Comments on: Palm Reports Q4 and Record FY 2006 Results

New Palm Inc Logo ~ Click for largerPalm Inc today reported that revenue in its fourth quarter of fiscal year 2006, ended June 2, totaled $403.1 million, up 20 percent from the year-ago quarter. For the full fiscal year 2006, revenue totaled $1.6 billion, up 24 percent from fiscal year 2005.

"Treo smartphone sales surpassed an important milestone -- $1 billion in revenue for the fiscal year," said Ed Colligan, Palm president and chief executive officer. "Our product engine is firing on all cylinders as evidenced by our recent introductions of both the Treo 700w and the Treo 700p, each of which offers a different operating system, 3G radios and robust application suites, and we delivered these products to multiple carriers simultaneously. We enter fiscal year 2007 as a strong leader, capable of delivering on the rich potential of mobile computing on a global scale."

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My notes from the conference call...

Surur @ 6/29/2006 5:36:18 PM # Q
Interesting points - Initial strong sales, then slow sales for the Treo 700w. Key changes made to European carriers on their request (? WIFI and 64 MB ram?) . He spends a lot of time dissing the Moto Q for using a non-touchscreen and smartphone OS.

He also notes there will be 2 new ODM's to make Palms, and that after the new 2 Treos, there will be more devices on their heels.

Treo 700p sales also slow, with high inventory, but he attributes it to timing.

Confirms 2 new phones later this year, with sales from Europe adding a lot to revenue.

He speaks of costs of R&D in software increasing, ? due to PalmLinux? Speaks of "build business for long term."

No Treo 650 to Europe after June 30 2006 due to environmental reasons. No replacement even before August 2006.

European volumes of 650 "not very significant" however.

Moto Q has lead to drop in volume of Treo 700 sales, May 2006 less sell-through. Has now improved again however, ? not to same level?

700w relied upon to allow expand internationally and expand into enterprise.

Nitro and Lenon wont be carier exclusives.

Surur

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

RE: My notes from the conference call...
cervezas @ 6/29/2006 5:49:52 PM # Q
Thanks, Surer. So he actually mentioned Nitro and Lennon? If so, I'm curious how he described them.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog
RE: My notes from the conference call...
Surur @ 6/29/2006 5:55:02 PM # Q

No. He spoke of future products when asked during the telephone calls afterward. The analysts asked whether the new products would be restricted to carriers or not. He said by the end of the year they would be on multiple carriers. He did speak of UMTS devices and Europe, so we know its the Lenon in all but name. He spoke very little of the Nitro, and even specifically refused to answer a question about hitting lower price points.

Surur

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

RE: My notes from the conference call...
SeldomVisitor @ 6/29/2006 7:11:06 PM # Q
I missed the price point comment - if he said "ain't hitting lower price points" then the Q smacked them upside the head big time.

RE: My notes from the conference call...
freakout @ 6/29/2006 7:24:36 PM # Q
So perhaps no "Lowrider" after all then? That's a shame - Treos are still too expensive for the average consumer, and PalmOS is perfectly suited to such lower-end devices.

Tim
I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 ---> Treo 650
RE: My notes from the conference call...
Surur @ 6/29/2006 7:43:26 PM # Q

It was more like he did not want to give away information that would be useful to his competitors. I assume he would rather want to surprise them with the price-point, not to mention pre-announcing a (lower) price point will cause people to wait, damaging current inventory levels (not that this stopped the Moto Q people from talking about a $50 Q)

Surur

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

RE: My notes from the conference call...
freakout @ 6/29/2006 8:13:10 PM # Q
Ahhh. That makes sense then.

Did he offer any explanation for the drop-off in 700w sales?

Tim
I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 ---> Treo 650

RE: My notes from the conference call...
Scott R @ 6/29/2006 9:28:01 PM # Q
I didn't hear this, but based on your comments this would align with my hunch about 700w sales. I suspect that they're initially strong sales volumes were artificial; they were the result of Verizon's exclusivity agreement requiring them to purchase xx number of Treos/month and didn't necessarily equate to them actually selling that many to consumers. The Q intro no doubt hit them in the stomach.

I still wonder what this rumored "low priced" Treo will offer. They really can't afford to drop any features and remain competitive feature-wise with the Q or even other feature-phones. Us geeks like open platforms like Palm OS and WM5 smartphones, but the general public doesn't think or care about whether or not a phone they like the looks of is capable of installing freeware/shareware off the web.

Palm's greatest advantage right now is that the competition still sucks. Microsoft churns out WM upgrades at a decent rate, but usability/efficiency is just as bad as it was with PPC 2000. Yet Palm is getting "suckier" with each release. The 700p offers worse performance and usability as compared to the 650 and the 650 had some step backwards performance and usability-wise as compared to Handspring's Treo 600. After 18 months of R&D, the 700p is a sad upgrade from the 650.

Will an all-new player come onto the scene soon with something truly special, or will we be stuck in the dark ages of mobile communication for the forseeable future?

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

RE: My notes from the conference call...
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 6/29/2006 11:01:52 PM # Q
Will an all-new player come onto the scene soon with something truly special, or will we be stuck in the dark ages of mobile communication for the forseeable future?

Nokia and Sony Ericsson are about to hurt Palm. Bad.

Stay tuned, Kiddies...


TVoR

RE: My notes from the conference call...
Foo Fighter @ 6/29/2006 11:40:31 PM # Q
Palm is about to get smacked with a double whammy. The Moto Q smacked his company upside the head, but wait til he sees the effect Nokia's E61 is going to have on his bottom...line. And in between those two market leading devices, what has Palm to offer customers; a tired but iconic design that is rapidly becoming a clunky brick among a sea of compellingly sleeker sexier smartphones. He can't even compete on price anymore because both the Q and E61 are selling for far less than Palm is charging for their products. And it's going to get even worse if Moto CEO Ed Zander is telling the truth when stating that, by year's end, carriers will begin offering the Q for a mere $50 (subsidized)...oh God I don't even want to think about it.

-------------------------------
PocketFactory, www.pocketfactory.com
Elitist Snob, www.elitistsnob.com
RE: My notes from the conference call...
craigdts @ 6/30/2006 12:01:40 AM # Q
Moto would be nuts to offer it a $50, what do they want to kill all their other phones (do they have any others ones?). That would be a sign of weakness not a strength. Is that what it is worth? $50?
RE: My notes from the conference call...
Surur @ 6/30/2006 2:24:47 AM # Q
Did he offer any explanation for the drop-off in 700w sales?

He said the 700w was aimed at enterprise, that the early blip was due to consumer early adopters, but that enterprise is still trialling the device, but few have decided to adopt it, although he was very hopeful of this still occurring, and that enterprise may have been waiting to compare it to other upcoming competitors (like the Q I guess).

Surur

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

RE: My notes from the conference call...
SeldomVisitor @ 6/30/2006 7:45:06 AM # Q
I would suggest that:

(1) The TREO 700W literally sold to early-adopters.

(2) The TREO 700P came out and those early-adopters bought it INSTEAD.

(3) Based on weak anecdotal evidence of TreoCentral posts about same, the TREO 700W was returned en mass and replaced by the TREO 700P (or Q!).

The CEO noted the 700W was being met by competition during "evaluation stage" by MORE than one competitor:

== "...Third, I’d say, definitely related to a number of
== competitive announcements. We can’t dismiss those
== completely..."

(BTW, I do not vouch for the accuracy of that quote but it's at least close to what the CEO said during the CC Q&A)

=======

The effect of all the above is, IMHO:

(1) TREO 700W selling like gangbusters on intro to early-adopter geeks.

(2) Motorola Q causing TREO 700W sales to stop dead.

(3) TREO 700P intro causing PalmOS geeks to buy like crazy giving an apparent "increase in sell-through".

(4) And possibly considerable returns by early-adopter geeks of the TREO 700W as they go for the 700P instead - this would cause weird "sales" numbers, BTW, as 700W "sales" stay on the books even though the 700Ws have been returned and replaced - the accounting for those returns is delayed some unspecified amount.

RE: My notes from the conference call...
cervezas @ 6/30/2006 8:44:16 AM # Q
What network operator lets you use a subsidized phone for a few months and then just return it in exchange it for a new one?

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog
RE: My notes from the conference call...
ChiA @ 6/30/2006 8:56:51 AM # Q
Beersy said "What network operator lets you use a subsidized phone for a few months and then just return it in exchange it for a new one?"

Umm yes, good question. On reflection it's probably so that the carrier keeps the customer happy and making calls ie a nice regular income. After all why do they subsidize the phone in the first place? Because they'll make the money back over the two years of your contract from all your calls, data and text.

Carriers probably buy in bulk and I doubt the Treo 700 costs them $649 per unit.

Even if they do, Verizon charges $549 for handset on one year contract + $35 activation + $79 for the cheapest data plan I could find. Therefore they milk at least $1532 out of you in a year.

If they swap the handset okay they're $549 down but still squeeze $983 out of you and retained a customer much more likely to renew their contract and therefore maintain that $983 of income in the years to come.

I doubt they'll be even $549 down as no doubt that rejected handset will be refurbished and resold at a discount to some other "victim".



Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the President.
- President Theodore Roosevelt

RE: My notes from the conference call...
AdamaDBrown @ 6/30/2006 11:01:30 AM # Q
(3) Based on weak anecdotal evidence of TreoCentral posts about same, the TREO 700W was returned en mass and replaced by the TREO 700P (or Q!).

(Rolls eyes)

RE: My notes from the conference call...
hkklife @ 6/30/2006 11:10:30 AM # Q
All I know is that, including my own 700P, I purchased, help purchase or influeced the purchase of five 700Ps at the local Verizon store.

The store manager also told me that the 700W had gotten off to an amazingly fast start before quickly dying down after about 6-8 weeks. The manager also said that the 700P hit the ground running and, as of last week, was off to a far better start sales-wise and returns-wise, than the 700W had been during its first month. I also was told that the Q had very strong initial sales numbers but also a lot of returns when people upgrading from a 650 or a BB or even a RAZR realized the Q was jack of many trades & master of none.

I think Verizon was actually planning on EOLing the Treo 650 and carrying no further POS devices. *Something* made them change their minds at the last minute--perhaps the continued string of profitable Palm quarters or Access' buyout of PalmSource? Remember, all we heard was Sprint's name in association with the 700P for the past six months until the weeks prior to release when Verizon's info leaked.

I'd attribute the lack of MobiTV or any Verizon customizations (even the LED isn't the same as the Sprint version's) other than WirlessSync to the 700P as a result of it being a rather late addition to the Verizon roadmap. So the 700P's success is likely surprising and annoying Verizon more than anything, if ANY of the "700W has tailed off" rumors are to be believed.

Can you imagine what may happen if Verizon ends up playing with the two Treos' pricing levels and discounting one model more than the other?

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

RE: My notes from the conference call...
cervezas @ 6/30/2006 3:05:47 PM # Q
ChiA wrote:
Beersy said "What network operator lets you use a subsidized phone for a few months and then just return it in exchange it for a new one?"

Umm yes, good question. On reflection it's probably so that the carrier keeps the customer happy and making calls ie a nice regular income.

Tell it to the operators. My point was that I don't know of any operators who actually let you do this. You get 30 days, max. After that you have to pay full retail price if you change your mind and want a different phone (until your contract term is up). At least that's been my experience with Sprint, Cingular, and T-Mobile. Unless Verizon is different, I don't see how they lose money from someone returning a two- to six-month old phone and buying a new one.

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

The award for quote of the month goes to...
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 6/30/2006 4:35:36 PM # Q
The Moto Q smacked his company upside the head, but wait til he sees the effect Nokia's E61 is going to have on his bottom...line.


Bwahahahah!

RE: My notes from the conference call...
AdamaDBrown @ 6/30/2006 4:39:11 PM # Q
Verizon is much more restrictive in terms of returns--you get the bare minimum 14 days mandated by law, no more. So I'd have to say that anecdotes about people dumping the 700w for the Q or the 700p are almost certainly just anecdotes, based on a microscopic subset of hard-core gadget freaks with a pronounced Palm OS preference.

RE: My notes from the conference call...
ChiA @ 6/30/2006 6:09:55 PM # Q
Beersy said
Tell it to the operators. My point was that I don't know of any operators who actually let you do this. You get 30 days, max. After that you have to pay full retail price if you change your mind and want a different phone (until your contract term is up).

Well you said it yourself, maybe that 30 days is enough for some people.
Maybe you've simply not spent enough to make it worth their while Beersy! ;-)

Orange UK have business contracts for multiple mobiles costing up to £750 (US $1366) a month; it'll be pretty daft to lose such contracts to Vodafone UK over one or two £500 phones. I suspect it's cheaper to swap the phones than pay the lawyers haggling over contracts in court!

Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the President.
- President Theodore Roosevelt

RE: My notes from the conference call...
EdH @ 7/2/2006 8:49:43 PM # Q
SeldomVisitor said:

I would suggest that:

(1) The TREO 700W literally sold to early-adopters.

(2) The TREO 700P came out and those early-adopters bought it INSTEAD.

(3) Based on weak anecdotal evidence of TreoCentral posts about same, the TREO 700W was returned en mass and replaced by the TREO 700P (or Q!).

Huh? So #2 the early adopters waited 6 months for the 700p? does that sound like an early adopter to you? Yeah, and weak anecdotal evidence from another PalmOS Fansite is definitely to be relied upon to make a claim that the 700w is being returned en masse. great logic flow there. Whatever enables you to have restfull sleep at night.

RE: Windows Mobile is dead, PalmOS is the future
Foo Fighter @ 7/2/2006 8:53:19 PM # Q
>> "Whatever enables you to have restful sleep at night."

Well, when your platform is dying with no hope of any future incarnation, what else is there to do but engage in idle fantasy, in hopes that it might become a self-fulfilling prophecy?

Don't worry, Dorothy. Everything is going to be just fine. Just click your heels together three times and say "there's no place like Palm...there's no place like Palm". It's all simply a bad dream. PalmOS isn't dead, just taking a much needed rest after years of venerable service. Ignore the classic tune from Blue Oyster Cult playing in the background. It's nothing, really.

-------------------------------
PocketFactory, www.pocketfactory.com
Elitist Snob, www.elitistsnob.com

RE: My notes from the conference call...
SeldomVisitor @ 7/3/2006 7:56:57 AM # Q
I think it is important to note that the True Believers are almost universally reactive rather than proactive with their posts.

RE: My notes from the conference call...
EdH @ 7/3/2006 9:25:54 PM # Q
SeldomVisitor wrote:
I think it is important to note that the True Believers are almost universally reactive rather than proactive with their posts.

That is hysterical! Ok, I'll pretend I am in 3rd grade too. "I am rubber, you are glue...."

Your turn.



RE: My notes from the conference call...
freakout @ 7/3/2006 11:49:14 PM # Q
Do you post here just to piss people off?

Tim
I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 ---> Treo 650
RE: My notes from the conference call...
EdH @ 7/6/2006 6:41:52 AM # Q
No, I post to talk about Palm, but some posts are so silly it is very difficult to pass them up, like early adopters that wait 6 months. In the world of computers, if you wait 6 months you are at least one generation behind. It is like saying "early risers" that sleep until 10am.

Reply to this comment

Congratulations Palm.

Timothy Rapson @ 6/29/2006 6:01:14 PM # Q
Palm's profit margin = 5.2%
RIM's = 19.%

Palm used to make great, profitable, innovative, class-leading products. Products that worked. When they did they made real profits too. I guess playing defense has gotten Palm a steady small profitable revenue stream for their executives.

RE: Congratulations Palm.
LiveFaith @ 6/29/2006 11:06:03 PM # Q
Ouchhhh.

Pat Horne
RE: My notes from the conference call...
idiopathic @ 6/30/2006 12:30:18 AM # Q
Can I ask where you got those numbers from? Looking at Google Finance:

http://www.google.com/finance?q=PALM

Net Profit Margin: 21.62%
Operating Margin: 6.67%
Return on Average Assets: 28.01%
Return on Average Equity: 43.70%

http://www.google.com/finance?q=RIMM

Net Profit Margin: 18.50%
Operating Margin: 20.32%
Return on Average Assets: 15.49%
Return on Average Equity: 19.19%

I'm not very good at reading balance sheets but RIMM does not look that much better than Palm to me from these numbers, and for everything except operating margin Palm is better, no?

Did I misunderstand?

RE: Congratulations Palm.
AdamaDBrown @ 6/30/2006 1:20:10 AM # Q
Operating margin is the one you want to look at: it's basically how much more money a company is making than they're spending. You would think that that would be the net profit margin, but they factor in different things.

In any event, RIM makes huge bundles of money off of their software division, which is part of what pushes their OM so high, software sales not being dependent on actually manufacturing anything.

RE: Congratulations Palm.
AdamaDBrown @ 6/30/2006 1:45:47 AM # Q
To clarify: an operating margin of 6% means that out of every $1 in sales, after costs, $0.06 of that is profit. I realized that the way I stated it earlier could be misinterpreted.

RE: Congratulations Palm.
fierywater @ 6/30/2006 12:22:31 PM # Q
If they're still profiting, they're still alive. I suppose the current management team deserves some minor props. They had to recover from one of the worst management teams a company could ever run with.

RE: Congratulations Palm.
goat_fajitas @ 6/30/2006 4:13:36 PM # Q
"the current management team deserves some minor props. They had to recover from one of the worst management teams a company could ever run with."

True dat !

RE: Congratulations Palm.
SeldomVisitor @ 6/30/2006 4:20:23 PM # Q
> If they're still profiting, they're still alive...

Read this:

-- http://www.fool.com/News/mft/2006/mft06063027.htm?source=eptyholnk303100&logvisit=y&npu=y

RE: Congratulations Palm.
Surur @ 6/30/2006 4:37:11 PM # Q
Interesting article, but I hope he doesn't mind that I say he is an idiot. From the article:

Certainly I could be reading too much into the financials. It's just that I prefer to buy only when I understand the impetus for unusual fluctuations. So far, Palm hasn't offered a thorough explanation, and I'll be fooled (small-f) if I can think of a reasonable one. To be fair, management mentioned briefly in the conference call that A/R rose because of new Treo shipments. The inventory situation, however, was left murky, with improvement expected to come in 2007.

This guy has no clear understanding of Palm or the PDA market. He clearly does not know how dependent Palm is on branding, and what a risk a Windows Mobile handheld device was. It has clearly not worked out (not helped by Palm's stupid 32 MB, no WIFI policy), and it forecasts more pain for the Palm in the future, as their future expansion plans are currently heavily dependent on WM (a market which Palm themselves clearly dont understand).

Surur

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

RE: Congratulations Palm.
SeldomVisitor @ 6/30/2006 5:27:44 PM # Q
PALM is a "prosumer" device company. Prosumers are looking at The Competition. PALM is not an enterprise company. Enterprise hasn't begun looking at PALM, relatively speaking.

PALM had better come up with something Real Soon Now or they're gonna be left in the dust.

And The Market thought so, too.

And apparently The Motley Fool - long term "investors" supposedly - are beginning to seee the light and oubting the utility of PALm as a long term investment.

RE: Congratulations Palm.
Mauibro @ 6/30/2006 9:56:30 PM # Q
This guy has no clear understanding of Palm or the PDA market. He clearly does not know how dependent Palm is on branding, and what a risk a Windows Mobile handheld device was. It has clearly not worked out (not helped by Palm's stupid 32 MB, no WIFI policy), and it forecasts more pain for the Palm in the future, as their future expansion plans are currently heavily dependent on WM (a market which Palm themselves clearly dont understand).

I have stated in the past in the 1src forums and still believe that Palm has no long term interest in winmob.
Win Mobile treos are a quick buck to squeeze money out of a temporary Treo lead, and a bridge to exploit markets that Garnet cannot penetrate.

I stated back when "rumors" of the "W" started that when a similar Palm OS device was released reviewers would claim it suprerior. I was correct.
Message being that on basically the same hardware Palm OS is better.

If Palm can actually release devices in 07 running its own version of Linux all is well.
Think about it.
If generally speaking the "P" is better than the "W" now what happens when a new OS that fixes what is wrong with Garnet comes out?

Palm will have effectively grown its Treo brand name into areas on PPC dominance with the W line and then release devices that put it to shame using PalmOSLinux.
Comments about regret over not owning its own OS makes clear that they believe they can make better devices with their own hardware and software.
And that is their future people, it never was about WinMobile.


RE: Congratulations Palm.
freakout @ 6/30/2006 10:43:25 PM # Q
"If Palm can actually release devices in 07 running its own version of Linux all is well."

But that's the killer, isn't it? Palm have been so tight-lipped about their future OS plans that it's pretty much impossible to tell exactly *when* we'll be treated to a new PalmOS - for all we know, it may not be ready until 2008! I've read a lot of informed guesswork, but as of yet it seems that no one knows just how the new PalmOS is going. Or if it even exists.

You'd think they would at least drop a hint or two about their progress, if only to give hope to us Treo faithful and pacify the critics who've had the hearse waiting in the driveway for years now.

Heck, they haven't even ruled out ALP yet.

Tim
I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 ---> Treo 650

RE: Congratulations Palm.
fierywater @ 7/1/2006 1:48:47 AM # Q
I stated back when "rumors" of the "W" started that when a similar Palm OS device was released reviewers would claim it suprerior. I was correct.

By what, Mossberg and legions of Treo fansites? Of course they declared the 700p superior.

Most balanced sites (i.e. Brighthand/BargainPDA) wrote them off as equal, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

RE: Congratulations Palm.
Surur @ 7/1/2006 4:17:41 AM # Q
Its unrealistic to think Palm is into WM for the very short term (e.g. 2 years) For one they appear to be using it as a spear head into overseas markets, where the Windows brand name is stronger than the Palm one, and second they using it as a spearhead into business, where the OS actually matters. Business would be building vertical applications on the OS, and they would be expecting to use that code for the next 5 years.

Palm would look really inconsistent and scatterbrained if they change their OS every year or two. Windows Mobile is there to stay for at least the next 5 years (unless it is an unmitigated disaster, and I cant rule that out).

Surur

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

RE: Congratulations Palm.
Mauibro @ 7/1/2006 5:05:49 AM # Q
Surer, my statement "to exploit markets that Garnet cannot penetrate" means "business" and "overseas."
The long term answer though is in a more robust PalmOS for every market. That is in Palms best interest.

And I never said they would pull out of Win Mob.
I just don't believe there was any expectation of long term dependance on that OS.

Palm is OS neutral now because "Garnet" is not theirs.
Even they know its limited on modern devices.
So Win Mobile is nessesary.

Continuing to do Win Mobile wakes sense but it will become secondary.
A user of a Win Mobile Treo will jump ship based solely on hardware. With so much variety and competition in hardware, there's no way to maintain an edge long term.
Build a better OS integrated into its hardware and your userbase will think twice.

Palm wont be OS neutral once the new OS comes out.
That is their future, mark my words.
It only makes sense.

RE: Congratulations Palm.
Surur @ 7/1/2006 5:47:13 AM # Q
I am sure you are right. It is clear that if they were to try and transition their user base to WM they would suffer a severe financial crash. Also they are not doing enough to create a new large WM-based user base. I think playing the hardware feature race game is just not in their culture. They will be a PalmOS based company (be it Garnet, ALP or POS II) for a very long time if not forever.

Surur

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

RE: Congratulations Palm.
SeldomVisitor @ 7/1/2006 6:37:18 AM # Q
> ...They will be a PalmOS based company (be it Garnet, ALP or POS
> II) for a very long time if not forever.

W.r.t. PALM there are a variety of definitions of what "forever" could entail.

RE: Congratulations Palm.
Surur @ 7/1/2006 6:45:14 AM # Q
Failure to execute in the WM space will not be too healthy for Palm. I know may will disagree with me here, but I believe the recent rise in Palm's stock was in large part due to their upcoming WM device showing investors a way out the POS deadend, and the recent post-Q4 drop due to Palm's failure to execute on that plan.

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

'Our product engine is firing on all cylinders'

theog @ 6/30/2006 12:11:55 AM # Q
"Our product engine is firing on all cylinders"

What a quote. The last management team hurt palm bad... and I don't know if the current team can recover. Plus, they are still selling a 2000 device in 2006 for 2000 prices. They should have took a note from the TX and lowered the treo prices so everyone could afford them or at least take a second look. Moto gets it, nokia gets it... palm, again, does not understand. :(

Vote for John Kerry... best man for the job.

RE: 'Our product engine is firing on all cylinders'
VampireLestat @ 6/30/2006 1:03:48 AM # Q
The real problem with the Treo is the carriers excessively costly voice and data plans.

And yes, John Kerry rocks. I think he would have been one of the best US presidents ever.

RE: 'Our product engine is firing on all cylinders'
freakout @ 6/30/2006 10:49:30 PM # Q
^^ The Treo *is* far too expensive currently, but considering what we've learned here - that Palm makes about 6c profit from every dollar they earn - it's up in the air just how much room they have to drop prices.

I keenly await pricing details for the Nitro/Lowrider/whatever the heck they're going to call it.

Tim
I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 ---> Treo 650

RE: 'Our product engine is firing on all cylinders'
SeldomVisitor @ 7/1/2006 6:40:45 AM # Q
> ...I keenly await pricing details for the
> Nitro/Lowrider/whatever the heck they're going
> to call it.

I think at this point in time that the prices will remain "high" - nothing as low as $199 like the Q.

Too many times PALM has mentioned the (artificial non-industry-norm (*)) "sweetspot" of pricing as being from $99 to $299 for them to come in low. I think they used $299 on purpose.

======

(*) Far and wide the "sweetspot" has been mentioned as being $99 (sub-$100). Period. Yes, for phones (that is, what a nongeek consumer sees one of "these things" as "with a few added features").

Reply to this comment

Big round of applause for Palm Inc!

VampireLestat @ 6/30/2006 1:13:27 AM # Q
Big round of applause for Palm Inc!
To all those who have been predicting the death of Palm forever, F you.

Keep on buying Palm OS devices and keep on spreading word-of-mouth.

I remember a few years ago when PalmOne was always in the red and being in the black seemed almost impossible. Colligan might suck because of his WM Treo, but we can forgive him if he puts all the necessary R&D money in handhelds and Treos using Palm OS and keeps Palm in the black.

Great job Ed Colligan, you saved Palm from the brink. You are up there with the great company managers of our day, of the likes of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

RE: Big round of applause for Palm Inc!
joad @ 6/30/2006 2:14:01 AM # Q
...you forgot Jesus, too.

RE: Big round of applause for Palm Inc!
fierywater @ 6/30/2006 12:25:51 PM # Q
He's kept the company afloat, but he doesn't deserve to be up in the pantheon of the gods unless he can get past OS5.

All of his efforts as of now have been simply to recycle the Treo 600 formfactor with extremely incremental upgrades. The people who deserve the most credit are Handspring's designers. As far as the PDA side of things goes, the Lifedrive was awful while the TX was good. He's about 50/50 there.

The measure of Colligan's managing abilities won't be seen for a few years yet.

RE: Big round of applause for Palm Inc!
relyons @ 6/30/2006 1:46:49 PM # Q
fierywater said about Colligan, "All of his efforts as of now have been simply to recycle the Treo 600 formfactor with extremely incremental upgrades."

The following are Treo 700p improvements over the Treo 600.

* Bluetooth for voice and data
* Four times the screen resolution (320x320 versus 160x160)
* Four times the memory (128MB vs. 32MB RAM)
* Over twice the processor speed (312 Mhz vs 144 Mhz)
* Non-volatile memory (NVRAM)
* Twice the camera resolution (1280x1024 vs 640x480)
* Video capture
* Removable battery
* High speed data access (EVDO speeds vs. GPRS speeds)
* Microsoft Exchange integration
* Improved physicial design

In the meantime, the Treo 650 was released and the 700w, a Windows Mobile version of the Treo, was released.

That is simply not "extremely incremental upgrades."

RE: Big round of applause for Palm Inc!
fierywater @ 6/30/2006 6:19:01 PM # Q
Perhaps my use of the word "extremely" was unwarranted. But considering that those improvements were done over the course of three years (an eternity in this industry), "incremental" is the only appropriate word for Palm's model to model upgrades. Palm has done nothing but the minimum work necessary to keep the Treo (almost) up-to-date in today's market.

All of the upgrades that you mentioned are things that are taken for granted now, and generally were taken for granted a year or more before Palm implemented them.

By the way, improved physical design? I'll say that the design's been improved when the antenna stub is gone.

If the 700p had been released when the 650 was, I'd say that Palm had made a great leap from the original. But the 650 was nothing but an incremental upgrade from the 600, and the 700p is an even more incremental upgrade from the 650.

And Palm's insistence on excluding WiFi is and always has been pathetic.

Wake up and smell the coffee, Bubba...
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 6/30/2006 9:08:49 PM # Q
The following are Treo 700p improvements over the Treo 600.

* Bluetooth for voice and data
* Four times the screen resolution (320x320 versus 160x160)
* Four times the memory (128MB vs. 32MB RAM)
* Over twice the processor speed (312 Mhz vs 144 Mhz)
* Non-volatile memory (NVRAM)
* Twice the camera resolution (1280x1024 vs 640x480)
* Video capture
* Removable battery
* High speed data access (EVDO speeds vs. GPRS speeds)
* Microsoft Exchange integration
* Improved physicial design

How pathetic. Is this ALL the "upgrades" we've seen from Palm in the past 3 YEARS? Your list merely underscores how little has been done with the Treo 600 design since Handspring handed Palm the Treo life preserver 2 years ago. Don't believe me? Answer this simple question: how many of the features listed so "proudly" as upgrades should (and EASILY COULD) have been included in the original Treo 600 design if only Handspring wasn't flat BROKE at the time they were desperately trying to finish the Hail Mary Pass (also known as "Treo 600")?

- Bluetooth: part of the original Treo 600 design, ditched due to expense + potential delays in device approval.
- 320 x 320 screen: not used on Treo 600 due to expense.
- Memory increase: User-accesible memory has gone from "pathetic" (24 MB in the Treo 600) to "barely acceptable" (60 MB in the Treo 700p). The NVFS fiasco seen with the Treo 650 meant users had even LESS memory available in this supposed "upgrade" over the Treo 600. Wow. Brilliant. So the Treo 700p gives users a "massive" 60 MB of usable memory. Don't make me laugh. My Tapvave Zodiac2 (from 2004) gives me 116 MB of available memory. Once again, unless you're using a Treo 700 as a glorified address book (as I'm sure the majority of users actually are!), a paltry 60 MB in 2006 on a $500 smartphone is a slap in the face from Palm.
- The negligible) increase in processor speed is meaningless.
- Wake up. NVRAM (also known as "CrapRAM™") is actually a liability.
- Do you REALLY think the lame a$$ 1.3 megapixel Treo 700p camera is anything to write home about? In the past 3 years, Treo cameras have evolved from "egregious" to "poor". Well done. Take a look at the cameras Sony Ericsson offers in its so-called featurephones. These models make the Treos look like absolute crap.
http://www.livingroom.org.au/cameraphone/archives/sony_ericsson_camera_phones/index.php
- Video capture on a Treo? Only if you're crazy.
- Lack of a removable battery was a glaring oversight in the Treo 600. Done to save money, but spun to make it sound like a benefit, it's funny how suddenly Palm feels removable batteries are A Good Thing...
- Yes, EVDO is a genuine improvement offered by the Treo 700p that could not have been included on the Treo 600. Wow - you finally found something meaningful Palm was able to add. Congratulations!
- Microsoft Exchange integration will be nice if it works. So I guess you're admitting that embracing the Microsoft Collective is A Good Thing?
- Sorry Bubba, but the Treo 700p is definitely NOT an improved physicial design over the Treo 600. The keyboard, D-pad and button configuration are all superior in the Treo 600.

In the meantime, the Treo 650 was released and the 700w, a Windows Mobile version of the Treo, was released.

Gotta love that desperate cash grab better known as the Treo 700w. It COMPLETELY and utterly undermined what little was left of the morale within the Palm eCONomy. Even the most deranged Palm fanboys (like Jeff Kirvin/Dr Opinion) gave up on Palm when the Treo 700w came out. It was kind of sad to hear theirdesperate denials of the existence of the Treo 700w - right up until the day Palm formally announce it was REAL. Reminded me of the moment that a child first realizes the there really is no Santa Claus. The loss of innocence...

That is simply not "extremely incremental upgrades."

Yes. They are "utterly pathetic, extremely incremental upgrades".

TVoR


RE: Big round of applause for Palm Inc!
ChiA @ 6/30/2006 9:20:13 PM # Q
relyons said
The following are Treo 700p improvements over the Treo 600

Yes, these improvements are all very well if the Treo was the only smartphone available; but the Treo is one of many smartphones competing for the consumer's attention. If you compare the rate of change in the Treo to those made by competitors it has been pretty sluggish.

Just look at Sony Ericsson:
2002/3 - P800
then - P900
then - P910
2006 - P990

The Sony Ericsson P800/900 series of phone have gone through far greater scale of improvement and refinement than the Treo range during a similar timescale.

Bluetooth for voice and data, Removable battery
I vaguely recall something about Handspring/Palm making a last minute decision to leave Bluetooth out of the Treo 600. For the record, the "dumbphone" Ericsson T68 my wife bought in 2002 could do Bluetooth voice and data, tiny little thing that it was back then. It was a dumbphone that could do Bluetooth voice and data long before Handspring's premium "fully featured" smartphone. It could even retrieve a few email messages via POP3.

I find suggesting Bluetooth as a design improvement between Treo 600 and 700 is like suggesting adding a tyre to the fourth wheel of a car is a design improvement. It's not an improvement of design; merely correcting an obvious omission.

For the record, the "improved, state of the art" Treo 700 comes with Bluetooth version 1.2. The Bluetooth standard is currently at 2.0.
HTC's MTeoR is a new kid on the block "candybar" sized phone that ships with Bluetooth 2.0 and 3G.

Over twice the processor speed (312 Mhz vs 144 Mhz)
The credit for processor speed goes to Intel, not Palm; I doubt it's worth Intel's time, money and wafers making 144 MHz processors. Besides, processor speed hasn't changed since the 650, no improvement there between 650 and 700.

Video capture - Oh please! That's not got anything to do with the hardware; Palm were just to lazy to write video capture software for their device - as the third party video capture apps for the Treo 650 prove.

Twice the camera resolution (1280x1024 vs 640x480)
It's actually four times the resolution for the same reasons as the increase in screen resolution. All very well but Nokia has just announced a 2 Megapixel camera as a feature on a dumbphone (Nokia 6275) intended for the mid-range of the market.

High speed data access (EVDO speeds vs. GPRS speeds - A feature which can now be found on even mid-range dumbphones.

Yes the 700p is impressive when compared to the 600; much less impressive when compared to the 650.

Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the President.
- President Theodore Roosevelt

RE: Big round of applause for Palm Inc!
freakout @ 7/1/2006 5:20:50 AM # Q
"Video capture - Oh please! That's not got anything to do with the hardware; Palm were just to lazy to write video capture software for their device - as the third party video capture apps for the Treo 650 prove."

Treo 650 does video capture just fine, thanks. Bzzzzt! Thanks for playing, take a complimentary PIC Board Game.

You are right though in that the 700p could certainly have had a much stronger feature set.

RE: Big round of applause for Palm Inc!
ChiA @ 7/1/2006 6:09:06 AM # Q
as the third party video capture apps for the Treo 650 prove
Treo 650 does video capture just fine, thanks. Bzzzzt!

Yep, you're right, that mistake came in right under my radar. I meant third party video capture apps for the Treo 600.

However the point the Treo 650 had video capture only underlines the fact Palm wasn't bothered to include it for the Treo 600.

Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the President.
- President Theodore Roosevelt

RE: Big round of applause for Palm Inc!
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 7/1/2006 2:30:21 PM # Q
The following are Treo 700p improvements over the Treo 600.

* Bluetooth for voice and data
* Four times the screen resolution (320x320 versus 160x160)
* Four times the memory (128MB vs. 32MB RAM)
* Over twice the processor speed (312 Mhz vs 144 Mhz)
* Non-volatile memory (NVRAM)
* Twice the camera resolution (1280x1024 vs 640x480)
* Video capture
* Removable battery
* High speed data access (EVDO speeds vs. GPRS speeds)
* Microsoft Exchange integration
* Improved physicial design

How pathetic. Is this ALL the "upgrades" we've seen from Palm in the past 3 YEARS? Your list merely underscores how little has been done with the Treo 600 design since Handspring handed Palm the Treo life preserver 2 years ago. Don't believe me? Answer this simple question: how many of the features listed so "proudly" as upgrades should (and EASILY COULD) have been included in the original Treo 600 design if only Handspring wasn't flat BROKE at the time they were desperately trying to finish the Hail Mary Pass (also known as "Treo 600")?

- Bluetooth: part of the original Treo 600 design, ditched due to expense + potential delays in device approval.
- 320 x 320 screen: not used on Treo 600 due to expense.
- Memory increase: User-accesible memory has gone from "pathetic" (24 MB in the Treo 600) to "barely acceptable" (60 MB in the Treo 700p). The NVFS fiasco seen with the Treo 650 meant users had even LESS memory available in this supposed "upgrade" over the Treo 600. Wow. Brilliant. So the Treo 700p gives users a "massive" 60 MB of usable memory. Don't make me laugh. My Tapvave Zodiac2 (from 2004) gives me 116 MB of available memory. Once again, unless you're using a Treo 700 as a glorified address book (as I'm sure the majority of users actually are!), a paltry 60 MB in 2006 on a $500 smartphone is a slap in the face from Palm.
- The negligible) increase in processor speed is meaningless.
- Wake up. NVRAM (also known as "CrapRAM™") is actually a liability.
- Do you REALLY think the lame a$$ 1.3 megapixel Treo 700p camera is anything to write home about? In the past 3 years, Treo cameras have evolved from "egregious" to "poor". Well done. Take a look at the cameras Sony Ericsson offers in its so-called featurephones. These models make the Treos look like absolute crap.
http://www.livingroom.org.au/cameraphone/archives/sony_ericsson_camera_phones/index.php
- Video capture on a Treo? Only if you're crazy.
- Lack of a removable battery was a glaring oversight in the Treo 600. Done to save money, but spun to make it sound like a benefit, it's funny how suddenly Palm feels removable batteries are A Good Thing...
- Yes, EVDO is a genuine improvement offered by the Treo 700p that could not have been included on the Treo 600. Wow - you finally found something meaningful Palm was able to add. Congratulations!
- Microsoft Exchange integration will be nice if it works. So I guess you're admitting that embracing the Microsoft Collective is A Good Thing?
- Sorry Bubba, but the Treo 700p is definitely NOT an improved physicial design over the Treo 600. The keyboard, D-pad and button configuration are all superior in the Treo 600.

In the meantime, the Treo 650 was released and the 700w, a Windows Mobile version of the Treo, was released.

Gotta love that desperate cash grab better known as the Treo 700w. It COMPLETELY and utterly undermined what little was left of the morale within the Palm eCONomy. Even the most deranged Palm fanboys (like Jeff Kirvin/Dr Opinion) gave up on Palm when the Treo 700w came out. It was kind of sad to hear theirdesperate denials of the existence of the Treo 700w - right up until the day Palm formally announce it was REAL. Reminded me of the moment that a child first realizes the there really is no Santa Claus. The loss of innocence...

That is simply not "extremely incremental upgrades."

Yes. It's "utterly pathetic, extremely incremental upgrades".

TVoR


RE: Big round of applause for Palm Inc!
Mauibro @ 7/1/2006 2:55:02 PM # Q
Pathetic upgrades?
And where has PPC phones been??
For years they have hit more "bullet points" than the Treo and have been crushed.
My friend had an earlier HP phone, what a joke.
On paper it blew the Treo 650 away, it use the ancient 160/160 600 was much better.
It aint about Bullet points its about usability.

Hp finally has a hit in the Q and it hits far fewer of your bullet points than the Treo.
Its hilarious that TVOR proclaims the Q such a threat to the Treo yet when you look at his criticisms of the Treo, the Q is worse.

No doubt the Q is a hit.
It is the "Zire" of smartphones.
Copy Palm strategy, good move HP.


Edumacating Mauibro...
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 7/1/2006 3:42:08 PM # Q
Pathetic upgrades?
And where has PPC phones been??

Right HERE, Baby!

http://www.palminfocenter.com/comments/8630/#122431

For years they have hit more "bullet points" than the Treo and have been crushed.
My friend had an earlier HP phone, what a joke.
On paper it blew the Treo 650 away, it use the ancient 160/160 600 was much better.
It aint about Bullet points its about usability.

No, it's about price, value, style, carrier relationships and marketing.

Hp finally has a hit in the Q and it hits far fewer of your bullet points than the Treo.
Its hilarious that TVOR proclaims the Q such a threat to the Treo yet when you look at his criticisms of the Treo, the Q is worse.

How much is the Treo 700p? How much is the Q? Which one looks like a brick? Sorry Bubba, but this is all about survival of the fittest. Palm is about to get culled from the herd unless RIM steps up and buys Palm out in the near future...

No doubt the Q is a hit.
It is the "Zire" of smartphones.
Copy Palm strategy, good move HP.

Maybe it will be a hit, maybe not. Doesn't matter. Palm's problem with the Q is that it suddenly exposes Palm's pricing to be a pathetic scam. Palm will have to slash prices this Fall and can kiss its profits goodbye. I smell an impending (Vx-style) glut of Treos in Palm's retail channels over the next 3 or 4 months. Remember what the last inventory glut did to Palm when it was a cash-rich company? This is gonna get UGGGLY...

P.S. Motorola (not HP) manufactures the Q.

TVoR

RE: Big round of applause for Palm Inc!
Surur @ 7/1/2006 4:07:27 PM # Q

That would be Motorola, not HP. Motorola has made a number of WM Smartphones already (MPx 100, 200 and 220) and the Q is just another smartphone in that series. If fact for them it is a more advanced unit, vs the step back to simplicity which you appear to believe it is.

The HP entrant is the HP hw6920. Not the most stellar unit, but it has GPS, which is a very useful feature still to be seen from Palm.

Surur

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

RE: Big round of applause for Palm Inc!
freakout @ 7/1/2006 6:34:25 PM # Q
^^ I imagine that, like with 3.5mm adapters for the audio jack, Palm are making a tidy little profit on their GPS Bundle and wouldn't like to undercut that. That said, GPS is an obvious, and nowadays not all that expensive, addition.

TVoR said:
"No, it's about price, value, style, carrier relationships and marketing."

You're right Voice, but please don't insult us by suggesting that the snoozetastic Q is the silver bullet that's finally going to kill Palm! It will no doubt hurt them, but I reckon marketing or no, it will take a product with equal or superior usability to the Treo to finally beat it. I'm talking one-handed operation, simple phone operation, a nicely tactile keyboard, a relatively high-res screen and good messaging software.

The big handset makers are catching up every day. But tryhards like the Q only show how far they still have to come.

(I base this all on online reviews, and of course my deep-seated and disturbingly unnatural lust for the Treo. Perhaps my opinion will change when I get to actually play with a Q.)

Tim
I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 ---> Treo 650

RE: Big round of applause for Palm Inc!
PenguinPowered @ 7/1/2006 11:48:01 PM # Q
NVRAM (also known as "CrapRAM™") is actually a liability.

NVRAM, in the form of NAND flash is a very useful thing. However, you do have to get the software for it right.


May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: Big round of applause for Palm Inc!
theog @ 7/2/2006 12:38:47 AM # Q
After messing around with the Q, I do not think it is a "Palm" killer. They really are two different devices.

I believe that palm is killing palm. Although, I do believe they are looking to have a line of treos, like the zire, e2 and tx. That would be nice... try to sew up the market.

The problem is competitors are not standing still and moto and nokia are poised to release more products to combat the treo. I've heard nothing but positive reviews on the nokia e-61.

The other issue is the software, course. No use in beating a dead horse, but I'm still upset because I can't use my tx with my v710 cell phone. I have to use my e2 when traveling to check email on the road (I could also use my T5 to check email on my v710).

Shortly after getting my tx, palm support said they knew of the issue and would issue a fix. That was almost a year ago (or maybe a year... whenever the tx was release, I got the first batch). No fix and to put salt on the wound, they want me to pay in order to use my wifi with my home network (uses security). I know it is $6, but I refuse to pay that...

I am ready to give my money to someone else, but as much as I would for it to be so, the q is not it.

Vote for John Kerry... best man for the job.

E-61
freakout @ 7/2/2006 3:58:32 AM # Q
"I've heard nothing but positive reviews on the nokia e-61."

Same here. I think it will be a much stronger contender for the "Treo-killer" title than the Q. For starters, it'll probably be a much better-sounding phone since Palm are just amateurs at that game in comparison. The screen is apparently gorgeous (16.7 million colours!) and it looks much more stylish than the Treo. Which is not hard, I know. The width should also make the keyboard a little nicer to type on, but I wonder how "pocketable" it will be compared to the big T. There are also a few questionable design decisions (IR port on the bottom?). But on the whole it looks like it will be quite good.

That said, Symbian's quirks and limitations are much more irritating than PalmOS's (IMO). And Nokia's UI, like always, *sucks*. (Even though it looks fantastic.) And no touchscreen either.

I think one of the biggest parts of the Treo's appeal is the simplicity and ease of PalmOS, for all it's dated looks, the myriad of incompatibilities with other Palms, and all of Garnet's other flaws.

There won't be a real Treo-killer till they can beat that. And as everyone here already knows, if Palm can't whip up a fresh batch mighty fast they're in deep trouble.

Tim
I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 ---> Treo 650

More words of wisdom from Marty Fouts
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 7/2/2006 12:12:13 PM # Q
NVRAM, in the form of NAND flash is a very useful thing. However, you do have to get the software for it right.


Gee, really? Here's some more words of wisdom:

Guns don't kill people. People kill people.

(Call me if you need that explained, Marty.)






http://www.palminfocenter.com/comments/7271/#99732

Why the Treo franchaise will DIE in 2006:
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 7/2/2006 12:12:13 PM # Q
TVoR said:
"No, it's about price, value, style, carrier relationships and marketing."

You're right Voice, but please don't insult us by suggesting that the snoozetastic Q is the silver bullet that's finally going to kill Palm! It will no doubt hurt them, but I reckon marketing or no, it will take a product with equal or superior usability to the Treo to finally beat it. I'm talking one-handed operation, simple phone operation, a nicely tactile keyboard, a relatively high-res screen and good messaging software.

The big handset makers are catching up every day. But tryhards like the Q only show how far they still have to come.


I think one of the biggest parts of the Treo's appeal is the simplicity and ease of PalmOS, for all it's dated looks, the myriad of incompatibilities with other Palms, and all of Garnet's other flaws.

There won't be a real Treo-killer till they can beat that. And as everyone here already knows, if Palm can't whip up a fresh batch mighty fast they're in deep trouble.


Timmmay, you STILL don't get it. The Q is a crap phone. I don't know if it will sell well, but the Motorola RAZR is also an exceptionally crappy phone and its sales have completely turned Motorola's fortunes around in the past year. What does that tell you about people's tastes and the market? The best cellphone I've ever used is the Samsung i500. It sold primarily to well-heeled business execs and professionals who happened to be experienced PalmOS users. (Many Palm and PalmSource employees still prefer to carry the i500 instead of the latest Treos - despite the i500 having PalmOS 4, no expansion and only 16 MB RAM.) Of course, the i500 probably sold only to a fraction as many people as have the bulky, crap-sounding, unreliable Treo 600/650/700. What does that tell you about people's tastes and the market?

Palm has completely changed its business model from selling PDAs to individuals to selling smartphones to carriers. Even with HUGE profit margins on Treos, Palm is barely making a profit. Up until 2006, Palm had no serious competition in the smartphone world courtesy of the 2 year head start Handspring gave them with the Treo 600 and some incompetence from the competition. But guess what? The competition isn't stupid. And they're bigger and meaner than Palm. And they have more money to spend on device design + production than Palm. And they have more established carrier relationships than Palm.

Like Sony did with its CLIEs, Nokia, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, etc will release a series of devices until they get the mix right. Unlike Sony, since cellphone is their primary focus, they won't pull the plug on their lineup just when they figure out the ideal mix of features + designs. This is what Palm is facing. The fact that you believe Palm actually has a hope in He11 of surviving with its current strategy just shows how naïve you are. As was the case with PalmSource, Palm's current business strategy seems to be: "try and survive long enoug to get bought out".

TVoR

E61? What about the M600i?
ChiA @ 7/2/2006 12:50:21 PM # Q
People who wish to have the features of the Nokia E61 but with a touchscreen can go for the Sony Ericsson M600i. It has a very similar feature set and price to the Nokia E61.

Unlike Palm's new Treo, both of these phones are available to buy in Europe TODAY; Palm only has surplus stocks of its elderly Treo 650 to offer.

Nokia and Sony Ericsson have already started to out-flank Palm in Europe.

Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the President.
- President Theodore Roosevelt

RE: Big round of applause for Palm Inc!
PenguinPowered @ 7/2/2006 4:13:07 PM # Q
That's the thing we like best about you Skippy, the way you jump right back in the saddle every time the horse throws you.

Make a spectacularly wrong prediction like Palm buying PalmSource in '05. Follow it up with a spectacularly wrong prediction about the end of treo in '06. Wonder what '07's spectacularly wrong prediction will be.

by the way, getting thrown is not the only way to dismount a horse skippy.

May You Live in Interesting Times

Mendacious Marty Fouts! Give him a big hand (or finger) , folks.
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 7/2/2006 5:17:23 PM # Q
That's the thing we like best about you Skippy, the way you jump right back in the saddle every time the horse throws you.

I love you too, Marty. Sorry to disappoint you but I've never been thrown from a horse yet. Of course I'll keep flogging these dead ones (Palm & PalmSource) until they either shape up or shrivel up.

Make a spectacularly wrong prediction like Palm buying PalmSource in '05. Follow it up with a spectacularly wrong prediction about the end of treo in '06. Wonder what '07's spectacularly wrong prediction will be.

Marty, Marty, Marty. I predicted Palm would buy PalmSource in 2005 and they then did everything they could to do EXACTLY that. If it wasn't for Access, Palm would now once again have control over their OS.

I predicted Palm will get bought out in 2006 and you'll soon see that (as usual) I'm correct.

Because of Palm's inability to innovate, 2006 will be remembered as the beginning of the end of the Treo franchaise. Of course Palm can keep selling tiny quantities of Treos for years to come, but who cares? I can STILL buy a 6 year old Palm IIIxe in 2006 - does that make it a relevent device in today's market?

by the way, getting thrown is not the only way to dismount a horse skippy.

By riding side saddle I'm able to remain perpetually elegant. Try not to be so jealous, Marty...


TVoR

RE: Big round of applause for Palm Inc!
freakout @ 7/2/2006 5:46:02 PM # Q
"The fact that you believe Palm actually has a hope in He11 of surviving with its current strategy just shows how naïve you are."

I'm just a sucker for a great product. Which the Treo is. :P

Only a fool would deny that Palm is in very, very real danger.

But if the competition's plan is to just keep releasing device after device after device until they get it right, good luck to them; look at the mp3 player market. iPod *still* sits at the top of the pile, despite a HUGE influx of wannabes from every consumer electronics company under the sun. A lot of this has to do with fashion, but the other part is that the iPod is simply a good product. Good Products Sell.

And this one's a bit of a stretch (I'm a naive guy, remember :P ), but a glut of Treo competitors could even *help* Palm; they'll grow the smartphone market, after a year or two people will get sick of struggling to get the basics done on these tryhards, and when their contract's up they might try this Treo thing that people keep talking about. Depending on whether or not Palm is actually still in business then, they'd be in an ideal position to scoop up disaffected Q/E-61/[insert other wannabe here] users.

And - ah crap, I have to go to work.

Tim
I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 ---> Treo 650

RE: Big round of applause for Palm Inc!
SeldomVisitor @ 7/2/2006 6:23:45 PM # Q
Why do you think PALM is a buyout target and what value do you place on what PALM has to offer?

Understand that PALM outsources EVERYTHING and is QUITE expensive even right now - only really BIG players can buy PALM. What BIG player doesn't already have what PALM has to offer (in addition to "What does PALM have to offer and at what price"!...)?

======

Having typed those very valid questions I should note that both the CEOs of Nokia and PALM on Friday mentioned "...There are 3 billion people today who own a mobile phone..." which I found strangely coincidental - though perhaps they both read the same, say, Canalsys (sp?) report or something...or just got done talking with each other...giggle.

-- http://yahoo.reuters.com/news/articlehybrid.aspx?storyID=urn:newsml:reuters.com:20060630:MTFH15962_2006-06-30_15-20-53_L30914100&type=comktNews&rpc=44

[PALM's CEO said it on CNBC at 11-ish, I think]


RE: Big round of applause for Palm Inc!
ChiA @ 7/2/2006 7:37:08 PM # Q
The freak said
But if the competition's plan is to just keep releasing device after device after device until they get it right, good luck to them; look at the mp3 player market. iPod *still* sits at the top of the pile.

Unlike Palm, Apple didn't sit on its backside waiting for the competition to catch up.

Apple has revised the iPod far more often than Palm has the Treo in the past four years.
Compare a 2002 iPod (5GB capacity with mono screen) to the 2006 version (60GB with colour screen for music, photos, videos etc yet physically smaller).
We all know how far the Treo has come in that time.

Indeed there are now three distinct ranges of iPod.
There's only one range of Treo; just that you choose which OS you run on what is the same hardware (700w vs 700p).

Besides the iPod's success isn't purely about the player (there are players with better features) but about street cred, Apple's marketing spin, how it integrates with your PC and the iTunes music store.

Good Products Sell.
IBM's OS/2 and Commodore's Amiga were better products than their contempories of the time- just look at how they dominate the market now.

Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the President.
- President Theodore Roosevelt

The difference between a Treo and an iPod...
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 7/2/2006 7:58:54 PM # Q
But if the competition's plan is to just keep releasing device after device after device until they get it right, good luck to them

Actually, they don't need luck, since rapid-fire releasing of ever-improving devices has been the modus operandi of cellphone powerhouses like Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, etc for YEARS. Do yourself a favor and go to the websites of Sony Ericsson and Nokia. Look at the range + features of the phones they sell. Compare this to Palm and its stale, reheated versions of the Treo 600 (Treo 650, 700w, 700p). Palm simply cannot take on companies like Nokia et al by themselves. (Which is precisely why they won't... heh heh heh...)

look at the mp3 player market. iPod *still* sits at the top of the pile, despite a HUGE influx of wannabes from every consumer electronics company under the sun. A lot of this has to do with fashion, but the other part is that the iPod is simply a good product. Good Products Sell.

Funny you mention MP3. iPod is still successful because of:

1) Style - their designs are still "cooler" than most of its competition.
2) Marketing - I'll bet Steve "Svengali" Jobs could sell his iPoo™ to a plumber. Consumers tend to be mindless lemmings and the iPod brand has become both a fad and a fashion statement. Don't believe me? Go into any consumer electronice store and hang out for 10 minutes where the MP3 players are sold. You'll see: Consumers are Clueless.
3) Inertia - Apple was the first to get the right combination of design, hardware and software out to consumers in any significant numbers. Retailers like to sell what sells, consumers buy what they see. It usually takes a more than a little effort for competition to change the status quo. Furthermore, once users have invested in buying songs that play only on Apple hardware (very clever, Mr Jobs!), they will actually be penalized if they try to switch to an iPod competitor.
4) Value (real or perceived) - some of Apple's models (e.g. nano) were actually a decent value for their price.
5) Integration - iTunes got the hardware/software/sales integration "right" before any of the competition.

Since Apple first started making iPods there have been MANY models offering better quality (sound and manufacturing), features, price, etc - but were hurt by lower "name" recognition. Similar to how Palm's sales figures were exponentially greater than those of HandEra, despite the latter company offering better quality and engineering than Palm.

In the cellphone world Palm is now the little fish. On top of that it lacks style, marketing, value or integration. Inertia is Palm's only current asset and as far as I know, inertia can easily be overcome by an irresistable force...


TVoR

What's in a name?
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 7/2/2006 8:48:50 PM # Q
Why do you think PALM is a buyout target and what value do you place on what PALM has to offer?

Understand that PALM outsources EVERYTHING and is QUITE expensive even right now - only really BIG players can buy PALM. What BIG player doesn't already have what PALM has to offer (in addition to "What does PALM have to offer and at what price"!...)?

4 letters (PALM) = $30 million
Treo mindshare = priceless

Palm's ONLY value to a handset manufacturer is the potential it offers a suitor to instantly achieve street (office???) credibility in the smartphone world. This value is now MUCH lower than it was back in 2004 when the Treo 600 was released and caught Nokia et al with their collective pants around their ankles. In 2006 Sony Ericsson, Nokia, etc will have better quality smartphones than the Treo 650/700 for sale. The Treo 600 design has shot its wad and it's now time for this design to roll over and go to sleep/die. Is street cred worth Palm's over $1.5 BILLION market cap? Yes, but to only 3 companies. I'll leave it to you to figure out who they are. (One should be obvious; the other two less so.)

Palm's value to RIM includes the (potentially massive) profits generated from selling Treo handsets and gussied-up PDAs that hook into the RIM servers.

As you know, for years PALM has been one of the most consistently volatile stocks around. (Just dropped another 15% on Friday!) If you know how to play poker well or if you have Eddie C.'s home phone # in your address book it should be possible to ride PALM to an early retirement very soon. If I was a Palm investor I would already have made over $1 million (and about to pocket another $1 million or so). What a racket! God bless Benhamou!


TVoR

RE: Big round of applause for Palm Inc!
PenguinPowered @ 7/2/2006 10:25:00 PM # Q
Skippy writes:

I predicted Palm would buy PalmSource in 2005

and then goes on to contradict himself:

you'll soon see that (as usual) I'm correct.

You have a very interesting definition of "correct" if it includes "I predicted something and it didn't happen."

I predicted Palm will get bought out in 2006

what? Not even waiting until '07 to make another excruciatingly wrong prediction?

Must have hit your head on the pommel the last time you fell out of that side saddle of yours, princess.

Oh. wait. I know: Apple's going to buy Palm to implement the iTreoPod for them!


May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: Big round of applause for Palm Inc!
freakout @ 7/3/2006 7:09:02 AM # Q
^^ [chortle]

I made the iPod comparison not because I think there's much similarity between the smartphone market and the mp3 player market (although eventually the two are going to become one, especially if Apple put out an iPhone or an iCanOnString or something) but because the Treo is currently in a similar mindshare position in the smartphone market. Almost any smartphone review you read mentions the word "Treo" somewhere (coming from a biased reader who seeks out such references, of course ;) ) and it's the One To Beat.

Thus TVoR spake:
"Funny you mention MP3. iPod is still successful because of:

1) Style - their designs are still "cooler" than most of its competition."

Yep. While the Treo is not the most fashionable thing in the world, the upcoming Nitro/Lennon design (photo: http://tinyurl.com/jzzhe) will remove the antenna and make the it much thinner - finally banishing the two biggest complaints about its looks. And since it looks like it will remain as narrow as the 600-700 Treos I'll take a punt and say it'll have the most usable form factor for a smartphone yet. Not a very imaginative one, to be sure, but at least modern.

And if that photo's to be believed, it looks to be in black. Thank the heavens.

"2) Marketing - I'll bet Steve "Svengali" Jobs could sell his iPoo™ to a plumber. Consumers tend to be mindless lemmings and the iPod brand has become both a fad and a fashion statement. Don't believe me? Go into any consumer electronice store and hang out for 10 minutes where the MP3 players are sold. You'll see: Consumers are Clueless."

I've long maintained (well, for as long as I've posted here at least) that Palm could do a much better job of marketing the Treo than they are currently, especially with regards to the media features. Definitely it's a weak spot for them.

3) Inertia - Apple was the first to get the right combination of design, hardware and software out to consumers in any significant numbers. Retailers like to sell what sells, consumers buy what they see. It usually takes a more than a little effort for competition to change the status quo. Furthermore, once users have invested in buying songs that play only on Apple hardware (very clever, Mr Jobs!), they will actually be penalized if they try to switch to an iPod competitor.

To go slightly offtopic, Apple's lock-in strategy is doomed to failure. Whether by class-action lawsuit from pissed-off customers (as I believe is ongoing right now) or by legislation (look at what nearly happened in France, for example) they're going to have to license out FairPlay eventually.

4) Value (real or perceived) - some of Apple's models (e.g. nano) were actually a decent value for their price.

Admittedly this is a weak spot for the Treo, but a Treo 650 - still quite a decent little smartphone - can be had for cheap on a plan nowadays. Hopefully the Nitro will further correct the price/value imbalance.

5) Integration - iTunes got the hardware/software/sales integration "right" before any of the competition.

IMHO: The Treo has the best integration of phone, messaging (whether by email or SMS/MMS) and media (pics, photos and music) of any device currently on the market* and in the near future, if the sh*tty UIs on the competition's future designs is any indication. I believe this and Palm's (fading, if these boards are any indication) customer loyalty are the main reason it's been successful and so long as any upcoming PalmOS retains these features then it will continue to be a profitable and popular device.

A buyout may be the best thing for Palm - it would enable them to accelerate their release schedule, give them more marketing muscle and the freedom to experiment a little bit without worrying about killing the goose that laid the golden egg. So long as it's bought by the right kind of company, that is. RIM would probably take it in a very boring businessy direction. But it's fun to dream of a GooglePalm...

Until then, bring on October! (long wait... especially without a Black Tie 650 to keep me warm...)

Tim
I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 ---> Treo 650

RE: Big round of applause for Palm Inc!
SeldomVisitor @ 7/3/2006 7:43:37 AM # Q
Wel...I am somewhat cautious saying anything definitively w.r.t PALM getting bought out since I (and pretty much everyone else) was totally floored by the outrageous PalmSource buyout (*), but I would seriously doubt the sanity of an executive who looks at PALM's product line and the newly-introduced Q and DOESN'T immediately exclaim:

== "Where's the beef?"

Though PALM was debatedly a "good" buyout prospect back when Mark Nelson said "Sell the damn company!" I think it is much less so now. Times change, context changes, PALM went from THE company with a TREO to merely ONE of the companies with a "TREO". And that Q, with relatively minor tweaking, IS a TREO at less than half the cost - one can only guess (and one SHOULD do so!) what's being readied for production at Motorola and other Big Guys as we type - I don't think they're sitting still.

====

(*) Hey! There could always be another unexpected company in the background wanting to make a grevious mistake (**) like Access did! But is that existence one to BET on? $1+ billion bucks is some serious bucks...

====

(**) I think the PalmSource acquisition will prove not to have been cost-effective for Access/Docomo.

RE: Big round of applause for Palm Inc!
Admin @ 7/3/2006 2:59:32 PM # Q
Hey Voice - Would you mind toning down the use of the bold tags please... try and use it sparingly ...thx

-Ryan
RE: Big round of applause for Palm Inc!
SeldomVisitor @ 7/3/2006 4:12:16 PM # Q
This work?
RE: Big round of applause for Palm Inc!
AdamaDBrown @ 7/4/2006 12:21:11 AM # Q
the upcoming Nitro/Lennon design will remove the antenna and make the it much thinner

Actually, "thinner" is an assumption given the specs that we know of right now. The existing photos don't depict a significantly slimmer device than previously known.

RE: Big round of applause for Palm Inc!
freakout @ 7/4/2006 2:01:07 AM # Q
Sorry. Shouldn't have said "much" thinner. It does look noticeabley thinner than my 650 photographed from the same angle, however. Maybe bout 10-25% slimmer.

It's hard to tell from such crap camerawork, however. And this is all assuming the photo is actually legit, although that's a fairly safe assumption given what we've seen of that Cingular document.

Tim
I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 ---> Treo 650

iPoo™, iPhone™, iNet™, iIced Out Grill™: which is next???
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 7/4/2006 3:22:48 PM # Q
... the upcoming Nitro/Lennon design (photo: http://tinyurl.com/jzzhe) will remove the antenna and make the it much thinner - finally banishing the two biggest complaints about its looks.

Guess again. Methinks you will be rather UNDERWHELMED by Palm's upcoming models. Sorry.

To go slightly offtopic, Apple's lock-in strategy is doomed to failure. Whether by class-action lawsuit from pissed-off customers (as I believe is ongoing right now) or by legislation (look at what nearly happened in France, for example) they're going to have to license out FairPlay eventually.

Guess again. Apple's strategy of keeping users captive with its proprietary format has already worked. It's the same reason why Sony keeps pushing its Memory Stick format. [I now own digital cameras, TVs (thanks to hkklife I found one of the last new WEGA XBR960 in the country before they were discontinued), recorders, etc that use Memory Stick as well as a dozen or so Memory Sticks all because of Sony's CLIE lineup. Once I bought the first CLIE and started buying Memory Sticks for it I looked more seriously at other devices using the same format so I could use the Memory Sticks on them as well. The more Memory Sticks (or in Apple's case, songs purchased from their iTunes store) you have the less likely you are to switch to a different format.]

Even if Apple open up its format it has bought itself enough time to become entrenched as the market leader and rake in the profits. By the time Apple has to share its format, standalone MP3 players will be dead anyway - everyone will be using cellphones as music players. At that point I expect MP3 and WMA formats will dominate and Apple will have moved on to finding the next fad (maybe the "iIced Out Grill™"?) to live on for a few years.

I'd like to see Apple release the iNet™ - a device around the size of a regular iPod, with a 4 inch OLED screen, slide-out keyboard, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GSM or CDMA radio, FM radio, Slingbox-style player (and simplified Slingbox hardware for home to feed the unit), simplified-but-flexible DVD-ripping software, web browser/email/PIM apps (resurrect some Newton technology?), Bluetooth cellphone connection (with speakerphone as a backup), VoIP, SDIO slot, 3 or 5 megapixel camera + 0.3 megapixel secondary camera for videoconferencing and a 60 - 100 GB hard drive capable of acting as a sturage device when connected to desktops/laptops via USB. The device would probably look someting like a slightly bigger, more stylish version of the HTC Wizard platform. If Apple can pull something like this off and sell it for around $600, it will survive the inevitable death of the iPoo™. But if the upcoming Apple iPhone™ is more like the Motorola ROKR instead, Apple is fcuked.

Admittedly [value] is a weak spot for the Treo, but a Treo 650 - still quite a decent little smartphone - can be had for cheap on a plan nowadays. Hopefully the Nitro will further correct the price/value imbalance.

Palm can't afford to lower prices. Even with them selling ridiculously overpriced Treos and with almost no competition Palm is BARELY making any profit. Just look at its past 2 years of SEC filings and remember these will soon be remembered as the "Good Ole Days". Decreasing prices and increasing competition (to cutthroat level like the Motorola Q + upcoming Nokia and Sony Ericsson models) kills Palm's mangy old cash cow. When the red ink starts to flow again, panic will set in, since Palm now has no other products to fall back on. Maybe Palm can reinvent itself as a videogame company. Wait a minute - didn't Tapwave try that one already? Ooops!

IMHO: The Treo has the best integration of phone, messaging (whether by email or SMS/MMS) and media (pics, photos and music) of any device currently on the market* and in the near future, if the sh*tty UIs on the competition's future designs is any indication. I believe this and Palm's (fading, if these boards are any indication) customer loyalty are the main reason it's been successful and so long as any upcoming PalmOS retains these features then it will continue to be a profitable and popular device.

Palm's integration is a joke. Spend a few hours on a Treo fanboy site and you'll seel just how much effort it takes to tweak the Treo 600/650/700p to get them to work right. It shouldn't be up to users to hack fixes like lack of profiles, fixing the camera, voice dialling, lack of Wi-Fi, crippled Bluetooth, absent media player, voice recording, replacing buggy email program, etc. These features should all simply just WORK right out of the box. Period. The Treos are also notoriously bad PHONES. Crappy voice quality, bad speakerphones, poor reception, poor Bluetooth, shoddy construction... Palm seems oblivious to the fact that just because Treos are smartphones doesn't excuse the fact that their voice quality/reliability are worse than the cheapest "free" featurephone offered by carriers.

By the way, loyalty to Palm/PalmOS is still exceptionally high. Palm users probably care more about the PalmOS platform than even Apple's Cultists care about Mac. The fact that people have kept buying crappy, overpriced Palm hardware year after year just so they can run Palm software underscores how much people like PalmOS.

A buyout may be the best thing for Palm - it would enable them to accelerate their release schedule, give them more marketing muscle and the freedom to experiment a little bit without worrying about killing the goose that laid the golden egg. So long as it's bought by the right kind of company, that is. RIM would probably take it in a very boring businessy direction. But it's fun to dream of a GooglePalm...

Yes. While the buyout of PalmSource needed to be by either Motorola or Palm to matter, a buyout of Palm by ANY company would be A Good Thing.

TVoR

RE: Big round of applause for Palm Inc!
freakout @ 7/4/2006 6:12:46 PM # Q
"But if the upcoming Apple iPhone™ is more like the Motorola ROKR instead, Apple is fcuked."

... Sorry, I make that noise everytime someone mentions the ROKR. Motorola were played so beautifully by Apple here, it still amuses me. Lot of free publicity for iTunes, big fanfare, but an absolutely C-grade device (mainly due to artificially-imposed restrictions; song limit?! were you joking, Moto?!) that didn't damage iPod sales in the slightest, all while prepping the market for a *real* iPhone - from Apple.

Clever!

Voice, I can't believe Sony suckered you into using Memory Stick! At least here in Oz, they're ridiculously overpriced and nothing except Sony-brand stuff reads them. And SD slots are cropping up everywhere (my brother's new Hitachi LCD TV has one in the side, for instance, and the DVD player I got the other week has one too) and outpacing them in capacity.

"Palm's integration is a joke. Spend a few hours on a Treo fanboy site and you'll seel just how much effort it takes to tweak the Treo 600/650/700p to get them to work right. It shouldn't be up to users to hack fixes like lack of profiles, fixing the camera, voice dialling, lack of Wi-Fi, crippled Bluetooth, absent media player, voice recording, replacing buggy email program, etc. These features should all simply just WORK right out of the box. Period."

I waste far too much time on Treo fansites right now as is. ;) It doesn't take *that* much effort to Hotsync a few prc's. Point-by-point:

Profiles - Yep, these should most definitely work out of the box. Fortunately the app (Profiles) is freeware and dead simple to configure.

Fixing the camera? Well, I know the quality sucks, but the UI is brilliant, especially WRT to messaging the photos.

Voice dialling - No argument here.

Lack of wi-fi..... doesn't matter. Yet. Another year or two when it's standard on *everything* and then this will be a much more significant flaw.

Crippled bluetooth - how so? It's an old version to be sure, but I've never had any issues with it.

Absent media player - if by 'absent' you mean "present and syncs with Palm Desktop", then you're dead-on correct. The 650's crappy RealPlayer was a joke, but fortunately Palm have finally seen the light and now include pTunes as standard. And the built-in Media app plays a few different kinds of video, although it would be nice to see TCPMP or a Palm-skinned version of it in the next Treo.

Voice recording - now standard on the 700 series. 'Bout time.

Buggy email program; the latest 650 ROM updates have made Versamail much more pleasant to use. And apparently the 700 version is very stable. Oh, and it *still* has a better UI than almost any other standard mobile email program! The competition should hang their heads in shame. Especially Microsoft, who should be killing Palm in this area.

WRT to phone quality, I've never had any complaints - except when I'm using speakerphone, when half my words are cut out. But I've never used a speakerphone that *didn't* clip people's words, so it doesn't really bother me. My Treo actually gets better reception here at home than my sister's phone does; and in spots where hers is great the Treo drops right off. It seems to be quite abritrary and dependent on your carrier more than anything else.

It *does* need a lot more volume, though.

A quick story:
I went to visit my brother in Wagga Wagga this weekend. The long 5-hour drive down saw my Treo used to it's full potential. With a 5-dollar car cradle and 2-dollar 3.5mm adapter from ebay, my Treo is a delicious compliment to my car stereo. So, leave pTunes playing in the background and fire up TomTom. (at any time, pressing calendar pops up the console and lets me play/pause, skip tracks, adjust volume or jump right back into pTunes itself. Who says the Treo can't multitask?) Halfway down there a phone call comes through, answering it closes down TomTom and pauses pTunes. Once the call is complete pTunes resumes playback and TomTom jumps up again, taking about 10-20 seconds to replan my route and then it's like I never closed it. When the drive is over, the Treo fits very neatly in my pocket, so I don't have to leave any expensive equipment in my car begging to be stolen.

You will pry my Treo from my cold, dead hands, and only then if you're replacing with an updated model. Fashion and cutting-edge technology be damned!

Tim
I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 ---> Treo 650

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