Comments on: Retail Roundup: Palm PDA and Accessory Availability

With the future of Palm’s dedicated handheld lineup looking cloudy, it may be time for Palm OS aficionados to begin preparing for the inevitable. While I usually wouldn’t advocate circling the wagons and causing a panic, it looks like 2006 is going to pass as the first year since 1996 that Palm Inc. has not released a single PDA or handheld device. Read on for my findings as I slogged through the retail trenches to see what the current retail presence of the Palm-conomy looks like.
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Accessories for older models

rmhurdman @ 10/11/2006 9:11:36 PM # Q
What really makes me angry is that it's impossible to find any accessories for the Tungsten C... brand new only 36 months ago.

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Fade Away

kevinbgood @ 10/11/2006 9:45:31 PM # Q
Very good street investigation on the part of Kris.

I have to agree, things are looking a bit bleak for the traditional Palm handheld. Smartphones are on the rise and the Hawkins baby is being put to bed. Stores in my area are not doing much to keep the kiosks up to date. As a matter of fact, you will find most of them home to digital music players and GPS devices. The Palm handhelds that are there are the last of their kind and barely selling. Literature is disappearing, accessories are too and the employees have vague memories of what you are supposed to use a PDA for.

Being an avid rebuilder of Palm handhelds, I have quite a few in the closet awaiting transplants and so on. I guess I may have to stock pile a few for the long winter ahead until I am forced to buy a Smartphone. Hmm, what will it be, what will it be?

Come on Palm, give us one more big blast of something great. Don't let it end this way.

Addicted to Palm

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10 Year Run

Gekko @ 10/11/2006 10:12:55 PM # Q

Handhelds had a good 10 year run. Now it's time to let them go. It's over, Johnny. It's OVER!

RE: 10 Year Run
VampireLestat @ 10/12/2006 12:01:33 AM # Q
You are wrong.

Handhelds with 320x480, powerful processing, with all the wireless radios (evdo, wifi, bt, ir, cell, wimax) are the future.

Expect to see devices that offer VoIP by default when near hotspots. When you walk away from a hotspot, you will be auto switched to EvDo or traditional cell telephone. Dynamic transparant changing.

Also, videophone tech will catch on through handhelds with front cameras and mics. Some HTC PPC models have that already.

HTC understands the future of handhelds, Palm does not.
The 10 year run thing might be true about PALM but 100% definately not about the handheld market.

If there were high quality, complete well rounded PDAs on the market, we would not be seeing the current situation.

By the way, the last Gartner report shows that PDAs, despite the horrible sloppy devices out there in the market, are still constantly in growth. Palm has the problem with self sabotage.

Palm Alternatives
T_W @ 10/12/2006 12:35:00 AM # Q
Anyone have any details on the current state of Palm Alternatives (smart phone or PDA)?

Palm is giving me no reason to buy another product from them. Wince is a non-starter for me.

The Blackberry Pearl phone form-factor looks pretty sweet. Have the RIMM PIM apps advanced beyond the "they really suck" phase yet? Or is RIMM still only an email device/pager?

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Situation in Canada.

VampireLestat @ 10/11/2006 11:41:57 PM # Q
In Canada,

Futurshop & BestBuy are selling more and more "Available online online refurbished" devices. Probable due to high return rates and a gradual discontinuation of PDA sales. CompuSmart is the best place to get new box Palm's, but these guys don't even sell a godamn Belkin screen protector.

Palm Inc is 100% guilty of the current fall of what should be a healthy market.

a) No new models.
b) Every model, while enticing and unique, has 1 or few critical flaws that drive consumers crazy, resulting in returns; e.g., peeling blue paint, SD card frying, lag causing HD, poor photos, non standard mini mono jack, etc.
c) Sidegrades and actual DOWNGRADES that spit and laugh in the face of consumers; e.g.,

T3 -> T5 = no mic, no led, fatter less responsive stylus, no front speaker, single stroke grafiti gone (or was that before?), no cradle.
T5 -> TX = no Files, no DriveMode, bad color choice for G2 area.
Zire 71 -> Zire 72 = poorer camera

Palm Inc has dropped the ball, they have given up on Palm OS, they have given up on making handhelds, they are ripping the Palm OS community apart with the new "Palm OS to WM" assimilation developer program, no releases, fighting with Access, no OS updates, no product roadmap, secrecy.

More and more brick and mortar stores don't want to carry devices because of all of the above that is continuing to rip the value out of Palm devices.

Palm Inc. is a 1 trick Treo pony and they are self destructing while ironically in a period of Treo growth. They are jumping to the conclusion that they are doing the right thing based on what others like HP and Dell are doing, and that false conclusion is going to eventually push them out of the market as a serious player.

If there is no handheld released tomorrow, or AT THE VERY LEAST, a clear date for a future handheld release announcment, it will mark another crippling blow to the massive perception problem Palm has.

That's what happens when you go WM when you are not supposed to. Giving consumers more choice huh? Yeah... the choice to not be loyal consumers to go buy more complete mobile devices from other JAWLS (just another Windows licensee).

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nice article....

2xs @ 10/12/2006 2:58:44 AM # Q
... but all I can say, u americans can be happy with the avaible offerings. Come to germany and i wish u luck in finding ANY accessoires for my lovely palm :'-( I would say, there are only two stores, "Saturn" and "MediaMarkt", which offer palm-products... well, in detail only the E2 und TX. I have not seen a Lifedrive for the last 6 month.

Its so hard being a palmuser in europe :-(((

gr33tz 2XS

Palm Professional -> Palm III -> Palm Vx -> Palm m505 -> Palm TT2 -> Palm TT3 -> Palm TX

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Franklin Covey Information

Palmonger @ 10/12/2006 4:28:25 PM # Q
Franklin Covey is run responsibly by people who, due to their devout Mormon beliefs, close early for their employees well-being and stay closed on Sundays for the same reason. Instead of selfishly expecting them to blindly cater to you, they happen to cater to you when it's convenient for them and their philosophies. And miraculously, they're making enough money to stay in business. Fascinating, isn't it?

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Palm dismal sales and marketing departments

onremlop @ 12/1/2006 7:19:57 AM # Q
I have been using a Palm for almost 10 years and what strikes me is the lack of initiative on the marketing dept to get the message out about the obvious versatility of the handhelds for consumers and business.

For consumers, for example, the Palm TX MP3 player is by far and away a better sounding, more flexible and` easier to use than an ipod. Has anyone seen any promotions or advertising reflecting this fact? I have friends at work that did not know the Palm had an mp3 player and were blown away by the sound quality in comparison to an ipod and many of them bought one just for the mp3 player.

Where is the sales department in trying to get corporate business? With the functionality of a Palm, I would think more businesses such as the health care, retailers, warehouses local businesses, etc... would have their employees utilizing palms and third party software for palms. They are flexible and quite a bit lower in cost per unit than slapping a computer in front of someone that uses it only a few times a day.

People are not going to buy your product if they don't know who you are or what you can do for them. It is like the old adage where the King didn't have time to talk with a salesperson selling a machine gun when his troops are going into battle with spears. Palm needs to or needed to get their message out and keep it out there with advertising, marketing and a dedicated sales force. But, like so many failing businesses we see today, "but that costs money." Unfortunately, the last bit of advertising we probably will see coming out of Palm is an "Out of Business" sale in the local classifieds. It is sad to see such an innovative product being held by individuals looking to cash in and get out quit and the heck with the company and the product.

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