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Pre 2 Now Free From HP

wal-mart lets talk palm pre 2 verizon HP's Wireless Central online store has slashed the price of the transitional Verizon Pre 2 to free with the usual 2-year contract. On top of that, they are also offering free FedEx shipping for new users ($9.99 for upgraders) and including a very generous accessory bundle comprised of a Touchstone charging dock, a car charger, another AC adapter (presumably for use with the Touchstone dock), and a Palm side case.

For users who would rather buy the Pre 2 off-contract, its full retail price from Verizon Wireless has dropped slightly, down to $409.99 from its launch price of $439.99. A Pre 2 purchased directly from Verizon Wireless still costs $150 and does not come with the free accessory bundle, making the HP offer an easy choice for anyone who must have a VZW Pre 2 right now.

While Verizon Pre 2 users are still eagerly awaiting the WebOS 2.1 OTA update already on the unlocked GSM version, they can at least have the assurance that the Pre 2 is the only currently available WebOS handset guaranteed any sort of future OS upgrade path.

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Getting this phone would be a BIG mistake

Fake Jeff Hawkins @ 4/9/2011 2:06:59 PM # Q
Only a fool would get a phone that is outdated, poorly made and likely to be poorly supported - if not completely abandoned.

If you like webOS wait for the Veer and Pre 3. In fact, it may be wiser to wait an additional 6 months until after the Veer and Pre 3 are released to determine if the OS has all the kinks worked out and if the hardware is any good.

Anyone buying a phone has the right to expect the hardware to be as well made as the iPhone 4. If Apple can do it there is NO excuse for HP or other companies to not also put out solid hardware. HP: I refuse to buy crappy hardware, even though I like some of what Palm did with the webOS user interface.

If the webOS tablet is available for $400 in 16 GB + Wi-Fi configuration I might get one to play around with. HP REALLY should release a webOS version of the iPod Touch. Had Palm done so 1 year ago they might have attracted a lot more interest in webOS from developers and end users. The iPod Touch represents the evolution of the PDA. Had Palm simply put out a similar device using webOS with updated versions of the traditional PalmOS PIM they could have had a nice device on the market.

Makes me wonder why Palm and HP product planners are so clueless.

FJH

RE: Getting this phone would be a BIG mistake
nastebu @ 4/15/2011 4:40:41 PM # Q
Isn't part of the problem with a WebOS touch the lack of the iTunes ecosystem and music store? My brain goes back to the farce that resulted when Palm tried to spoof iTunes into thinking that the Pre was an iPod, and the ridiculous dance of updates that resulted. A WebOS touch would face the same problem--it would lack an easy way to work with iTunes. I know a lot of people hate iTunes, but the simple truth is it's the default for most people.
RE: Getting this phone would be a BIG mistake
Fake Jeff Hawkins @ 4/15/2011 11:48:54 PM # Q
"Isn't part of the problem with a WebOS touch the lack of the iTunes ecosystem and music store?"

No, lack of DIRECT integration with iTunes wouldn't be a problem if Palm just bothered to do a little work. They can easily sync iTunes playlists if they want to, but even better would be creating a basic high quality MP3 encoder (based on LAME) combined with a simple MP3/audio file, video file and photo manager for the desktop. If drag and drop is deemed too complex for the unwashed masses just add a couple of simple buttons to the desktop app's UI: "Import from webOS device" and "Send to webOS device".

Matias Duarte showed on webOS how thinking outside the box can create a simple, intuitive, yet effective User Interface. Applying similar creativeness and attention to detail to desktop media management software could have resulted in Palm quickly producing an app that obviated the need to play embarassing games trying to make the Pre look like an iPod when connected to iTunes. Simplicity and elegant design could be a differentiator, especially given how jumbled and nasty Android is becoming. (Ironically Android's UI may have actually *worsened* since Duarte joined Google's development team in 2010! Go figure...)

Now that RIM has QNX and The Astonishing Tribe (both represent very wise purchases on the part of RIM) if they can just let go - completely and quickly like Microsoft did with Windows Mobile - of the nasty old Blackberry OS, they could easily produce a better version of webOS than Palm/HP. Shows HP really got suckered paying all that moolah for Palm.

RIM's prematurely released PlayBook appears to have stolen much of the webOS UI from Palm, yet Palm/HP STILL has no webOS tablet on the market. Reminds me of how Palm sat on the Foleo concept so long that it allowed others to come in and take market share that could easily have been Palm's. Yes, the Foleo Disaster will eventually be recognized as What Really Killed Palm.

FJH

RE: Getting this phone would be a BIG mistake
abosco @ 4/18/2011 6:18:43 AM # M Q
Yes, the Foleo Disaster will eventually be recognized as What Really Killed Palm.

No, what really killed Palm was ten years of mergers, acquisitions, spinoffs, HQ moves, management changes, and product development layoffs when they should have been concentrating on innovating. Then Apple blindsided them in 2007, Google in 2008, and the rest is history.

RE: Getting this phone would be a BIG mistake
AdamaDBrown @ 4/18/2011 11:43:04 AM # Q
FJH, I don't think the point is so much about the iTunes ecosystem specifically, such as it's about having AN ecosystem. WebOS sits out there alone. Apple has the entire iCosystem, Android has the Android Market and it's growing throng of apps, even Blackberry has the Blackberry Enterprise Server.

In contrast, WebOS and WP7 both are dangling out there in the breeze, without much help. Whatever you may think of the UIs, it's not enough to sell a phone these days to simply be usable. You need to actively sell people on all the things the platform can do for you. The iPhone does that. Android does that. The Blackberry is trying. Others? Not doing well.

RE: Getting this phone would be a BIG mistake
hkklife @ 4/18/2011 11:51:39 AM # Q
Yep, Palm was already in hideously bad shape by the time of the Fooleo debacle. The success of the Centro aside, Palm never had another real success after 2005's TX...or, as some would argue, the T3 of 2003.

Even waaay back in the heady days of Palm's IPO in 2000, people were already clamoring for color screens, multimedia support, removable storage and/or more RAM. Palm essentially kept respinning the basic Palm III specs ad nauseum until the T|T finally came out in 2002.

After the Palm V's launch, Palm ceased to be a trendsetter. Everything that Palm released was essentially a year behind the competition and usually a cut-down, cost-reduced version of its predecessor. Add to that Palm's glacial release cycle and lack of a cohesive roadmap, and it's honestly a miracle they survived as long as they did as an independent entity.

Just think: If Palm had basically had an OS4 m500-style device in 2000, the m515 (NOT the m505) in 2001, and had OS5 products hitting the market 12 months earlier than they actually did, they would have been OK. Then if Cobalt or some ALP-style successor to Garnet had been launched in a reasonable timeframe (2003-2005) as anticipated, it's entirely possible the iPhone wouldn't even exist today. It certainly wouldn't have taken the world by storm in 2007.

Instead, Apple simply took a 3.5" 320x480 touchscreen, an EDGE radio, and some apps and wrapped it all up in a stunning package. Palm had all of the ingredients to do a "rough" form of that years and years earlier. The simple fact that we are STILL waiting on a "Palm" smartphone to hit the market with a screen size greater than 3.1" or a resolution above 320x480 speaks volumes about the kind of bungles that plagued Palm for years and appear destined to continue with HP.
Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->Verizon Moto Droid + Verizon Palm Centro-> Verizon Moto Droid X + Palm TX

RE: Getting this phone would be a BIG mistake
Fake Jeff Hawkins @ 4/19/2011 8:12:05 PM # Q
"No, what really killed Palm was ten years of mergers, acquisitions, spinoffs, HQ moves, management changes, and product development layoffs when they should have been concentrating on innovating. Then Apple blindsided them in 2007, Google in 2008, and the rest is history."

You have NO idea much of Palm's time and resources the Foleo project consumed at Palm.

The Foleo was about the next level of mobile computing. The Foleo device that was (almost) released was nothing more than a resource-limited step towards achieving the Hawkins vision. Many of the brightest members of Palm were diverted to the Foleo skunkworks project but the software development snagged and ended up taking 2 years longer than expected.

Palm ran out of time on the Foleo and realized they didn't have the resources to create the platform Hawkins had envisioned. Meanwhile their core business was ignored so completely that the Handspring Treo 600 design that Palm was gifted in 2004 never received a significant update over 4 YEARS. You can't expect to compete with companies like Apple and Google for long with Palm's traditional business model of incremental updates.

FJH

Falcon and the Snowman
Fake Jeff Hawkins @ 4/19/2011 9:34:19 PM # Q
FJH, I don't think the point is so much about the iTunes ecosystem specifically, such as it's about having AN ecosystem. WebOS sits out there alone. Apple has the entire iCosystem, Android has the Android Market and it's growing throng of apps, even Blackberry has the Blackberry Enterprise Server.

In contrast, WebOS and WP7 both are dangling out there in the breeze, without much help. Whatever you may think of the UIs, it's not enough to sell a phone these days to simply be usable. You need to actively sell people on all the things the platform can do for you. The iPhone does that. Android does that. The Blackberry is trying. Others? Not doing well.

You "misunderestimate" how big HP is.

And enough with the "ecosystem" nonsense. Apple has done such a good job selling this catchphrase that is now as meaningless as other embarassing buzzwords like "synergies" and "paradigm shift".

Palm Pilot
Treo 600
Foleo Concept

Hawkins changed mobile computing forever with the first 2 devices; he could have changed personal and business computing even more drastically - and damaged Apple and Microsoft forever - with the third member of his legacy.


Current webOS possibilities (easily achievable by HP in 2011):
- webOS on every piece of computing hardware built by HP.
- webOS apps scalable to any screen size.
- free personal 1 GB "cloud" storage space.
- per app selectable intelligent automatic "cloud" syncing versus user-initiated pushing of data to "cloud".

Future computing is about data and needs to be relatively device-agnostic and location-agnostic. HP pushing this type of webOS platform would suddenly make Windows and MacOS a lot less important. The key is making omnipresent access to data as seamless and painless as possible. Not having to sign up for 5 different online storage accounts or having to remember multiple passwords or having to download multiple different apps needed to access the same data on each device type/platform. "Your data. Everywhere. Simply HP."

When Falcon was cancelled, many of us were very unhappy at Palm. Not because the hardware was a game changer. It wasn't - it was well made, but the specs were easily embarassed by many PDAs on the market in 2007. Rather, we were disappointed because we lost the opportunity to change computing in a radical way not seen since the debut of the PC. Paradigm shift, indeed...

FJH

RE: Getting this phone would be a BIG mistake
Fake Jeff Hawkins @ 4/19/2011 9:43:42 PM # Q
Instead, Apple simply took a 3.5" 320x480 touchscreen, an EDGE radio, and some apps and wrapped it all up in a stunning package. Palm had all of the ingredients to do a "rough" form of that years and years earlier. The simple fact that we are STILL waiting on a "Palm" smartphone to hit the market with a screen size greater than 3.1" or a resolution above 320x480 speaks volumes about the kind of bungles that plagued Palm for years and appear destined to continue with HP.

You oversimplify what Apple did with the iPhone. It's the Real Deal and was the first device to show how User Interface, Design, Style and OS power can come together to make a computer for the masses. iPhone is the PC for the new generation and is not simply a collection of parts that Palm could have ordered built by Inventec/HTC/etc.

I'm not fond of Apple, but even I can appreciate the work they did with the iPhone design. It's a hell of a pocket computer (but still is a HORRIBLE cell phone!)

FJH


RE: Getting this phone would be a BIG mistake
hkklife @ 4/20/2011 9:19:27 AM # Q
Oh, I'm aware of exactly what Apple did. Other than the capacitive screen, and MAYBE having wi-fi, BT and "gigs" of internal storage, there was nothing stunning about the iPhone's hardware.

Other devices on the market beat it out on expandability, screen resolution, camera pixel count, network connectivity etc.

It was the overall PACKAGE, start to finish, that impressed. The iPhone is the single most important device ever for making the masses shift from trying to mimic the conventional desktop keyboard + pointer on a mobile UI to an utterly usable, finger-friendly touchscreen UI.

Now if Apple can just break free of the hideously dated "Computer companion dependent on iTunes" and make the iOS devices a totally cloud-based mobile computer, they'll really be on to something. Until then, I'm sticking with Android (for all its warts).
Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->Verizon Moto Droid + Verizon Palm Centro-> Verizon Moto Droid X + Palm TX

RE: Getting this phone would be a BIG mistake
gmayhak @ 4/20/2011 10:42:46 AM # Q
I would be disappointed if they abandoned desktop syncing, it's a thousand times better than the old Palm desktop. When I click on my device in iTunes I can forget about iTunes and manage all of my content on the big screen including file sharing files for apps that use them. For people that like the cloud they have MobileMe for $99/year. http://www.apple.com/mobileme/

Gary
Tech Center Labs
www.talestuff.com
www.iTalentProductions.com

RE: Getting this phone would be a BIG mistake
nastebu @ 4/20/2011 2:46:40 PM # Q
hkklife wrote:
Oh, I'm aware of exactly what Apple did. Other than the capacitive screen, and MAYBE having wi-fi, BT and "gigs" of internal storage, there was nothing stunning about the iPhone's hardware.

That reminds me of something my mother used to love to say when I was young. I would say something like hkklife, and she would reply, "Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the show?" Cracks me up everytime.

I'm not arguing, so much as pointing out that what seems obvious now wasn't at all obvious then. This kind of hardware just wasn't on phones yet. The big screen, the large flash storage, the simple design based on one main button. Yes, nothing stunning in terms of specs, but there was nothing ordinary about the iphone's hardware when it first launched either.

Do you remember how on the day it was announced they had units in glass cases? Everyone was drooling on the glass.

RE: Getting this phone would be a BIG mistake
hkklife @ 4/21/2011 9:42:41 AM # Q
Nast;

Good point. But it's not like all of the long-time PICers were jaded or anything by the time of the iPhone's release. Other smartphones prior to the iPhone had wi-fi and Bluetooth. HTC had 'em starting in 2006 or so and Nokia had the E90 & N95 prior to iPhone. Then there was the 9500 series in 2004-2005 with BT & wi-fi which is the first dual-connectivity device I can recall.

You will likely recall the RAGE surrounding Palm's inability to integrate wi-fi into their devices. I think the first cries started around 2001 at the m505 launch and got increasingly louder into the OS5 era. I remember back in '06 or '07 (prior to iPhone launch) sitting there looking through old PIC articles and thinking "Why can Palm not take the Treo 700p's CDMA radio, the TX's wi-fi, BT & LCD and the T5's internal flash and make one decent damn device?" Apple was the first company to check all of those spec boxes but they stil missed a few items that were significant to some of us (robust PIM capabilities, add-on apps, removable battery/storage, GPS).

IMO the Moto Droid 1 was the first smartphone without any real compromises, at least as far as the hardware was concerned. The dreadful Android 2.0 UI was another thing entirely. Overlooking the ecosystem factor, Moto covered all of the "techie" basics (removable battery/storage, USB drag & drop storage, video recording, sideloading of apps, unlocked bootlader & custom ROMs) while hitting most of the iPhone touchy-feely points like a large capacitive screen, aggressive support & marketing by the carrier and a wide variety of aftermarket accessories. There's a good article on Wired about the Droid's impact on VZW, Moto and Google.

http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/04/mf_android/all/1

Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->Verizon Moto Droid + Verizon Palm Centro-> Verizon Moto Droid X + Palm TX

Apple will probably win Race To The Cloud
Fake Jeff Hawkins @ 4/22/2011 7:28:52 PM # M Q
HP buying Palm for webOS was like Palm buying Handspring for the Treo 600: if you can't invent/originate then acquire. All fine, but companies are often clueless about how to maintain the same rate of development of their new acquisitions. Palm's failure to advance the Handspring Treo over 4 years killed the Golden Goose. iPhone and 200 Android phones sealed the fate of the unevolved Treo.

HP had the time, money, distribution chain, development staff, manufacturing ability and OS to make an aggressive move into Cloud Computing. So far they're "pulling a Palm" and are wasting the head start they were given.

Apple has created a farm of servers to support it's imminent push to Cloud Computing. They will leverage this by providing a link between users' iTunes accounts, music collections, mobile and desktop environments. I'm betting that Apple will remember that Simplicity Sells and will quickly obviate the need for services like DropBox. EverNote would have been a good purchase for them, but Apple has the ability to copy and improve on ideas that they don't invent themselves or purchase outright.

As of now (April 2011) the big picture is still a bit Cloudy. Predictions:

1) Apple's integrated, simple, secure approach resonates with consumers and maintains a healthy (25%) and (more significantly) profitable marketshare. 7 inch and 10 inch iPads with keyboard cases and connectivity to expanding suite of Cloud apps and services take off, fueling iPad sales and sealing the fate of netbooks.

2) Google goes back to the drawing board with Android's UI and architecture. Panic among consumers and companies occurs when a huge security hole is revealed showing that personal data is being stolen by China-based hackers. Businesses ban employee use of Android phones for work. Companies who had foolishly quickly become dependent upon Android begin to realize that they were naive to trust their business plans to Google's "generosity". Windows Phone 7 looms as a backup plan.

3) Nokia's clean break using Windows Phone 7 is accepted well and this OS matures quickly. But Microsoft's fear of cannibalizing its desktop cash cow continues to limit how much power they build into the mobile platform.

4) Blackberry OS is reformed with QNX/PlayBook OS and quickly becomes what webOS could have been 1or 2 years ago. Sales are limited until RIM decides to slash prices to gain marketshare.

5) webOS is pushed out haphazardly by HP but development is stalled by syncing and scaling issues. Market penetration improves quickly due to distribution channel, but actual usage uptake remains low. Purchase of RIM is considered.

This is next 12 months revealed for your viewing pleasure.

FJH
Mobile Computing Consultant


RE: Getting this phone would be a BIG mistake
HyperScheduler @ 4/24/2011 11:10:28 AM # Q
Interesting predictions, FJH. A few thoughts:

1) Even though you are right that Palm's failure to advance the Treo doomed Palm, I wonder if Palm's faithful would have really tolerated such improvements. In other words, the very things that made the Treo such an amazing-for-its-time device would have been eliminated if Palm had really undertaken the advances/improvements for which you and others fault it for failing to make. Simply stated, if Palm had seriously improved the Treo, then the Treo would not have been the blockbuster device that it ended up being. In short, *how* could Palm have improved the Treo (from the Treo 600 through the Treo 755p/Centro 2) without fundamentally altering the device?

At a micro-level, I feel the same way about Blazer. I found Blazer to be absolutely awful, but what could Palm have done for a browser WITHOUT also eliminating the PalmOS-style of Blazer itself?

2) One of the reasons that I think customers will flock to cloud-based, full-ecosystem unification of their devices is because people want unity among their devices and experiences with technology. I also think that there is always a risk (however slight) that changes a person happens to make in their non-cloud-based device will fail to make it to one's greater ecosystem *if* that person is mugged on the way home and loses their device, or if the device simply becomes lost on the way home to perform a non-cloud-based PalmOS-style hotsync.

No matter how simple and basic the following question probably seems to you, what are *your* reasons for why cloud-based unification of a digital ecosystem will be hugely popular?


Best,

HyperScheduler

Fluffy little HP clouds
Fake Jeff Hawkins @ 4/26/2011 1:22:28 PM # M Q
No, traditional Treo users would have embraced new hardware and adding one or two new form factors - like an iPhone sized slab - would have brought in new customers. 

Refusing to try new ideas in this business is guaranteed suicide and Palm became a textbook example of this truism. 

Everything that Apple became in 2007- 8 Palm could easily have offered years earlier. The idiots actually let go the poor guy that for YEARS had begged for an app store. Said it was a waste of resources. Used the fanboys to write app guides for free instead of doing it themselves. Managers openly mocked the Palminfocenter posts that asked for better hardware. Treo was "good enough" they sneered. Remember what Colligan said about the "PC guys" not being capable of walking in and taking over? Apple caught "Fast" Eddie C with his pants around his ankles, surrounded by those infamous boytoys we were shown from that creepy Palm soirée. Palm brought this upon itself, fiddling while Sunnyvale burned. 

Regarding the Cloud, right now it is primarily consists of hype that is being generated by those who need this "paradigm shift" to occur in order to unseat Microsoft. Soon we will see what the Cloud REALLY can do, though. 

3 problems remain: bulletproof syncing, security and reliable connectivity. The Foleo concept was a fraction of the way into solving the first 2 issues. webOS is close, Android and Windows Phone further away. iOS will ensure that the Cloud does not jeopardize Apple's desktop model. 

Next generation data connections will help problem #3, but if carriers keep trying to gouge on data, the Cloud will be ignored in favor of traditional local data storage. We will know soon if webOS and HP have moved us to the next level of ubiquitous data. I'm not expecting much and remain very leery of having my data on potentially insecure third party servers. 

FJH

RE: Getting this phone would be a BIG mistake
hkklife @ 4/27/2011 3:59:20 PM # Q
'nuff said:

http://connect.in.com/the-buried-life-list/photos-1-1-1-69d14004ac89837e613f00c8d83e500d.html


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Disturbia in Colligan's Dungeon?
Fake Jeff Hawkins @ 4/28/2011 7:38:56 AM # M Q
Dear Lord!

That photo of Colligan is possibly the gayest*, creepiest, most disturbing image ever captured on film!

*not that there's anything wrong with that...

Thanks for tracking down the link, hkklife. I wasn't sure if the old Palm blog where it was originally posted is still up. You might want to warn people not to click on that link if they're under the age of 18 or have a weak stomach.

FJH

RE: Getting this phone would be a BIG mistake
Fake Jeff Hawkins @ 4/28/2011 7:44:06 AM # M Q
Eddie C. always was less of a man than Donna.

Carpet. Mmmmmmm. Yummy!
Munch munch munch...


FJH

How Palm could have beaten the iPhone
Fake Jeff Hawkins @ 4/28/2011 2:31:15 PM # M Q
"In short, *how* could Palm have improved the Treo (from the Treo 600 through the Treo 755p/Centro 2) without fundamentally altering the device?"

Easy: produce 4 different phones using high quality parts. The key is QUALITY. 

1) Traditional Treo 755 or Pre
2) Traditional Centro or Veer
3) iPhone-styled slab
4) Samsung i500-styled flip phone


"At a micro-level, I feel the same way about Blazer. I found Blazer to be absolutely awful, but what could Palm have done for a browser WITHOUT also eliminating the PalmOS-style of Blazer itself?"

Access made a PalmOS-compatible browser called NetFront Browser. It was standard in Sony CLIEs for years and made Blazer look like a joke. Instead of just licensing NetFront Browser, Palm chose to try and reinvent the wheel and ended up hacking out a square wheel (Blazer). Likewise, instead of speccing high quality hardware, they continually cut corners, leading to massive quality control issues on pretty much every Palm device made in the past decade (with the possible exception of the final PalmOS device ever made: The Sprint-only Centro 2). 

FJH

RE: Getting this phone would be a BIG mistake
hkklife @ 4/28/2011 4:02:35 PM # Q
The Treo 600 was revolution and ahead of its time, certainly. Whatever shortcomings it had were due to Handspring's cash crunch or the hardware limitations of the time.

The Treo 650 should have shipped with the memory (64mb) of the Treo 700p, or at the very least not shipped with the crippling NVFS bug that gave a new 650 LESS usable storage than its predecessor!

The 700p should have arrived in the 755p's formfactor (no ungainly external antenna). The time from the Treo 650 in 2004 to the 700p in 2006 was an ETERNITY that Palm spent doing absolutely nothing to improve their huge headstart in the smartphone race. While the geniuses at Palm were giving each other high-fives at going from 32mb to 64mb of RAM and masking Garnet's storage limitations by retreating from SD to miniSD and then to microSD, Apple was tweaking the iPhone.

The 755p should have had the OS & NVFS optimizations of the Centro + the Centro 2's 128mb RAM

All of the above devices should have shipped with a 3.5mm headset jack, a better web browser like FJH says, and a unified app store integrated into the device or the browser (or at least a "HTML preview window of what's new & exciting" integrated into Palm Desktop),

And look at all of these data-only 3G tablets flooding the marketplace? I called for Palm to produce a no-contract 320x480 "PDA tablet" YEARS ago with some kind of WWAN connectivity.

Imagine something along the lines of the Tapwave Zodiac but without all of the silly gaming controls and and 2nd SD slot ripped out. Give it an EVDO (or even 1x RTT or EDGE) modem built-in. No voice functionality, just WWAN (and maybe BT or wi-fi). Optionally, lose the stylus and give Garnet a mild finger-friendly makeover. Even with Garnet & Blazer, that'd have been an awesome device circa 2005-2007 (ie pre-iPod Touch) if it was attached to a Virgin Mobile-style month to month data only plan, with both metered and unlimited options.

The Centro (and later, the Pixi and Pre) still could have had another good year or so of shelf life had Palm gotten it onto some of the prepaid carriers to give all of the Mike Cane types a reasonable smartphone alternative before all of the cheap Android 2.x handsets started to appear. A $99 128mb Centro on Virgin would have helped Palm coast through those lean days in 2008-2009.
Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->Verizon Moto Droid + Verizon Palm Centro-> Verizon Moto Droid X + Palm TX

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Getting this phone would be a BIG mistake

SFO_TXUSR @ 4/11/2011 8:47:35 AM # Q
I agree with you on an "HP Touch" device. I decided to get an iPhone Touch, because I thought it was a way to test the platform without committing to a 2 year contract and I would at least get a decent MP3 player in the process. Eventually, I upgraded to an iPad and an iPhone4, since I was able to nearly duplicate my Palm TX exerience.

So a Touch like device may entice interest in WebOS with committing to a contract.

RE: Getting this phone would be a BIG mistake
hkklife @ 4/11/2011 11:45:41 AM # Q
"So a Touch like device may entice interest in WebOS with committing to a contract."

That WOULD have been the case 6,5, 4, or even a year ago. But now WebOS is a dead platform walking IMO. HP could release a $400 touchpad with specs to rival an $700 iPad2 and it still wouldn't make much of a dent in the marketplace. The platform has lost all of its momentum and its mindshare at this stage of the game.

Palm's biggest---arguably biggest EVER--mistake was the horrible Pre launch. From the Sprint exclusivity, to the long delay from CES to June, to the mediocre specs & build quality, it was a stinker in every aspect.

However, a close #2 was the utter lack of a "touch" ANYTHING in the years after the Z22 & TX in Oct 2005.

For example, a WebOS "touch" device would have been a cheap & easy way for the legions of curious users to test out WebOS without jumping ship to Sprint or signing up for a costly data plan & contract. It would also certainly have helped drum up developer support in the platform. How long again did it take before Palm had an "official" unlocked developer handset program?

Prior to that, Palm could have bridged the Garnet to WebOS time with a device that was a hybrid of the Zodiac, the TX and the LifeDrive. 2-4GB of internal flash, a 4" 320x480 LCD, BT/Wi-Fi, and a huge battery would have been a solid little device in 2006/2007, especially if Palm could have cooked up a better native web browser and built upon the successful innards of the Centro and done a few TealOS-style UI enhancements to transition from Garnet to WebOS.

Yet here we are, almost halfway through 2011 and STILL awaiting the arrival of a "Palm" device that doesn't require some sort of affiliation with a wireless carrier. Meanwhile, Apple continues to sell PILES of iPads and iPod touches and Google has finally come to their senses and started allowing wi-fi only Froyo and Honeycomb devices with the full suite of Google apps and full market access.
Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->Verizon Moto Droid + Verizon Palm Centro-> Verizon Moto Droid X + Palm TX

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Tablets are a waste of money

Fake Jeff Hawkins @ 4/28/2011 2:49:20 PM # M Q
Just tried out a BlackBerry PlayBook last week. It was rushed out half-baked due to pressure to get ANYTHING to the market to try to compete with the iPad juggernaut. A developer I spoke to admitted they put it out prematurely because they didn't think they could wait until it was actually ready. It has ok hardware, but as is the case with ALL tablets, it makes no sense.  

Why would anyone lug around a hard-to-hold tablet when they could just carry a 3.5 to 4.3 inch screened smartphone and/or a small laptop or netbook? Tablet sales are fueled completely by hype. If people start to THINK for a change they'll realize how pointless tablets are compared to other devices and will stop buying this crap. 

Just say no to tablets. 


FJH

RE: Tablets are a waste of money
hkklife @ 4/28/2011 4:14:14 PM # Q
The Playbook has the disctinction of being this year's "worst product I've fondled". What a disaster. TAT aped WebOS for the UI and also copied Palm for rushing an unfinished, incomplete product to market. To make a larger "companion" depending on a underpowered companion smartphone running an antiquated OS for most of its vital functions...it's the Fooleo all over again!

I have a GSM Samsung Galaxy Tab and while it's certainly far from perfect, it's a nice little device for what I use it for (Angry Birds, e-books, photo viewing, web & email while traveling).

That said, I understand that the tablet right now IS a niche, luxury device that has a certain amount of appeal to some more than others. But every single iPad competitor has been stillborn by the insane greed of the telcos and the hardware companies. I am SO thankful that Asus has lowered the bar to a reasonable $399 for 10" Tegra2-powered tablets. The Barnes & Noble Nook Color is fine little machine for a 7" device at $250, though I expect its successor to be decidedly less hacker-friendly. Indeed, I graduated from a rooted NC to the GT as I wanted a camera and a bit more horsepower.

I like my 7" GT for reading, typing in portrait mode or holding with one-hand but it's far from ideal for gaming or web browsing. Ideally, I'd like an ultraslim 8" tablet next time around but the market seems to be demanding 10" behemoths. If I want that big of a screen, I'll just go with an Ion or Fusion-based netbook or a small Intel ULV notebook.

To me, the ideal device would be a 11.6" or 12" ultra-slim convertible notebook with good battery life. No optical drive, please. I am still waiting for someone like Asus to produce something like the HP TM2T series but a bit lighter and sleeker.
Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->Verizon Moto Droid + Verizon Palm Centro-> Verizon Moto Droid X + Palm TX

RE: Tablets are a waste of money
Fake Jeff Hawkins @ 4/29/2011 8:08:58 PM # Q
I wouldn't be so harsh on the PlayBook. But I do think it's ridiculous that they would release it so prematurely. No native email app? From a company who's primary cliam to fame is email? Get the F outta here. Seriously.

Apple's success in quickly defining and then cornering the non-Tablet PC tablet market has put enormous pressure on all other manufacturers to get SOMETHING out, just so they don't get left behind as a non-player. The problem is all of the iPad competitors released so far have one or more of the following issues:

horrible user interface
horrible hardware
no apps
overpriced

If anyone wants to compete with Apple they have to be BETTER than the iPad in at least one (ideally several) of those features. Otherwise, why would Joe Consumer buy anything other than an iPad? It's like Chevrolet putting a spoiler on one of their nasty little economy cars and then turning around and trying to sell it for the same price as a Porsche. Good luck. Consumers may be dumb, but they aren't THAT dumb.

The Playbook has an interesting architecture and RIM worked closely with Adobe to integrate Air. With QNX onboard I really like the potential that the PlayBook shows. But as was the case with the Foleo, development timeline slipped so badly it's ridiculous. Rather than waiting until the PlayBook was ready for Prime Time, RIM just said "Ship it on schedule and fix it later". All too common in this industry, but then again sometimes you just can't afford to keep losing mindshare and marketshare waiting for software to mature to a more acceptable level before releasing promised new hardware. I wish Palm had gone ahead and done the same with the Foleo ("Ship it on schedule and fix it later") - the mobile world might be a VERY different place today if they had continued developing the Foleo concept instead of killing the project. Every time I fly with my Foleo it still attracts admiring looks from gadget fans I encounter. The rarity of the Foleo makes it that much more fun to use...

PlayBook hardware (made in Taiwan) seems solid, but a higher res screen would have been nice. The webOS-llike UI works well and the device speed and stability are good. Add email app, ability to run Android apps (in 2 months according to the RIM developer I spoke with recently), already available Foleo-like syncing with BlackBerry phones (via Bridge) and good security and I would say it's a better choice than most Android tablets. I'd definitely like to see a slim keyboard case that connects to the PlayBook. Build that and I might get PlayBook 2 (assuming RIM ever releases a second PlayBook!).

Of course, the first wild card remains what HP does with the webOS tablet. Ane the second wildcard is what Microsoft does with Windows 8. As a long-suffering Microsoft Tablet PC user (currently using a Lenovo X200 Tablet) I still think Microsoft might end up having the last laugh, especially if they can run their OS on ARM chips.

FJH

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