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Comments on: Retail Report Volume 4: Palm Products Disappearing From Office Depot?

Office Depot has long been a staunch supporter of the full range of Palm PDAs and accessories. For a while, Office Depot even offered select Sony Clies alongside Palm’s handheld lineup. While Office Depot has of course downsized their PDA offerings in recent years, they could always be counted on to offer at least a handful of the most popular Palm peripherals and usually-working display models of Palm’s remaining handhelds.

Unfortunately, trips to two local Office Depot stores over the past week have revealed some information that another longtime stalwart retail partner may be giving up on Palm’s aging and unspectacular lineup of products.

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Well, Palm doesn't have much to sell

adamsmark @ 11/8/2007 3:55:04 PM # Q
Good grief. If a computer company tried to sell a two-year old computer, they'd be laughed off the market. Can you imagine Mac trying to sell the original iMac? The TX was decent a couple of years ago, but now it's quite ancient.

"I believe in the atomic bomb."

Blogging at http://agabus.com">Agabus.com.

Palm V > Vx > Clie Peg T615C > T3 > Clie TH55 > T3 > Treo 650 > Treo 700p & T3!

RE: Well, Palm doesn't have much to sell
PacManFoo @ 11/8/2007 7:52:22 PM # Q
Not to mention charging the same price or more in some cases for that two year old iMac.

PDA's Past and Present:
iPod Touch ???? Maybe soon.
Palm - IIIxe, Vx, M500, M505, Tungsten T, TX
Handspring - Edge, Platinum, Deluxe
Sony - SJ22
Apple - MP110, MP2000, MP2100
RE: Well, Palm doesn't have much to sell
hkklife @ 11/9/2007 2:53:23 PM # Q
In a nutshell, here would be a CHEAP, easy way to generate a quick refresh of the Palm PDA lineup:


Z33:

-200 mhz CPU (same as Z22)
-32MB NVFS (same as Z22)
-320x320 version of the Z22's current LCD. If $ is an issue then go with a smaller, Centro-sized 320x320 LCD or just an improved 160x160 TFT (*not* DSTN).
-Same FF as Z22, just a bit smaller all around with better build quality
-microSD slot
-3.5mm stereo headphone jack
-Have PTunes, a few games etc. in ROM
Give it a $75-$100 MSRP


T|E3:

-64mb NVFS
-Same 320x320 LCD as T|E2
-Same CPU as E2
-Bluetooth 1.2
-Otherwise, same features & FF as E2. Give it a $150 MSRP

Palm could go out on a limb here and do one of several things. The could make the E3 just a mildly updated E2 but give it thinner, sleeker Palm V-esque styling. Retro PDAs, anyone? Or they could give the E2 a thumboard and make it basically a cellular-less Treo, sort of a modern Treo 90. Or Palm could kill the E2 entirely and just have a low-end Z PDA and a high-end TX PDA.


TX2:
-128mb NVFS (same as TX)
-416mhz CPU (same as T5/LD)
-1,2, or 4GB internal storage volume w/ drive mode
-Much more DBheap/cache than TX
-MUCH higher capacity battery (at least 1800mAh) than TX
-Fullsize SDHC slot. "Fix" Garnet so it sees 4GB+ file volumes.
-Better build quality and no saggy power button
-Built-in microphone and charge LED. As a bonus, offer some decent VOIP software on the bundled CD. Not everyone wants to sell their soul to the carriers
-Stick another programmable hard button or two somewhere on the top panel or the side of the unit. Have it defeault to screen rotate (ala LifeDrive) or launch the voice recorder app but of course make its function programmable
-Consolidate BT & wi-fi onto the same buttton on the DIA bar. Bring the "home" button back
-802.11g if it can be easily/cheaply implemented
-User-selectable Graffiti 1/2. Or have G2 standard and sell a $20 G1 plugin that's just as fast & accurate as G1 was on th T|T
-Bluetooth 1.2.
-Huge software bundle in ROM (Google maps, DTG 10, PTunes Deluxe etc)
-Consistent LCD supplier and a better quality non-yellow LCD w/ a brighter backlight
-Offer both GSM & CDMA BT DUN (carrier approved) and marketi it as a "Mobile Phone Companion". Have PhoneLink software/init strings/drivers updated monthly. Clearly indicate WHICH networks and carriers it's compatible with on the box and on palm.com
-Offer a reasonably priced sync/charge cradle that WORKS

MSRP of $299.99 (yes I know this is higher than what we're used to but it's still affordable and Palm cannot afford to squeeze their suppliers like, say, Apple or Sandisk can)

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

RE: Well, Palm doesn't have much to sell
Tuckermaclain @ 11/9/2007 4:37:49 PM # Q
Any one of those sounds like it would be worth having. Thinking about Pat's old Zire 33 concept made me buy a few T2s and installed Silkscreen & EZ KB. Now I never need to open the slider and have a very compact/ functional Palm. Palm doesn't seem to want to update them so I gave a classic with potential all the Zen I could. An hour ago on ebay I just picked up another T2 (spare #2) brand new in retail box for $56. I should be set for at least 5 years.

RE: Well, Palm doesn't have much to sell
princehifi @ 11/9/2007 5:23:21 PM # Q
I would like to see a TX2 with USB host capability (like the Foleo has) for use with external hard drives, card readers, keyboards, bar code readers, magnetic stripe readers, digital cameras.

I would also like to see Palm better develop the add-on accessory angle (like with the Bluetooth keyboard) and brand a remote camera that would connect via WiFi or Bluetooth or SDIO even. Sony had a Clie with Bluetooth BIP Remote Camera profile and it could remote control a Sony camera - very cool PDA function. Did anyone ever see the Sony-Ericson ROB-1 remote control camera - how cool was that? Definitely a TX2 needs a much improved Bluetooth stack as the current stack is more noticable fro what it CAN'T do.

A TX2 should better expand the mobile computing platform (Foleo's promise, perhaps). Unfortunately, we have lowered our expectations for Palm.

RE: Well, Palm doesn't have much to sell
twrock @ 11/9/2007 9:22:07 PM # Q
Oh, just stop it! It's too painful to read these "ideas" for what Palm could do (actually could have done a long time ago). If Hawkins says there is no more that can be done with PDA's, then of course this stuff can not be done. So just stop it!


Thinking about Vista? Think again: http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.txt
Want an alternative? Try this: http://www.ubuntu.com/ or http://www.mepis.org/
RE: Well, Palm doesn't have much to sell
mikecane @ 11/10/2007 11:31:20 AM # Q
twrock trills like a rejected lover. Ha!

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Palm stores

Geo @ 11/8/2007 6:24:34 PM # Q
I've been to the Palm store at Union Station (rail station) in Washington D.C. What's disappointing is how little interest the employees seem to have in the products you'd assume they'd be passionate about. I'm not saying they should shove a Palm in your face, but if they simply went around with some demo models of even the various aging Palms to show what people could *do* with them, you might still win some fans.

Whenever I show my supposedly decrepid Zire 71 to friends, they are generally amazed by the screen and what you can do with it (even it pales next to today's stuff). Yet most stores today just throw crud up on cradles (in many cases, not even working Palms, just "dummy" models) and think that's going to sell to anybody.

RE: Palm stores
zire102001 @ 11/8/2007 9:31:44 PM # Q
ahhh! that sir/maam is called lazyness :D and anti-social. However I've seem em' disappearing or HAVE already disappeared since like a couple of years ago in my local office and home depot (i USED to get the TWO mixed up for some ODD reason.hehe).. Actually where I live it seems like very and I mean VERY VERY FEW have ever been interested in em' however I DO HOPE that a newer one than a 3xe with accessories comes in to where my dad works so I snatch it up. :) Yes if not than i'll still use the ol' 3xe for YEARS to come or until for some reason alkaline batteries be no more..:( hopefully NOT before 2030 at least..

Microsoft owns the world.
RE: Palm stores
mikecane @ 11/9/2007 2:27:49 PM # Q
>>>What's disappointing is how little interest the employees seem to have in the products you'd assume they'd be passionate about.

They're not Palm employees. I believe they are contract workers -- aka temps. I'm sure not even their paychecks generate excitement in them.

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Yes, because it's 2008

Gekko @ 11/8/2007 6:47:52 PM # Q

typewriters, VHS tapes, and CRTs are all gone too.



RE: Yes, because it's 2008
adamsmark @ 11/8/2007 6:59:52 PM # Q
Gekko, you used to annoy me. Now, I find your comments refreshing.

"I believe in the atomic bomb."

Blogging at http://agabus.com">Agabus.com.

Palm V > Vx > Clie Peg T615C > T3 > Clie TH55 > T3 > Treo 650 > Treo 700p & T3!

RE: Yes, because it's 2008
Gekko @ 11/8/2007 7:09:28 PM # Q

thanks. i'm glad that you've seen the light.


RE: Yes, because it's 2008
xpan @ 11/9/2007 3:15:48 AM # Q
no! actually *you* have seen the light...
(just think about it)

---
"home is where my computer is..."
RE: Yes, because it's 2008
adamsmark @ 11/9/2007 1:45:09 PM # Q
To quote the Bible, you don't put old wine in to new wineskins. The idea that my T3 is in some regards a finer machine than the now-ancient TX astonishes me. But even if Palm has given up on the PDA market, must they do the same for the smartphone market?

"I believe in the atomic bomb."

Blogging at http://agabus.com">Agabus.com.

Palm V > Vx > Clie Peg T615C > T3 > Clie TH55 > T3 > Treo 650 > Treo 700p & T3!

RE: Yes, because it's 2008
drw @ 11/9/2007 11:25:56 PM # Q
good. make room for iphone 3rd party apps.

---
David
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ignore your customers....

joad @ 11/9/2007 12:50:01 PM # Q
...and they will go away.

As much as I like my Treo, I'm not stupid enough to think that it's perfect for EVERYONE who uses a PDA. In fact, for everyone I've turned on to a Treo, their entry point to the Palm experience was a PalmOS PDA, without exception.

Now, I know Office Depot is still stocking jelly beans and floor cleaner, so if Palm has made their devices less relevant to an office environment than jelly beans it's their own fault.

PDAs are a "gateway drug" to the smartphone purchase, and Palm's near complete shunning of maintaining and improving their PDA line will only hurt them more over time. Sure, the Centro's neat and cheaper (with a contract), but that's a 2-year commitment and has a minuscule screen for teenage eyes. Palm is cutting themselves off at the knees, probably killed off the PDA team to develop the Fooleo.


|
**Another vote for a >100MB RAM Treo**

RE: ignore your customers....
Poopie @ 11/9/2007 4:26:33 PM # Q

PDAs are a "gateway drug" to the smartphone purchase

I think of it this way - People who use PIM/PDA *functionality* of a device are far more likely to have brand-loyalty to devices - or at least want a guarantee of their PIM data portability. When PDAs didn't have a cellular radio in them, there was no service provider or contract pushing them to keep a device for a period of time or upgrade in a period of time. People bought new PDA when they needed a new one or when new functionality in new devices made them want one.

In general, people tend to get a new phone every 2 to 3 years. Most people will get whatever is being pimped by their service provider. What I don't think Palm factored into the kneel-before-the-cell-providers strategy is that they run the risk of losing a large fraction of their customer base every 2-3 years when customers replace their old phones with one of a limited number of devices selected by the service providers.

Would seem to me that phone users are fickle where PDA users are far more loyal -- as evidenced by all of the banter here by the grumpy old Palm-haters here who still wish Palm would surprise them and take the large doses of good advice administered alongside well-deserved bashing.

USR Palm Pilot 1000 --> Palm Pilot Professional --> TRG SuperPilot --> Palm IIIc --> Palm V --> Palm M505 --> Palm M515 --> Tungsten T|2 --> Treo 600 --> LifeDrive --> iPhone

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Franklin Covey

WareW01f @ 11/9/2007 2:05:03 PM # Q
I had a similar conversation a while back at a Frankin Covey, (and a Best Buy before that) The problem is that people that buy PDAs tend(ed) to be people that likey shiny new stuff. You may not buy it, but you look at it. That and the new stuff drives the cost of the older stuff to the level that you care to upgrade. No new products, no sales. It'd that simple folks.

Now Office Depot is another story, they have *always* held on to stuff for *way* too long and never want to give a break on price. If this stuff is marked down, it's gone.

Palm is a phone company now. *They* are the ones that decided to declare the PDA dead, not 'the market' If you don't believe that then explain to me, please, the difference between an iPod and a PDA? (Aside from the fact that Apple is *trying* to cripple the Touch to not be a PDA)
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