well as business documents. That's the big reason why they got roundly denounced for failing to include a video player.

Anyway, I don't think that the LD is being either dropped or replaced, at least not at the moment. Sometimes a price drop is just a price drop. They probably wanted to see if it would sell better at a lower price. Besides, February is a very off-axis time for a Palm release.

Reply to this comment

LifeDrive 2?

grimpeur @ 1/13/2006 2:59:39 PM # Q
I own a LifeDrive, it may not be the most polished device in the world, but the extra storage space and the versatility that comes with that is useful.

Palm do need to address QA issues with it's software and hardware though. I received my LifeDrive back from Palm yesterday after having it reapired for the THIRD time.

Repair 1 : MicroDrive died.
Repair 2: Universal Connector came loose.
Reapir 3: Fix cosmetic damage to the casing of the device that was damaged while Palm were carrying out repair 2!

I was discussing the LifeDrive with a colleague today who owns one of the Sharp Zaurus PDA's that also have a 4GB MicroDrive. We got around to the memory architecture and I explained to him the mess that is the LifeDrive's memory map. He couldn't believe it when I told him that the MicroDrive was used for program memory without any Flash. On the Zaurus the Linux kernal and base modules are held in a root partition ( EXT3 ) which lives in NAND flash, symbolic links are then set up to programs and data stored on the MicroDrive ( FAT32 ). The effect of this is that if the MicroDrive goes tits up the device will still boot and you could effectively replace the MicroDrive yourself. Compare that to the problems thoses of have had when a LifeDrive fails.

Palm would be wise to look at the Zaurus line, rip the thing apart and perform 'competitive product analysis' as we used to call it when I worked as an EE at a large mobile handset manufacturer. The LifeDrive is a good idea, don't let it die, just do it right!!

RE: LifeDrive 2?
medevilenemy @ 1/13/2006 3:21:38 PM # Q
We all have to remember that the LD was probably just a concept unit developed to see how well a product line of the type could do. From what i've heard, the LD has actually sold quite well, and therefore we can probably expect a new model to be released with somewhat improved specs (in keeping with palm's tendency to slowly upgrade the product lines).

Who knows, maybe it will have a better memory architecture.

RE: LifeDrive 2?
LiveFaith @ 1/13/2006 5:25:08 PM # Q
I like it. Fix the mem architecture, slap a mega HDD in it, or perferrably flash, and offer some real video translation ... and it will fly! It is beautiful.

Pat Horne; www.churchoflivingfaith.com
Reply to this comment

LifeDrive 2 rumors already percolating....

gfunkmagic @ 1/13/2006 3:21:37 PM # Q
Well, discounts alway protend new product releases...that's nothing new to anyone who has followed Palm past product launches. So in true PIC tradition, it's time to talk about all the LD2 rumors around the web:

http://palmaddict.typepad.com/palmaddicts/2006/01/new_lifedrive_c.html

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=5707

February seems a little early imo. I would have figured more like March/April for a Lifedrive refresh which would fit along with Palm traditional product cycle launches...



--------------------
Gaurav

RE: LifeDrive 2 rumors already percolating....
Foo Fighter @ 1/13/2006 3:29:08 PM # Q
Pffft! What rumor? Does this so called source even qualify as rumor material? I don't think so. It has absolutely no credibility whatsoever.

Price drops are normally red flags, hinting at upcoming handheld models...especially as a precursor to Spring rollouts. However, in this case, it might have more to do with sagging sales than any other factor. The handheld side of Palm's business is evaporating. So don't expect to see much focus this year on PDAs. LifeDrive was a complete flop, and I wouldn't be surprised if Palm completely eliminates both it and the fictional "Mobile Manager" line.

I expect the Spring product announcements to be phone devices, not PDAs.

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

RE: LifeDrive 2 rumors already percolating....
medevilenemy @ 1/13/2006 3:38:03 PM # Q
Foo Fighter, you are mistaken.

The LD, to the best of my knowledge, has actually sold quite well for a $500 handheld. Dont be so quick to discount the device... Palm has NEVER lowered prices simply to improve sales... there is always an alterior motive. Considering this price drop is rather early, i'm going to guess that palm will try to shake up the line a little bit... they may actually release something around valentine's day... it would actually be pretty good timing.

Palm's Handheld business is hardly evaporating. The thing is, the trends in mobile technology have been focusing around phones, and therefore palm has paid much attention to it's formerly fledgeling Treo line. My guess is, however, that palm will not abandon the handheld market, nor will it continue to concede marketshare. I think palm is readying for a comeback... all the signs point to it.

RE: LifeDrive 2 rumours already percolating....
Surur @ 1/13/2006 3:51:54 PM # Q

Palm said they wish to reduce their warranty costs.
http://www.wsw.com/webcast/needham13/palm/2__Slide24.JPG

The number of "My LifeDrive is dead" ( http://www.1src.com/forums/showthread.php?t=90090 )threads suggest discontinuing this "concept unit" would be the best way to do this.

Surur

They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...

RE: LifeDrive 2 rumors already percolating....
Foo Fighter @ 1/13/2006 3:54:50 PM # Q
> "The LD, to the best of my knowledge, has actually sold quite well for a $500 handheld."

No it hasn't. It ranks at the bottom of Palm's product matrix. Unless Palm has secretly been selling millions of these things unbeknownst to analysts, I think it's quite fair to proclaim this product a dud.

Nobody buys $500 handhelds anymore.

> "Palm has NEVER lowered prices simply to improve sales..."

Uh...yes they have, numerous times in fact. Sometimes price drops are utilized to push inventory, in preparation for upcoming products. Other times prices are slashed to adjust to market conditions (i.e. poor sales).

> "there is always an ulterior motive."

Slashing prices to push inventory is an ulterior motive. It's called business strategy.

> "Considering this price drop is rather early, i'm going to guess that palm will try to shake up the line a little bit... "

Early? Price drops always come in January. That's part of Palm's strategy to clear inventory in preparation for Spring product rollouts. You can't announce new products with channels still stuffed with unsold inventory.

> "they may actually release something around valentine's day... it would actually be pretty good timing.

Valentine's day? Palm never announces new products in February. They announce in March or April.

> "Palm's Handheld business is hardly evaporating."

Sales data says otherwise. The Smartphone segment is where Palm is investing because that's where the revenues are. Their financial results illustrate this fact.

> "The thing is, the trends in mobile technology have been focusing around phones, and therefore palm has paid much attention to it's formerly fledgeling Treo line."

Uh...yeah. Because that's like...where the sales are at. It hardly makes sense to focus on PDAs when consumers don't want them, while Smartphone sales are white hot...does it?

> "My guess is, however, that palm will not abandon the handheld market, nor will it continue to concede marketshare."

Concede marketshare? The marketshare is going to Smartphones. Palm will follow this market trend by offering MORE Smartphone products, and FEWER PDA devices. It's a simple matter of business. Palm isn't going to keep churning PDAs out just for grins. PDA sales now have fallen to the point where a questionable ROI exists.

> "I think palm is readying for a comeback... all the signs point to it."

Uh..first of all...what signs? A fifty buck price slash on a poor selling PDA gives you the impression Palm is staging a major comeback in the PDA space? Oi!

Second, I don't know what rock you've been residing under for the past year or so, but Palm is ALREADY on a comeback, and have been for some time now. They currently have the hottest selling Smartphone on the market today. Their financials are rock solid, thanks almost entirely to Treo sales. Things have never looked better. Where exactly do they need to come back from?

The PDA market is a dying space. It's commoditized, margins are razor thin, and it's transition towards convergence (Smartphones.) You're going to see fewer product releases in that space. The PDA is a dying form factor. Like it or not, that's reality. You can keep praying all you want for cool new handhelds, but there will NEVER be a comeback for traditional PDAs. The market has spoken...it wants Smartphone.

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

RE: LifeDrive 2 rumors already percolating....
medevilenemy @ 1/13/2006 4:01:32 PM # Q
perhaps, but there have been equally many good stories. Part of it is that people usually dont post glorifying their new devices (without someone asking first), they only post to complain or to speculate.

I, for one, prefer to speculate... it's far more entertaining.

RE: LifeDrive 2 rumors already percolating....
DJS_TX @ 1/13/2006 4:32:32 PM # Q
Just dreaming but what about a Cobalt Lifedrive with real multi-tasking apps? If you were going to build a cobalt machine, this would be the platform to make it worthwhile.

David

RE: LifeDrive 2 rumors already percolating....
Foo Fighter @ 1/13/2006 4:37:07 PM # Q
You're never going to see Cobalt. That OS will only live on by sitting on the back of Linux. And that OS won't appear on devices until next year.

-------------------------------
Editor, http://Pocketfactory.com
Contributing Editor, http://digitalmediathoughts.com
RE: LifeDrive 2 rumors already percolating....
AdamaDBrown @ 1/13/2006 4:46:11 PM # Q
The LD, to the best of my knowledge, has actually sold quite well for a $500 handheld. Dont be so quick to discount the device... Palm has NEVER lowered prices simply to improve sales...

Not quite. Last point first, but Palm dropped the price of the TE2 from $250 to $200 without replacing it. They also dropped the price of the TC a couple of times. Palm does indeed lower prices to improve sales. Everyone does, and Palm is certainly no exception.

Anyway, I think you'd be hard pressed to show that the LD sold well. As far as I've seen from monitoring sales numbers (sales usually spike after the release of a popular model) the LD hasn't done much of anything for Palm's sales.

Foo, I disagree that nobody buys $500 handhelds. Look at the success of the FSC Loox models in Europe--they're bringing out a new one soon that includes BT 2.0, 802.11g WiFi, VGA, 624 MHz processor, 256 MB of flash, and SiRFstar III GPS. Agreed that many people in the US don't buy $500 handhelds, but that's more an issue of demand versus features. The conventional handheld space in the US is owned by lower-cost devices, and most people won't spend the extra to get more features. That doesn't mean that $500 handhelds are dead, it means that they are--as they have always been--a select market segment.

RE: LifeDrive 2 rumors already percolating....
medevilenemy @ 1/13/2006 4:54:49 PM # Q
Foo Fighter, how is it that you give the impression of some sort of surur/gekko clone? Sorry, just had to make that joke

-- on with the argument --
1) I didnt say the LD was selling well, i said it was selling well for a $500 PDA...

2) By trends, i mean what people want to buy... if there is one thing you can always count on, it is the stupidity of the human race. Especially in the US.
People typically dont buy things exclusively because they think it is cool or because it is worth buying... they buy things because other people have them and they are jealous, or these people implied that they should buy it as well. How do you think the whole Blackberry craze started? People just woke up one day and noticed this piece of junk thing which had been ignored for years? No, they saw it on television... A few people bought them, and the domino effect takes over from there.

And for once, can you gekko clones improve on him? Try being positive, it is quite fun. Let's just have a normal NON-INSULTING conversation... that is what these sites are for. (and yes, i am fully aware that i am being insulting... only doing this to get my point across)

RE: LifeDrive 2 rumors already percolating....
Foo Fighter @ 1/13/2006 4:59:24 PM # Q
> "Foo, I disagree that nobody buys $500 handhelds. Look at the success of the FSC Loox models in Europe..."

I was speaking in terms of US market. Handhelds still sell well in Europe. But here in the states, high-end mobile devices are a niche. Problem is...PDAs, as a device category, are a niche as well.

> "Agreed that many people in the US don't buy $500 handhelds, but that's more an issue of demand versus features. [snip] The conventional handheld space in the US is owned by lower-cost devices, and most people won't spend the extra to get more features. That doesn't mean that $500 handhelds are dead,"

Not entirely. Cheaper devices are most popular, but consumers in general aren't buying them anymore. And the numbers decline with each passing quarter.

The problem is that PDAs are being voted out of consumers pockets by other devices like Cell phones and iPods. In this new environment, PDAs no longer fit. Notebooks are cheap. Cell phones perform most the same tasks as PDAs, and digital audio devices like the iPod hold entire music collections compared to the scant storage capacity of SD-based PDAs. And these are the devices that are squeezing the PDA of out of peoples pockets. There's just no room on this life raft for LifeDrive or any other PDA.

Then there is the cost factor. The price for living the "digital lifestyle" is going up with the addition of more gadgets. As such, consumers are forced to choose what is most compelling to them. The devices that everyone wants are Notebooks, iPods, Cell phones, and digital cameras. The PDA isn't even on that list anymore. For that reason you're seeing traditional PDA sales evaporate. Retailers are dumping them because consumers don't want them The disappearence of mobile devices from retailers is extremely significant and often gets overlooked here. That is an omen.

People here are too focused on the past, and too fanatically devoted to their devices to see past their own hands. Reality can be a cold dark place. And it's going to get a lot colder and darker around here in the coming year.

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

RE: LifeDrive 2 rumors already percolating....
hkklife @ 1/13/2006 5:19:06 PM # Q
The Palm lineup of "PDAs" currently has *FOUR* models...TX, Z22, and the carryover LD & T|E2. By sheer virtue of the later two units' obsolete badging ("PalmOne"), they are destined for either freshening/replacement/cancellation in the next quarter or two.

I think that Palm has one more ~$200 midrange model (unifying the T|Es and the Zire 71/72/31) and POSSIBLY a LD2 (just to keep from losing face from the LD1 debacle) in the works and that's it for the traditional PDA lineup...at least for this year.

Looking down the road, higher-powered VZ90/Tablet style devices might still be a higher-margin niche market...and the will always be room for $100 and below "organizers". Just look at how long Casio, Sharp and Royal have milked the $30-$50 Boss/Wizard/Rolodex type digital diary market. If Palm could ever deliver a $100 PDA with color screen, SD slot & mp3 capabilities, no one will care if it runs Garnet or Linux or something in between. Such a unit would still make for a compelling retail impulse purchase.

But $200+ PDAs are, for all intents and purposes, dying out. '07 onwards will see the market split between mp3/media players, cell phones, smart phones, and cheap/tiny notebooks. Traditional PDAs costing over $100-$150 have no choice but to be squeezed out.

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

RE: LifeDrive 2 rumors already percolating....
Surur @ 1/13/2006 5:27:36 PM # Q

See medevilenemy, Foo can be even more gloomy that I can ever be ;)

Surur

They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...

RE: LifeDrive 2 rumors already percolating....
medevilenemy @ 1/13/2006 5:31:57 PM # Q
I must beg to differ, the Handheld market is not going away, it is not dying off, it is simply stagnating. To go another step I'd say it is shrinking, yes, but this is only because of the market overload of Cell Phones and other "converged" devices. Just wait... once the Blackberry craze cools down (it has already started to do just that) and people realize they dont have to buy every cool looking cell phone they see on TV, handheld sales are liable to rise again... although i doubt that they will ever dominate the market again.

Either way, my point is... there is hope for palm and for the LD, and most certainly the Handheld product lines are not being abandoned... they just arent the "flagship" models anymore.

PDA's search for relevancy, FSC Loox shows the way.
Surur @ 1/13/2006 6:57:07 PM # Q

We had a thread earlier where we spoke about saving PDA's by promoting them as media players. Fujitsu Siemens has won market share by adding features, such as VGA screens, GPS built-in, USB host and small size. Below is a picture of an MP3 kit for the upcoming Loox N and C series.

http://212.66.5.7/mediaserver/media/16107/U0402-PL-MP3-Kit-02_lo.jpg

It consists of a remote control, silicone slip case, lanyard and in-ear headphones. Very Sony-like and also very practical.

As Foo said, devices have to fight for pocket space. FSC has not conceded the PDA space yet. The FSC Pocket Loox series is in fact on the offensive. The absence of even the Camera Companion for the LifeDrive indicates that Palm has given up the fight already.

Surur

They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...

RE: LifeDrive 2 rumors already percolating....
Foo Fighter @ 1/13/2006 8:53:53 PM # Q
> "See medevilenemy, Foo can be even more gloomy that I can ever be ;)"

What gloom? It's only "gloom" if you fear change. If you embrace new technology, new concepts, and have an open mind, then the best is yet to come. I think we're actually living in an exciting time for mobile technology. But what people here need to understand is that the mobile environment has changed on multiple levels. And with all due respect, I think most people who post here are simply old school hardcore stick-in-the-muds who are too focussed (and biased) by what they know. As evident by the fact that people here STILL argue about Palm vs. Pocket PC...a war that actually ended years ago...apparently without anyones knowledge.

The traditional PDA is dead. Or to put it in proper perspective; the traditional PDA is evolving. Evolving away from the stagnant dedicated device form factor that we have come to know, into new form factors like wireless phones. And that's just the beginning.

If you embrace change, and have an open mind these can be very interesting times. If you're an old Palmy who thinks that sun rises and sets on a T3 or Axim...then good luck...because you're going to need to start taking anti-depressants. ;-)

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

RE: LifeDrive 2 rumors already percolating....
Gekko @ 1/13/2006 9:12:32 PM # Q

Foo - well said!

RE: LifeDrive 2 rumors already percolating....
PenguinPowered @ 1/13/2006 9:39:13 PM # Q
plus de choses changent plus qu'ils restent la mÍme chose -- google


May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: LifeDrive 2 rumors already percolating....
Foo Fighter @ 1/13/2006 9:52:52 PM # Q
> "plus de choses changent plus qu'ils restent la mÍme chose -- google"

Huh? Everything has changed, nothing has remained the same.

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

RE: LifeDrive 2 rumors already percolating....
thomaslb @ 1/14/2006 11:35:07 AM # Q
Foo states: "If you embrace change, and have an open mind these can be very interesting times. If you're an old Palmy who thinks that sun rises and sets on a T3 or Axim...then good luck...because you're going to need to start taking anti-depressants. ;-)"

Well we might indeed need anti-depressants. And it migh be true enough that this is because reality will be depressing. And I often find that Foo has a pretty good handle on things. But I think that there are some short-comings in his logic here. Now come on. Let's not be fooled into thinking "our pocket books have decided what technology is 'best'." Like this is some logically-rooted and sound voting on the most sensible and effective technology. Marketing departments decide "what is best for us." Microsoft wins at neary every thing it does because it is a shrewder street fighter---NOT because its products are (or EVER have been) better than Apple (no, I don't own one). This play is re-enacted in the tech sector time and time again. Who was it that decided that a color screen scheme like that on the Palm 515, which is perfectly readable both indoors AND outdoors on a bright sunny day (in all its non-high res glory), wasn't to continue on any device (don't agree; then reply to this post on your Treo 650 outside on a bright sunny day)? Was it the droves who are buying 650's? Most average consumers of the newer devices don't know how to fully exploit the capabilities of what they've spent way too much for(not the posters here, but the bunches being tricked into buying them at the local Verizon store who---yep--use it for a phone probably 90% of the time and sometimes as an electronic roladex just like to the early complaints about the average PDA use being just an electronic phone list).

Just one example (just one but there are others) to show what I think is a problem with what Foo is describing: PSION. Dead right? Pocket books selected it for extinction right? And as a platform it had no right to survive anyway because, well, market forces decided it wasn't good tech., right? Wrong. I thought it was long gone (never owned one of these either). But if you go to

http://tinyurl.com/9gqtr

and check out the read on some of the Series 5, for example, you see a description of a contradiction. Enough people continue to want these really cool devices that they have opened a little plan (who cares if it's an old barn) and started re-manufactering these units from new parts. It's just one example of how we aren't in control of deciding what's useful to us. These Psion throw-backs were able to beat extinction at least for a little while and good for them; because they have a palm-top that, despite what the market analysts whispering in the ears of CEO's were saying, was a damn good unit that is still better than many devices on the market today. Your argument, Foo, would be equivalent to saying that the average pedestrian consumer 'knows what good and useful technology is.' Now there's a pile of pig poop.


RE: LifeDrive 2 rumors already percolating....
Foo Fighter @ 1/14/2006 1:17:44 PM # Q
You seem to have misread what I posted. You're discussing a completely different topic; which tech is better. That's not at all what I was referring to when I talked about consumers voting with their wallets. It's not an issue of "which tech is best", it's a matter of which tech does the consumer want. Is the iPod a better tech device than a Palm? Probably not...but the true answer is...it doesn't matter. The fact is consumers are not buying PDAs anymore. That fact is inescapable. PDA sales are desintigrating, and you can ask any retailer why they ceased carrying mobile devices and you'll get the same universal answer; "people aren't buying them anymore." Like it or not, in the eyes of consumers the PDA is a dead technology. And we can sit here all day pondering what new feature to add that might change that perception, and no matter what clever ideas we might pose, the end result would be the same; nothing.

The fact that my Treo or TX is vastly superior to any cell phone or iPod is completely irrelevant. The bottom line is that consumers are buying the latter and not the former because those are the products they want. Consumers buy iPods because they want to listen to music. They buy cell phone because they want to communicate. They buy digital cameras because they want to snap pictures and capture moments. They aren't buying PDAs because they don't want to carry around an unnecessary (and expensive) device just for storing address books and calendars, especially when the above devices I mentioned (like the cell phone) can already serve those purposes. This is why Palm and other mobile device vendors are hauling ass to get into Smartphones. These companies (those who are smart and gauge the market accurately) know the only hope for growth (or survival) is in leveraging all these features into an integrated device that combines these popular devices into one.

The dedicated device (PDA) doesn't have a future. It's the VHS of mobile technology.

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

RE: LifeDrive 2 rumors already percolating....
medevilenemy @ 1/14/2006 1:24:00 PM # Q
Don't be so quick to make such weighty assumptions. Each of us have our own opinions, but there is really no way to tell who is right. All we can do is wait and see what happens.

In the meantime, we might as well entertian ourselves attempting to guess at what will happen (lightly, of course).

RE: LifeDrive 2 rumors already percolating....
AdamaDBrown @ 1/14/2006 3:36:15 PM # Q
Foo wrote:

Cheaper devices are most popular, but consumers in general aren't buying them anymore. And the numbers decline with each passing quarter.

That not really accurate. People keep saying handhelds are dead, but they're selling about as well as ever. Yes, conventional handheld sales (i.e. minus the Treo) for Palm and HP are declining steeply, but that has a lot more to do with the fact that neither company has had a really compelling conventional handheld since 2003. A lot of other companies like FSC, Medion, Mitac/Mio, etcetera, are coming in to snap up the marketshare being lost by those two, which is mostly outside the US. And if you include smartphone devices like the Treo, which are really extensions of the conventional handheld, then the situation is better than ever.

Foo, I think that you're focusing too much on the old definition of a PDA as a device. Modern handhelds don't look anything like the old Palm IIIs, but that doesn't mean that the Palm III style PDA died. It just evolved. Looking at the broader handheld computing market, it's the same story. Devices are moving towards MORE powerful, not less. Many handhelds are absorbing phone features--a victory of the handheld, not of the phone. The iPod is closer to being a handheld computer than most people would ever have thought when it first debuted. We're seeing more and more tech focused on computing mobility, which is, after all, what this whole thing is about.

RE: LifeDrive 2 rumors already percolating....
Foo Fighter @ 1/14/2006 5:57:58 PM # Q
> "Yes, conventional handheld sales (i.e. minus the Treo) for Palm and HP are declining steeply"

That is what I'm referring too. The Traditional PDA (call it what you will) is a dying platform.

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

RE: LifeDrive 2 rumors already percolating....
rsc1000 @ 1/15/2006 12:26:45 PM # Q
Well, even the idea that 'traditional PDAs' aren't selling as well is not really true - the opnly true thing is that the growth rate (formally double digit) is not as exciting for analyts. But even analysts have admitted that the PDA is not as dead as they once proclaimed. Never mind the millions of Zires and T|Es that have boasts sales on the Palm side of things for last 2-3 years; if you count PDAs as wireleess conneted devices BUT exclude 'smartphones' (as defined by forma-factor), then sales are up for 2005 over 2004.
Of course, here is where we enter the debate over semantics. To me it's pretty simple: would any of you argue that desktop computers ceased to be computers when the internet came along and companies added modems? Of course not - and this is the EXACT SAME THING. A Nokia s60 phone or a Windows Mobile Smartphone is a phone / smartphone. A Windows Mobile Pocket PC Phone Edition such as a Harrier/Audiovox 6600 (or whatever it's branded) - is not. Its a PDA. PDA sales continue to increase.


RE: LifeDrive 2 rumors already percolating....
madhatter @ 1/16/2006 12:22:32 AM # Q
"That is what I'm referring too. The Traditional PDA (call it what you will) is a dying platform."

Foo if you think of the PDA in the traditional stand alone, no contact with the outside world, then I would agree with you. However I think there is still a place for a PDA that is not a cell phone, but has access to the internet, via wifi or EVDO etc.

I have used both a Smartphone, and a PDA with bluetooth/wifi ability paired with a a cell phone, and find having a phone separate from the PDA is very helpful for being able to talk to someone and take notes. With the larger screen, the "traditional" PDA serves a very important purpose. What would make my PDA even better, ( I've given up saying "perfect" as my needs change), would be a stand alone PDA that will connect to my mobile phone at broadband speeds, while I am still using the phone at the same time on a voice call. That would give me the flexibility to multitask better then carrying one convergent device. I am pretty sure from what I've read, that this is in the very near future.

As a businessman in a mobile job, I also don't want to put all my eggs in one basket. I have all my contacts in my PDA, backed up on my laptop, but still have the 200 VIP contacts stored on my phone.. just in case, something gets dropped, lost or stolen, I am not left high and dry as has happened to me when I watched my Smartphone fall from my belt, over a balcony (Belt clip broke) and smash 3 stories down... this over a very long and painful Thanksgiving holiday. That is when I switched to a PDA/cell phone separate package.. anyway this setup works for me and everyone's mileage will vary.


A Palm in hand is worth two in your pocket.

RE: LifeDrive 2 rumors already percolating....
AdamaDBrown @ 1/19/2006 3:30:42 PM # Q
That is what I'm referring too. The Traditional PDA (call it what you will) is a dying platform.

You missed what I was saying: declining sales for HP and Palm are only one small piece of the market. There are new players, especially in Europe, who are making good money off conventional handhelds without adding phone features. To just look at HP and Palm is like just looking at just Gateway, then proclaiming that the desktop PC market is dead. The field of players is bigger than that, and the "death" of traditional handhelds is greatly overblown. People were saying that CompactFlash was dead as a format over three years ago, that it had been completely supplanted by SD. It didn't turn out that way. I remember people prognosticating that 2004 would be the year where handhelds went away and smartphones would be the last one standing. Didn't happen. The reality is that quite often, this "conventional wisdom" is anything but. Bold predictions grab headlines, but they're very rarely right. I've got a Palm Treo 700w sitting twelve inches from my right hand right now. I've had it for about 24 hours. And while it's cool, I remain convinced that there's ample market for devices with large screens, powerful processors, dual slots, and more features. Say that I'm clinging to the past if you like, but I think there's plenty of room for all sorts of device. Dell seems to agree with me, as do Acer, Mitac/Mio, Medion, HP, and others--including HTC, who just recently built their first not-for-contract, non-phone handheld.

RE: LifeDrive 2 rumors already percolating....
hkklife @ 1/19/2006 4:33:29 PM # Q
Good points, Adama.

I actually see the desktop PC market diverging into two halves--the $300 and below super-cheapie Dell Celeron specials and then the higher-end gaming/modded SLI "boutique" monsters. The PDA market will kind of end up doing the same. There's ALWAYS a market for "digital diary" type $100 and below Zires as well as Sharp/Royal organizers. I sitll maintain that at the other end of the price spectrum, OS & software support willing, a powerul VGA OLED, dual expansion slot, cellular + wi-fi + BT PDA can remain a profitable niche item.

Imagine something like the LifeDrive but better thought out in regards to its software bundle, OOBE and memory architecture. You could have the consumer-oriented version without celluar connectivity, two SDIO slots & a gig of internal storage, a media-oriented version with 1.8" hard drive and a larger screen and a ton of video & audio codecs supported out of the box. Finally someone like Symbol or Matsu****a could license from Palm a ruggedized flash-baed version for industrial/specialized markets (the "ToughPalm"?).

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

Reply to this comment

Still about $150 too much

adamsmark @ 1/13/2006 5:17:39 PM # Q
At $500, LifeDrive was a novelty. At $450, it's an insult. Unless Palm really powers up LifeDrive, I wouldn't pay more than $300.

But if you added...
1. More memory (20 gigs?)
2. A camera
3. And cell phone

I'd pay $600.

RE: Still about $150 too much
LiveFaith @ 1/13/2006 5:29:06 PM # Q
I'd say $400 could be justified. But slap the GSM/GPRS/EDGE and 2mpx cam/flash and I'd dive at $600 in a heartbeat! Still milking my T3 waiting for an HVGA Treo.

Pat Horne; www.churchoflivingfaith.com
GSM LifeDrive Phone
jfme @ 1/16/2006 1:28:58 PM # Q
LiveFaith

You may want to check this out:

https://www.enfora.com/downloads/specsheets/GSM3208HR.pdf

RE: Still about $150 too much
cervezas @ 1/16/2006 2:29:00 PM # Q
LiveFaith wrote:

You may want to check this out...

That's pretty cool, Pat. I didn't know Enfora made a GSM/GPRS portfolio. Apparently it uses the IRDa port. I wonder... do any of the BT-enabled Palm PDAs support headset profile? If so, you might actually be able to turn it into a serviceable phone, although I'm not sure you could do Bluetooth and IRDa simultaneously. All seems rather improbable, but it would be nice just for wireless data, even at GPRS rates. 9.6kbps = the bad old days of wireless data, but it'd be good for messaging, text-only email and browsing.

Anybody had any experience with one of these?


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

RE: GSM LifeDrive Phone
cervezas @ 1/16/2006 3:00:45 PM # Q
That's pretty cool, Pat.

I should have thanked Jose for the pointer.

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

Reply to this comment

Pig

Gekko @ 1/13/2006 7:23:16 PM # Q

you couldn't PAY ME to use this pig.



RE: Pig
Hal2000 @ 1/13/2006 10:36:15 PM # Q
What a Pig indeed. A three year old Zodiac2 with 2X2GB plugged in running TCMP is much more of a Mobile Manager IMHO.

Zodiac2/T616/WiFi'd/2+2 Gigs
RE: Pig
ebrough @ 1/14/2006 1:01:16 AM # Q
I think the LifeDrive is great for what it does. I'm a pilot and always a away traveling and I hate draging a laptop. With my LD and the keyboard I can do about any thing. While flying I can listen to music or watch a movie. Yeah it takes some software, but we all added stuff to our laptops. Then I can check my email, write reports, and surf the web where ever I am. I'm always having people come up to me and ask what device is that and they are wowed by everything it does in such a small package. While it isn't perfect, nothing ever is. I go for weeks on the road and it never gives me any trouble. Zodiac is great, but how well did it fit in a shirt pocket. IMHO the LD is a good device that works well for what I need it to do. Just a jack of all trades, it doesn't need to master one.

RE: Pig
PilotMad @ 1/14/2006 6:26:50 AM # Q
Just give me a TX lookalike with 4GB nand and the usual lifedrive features, voice recorder etc.

The speed of the lifedrive (memory architecture),the brick-like qualities, and incompatibilities with existing software are driving me nuts. Even software supposedly compatible with the Lifedrive doesn't work properly.Too many resets.

Just for the record, no-one will ever persuade me on the merits of an integrated smartphone device. With the exception of the treo, they are underpowered and useless.

I need screen real-estate on a pda device, and I will never be happy to hold anything larger than a 'candy bar' to my ear, for use as a phone.

The phone networks/manufacturers are always out to make a quick buck at the expense of customers, limiting features, which should be standard.

They have no interest in quality products that last. They simply cannot make money unless customers buy new phones. I cant count the number of new models that Nokia bring out in a year.

I roughly upgrade to two new phone models for every PDA upgrade.

At least finally, i have a phone (Sony Ericsson D750i) that has everything i need.


"You think that's air you're breathing now?" - Matrix.

Reply to this comment

No moving parts in a PDA

zoetrope @ 1/14/2006 4:21:56 AM # Q
I'm sure there will be a second version of the LifeDrive and it will have flash memory instead of a MicroDrive. A PDA should be solid state, NO MOVING PARTS in a PDA. When I read about the lag in response time because of the MicroDrive, that made my buying decision right there. Fortunately, I waited and was rewarded with the TX instead. Best handheld Palm has released so far IMO.

RE: No moving parts in a PDA
LiveFaith @ 1/15/2006 10:23:57 AM # Q
No moving parts!

What about the Vibra-Alarm? :-)

Pat Horne; www.churchoflivingfaith.com

RE: No moving parts in a PDA
zoetrope @ 1/15/2006 7:39:28 PM # Q
[QUOTE]Originally posted by LiveFaith:
No moving parts!
What about the Vibra-Alarm? :-)[/QUOTE]

OK, I can make an exception for the Vibra-Alarm ;-)

Reply to this comment

Palm NEEDED to lower LifeDrive price

MovableTechnology51 @ 1/14/2006 9:27:01 AM # Q
I've heard from all the whiners and complainers, so here is my 2 cents worth. The LifeDrive is the worst piece of junk Palm has put out period. It's too thick, too expensive and too heavy for a Palmtop computer. I don't know if Jeff Hawkins had any input to the design but I do know that the thing is just a mess. I've had one in my hands and took a good look at it and came away very disappointed. I went so far as to complain to the Palm representitive demonstrating the thing at a PUG meeting that I attended. I recently purchased a Palm TX and thought that it is everything the LD should have been and more. Nuff said...

Reply to this comment
Start a New Comment Thread Top

Account

Register Register | Login Log in
user:
pass: