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Comments on: Next Generation Mobile Processors Announced

Marvell has formally announced the new PXA3xx (Monahans) Family of Application Processors. Back in June, Marvell acquired Intel's application processor business, which includes the XScale technology. The Marvell PXA3xx family of application processors are based on third generation Intel XScale technology. The new chips feature improved performance with intelligent power management features.
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Too bad there will be no next-generation PalmOS PDAs...

The_Voice_of_Reason @ 12/1/2006 11:46:12 PM # Q
The 3 year old Sony CLIE TH55 will go down in history as the ne plus ultra of traditional PalmOS PDAs.

Fcuk PalmSource.

Fcuk Palm.

Fcuk Access.

TVoR

RE: Too bad there will be no next-generation PalmOS PDAs...
arielb @ 12/6/2006 1:36:54 PM # Q
what Intel did, by giving up, is even worse as it could spell the end for all PDA's.

There's going to be a next-generation *something*
cervezas @ 12/6/2006 4:29:16 PM # Q
Maybe not a next-generation PDA, but PDAs never quite cut it for many of us, certainly not for me. Neither do smartphones (although they get marginally closer).

Just today Mike Mace shared some of the rumors he's heard that lead him to believe Palm's next big thing will be:

1) A tablet somewhat bigger than a handheld
2) with lots of storage,
3) WiFi,
4) Linux,
5) that syncs with your PC and maybe data storage on the web,
5) to be released next year

See the latest comments in http://mobileopportunity.blogspot.com/2006/11/jeff-hawkins-secret-project-is-coming.html

Much of that is stuff we've heard others speculate about, and as Mr. Mace is quick to point out the real questions are: what problem is this product designed to solve for people? and, have they get their "zen" back?

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

RE: Too bad there will be no next-generation PalmOS PDAs...
SeldomVisitor @ 12/6/2006 6:01:29 PM # Q
How innovative.

Shall we UMPC anyone? http://umpc.com/default.aspx

Gosh - cutting edge!

They're gonna sell a million of 'em - uh huh...

[no, I don't think that's IT - but it MAY be PART of IT]

RE: Too bad there will be no next-generation PalmOS PDAs...
cervezas @ 12/6/2006 6:29:29 PM # Q
If Hawkins and Co ends up riffing off the UMPC like they did off the Newton ten years ago—and get the handheld computer right as they did then, that's the kind of innovation that's needed. There was nothing technically special about the Pilot. There were plenty of handheld computers for years before it that flopped miserably, many of which were technically superior. Palm just got the mix of form, function and price exactly right to produce the PDA phonemenon when Apple and the rest failed.

No one yet has got the mix right for a device for people who have tons of information they need to capture, manage, and keep on their person. Something that runs hard all day on a charge, that captures and organizes *all* of your stuff digitally, including hand-written notes and diagrams, that's a repository for *everything* you'd otherwise have spread around in multiple PCs or filing cabinets at work, home, remote office, that syncs with resources on multiple PCs and servers, and that gives you a big enough screen that you can work on it for more than a few minutes at time. All we have are pieces of the picture here and there: UMPCs with mass storage, wireless and great displays, but that cost $1000, burn out in a few hours, and are painful to write or draw on. "Internet tablets" with great browsers, WiFi, and touchscreens but that are too small, slow, and buggy for serious work. LifeDrives with an elegant operating system, synchronization and mass storage, but too many vestiges of their PDA heritage to do many kinds of serious work and way too many bugs. Certainly there aren't smartphones that can handle what I'm talking about, what with their tiny screens.

I don't know if Palm's got their mojo back for one more breakthrough device or not. But I firmly believe there *is* a breakthrough device class that can sell well to a sizeable class of users. Someone just has to get the software, hardware and price right for this new device class like Palm did a decade ago.



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

RE: Too bad there will be no next-generation PalmOS PDAs...
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 12/6/2006 9:04:44 PM # Q
Much of that is stuff we've heard others speculate about...

Who would those "others" be, Beersy?

;-O


Sorry, Kiddo but the Palmtop™ will arrive 2 years 2 late 2 matter.


TVoR

Dead Palm Mojo
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 12/6/2006 9:11:23 PM # Q
I don't know if Palm's got their mojo back for one more breakthrough device or not.


Problem 1: Windows-based UMPC run Real Windows™ and Real Windows™ applications. Why settle for an imitation when you can have The Real Thing?

Problem 2: Windows-based devices like $500 laptops make anything Palm can offer look hideously overpriced.

Problem 3: UMPC are already in their 3rd generation and prices are dropping quickly.

Problem 4: Tiny laptops make more sense for MOST users. At the sane time, PDAs, smartphones and dumbphones solve most of the needs catered to by the Palmtop™.

Problem 5: Palm now has a (well-deserved) reputation for horrible quality control.

It all adds up to a device that has no target audience - no raison d'etre. Tant pis.

What WOULD have made sense was a micro laptop around 50 % bigger than the CLIE UX50 around the time of the LifeDrive (or a year earlier) and a tiny Treo in a regular dumbphone form factor. Instead, Palm wasted precious resource on designing a product for a non-existent niche. Smart.

TVoR


RE: Too bad there will be no next-generation PalmOS PDAs...
cervezas @ 12/6/2006 9:31:33 PM # Q
Problem 1: Windows-based UMPC run Real Windows™ and Real Windows™ applications. Why settle for an imitation when you can have The Real Thing?

Unlike you (apparently) I've actually used Windows Tablet for a year now and I can tell you it's completely unsuitable for the device class Palm should be going after. You can't put someone on hold for two or three minutes while you wait for your notepad to boot. You can't take notes in a meeting or mark up a diagram when the pen input is like pushing a mouse around with the tip of a pencil. And it's not a mobile device if it runs too hot to touch for two hours and then dies from lack of a power cord.

Problem 2: Windows-based devices like $500 laptops make anything Palm can offer look hideously overpriced.

I already have a laptop. I have a Tablet PC, too. Neither comes close to what I'm talking about. You're right that Palm is going to have to come up with something a lot cheaper than a UMPC, though.

Problem 3: UMPC are already in their 3rd generation and prices are dropping quickly.

I'm sure they are. That's what happens when you've got a lot of inventory and not a lot of customers. :-)

Problem 4: Tiny laptops make more sense for MOST users. At the sane time, PDAs, smartphones and dumbphones solve most of the needs catered to by the Palmtop™.

See my replies to 1 and 2. Furthermore, you're going to want to get used to the idea that we're entering a market where there are a lot of different kinds of mobile devices for people with different needs. Forcing something on the public that "sort of" works for most users is not going to sell in the mobile device market the way it did with PCs. People need devices that work or play they way they do, a fact that is starting to become evident to companies like Sony, Nokia, and (I believe) Palm.

Problem 5: Palm now has a (well-deserved) reputation for horrible quality control.

I think people who eat, sleep and drink Palm products like the participants in this forum are sensitive to these quality issues, but the average Palm customer, statistically, is not.

Palm is not only the most favored operating system for smart phones in the U.S., it's also the most favored device brand. About 76 percent of Palm owners said they would be "very likely to recommend" their smart phone to others, compared to about 75 percent for Samsung, 69 percent for Sony Ericsson, 67 percent for RIM Blackberry, 54 percent for Motorola and 54 percent for Nokia, the study found.

http://www.palminfocenter.com/news/9125/smartphone-satisfaction-largely-driven-by-os/

And now, it looks like there is more interesting news to attend to... :-)

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

Reply to this comment

I share the TVoR sentiment.

VampireLestat @ 12/2/2006 1:26:18 AM # Q
I also am very upset/angry that Palm is ignoring the future of handhelds and Palm OS.

I just use my TX; I try not to think about it much anymore.

But deep down, I also harbor a growing hate for Palm for not supporting handhelds properly and not committing itself to Palm OS. All Treo shit all the time... * catching myself before I let loose on a negative rant *.

OK enough for now. The TX is great, **** Palm. Now there is a contradiction for ya.

RE: I share the TVoR sentiment.
hkklife @ 12/2/2006 12:10:11 PM # Q
Vampire;

I encourage you to go out and buy another TX to have as a backup while they are still plentiful and readily available.

Also buy a couple of 4gb standard SD cards since I heard rumors that SDHC & the big SD consiortium members such as Sandisk/Toshiba/Matsushita are pressuring the smaller memory companies like ADATA, Corsair, & Patriot to cease producing the "non-spec" 4gb SD cards in favor of pricier, and less compatible 4gb SDHC cards.

Just a word of warning...


P.S. HP just announced new iPaqs are coming in '07. With the Treo bandwagon coming to a screeching halt, wouldn't it be wise for Palm to cut loose with a reasonably spec'd TX2, TE3 and Z33 PDA line update to get some quick cash in the kitty. That might be enough to prop themselves up long enough to ensure they can ready themselves for an acquisition. Too bad it takes Palm so long to get even a mildly refreshed PDA designed/produced/certified/to market.

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

RE: I share the TVoR sentiment.
Tuckermaclain @ 12/4/2006 9:13:27 AM # Q
It looks like the prophets of doom are correct. Sirius was getting their *sses handed to them by XM until they signed Stern. Even though is was a truckload of cash, they are catching up to XM. Sirius just announced that next year they're going to have satellite television. This will fly big, I'm sure. What I'm trying to say is how would Palm be today if they had such vision? Not neccessarily satellite TV, but just some vision and initiative? Makes the 600->650->680 improvements look pretty minimal.
RE: I share the TVoR sentiment.
twrock @ 12/4/2006 10:33:39 AM # Q
I encourage you to go out and buy another TX to have as a backup while they are still plentiful and readily available.

Do you really think this is worth it? (That's not a rhetorical question; I'm really wondering.) Did I just somehow get every defective TX that they put out? I'm on my fourth TX and this latest one has just taken me past my one year warranty. (And because I'm in Asia, there was no way to get an extended warranty, in spite of what the patronizing tech support person at Palm AsiaPacific insisted was the practice of retailers here; how would he know?!!!!)

In just this last month, the power button has become almost unusable. Forcing a hard reset is impossible because I can't hold down the power button! The digitizer area where most of the writing takes place is really becoming inconsistent, to the extent that it has only about 75% recognition at this point (and dropping fast). From my experience, the TX is a piece of junk. I'm seriously debating starting to carry my Zod as my daily use PDA. I even went so far as to purchase a 2000mAh replacement battery for it since that is the only thing that has started to weaken about the Zod. (Which is what you would expect in a unit that old.)

I can't imagine owning a Treo. It sends shivers up my spine thinking of all the buttons that can go bad on one of those!

If your TX is a solid unit, then I'm truly happy for you. But I honestly can't recommend Palm units any longer, at least not to people I care about. I used to "preach the good news" of Palm to whomever had an interest. No more.

I'm still waiting for the mythical color HandEra.

RE: I share the TVoR sentiment.
hkklife @ 12/6/2006 9:24:45 PM # Q
Well, quite honestly, I went through two T|Ts, a T2, and FOUR T3s (the "best" Palm PDA ever from a speed/stability standpoint but the WORST as far as reliability/digitizer drift etc etc).

Forgetting about my DISASTEROUS LifeDrive experiment (2 bad 'uns in a row), I then had one T5 that was a very late production model. While it was built rather shoddily the battery & digitizer held up better than on my slew of previous T3s. No complaints there.

Then I had a very early run TX that I returned, only to buy another TX a month later. It's still going strong to this day and probably has had the greatest day-to-day usage of any Palm device I've had since my first T3. I bought a 2nd TX as a backup "just in case" device last month and it seems even better than the first TX (power button isn't as saggy and the screen is a tad brighter).

So, yes, I'd pick up a new TX if possible if you can somehow be assured that it's a "fresh" model. You should know by now that if my TX went south I'd definitely be the first to b***h about it here on PIC!

In my experience, three things usually go south on Palm devices (in this order):
1. Digitizer
2. Battery
3. Power button if it's a Palm V/Vx or a TE/E2/T5/TX style unit.

I have to admit that since my Tre gets so much less touchscren usage (compared to my TX and earlier PDAs) it's bound to hold up longer. And of course the removable/replacable battery is a godsend. What I have noticed is that here in the sweltering South, sweaty cheeks can lead to a lot of 'gunk' on the Treo's screen (or, in my case, the screen protector) after talking on it when outdoors throughout the summer. The pitiful BT performance of the POS Treos doesn't help this factor either. Of course, since I replaced my Treo with a Moto dumbphone for voice usage this isn't an issue anymore either.

So, yeah, get another TX if possible, especially if you are going to be back in the USA for the holidays.


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

RE: I share the TVoR sentiment.
twrock @ 12/7/2006 12:23:00 AM # Q
3. Power button if it's a Palm V/Vx or a TE/E2/T5/TX style unit.

My first TX power button started going bad during the second month. Inconsistent functioning. I didn't know if and when it would come on. This latest one was never "great" but I didn't realize it would become completely non-functional in one month's time! Here's the killer: the replacement switch cost me NT$3; that's US$0.10 (ten cents), a whole lot less money than replacing the whole motherboard.

So, yeah, get another TX if possible, especially if you are going to be back in the USA for the holidays.

Here's the rub. If you want built-in Chinese support, you have to buy the TX sold in Asia (to the Chinese speaking market). The TX's in the US can be "multi-lingual", but that is mostly European languages. Palm USA will not repair or replace your TX purchased in Asia because they don't have the "correct" ROM image on their units. So although the practice in the USA that Palm will give you a "special, fully tested" replacement unit after you have had three previous replacements and to be willing to sell you an extended warranty, Palm AsiaPacific won't do either. So essentially, they strung me out by sending me replacement after replacement of bad units (not correctly refurbished units) until my warranty expired. Slick move. Bad customer relations. A great way to get bad "press" from people like me (who are very willing to let people know how they feel about poor quality control, both in manufacturing and in repairs).

Now after the news today, I'm even less likely to go out and buy another TX. I'll keep limping along with my "frankenpalm" running "frankengarnet" and wait to see if in fact something else comes along. However, I will be very unlikely to be an early adopter of any Palm product at this point. My TX was the only unit I bought as soon as it was available. And almost immediately I started seeing the complaints about shoddy power switches, confirming my own experience. No thank you; I think I'll just wait next time.

I'm still waiting for the mythical color HandEra.

RE: I share the TVoR sentiment.
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 12/7/2006 2:46:10 AM # Q
Well, quite honestly, I went through two T|Ts, a T2, and FOUR T3s (the "best" Palm PDA ever from a speed/stability standpoint but the WORST as far as reliability/digitizer drift etc etc).

Forgetting about my DISASTEROUS LifeDrive experiment (2 bad 'uns in a row), I then had one T5 that was a very late production model. While it was built rather shoddily the battery & digitizer held up better than on my slew of previous T3s. No complaints there.

Then I had a very early run TX that I returned, only to buy another TX a month later. It's still going strong to this day and probably has had the greatest day-to-day usage of any Palm device I've had since my first T3. I bought a 2nd TX as a backup "just in case" device last month and it seems even better than the first TX (power button isn't as saggy and the screen is a tad brighter).

So, yes, I'd pick up a new TX if possible if you can somehow be assured that it's a "fresh" model. You should know by now that if my TX went south I'd definitely be the first to b***h about it here on PIC!

In my experience, three things usually go south on Palm devices (in this order):
1. Digitizer
2. Battery
3. Power button if it's a Palm V/Vx or a TE/E2/T5/TX style unit.

I have to admit that since my Tre gets so much less touchscren usage (compared to my TX and earlier PDAs) it's bound to hold up longer. And of course the removable/replacable battery is a godsend. What I have noticed is that here in the sweltering South, sweaty cheeks can lead to a lot of 'gunk' on the Treo's screen (or, in my case, the screen protector) after talking on it when outdoors throughout the summer. The pitiful BT performance of the POS Treos doesn't help this factor either. Of course, since I replaced my Treo with a Moto dumbphone for voice usage this isn't an issue anymore either.

So, yeah, get another TX if possible, especially if you are going to be back in the USA for the holidays.

With such a history, I'm amazed you keep buying more Palms. If this was a marriage, you'd qualify as a Battered Spouse.

In 10 years (dating back to the original Pilot) the only problems I've seen were a TRGpro that died after its 20th fall onto the ground and the uber-crappy Treo 600 and 700p. Since 2000, Palm's quality control and support have been atrocious. You should have switched to Sony a LONG time ago and spared yourself the abuse. CLIEs simply work. Year after year after year.


TVoR

RE: I share the TVoR sentiment (about Kris reconsidering).
twrock @ 12/7/2006 3:42:48 AM # Q
My list is nothing "extensive", but I think it makes the point quite well.

Palm IIIxe: Gave it to my brother-in-law last year. Was still working great. My wife used it after I moved on to my second PDA. I did do a screen replacement shortly before giving it to him because it lost a column of the LCD. ($20 part). But it had a lot of years of hard use before that became necessary.

Handera 330: A innovative wonder. Speaker went bad after I dropped it in a sink full of water (replaced it myself for a few pennies). Screen finally broke after one too many drops onto concrete. I throughly loved this unit, "ugly" two-tone and all. (My tagline should make that clear.) BTW, I still think the old hard plastic flipcover is the way to go.

Palm Tungsten T2: Used it for a couple of years and then passed it on to my wife. The digitizer was never very accurate and got worse slowly as time went on. "Temporarily solved the problem by turning on full-screen writing so I didn't have to use the graffiti area. Eventually replaced the digitizer myself ($60 part) just before I passed it on to her. (Incidentally, the PDAParts.com glass digitizers are really sweet; recognition far surpassed the original digitizer even when it was new.) Since my wife has owned it, the "catch" to hold the stylus in has broken. My co-worker had the exact same problem. Conclusion: poor design on the catch and the digitizer; this unit is likely to completely die before the IIIxe.

Palm TX: You've got my sob story above. Four units in less than a year; four lemons. Two bad power switches and three bad digitizers. Noisy audio is also a problem. I thought that at $300 I was getting a nice PDA. Turns out I'm stuck with junk.

Tapwave Zodiac2: Bought this "one" on a whim when the demo units became available. Since the second "parts" unit was fully functional, I also bought a replacement battery and gave it to my son. Both units are rock solid and have fantastic handwriting recognition. The original battery in mine could probably still hold a charge for a day of moderate use, but I decided to buy the 2000mAh replacement in the hope of extending its long-term use potential. Bottom line: I don't trust Palm, so I'll keep the Zod as functional as possible to use as my backup unit for when the TX is truly completely unusable (which will probably be next month at this rate).

My conclusion: Palm had a good thing going, but is now going downhill fast. YMMV.

I'm still waiting for the mythical color HandEra.

RE: I share the TVoR sentiment.
freakout @ 12/7/2006 6:03:50 AM # Q
hklife:
What I have noticed is that here in the sweltering South, sweaty cheeks can lead to a lot of 'gunk' on the Treo's screen (or, in my case, the screen protector) after talking on it when outdoors throughout the summer.

Yep, I get Treo Gunk too. If I've been out on a hot day, it can get really gross... I suppose it's an argument for using a case. The worst it's ever been was after a day out grass karting*; it passed through way too many sweaty hands when we were taking vids and there were about three different layers of grime on the screen and casing when I got home. Ick.

Maybe we should call it Tunk. I could see Tunk Remover becoming an essential accessory in Palm's untapped Saharan and El Azizian markets.


*if you've never been grass karting, you must try it. Nothing quite like screaming down a hill on a tire tube strapped to a rickety metal kart with no brakes and a tendency to flip over at the slightest provocation... http://tinyurl.com/tpcwm

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

Reply to this comment

I share your pain

BaalthazaaR @ 12/4/2006 1:40:30 PM # Q
My Visor Edge battery just died... Has anyone tried taking it apart and replacing the battery... I made a bunch of updates to my contact list on it, but hadn't backed it up yet.
RE: I share your pain
twrock @ 12/4/2006 7:24:02 PM # Q
Here's a link to a battery: http://tinyurl.com/ybbp7y
There is a link on that page to directions for taking your Visor apart. I have replaced batteries, digitizers, screens and even a speaker in my own and others' PDA's. If you still love your Visor, I'd recommend you just fix it (vs. buying a new PDA).

I'm still waiting for the mythical color HandEra.
RE: I share your pain
BaalthazaaR @ 12/5/2006 12:52:11 PM # Q
Thanks a bunch. That will really help.
RE: I share your pain
twrock @ 12/6/2006 10:16:18 AM # Q
Well, my pain got just a little less today. Now I can add a power switch to the list of repairs I've done on a PDA. With a little delicate soldering and a some serious plastic filing, I now have a functional power switch on my fourth TX in 13 months of ownership. (And I also installed an internal microphone.)

So that was two bad power buttons and three bad digitizers in 13 months of own the Palm TX. Obviously the Palm "repair" program is next to worthless. I honestly wonder if they are doing anything more than just shuffling faulty units around in the hope that people won't notice before the warranty period runs out. And to think, this is from the company that created the still functional, first Palm I ever bought, the IIIxe.

Hey Palm Inc., how about you do a little quality control in your AsiaPacific repair shop?

I'm still waiting for the mythical color HandEra.

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