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Comments on: Handheld Market Experiences 18% Year-Over-Year Decline

The worldwide market for handheld devices swelled to its largest quarterly shipment volume all year, reaching 2.2 million units during the fourth quarter, growing 37.6% from the previous quarter. According to IDC's Worldwide Handheld QView, growth was driven largely by a combination of holiday sales and larger shipment volumes of devices that were introduced earlier in the year. But despite reaching its peak during the year, shipment volumes decreased 18.2% from the same quarter a year ago. For the full year 2005, shipments of handheld devices reached 7.5 million units, a 16.7% decrease from the 9.1 million units shipped in 2004.
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Good news for Palm...

Surur @ 2/2/2006 6:08:06 PM # Q
... and not such bad news overall. PDA sales seem to be holding up pretty well, despite all the pressure from PDA-phones. If Palm shipped 1 million PDA's and 1 million Treo's, does this mean they broke 2 million devices per quarter (for the first time in a long time)?

Acer deserves to do well. They are pushing the envelope with innovative products, and hopefully taking over from the lazy HP.
http://www.palminfocenter.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=29442

All of these OEM's, even Medion, are moving to phone devices. Hopefully these can happen with as little compromises as possible. It probably means we can say goodbey to large screens however :(

Surur

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

RE: Good news for Palm...
Sleuth255 @ 2/2/2006 6:47:44 PM # Q
We need the Sony or Sharp to produce a smaller VGA screen. It's square cross-section would be Treo 700 size. This would allow a slider transformation to full VGA on a future Treo device. I could live with this...

RE: Good news for Palm...
Surur @ 2/2/2006 6:56:16 PM # Q

Interestingly LG, a POS licensee, has a 2.4 Inch VGA LCD already developed. ( http://tinyurl.com/8mrth ) On the other hand, they just released another WM smartphone ( http://tinyurl.com/amgcb )

Surur

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

RE: Good news for Palm...
PenguinPowered @ 2/3/2006 12:04:17 AM # Q
Um, yeah, 18% decline is "doing well", especially when you realize that handheld market volume is one half of one percent of cellphone market volume (see http://www.infoworld.com/article/06/01/27/74861_HNmobilephonesales_1.html)

But even compared to smartphone sales, which grew 75% in 2005, it's hard to see how you can justify a claim that pda sales are 'holding up pretty well'

May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: Good news for Palm...
Surur @ 2/3/2006 2:47:56 AM # Q

It could be worse?

Surur

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

RE: Good news for Palm...
jfme @ 2/3/2006 7:05:51 AM # Q
An 18% decline from one year to the next is not too bad, considering that most people do not buy one pda per year.

The PDA will never die because a smartphone is nothing more than a PDA with phone capabilities, the same way PDAs gained wireless capabilities with bluetooth and wi-fi hardware.

It is just a matter of time until smartphones catch up to PDAs with larger screens, dual wireless and all those features that keep some of us users from totally going smartphone.

RE: Good news for Palm...
ChiA @ 2/3/2006 9:55:57 AM # Q
jfme said: >
It is just a matter of time until smartphones catch up to PDAs with larger screens ... etc

Actually, it seems that it's taking Palm a long time to make a smartphone with a larger screen, dual wireless etc.

Consider this WinMobile offering:
http://shop.orange.co.uk/shop/show/handset/orange_spv_m5000/detail/pay_monthly

http://shop.orange.co.uk/shop/show/handset/orange_spv_m5000/features

"It is commonly said, and more particularly by Lord Shaftesbury, that ridicule is the best test of truth".
Lord Chesterfield

RE: Good news for Palm...
fishtastic @ 2/3/2006 8:37:51 PM # Q
Yep, that M5000 is the HTC Universal, also know as the XDA Exec, MDA pro etc etc. I've had my XDA since October so only 8 months until I can get something beter than VGA, wifi, bluetooth, GSM, 3G, qwerty etc.

Come on Palm, pull your socks up and make something I can upgrade to.

Fish

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Palm in #1 position and regaining market share.

VampireLestat @ 2/3/2006 2:00:01 AM # Q
IN YOUR FACE PPC FANS!

Palm is #1 and I am damned happy.

Keep buying the Z22, TX and LifeDrives!

Too bad Access Co doesn't have the cash to buy Palm Inc. They were barely able to convince the banks to get the cash needed to buy Palm Source.

Motorola / Access Co joint venture?
Nokia / Access?
Dell / Access?
HP / Access?

Reply to this comment

PDAs are DYING

Gekko @ 2/3/2006 5:24:08 AM # Q

There's no reason to buy/manage/charge/carry/sync/fight/fumble with 2+ devices when ONE Smartphone can do it all.



RE: PDAs are DYING
dsaroff @ 2/3/2006 9:24:44 AM # Q
For those of us who have major PDA needs, the current crop of Smartphones don't cut it.

I use a LD and to replace it with a SmartPhone I would need:

1. More memory than the current crop of phones
2. Larger screen (spreadsheets, databases, word docs, web browsing, pdfs, etc.).
3. Built-in WiFi
4. NO CAMERA ( I work for a company that doesn't permit them)
5. Palm OS

RE: PDAs are DYING
Ervool @ 2/3/2006 6:44:31 PM # Q

Unless they make a "converged" device as convenient as a "non-converged" device PDAs will never dissapear. I know the Treo is pretty good, but is too bulky if you compare it to an "El cheapo" Nokia or Motorola cell-phone. I carry my cell everywhere and my PDA only when I need it, I preferr the two device approach.

I don't think that eventually all personal consumer electronic gadgets will converge into a single unit. Look at one of the most succesful designs of all time, the iPod, with over 40 million units sold already. It is not a multi-purpose device, it only plays audio and very limited video. Now see the flop that was the ROKR...

RE: PDAs are DYING
ginsberg @ 2/4/2006 7:12:18 PM # Q
PDAs are NOT dying. IDC is in the process of defining the PDA product category out of existence by categorizing PDAs that include wireless capabilities for accessing data as "converged devices".

Dell and HP are now adding cellular radios to some of their laptop computers. By IDC's logic, these are no longer PCs -- they are now phones.

BlackBerries and the PocketPC Phone Edition devices are excluded from IDC's PDA category, even though the voice capability of these devices is not the primary reason for their purchase. This is where a lot of the shipment volume of this product category is moving, as cellphones increasingly take on much of the functionality of low-end (non-wireless) PDAs.

RE: PDAs are DYING
Gekko @ 2/5/2006 1:32:54 PM # Q

the NON-CELLULAR "PDA" is dead.



RE: PDAs are DYING
ginsberg @ 2/6/2006 7:04:14 AM # Q
Palm sold over 2.7 million non-cellular PDAs in 2005. While that's a far cry from the >7 million they sold in 2001, I'd say it is a withering segment of the market, not dead yet.

PDAs with integrated GPS capabilities (or linked via Bluetooth to a GPS receiver) are doing well in Europe, and it is surprising the Palm has not been more active in this space, unless they don't want to step on Garmin's toes. The $1,000+ OnStar-type navigation systems that are built into many vehicles have a larger display, but not much more essential functionality.

RE: PDAs are DYING
Gekko @ 2/6/2006 7:56:00 AM # Q

the trend is clear. you're screwed.



Oh dear, here we go again....
ackmondual @ 2/6/2006 3:02:06 PM # Q
QUOTE
There's no reason to buy/manage/charge/carry/sync/fight/fumble with 2+ devices when ONE Smartphone can do it all.
/

holy River Dancing moses.... in addition to the reasons already cited by many other posters here, just how hard is it to manage 2 handheld devices? Ppl manage 2 automobiles, 2 desktop/laptop computers, 2 consoles, 2 dogs, 2 cats, ..... hell, some of us even manage 2 children and even 2 wives just fine. Are you really saying it's 3 fold plus more difficult to manage something like a T|T3 with a Motorola v188?

BUY
it was easier to get them seperate. Going only converged significantly shrinks your selection. Well, not 100% true. As always, those with a more spacious wallet get more choices at the cost just that.

MANAGE
I can see this being an issue, but *NOT* for everyone. Those of us who use use a PDA for higher end stuff need to manage this. Not too bad once you learn the pOS or WM ropes. It's likely we'd also have just a basic cellphone for calls and perhaps some text messaging and not some fancy RAZR. All you'd need to manage on a basic cellphone is to set up your address book, pref, settings, ringtones, voice mail, and voice dialing. Little actual maintenance needed after that

CHARGE
I got plenty of outlets in my apartment. By the token of your statement, let's also ditch the digicam to not have to worry about another device.

CARRY
For casual nights out, i suppose one could lose the PDA and just get by w/cell ph, but you could always get a belt clip for your phone. Women have it made here with pocket book and purses. Else for longer trip, just throw it in your bag along with your PSP/GBA/DS and camera.

SYNC
Again, I'll acknowledge syncing 2 devices can create complexities, but if one of your devices is relatively simple, syncing won't be needed (or even be possible)

FIGHT
Fight? This sounds something like a childhood trauma associated with a bad "My First Sony" consumer device. Unless your Palm, PPC, smartphone are crashing often, there really shouldn't be any fight

FUMBLE
Personally, if the battery for one of my devices went dead, I'd rather not be left nothing. I'd also rather not be fumbling through the same calling device to look up stuff or take notes eitehr while making a call. For networking, email, and internet stuff, this would be annoying. You'd need BT to connect the 2 devices which is a pain. Otherwise, it's just like any other scenario. One device to play "AAA games", another to take pictures, another to make calls, and another to work on Office/PIMs/whatever.

QUOTE
the NON-CELLULAR "PDA" is dead.
/

hopefully you're wrong. I can still see non celluar PDAs still in the game. They'll just have less marketshare over smartphones. It's like saying VHS will be wiped out now that DVD players/recorders, DVD movies, DVD recording media are cheaper than ever. They're big now, but VHS is still being used.

"Do you know the difference between an error and a mistake? Anyone can make an error, but that error doesn't become a mistake until you refuse to correct it."
-Grand Admiral Thrawn

the secret to enjoying your job is to have a hobby that's even worse

My PDAs: Visor --> Visor Neo (blue) --> Zire 71 --> Tungsten T3 (with 4 of 6 screws still remaining) ~?~> zodiac 2?

RE: PDAs are DYING
Gekko @ 2/6/2006 5:10:26 PM # Q

ackmon - you quote star trek and carry a utility belt with six gadgets on it. trust me, we are not remotely in the same demographic.



RE: PDAs are DYING
ackmondual @ 2/6/2006 5:47:19 PM # Q
Clearly. I'm in the demographics where I don't need push email, constant network connection, yet cetera yet cetera.

I carry 6 gadgets on my utility belt while you only carry 5 gadgets at once. The difference is indeed clear.

Reply to this comment

The biggest problem with convergence...

DJS_TX @ 2/3/2006 1:41:19 PM # Q
Is the cell phone carriers data model. They don't want you to have a smart phone with WiFi because they make money with GPRS / 3G. Yes there are some exceptions but for the most part carriers in the USA do not let you get smartphones with WiFi.

I loved my Treo but after getting used to wifi data speeds I'll never go back to a single device without wifi. That's why I'll still maintain two devices for the forseeable future. A "smartphone lite" (nokia series60) that handles basic PIM plus gives bluetooth access to GPRS and a dual wireless PDA (as of yesterday a Nokia 770).

I'm going to miss all the applications my zire 72 has, but I can't deal with its single tasking any more.

I agree the convenience of a single device to keep charged and synced is a powerful allure, but without wifi it isn't worth it for me.

Now Nokia has announced a Skype client for the N770 available this spring. It may be that convergence is coming from the other direction... instead of trying to merge a PDA with a cell phone, you just add VOIP to your PDA.

RE: The biggest problem with convergence...
cervezas @ 2/3/2006 3:15:03 PM # Q
It may be that convergence is coming from the other direction... instead of trying to merge a PDA with a cell phone, you just add VOIP to your PDA.

That's what I'm starting to think, too, as time goes by. Ask yourself a simple question: as a consumer would you rather pay The Man or stick it to The Man? Wireless operators are The Man and meshed WiFi networks are going to steadily erode their control, just as Internet publishing has eroded the control of other oligarchies: the press, music labels, government administrations, etc.

My concession to wishful thinking for today. Reality will be more complicated fer sure.

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

RE: The biggest problem with convergence...
PenguinPowered @ 2/3/2006 9:07:46 PM # Q
meshed WiFi networks of any viability are a decade off, and in the end, they're going to be owned by the Man, too.

"Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss"


May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: The biggest problem with convergence...
cervezas @ 2/5/2006 11:44:12 AM # Q
Yeah, sure, a decade is probably optimistic, actually. But if everyone has a wireless router in their pocket and the protocols are developed so that you become a node on the network simply by proximity to one or more others, how is The Man or anyone else going to own the network? You've just recreated the Internet. There will be companies that own the backbones, of course, but while I'm no expert on this stuff it seems to me that the Big Pipe business for Internet connectivity is a lot more competitive than the mobile operator oligopoly we have right now.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog
RE: The biggest problem with convergence...
PenguinPowered @ 2/5/2006 1:20:36 PM # Q
Unfortunately, it's not "simply you become a node". ISPs are already modifying their TOSes to prohibit you from allowing non-payers from camping, but the node-on-a-pole folk are going to want to make money from their nodes, so they'll probably continue the model that's already in use in hotels and other hotspots: You have to sign in to use the service and in order to sign in you have to have a valid active account.

Technically, it's easy for the provider of a wifi based subnet to do.



May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: The biggest problem with convergence...
Gekko @ 2/5/2006 1:23:25 PM # Q

1. WIFI drains battery much faster than Cellular.
2. WIFI is not ubiquitous.
3. WIFI is not always free.

now please stop being foolish.



RE: The biggest problem with convergence...
Gekko @ 2/5/2006 1:25:14 PM # Q

There's no reason to buy/manage/charge/carry/sync/fight/fumble with 2+ devices when ONE Smartphone can do it all.



RE: The biggest problem with convergence...
PenguinPowered @ 2/5/2006 1:32:25 PM # Q
Get back to me when there's a smart phone that can.



May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: The biggest problem with convergence...
Gekko @ 2/5/2006 1:34:30 PM # Q

what else are you really looking to do that a smartphone can't and a pda can?



RE: The biggest problem with convergence...
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 2/5/2006 3:21:07 PM # Q
what else are you really looking to do that a smartphone can't and a pda can?


- Read documents without eyestrain.

- View spreadsheets without eyestrain.

- Watch videos without eyestrain.

- Play games without eyestrain.

- Remotely access a desktop computer without eyestrain.

- Read emails + attachments without eyestrain.

Your love affair with your Treo is quite touching, Geeko but eventually you will grow up and learn why it does not replace the separate PDA + cellphone solution for many users.

After using every permutation + combination of cellphone, smartphone and standalone PDA over the years, I've found the setup that suits me is a small, high quality, reliable PalmOS smartphone (Samsung i500) + a high end standalone PDA (Sony CLIE UX50, TH55 or VZ90 depending on circumstance). RecoX and HotSyncing easily keeps them all in sync. The only thing missing is Bluetooth in the i500, which would have allowed for wireless connectivity in places lacking Wi-Fi. Thanks to the dumba$$es at Sprint, we'll never see the Samsung i550 - the perfect smartphone for those of us preferring phone-centric smartphones. (The i550 makes the Treo 600 and your precious Treo 650 look like the steaming pile of feces they really are.)

http://www.palminfocenter.com/view_story.asp?ID=6725

Ideally, a smartphone should have no compromises - excellent voice capabilities and perfect PDA functionality. Eventually HTC, Samsung et al will produce a small smartphone design with a slide-out keyboard and a large OLED screen that allows users to comfortably do whatever they want to do on the device without squinting. And the Palm devices especially need to stop sounding like you're talking from the bottom of a well and randomly crashing during conversations. Until that point, you really need to S T F U about how "ONE Smartphone can do it all".

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: The biggest problem with convergence... Part 2
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 2/5/2006 4:06:08 PM # Q
Besides screen size, here are some of the other advantages of using separate PDA + cellphone instead of just a smartphone:

- Battery life. If you use cellphone + PDA extensively throughout the day, chances are the smartphone will die on you in just a few hours. Not a problem with a good PDA like the CLIE TH55 or VZ90 and a good cellphone like the Sony Ericsson K750i (with an honest 9 hour talk time).

- Style. In Europe, business and to a lesser degree the general population in North America, cellphones are a fashion statement. The Motorola RAZR isn't a sales success because it has amazing voice quality or great features. Its only redeeming quality is its looks, but based on sales that obviously has been more than enough to satify consumers. Until smartphones stop looking so dorky, they'll have limited appeal.

- Redundancy. Lose your cellphone and you still have all your data, contacts, etc on your PDA. Lose your PDA and you still have contacts + schedule on your cellphone. Lose your smartphone and you've got bupkis.

- Convenience. Ever tried to use the PDA part of a smartphone to look something up or take notes during a conversation? Not pretty. Unless you switch to Tin Can mode (speakerphone or Bluetooth headset) it's an exercise in frustration. Separate devices are simply more effective for concommittant usage.

- Flexibility. Tired of using your current cellphone? Found a new feature on a PDA (like integrated keyboard) that you now want? Broke your cellphone? No problem - just replace the one device you need to change and keep everything else the same. Smartphone users have to replace everything whenever they want to change either PDA or phone components.


The ONLY advantage of smartphones is integration, but this comes at a heavy price. Well made devices like the Samsung i550 allow users to obtain many of the advantages of having a smartphone (ever-present access to data) without many of the disadvantages (size, weight, geeky appearance). Eventually, ALL cellphones will become smartphones in one way or another, but not until this can be done without any size/style penalties. The Samsung i550 + Sony CLIE TH55 would have made a KILLER setup for power users looking for the ultimate in flexibility. The Treos, on the other hand, simply have too many compromises and flaws to appeal to true PDA power 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

RE: The biggest problem with convergence...
hkklife @ 2/5/2006 4:47:44 PM # Q
That Samsunng looks....err, LOOKED like a stunner. Those specs would have destroyed all of the Treos available/announced in '04/'05. With the flip closed it looks remarkably similar to the Sammy SCH-A790 global GSM/CDMA handset available on Verizon. I've used that phone extensively and can vouch for its solid build quality, voice quality, and decent ergonomics.

A shame Sprint withheld that i550 Samsung from market. All it was lacking was BT which could have been easily rectified the next revision. AND it had analog for all of us hillbilly users out in the sticks!

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

RE: The biggest problem with convergence...
freakout @ 2/5/2006 4:55:37 PM # Q
The Samsung looks very nice, but Sprint must have had a reason not for picking it up. What was it? (something a little more detailed than "Stupidity", please)

TVoR:
"(The i550 makes the Treo 600 and your precious Treo 650 look like the steaming pile of feces they really are.)"

Bet it didn't have such a *lovely* screen. Or the superb threaded SMS client. Or the *huge* range of Call Management software you can get for a Treo nowadays...

Stylistically, it kills the Treo. Realistically? I pity your puny keyboard-less "smartphone". :P

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

RE: The biggest problem with convergence...
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 2/5/2006 5:21:03 PM # Q
The Samsung looks very nice, but Sprint must have had a reason not for picking it up. What was it? (something a little more detailed than "Stupidity", please)

You apparently are not familiar with Sprint. "Stupidity" explains quite a lot of their actions. Sony Ericsson T608, anyone?

TVoR:
"(The i550 makes the Treo 600 and your precious Treo 650 look like the steaming pile of feces they really are.)"

Bet it didn't have such a *lovely* screen. Or the superb threaded SMS client. Or the *huge* range of Call Management software you can get for a Treo nowadays...

Actually, it has a great screen. Being an adult, I don't use SMS, so I can't comment on perceived SMS quality. Users are of course free to install any of several third party SMS programs on their PalmOS devices. I'm not sure what kind of "Call Management software" you're needing on your phone. I want a smartphone's phone part to have excellent voice quality, an answering machine, easy dialling from the address book and (optionally) a speakerphone. Everything else is fluff. My ancient Samsung i500 absolutely DESTROYS the Treos in terms of voice quality. In fact, it's the best-sounding cellphone I've ever used - it's indistinguishable from a land line. The build quality also makes the Treos look like crap. I briefly played around with an i550 before Sprint finally killed it off, but didn't get the chance to use the phone components. I would expect voice quality is at least on par with the i500, though.

Stylistically, it kills the Treo. Realistically? I pity your puny keyboard-less "smartphone". :P

Keep your keyboard. I'll keep my Samsung and its flawless voice quality and reliability. Caviar for the General.

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: The biggest problem with convergence...
hkklife @ 2/5/2006 5:25:42 PM # Q
A modernized M500 or TH55 (with specs equal to or better than a TX) + a RAZR with full BT DUN support would be great. Greater still would be a stylish 320*480 POS Smartphone. Like it or not, and even if Jack Bauer uses one, the Treo is oversized, hideously out of date looking, has an ungainly atenna bump sticking out of the top, and hard buttons that make it harder to dial a # than a RAZR (you can tout BT &voice dialing all you want but 99.9% of the users I see just dial numbers over and over by hand every time-ie the "old fashioned way" because that's what they are used to.)

The beauty of teaming something like a RAZR with a dedicated 320*480 PDA is that it's SO small you might as well be carrying just a single device (the PDA). The RAZR is the first no-compromises cellphone I've ever used in regards to carying it around regardless of attire.

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

RE: The biggest problem with convergence...
hkklife @ 2/5/2006 5:30:13 PM # Q
Addendum to the above:

Palm could score by releasing a modernized Vidor Edge with TX-level specs and SOLID build quality...and a better stylus. That would make a killer tandem with any flavor of RAZR supporting BT DUN.

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

RE: The biggest problem with convergence...
cervezas @ 2/5/2006 5:57:53 PM # Q
PenguinPowered wrote:
Unfortunately, it's not "simply you become a node". ISPs are already modifying their TOSes to prohibit you from allowing non-payers from camping, but the node-on-a-pole folk are going to want to make money from their nodes, so they'll probably continue the model that's already in use in hotels and other hotspots: You have to sign in to use the service and in order to sign in you have to have a valid active account.

First of all, I've never been in a hotel that charged for wireless Internet. There's free WiFi at the Colorado Springs airport (not O'Hare), free WiFi at my favorite bookstores here and in Chicago, free WiFi at the Panera cafe where I hang out after work, free WiFi at the offices of my clients, and at least one open hotspot in range almost anywhere I go around my town (often 3 or 4 to choose from). It's not quite ubiquitous, and switching between networks isn't yet seamless, but even today I make and receive over half of my phone calls on the road using Skype over WiFi.

Even when you do have to pay for WLAN connectivity, it's generally much cheaper than a contract for WAN data because the places that provide it subsidize it to get you in their door. I don't bother paying $20-40/mo for a data plan from my cell carrier any more because that much will cover me for half a year of paid WiFi at the odd Starbucks I visit.

What I like about WiFi is the freedom to use whatever device I choose: a laptop, a PDA, an Internet tablet--whatever I happen to be carrying at the moment. If I were using GPRS or EV-DO with these devices I'd have to pay for a data plan for each of them. Bluetooth was supposed to make it so you only needed one device to connect everything to the WAN, but the operators have made sure that this isn't a practical solution, either by crippling their phones or by slapping extra charges on you if you try to connect a laptop over the BT. That freedom (and cost saving) is worth occasionally being away from my email for an hour or so.

I still think the promise of WiFi is more potential than reality right now, and it may very well turn out to be a disappointment, but at the moment I'm finding it to be surprisingly good for my mobile wireless needs. I would never have believed this could be the case as little as a year ago.

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

RE: The biggest problem with convergence...
freakout @ 2/5/2006 7:17:07 PM # Q
TVoR:
"Actually, it has a great screen."
But as nice as the 650's? You gotta admit, whatever your opinion of the build quality, it is a *very* nice screen on the 650. Extraordinarily bright, very sharp.

"Being an adult, I don't use SMS, so I can't comment on perceived SMS quality."

You could probably alter that to "Being an American, I don't use SMS." ;) Many adults over here are even more hopelessly addicted than children. (Hello, my grandparents...) And it's not 'perceived' quality; it really *is* a well-designed app. Not that it takes an astounding degree of innovation to make a good SMS client, mind you... but nevertheless, the Treo has a great one.

"I want a smartphone's phone part to have excellent voice quality, an answering machine, easy dialling from the address book and (optionally) a speakerphone. Everything else is fluff."

The Treo voice quality issue mystifies me. No one has ever complained about the voice quality of mine; I even recorded a few messages of myself onto my answering machine just to make sure there were no issues. I couldn't spot any. I suspect it may be an issue with the CDMA Treos, but not the GSM ones. (Feel free to speak up, fellow GSM Treo owners...)

Easy dialing from the address book? Just start typing on the oh-so-handy keyboard... Speakerphone? Check. (Loud and clear too...) Answering machine - do you mean voicemail? If the i550 had it's own built-in digital answering machine... that's pretty darn cool.

"The build quality also makes the Treos look like crap."

The 650's build quality is actually quite good - certainly superior to the 600. You yourself pointed that out in an earlier thread on Treos ;) Maybe it doesn't quite match up to these Samsung models, but it's certainly good enough for me.

"Keep your keyboard. I'll keep my Samsung and its flawless voice quality and reliability. Caviar for the General."

I certainly don't mean to disparage the i500 or i550, both of which look like quite nice phones. I do, however, take issue with "steaming pile of feces" to describe the world's best smartphone. Which is obviously the Treo :P

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

RE: The biggest problem with convergence...
PenguinPowered @ 2/5/2006 8:39:35 PM # Q
First of all, I've never been in a hotel that charged for wireless Internet.

The most recent time I was it was when I went to Ottawa for the '05 Ottawa Linux Symposium. I had my choice of two wi-fi plans, one from the hotel, one from the phone company. Both ran about $50 / week canadian.

Probably the first serious users of wifi on the road in the US were truckers. Many truckstops now offer wifi, mostly on a subscription basis.

Similarly, while you can find free wifi at some eateries, you can also find yourself paying for it at others. The largest provider of wifi hotspots in the US just now is AT&T, and they don't give 'em away.



May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: The biggest problem with convergence...
Gekko @ 2/5/2006 9:55:31 PM # Q

VOR - maybe if I made $40K a year and worked at a help desk I could see your point, but since my income and responsibilities are many a multiple of that, I can't.



RE: The biggest problem with convergence...
cervezas @ 2/6/2006 10:32:57 AM # Q
Gekko wrote:
VOR - maybe if I made $40K a year and worked at a help desk I could see your point, but since my income and responsibilities are many a multiple of that, I can't.

You really don't have to keep trying so hard to convince people you're an @sshole, Gekko. And somehow I doubt you'd hang around here just to troll as you do if you had actual responsibilities. You probably still live with your parents, just like TVoR does! ;-)

Having said that, I'm with the Voice on this one: I had a choice between the Treo 600 and the i500 when Sprint first brought them out and thought the Samsung was superior in almost every regard as a business phone. The Treo seemed fragile, unstable, bulky, and more like a toy than a tool. When the 650 came out I briefly considered it, but I quickly realized I'd still be giving up on the things I wanted for a phone to do business with: rock solid stability, great build quality, excellent voice capability (this is my main business phone), and a pocketable form factor that didn't require a belt case. I *like* the keypad on the i500: it's better for quick dialing when you can't look at the phone and I'm much faster with FITALY for data entry than I ever was on a thumbboard.

The only thing I miss on the i500 is Bluetooth.

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

RE: The biggest problem with convergence...
Gekko @ 2/6/2006 5:12:15 PM # Q

beersie - i don't have to try that hard. and what's the point of being rich if you can't be an a**hole???



RE: The biggest problem with convergence...
e_tellurian @ 2/6/2006 5:46:52 PM # Q
Those were great thoughts on customer choices.

E-T

e-tellurian

completing the e-com circle with a people driven we-com solution

RE: The biggest problem with convergence...
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 2/7/2006 6:36:38 AM # Q
VOR - maybe if I made $40K a year and worked at a help desk I could see your point, but since my income and responsibilities are many a multiple of that, I can't.

beersie - i don't have to try that hard. and what's the point of being rich if you can't be an a**hole???


Geeko, everyone realizes you're just a 15 year old child living in your Mommy's basement. Does she know about the fantasy life you have here at Palminfocenter? Here's a hint: "grown ups" don't constantly say things like "my income and responsibilities are many a multiple of that" and repeatedly claim on a Palm fanboy/girl site to be wealthy business professionals. Do you even HAVE a Treo, Geeko? I'd be surprised if you made enough from being a paperboy to pay for such an expensive TOY.

Real professionals understand the importance of using the best tools for the job. Buggy, fragile, underpowered, oversized smartphones like the Treo 600/650 are a joke compared to finely crafted devices like the Samsung i500. There's a good reason why so many people working at Palm and PalmSource still use the (PalmOS 4!) i500 instead of downgrading to a Treo 600/650: they appreciate quality and realize it's still the best PalmOS smartphone ever sold. I'm amazed that people actually continue to try to rely on the Treos as telephones. The Treo 600/650 may be OK as wireless data devices (actually not really, since they need a better web browser and a stable email application), but they make horrible phones. I wonder how many thousands of business users have given up on the Treos in disgust after being repeatedly embarassed by the unintelligible voice quality, repeated crashes and geeky appearance.

Don't worry, Geeko. Someday you'll graduate from high school, get a job in the food service industry and maybe even move out of your Mommy's basement. (OK, maybe the latter goal is somewhat unrealistic for you.) Until then, keep pretending all you want that you're a "corporate executive". Don't worry - we'll pretend to believe you if it makes you feel better about yourself.


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

Yes, the Samsung i500 smartphone DESTROYS the Treo 6XX...
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 2/7/2006 7:14:27 AM # Q
Having said that, I'm with the Voice on this one: I had a choice between the Treo 600 and the i500 when Sprint first brought them out and thought the Samsung was superior in almost every regard as a business phone.

Beersy has the same phone as me? Oh nooooooooooooooooooooooo! I feel unclean.

The Treo seemed fragile, unstable, bulky, and more like a toy than a tool. When the 650 came out I briefly considered it, but I quickly realized I'd still be giving up on the things I wanted for a phone to do business with: rock solid stability, great build quality, excellent voice capability (this is my main business phone), and a pocketable form factor that didn't require a belt case. I *like* the keypad on the i500: it's better for quick dialing when you can't look at the phone and I'm much faster with FITALY for data entry than I ever was on a thumbboard.

The only thing I miss on the i500 is Bluetooth.

As much as it pains me to say this, Beersy is 100% correct here. The i500 would be pretty much the perfect phone in my opinion if it had an SD slot, another 16 MB RealRAMô, no external antenna, a 320 x 320 OLED screen, Bluetooth and the Treo 600's brilliant D-pad and one handed interface. It's pathetic to see that Sprint decided at the last minute to not carry the Samsung i550, since that model addressed most of the i500 main deficiencies.

The i500's build quality and voice quality are incredible - as well they should be for a phone that sold for $600! I was able to get a couple backup i500 for only $300 when Sprint cleared out their remaining stocks last Fall. The only thing I miss about my Treo 600 is how well Handspring hacked PalmOS so that the stylus wasn't necessary for most tasks. Unfortunately, it's looking more and more like my i500 and my CLIE UX50/TH55/VZ90 are the best PalmOS devices that will EVER be released. Once these finally all disappear from eBay, people looking for high quality PalmOS hardware are out of luck.


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: The biggest problem with convergence...
freakout @ 2/8/2006 12:27:28 AM # Q
(note: Quote edited for my own self-serving agenda)

Voice:
"The i500 would be pretty much the perfect phone in my opinion if it had an SD slot... 320 x 320... screen, Bluetooth and the Treo 600's brilliant D-pad and one handed interface"

In other words, the i500 would be perfect if it was more like a Treo? :P

(Sorry for the incessant emoticons in my posts, but I can't think of a better way to convey the fact that I'm deliberately stirring here...)

Anyhoo, I'd never recommend a Treo to you guys (Voice and David), who obviously have your own personal favourites. But as an all-in-one solution, the Treo is hard to beat. Obviously a dedicated phone, or a dedicated media player, or a dedicated camera etc are going to have superior functionality in their respective areas to an all-in-one like the Treo... but my firm belief is that the Treo is most certainly "good enough" for everyday use as a phone.

And, David, had you gone with the Treo, you might just have been pleasantly suprised at how well it performs as a business phone - especially if you factor in call management apps like CallFilter, and the convenience of having all your emails etc on the one device for reference during phone calls shouldn't be underestimated either.

I will admit the Treo has a ways to go in style before it can match up to "real" phones from the big manufacturers. But the instability issues you read about online are greatly exaggerated... IMO.

But to each their own.


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

RE: The biggest problem with convergence...
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 2/8/2006 9:26:36 PM # Q
Voice:
"The i500 would be pretty much the perfect phone in my opinion if it had an SD slot... 320 x 320... screen, Bluetooth and the Treo 600's brilliant D-pad and one handed interface"

In other words, the i500 would be perfect if it was more like a Treo? :P

Actually, not really. Comparing a Treo 600/650 to the Samsung i500 is like comparing a Cadillac Escalade EXT to a Lexus LX 470. Those of us with more sophisticated tastes shun odious crap like the Escalade. Enjoy your Caddy with its bling bling chrome wheels and its 30 "Caddilac" labels all saying "low class"...

------------------------
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: The biggest problem with convergence...
freakout @ 2/9/2006 12:40:49 AM # Q
Enough with this jealousy thing, Voice. It's getting embarrassing!

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