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Discussion: Is the Palm VII Series a Flop?

It's not a big secret that the Palm VII series has not been one of the company's top sellers. Partially this has been caused by component shortages limiting supplies. However, many users find the wireless service too limited. According to Ken Smiley, senior industry analyst at Giga Information Group, "Only about 40,000 of the existing 100 thousand to 150 thousand Palm VII users subscribe to the wireless service," which he attributes to "poor coverage on a proprietary network."

Even taking Mr. Smiley's high-end estimate that 150 thousand Palm VII series units have ever been sold, that number is dwarfed by the 535 thousand m100's that were sold in the first quarter.

The coverage area for Palm.Net gets most major U.S. cities but still leaves many potential customers out in the cold, and there is no service available outside of the U.S.

Also, many users are put off by Web Clipping, in which applications download small snippets of info, rather than allowing true Web surfing. However, since the inception of the VII series, over 450 Web Clipping apps have been created, showing that the company has worked hard to overcome this limitation.

At the same time, rivals are luring away customers. For example, OmniSky now has over 34,000 wireless customers and it allows users to surf the Web and use clip-on modems, not requiring a special Palm model. There are several other wireless ISP available to Palm users, too, like GoAmerica and YadaYada, and more are on the way.

So, what do you think? Should Palm scrap the VIIx? Or is it about to take off and be a big success? What about Web Clipping? Should they stick with it or make a new Palm model that will allow true Web Surfing? Hit the comment button below to tell us what you think.

Update: In March, Palm released their latest quarterly earnings statements that proved that Mr. Smiley's statements were incorrect. All the information has been gathered into "Palm VII Series Not a Flop".

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VII + VIIx .... hmm, hard choice

ardiri @ 2/10/2001 12:44:25 PM #
although i have never owned a VII or VIIx device (heck, i dont see coverage here in Sweden) - i do believe that they were not a flop. the purpose of the device was to test wireless based Palm services.

it was first tested in NYC with around 3000 devices (from memory) and proved an instant success. i doubt it was about the proprietary palm.net network, or about selling devices - it was about testing a new market.

i think the Palm VII series is a dying breed though, especially since it is III form factor (which is getting boring, not to say old), and the fact that Palm have proposed the movement away from the palm.net service by introducing the Mobile Internet Kit.

for the first time, i messed with PQA's, and checked directions, weather, news by linking up my Palm devices with my GSM mobile phone. the idea of web clipping shows a lot of promise, however, the technology is limited to the type of stuff we have in PQA's now..

the introduction of Omnisky type devices to give V/Vx devices (and others) wireless access just makes the notion of wireless Palming more interesting.

i'd like to see the introduction of a true TCP/IP based wireless network, not UDP/IP that exists today :) but then again, anyone with a mobile phone and a normal ISP service can do this right now! i'd like to see it in a cheaper package.

[and, it'll also be fun to start programming some true wireless games] :P


// az
aaron@ardiri.com
http://www.ardiri.com/

PalmVII Series web surfing..

I.M. Anonymous @ 2/10/2001 12:59:14 PM #
You can surf the web using the "easter egg" or add-on
apps..

RE: PalmVII Series web surfing..
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/11/2001 11:48:14 AM #
Palm VII/x are a flop.

You can surf the web on a IIIc with the mobile conectivity kit and a web prowser called "proxyweb" that can be downloaded for FREE from the net.

If palm made publicity of this, IIIc's would sell like bread.

If VII was sold with proxyweb, it'd b another story!

RE: PalmVII Series web surfing..
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/2/2001 12:45:42 PM #
I agree. I found that I can surf using my Nokia 8290 cell phone (GSM) with infrared capability. I use my IIIxe configured for using my regular dialup ISP and the phone acts as a wireless modem. It works and I already had the phone and the ISP service! Who needs a Palm VIIx plus Palm.net service when there are better alternatives?



PalmVIIx

robking @ 2/10/2001 1:50:45 PM #
Tough decision between Vx and VIIx. Finally decided on VIIx. I can now surf the web (text only) with Dpweb by www.digitalpaths.com. This is a web clipping browser. I will use www.Skipwire.com download software(no cradle needed) and send email attachments(coming soon). Can view pictures with Fireviewer and make Palm compatible pictures for free at www.fireviwer.com. If I'm out of the Palm.net coverage area, I just use the modem accessory to dial into a free ISP. Don't have to worry about an external wireless modem(Omnisky) and extra batteries. Didn't want to deal with an extra set of batteries.
I use rechargeables for my VIIx and swap them every 5 days. I use freewarepalm.com for all kinds of freeware.
My friend bought the Vx with Omnisky and she wishes she now had the VIIx. Besides, the VIIx fits just fine in my suit coat pocket. Don't try that with your Vx with Omnisky.

RE: PalmVIIx
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/10/2001 3:31:43 PM #
I agree that one buys a computer for the software that can be used with it. In order to make a rationable decision, one must browse all the sites that offer software for a particular device. Then decide how much of a learning curve you wish to have. Web clippings are like minibrowsers for each individual site. Easier to navigate than with IE or Netscape browsers. Palm VIIx is the way to go!

Use the right tool for the job.

I.M. Anonymous @ 2/10/2001 1:26:34 PM #
I agree that Palm.Nets coverage is the biggest issue. Palm has to move to a system that has much wider coverage. That is a no brainer.
The issue I have is the idea of true web surfing. The screen size on a PDA is not very large. That is never going to change. The screen size is a function of the size of the unit and that can not be larger than what will fit in a pocket. If it is too large people will not carry it with them and if they don't have it on them they will not use it. Web pages are not designed with the idea of a small screen so if one brings one up on a PDA they must scroll left, right, up, and down.
Another thing that must be kept in mind is the difference between wired and wireless connections. Despite the commercials on television, dropouts are still a very real issue and I do not see that changing any time soon. This is not an issue with wired connections. Another issue is bandwidth. Even now there are many web sites that one must have a DSL or better type of connection to download in a reasonable amount of time. Last time I checked most uses of the web still use 56k dial in. This shows that the web has a habit of catering to the higher speeds. Is wireless access ever going to be faster then a direct wired connection? No. Any frequency one can put over the air one can put over a wire plus with a wired connection one can use light frequencies. These are a much higher then the microwave frequencies that are the maximum a wireless system can use. The higher the frequency the more data it can hold and the faster that data can be moved. Now this brings up the use of the available bandwidth. When one is broadcasting over the air every one is using the same range of frequencies as every one else with in range of the tower. Because of this, part of that range of frequencies must be used for arbitration. As with a traffic cop, there must be some thing to keep the users of wireless from walking over other users. This eats bandwidth. With a wired connection one can have all the bandwidth of the cable to oneself.

Even with the above Palm should still have a true web browser. This is for two reasons. The first reason is for sales. There are people who do not understand what a PDA will and will not do. With a web browser they will think they are getting what they need and will buy the unit. After they have used it for a bit they will understand how clipping is a much better idea. Second, is for the occasional information that is not available by clipping. This includes research for information that is very specific, old, or not what the general public is not interested in. But this type of information is very much the exception not the rule. An example of the above might be what was the population of a town in England in 1423. Most of the day to day information like weather, news, directions, theater listings, stock quotes, sports scores, personal info, flight listings, etc would be retrieved by clipping.
The nice part of web clipping is being able to get information quickly and easy. It does not need a high bandwidth connection so one does not have to wait for the build out of a new wireless network or the issues discussed in the first part of this message. A good part of Palms success is K.I.S.S (Keep it simple, stupid). Turn the unit on and go strait to the information one needs.
The other issue not discussed in the article is real time e-mail. Real time e-mail means even with the unit off it will beep or shake when one has a new e-mail. This has been shown by RIMM to be a must have application. Palms at this point can not do this. This is a large hole that needs to be filled. From what I understand Palm OS V4 will support this type of application.



RE: Use the right tool for the job.
bcombee @ 2/12/2001 6:26:01 AM #
Palm is addressing this. At the PalmSource talk on Web Clipping in PalmOS 4.0, they announced that the new version would support browsing to arbitrary sites without needing a PQA, and that they would be modifying the Palm.net proxy to do a better job of transforming non-Palm-friendly sites into something that looks OK on the handheld. If all goes well, the 4.0 upgrades for the VII/VIIx should be out in late Spring.

Need Canadian coverage

Justin Ng @ 2/10/2001 3:11:41 PM #
There are very few good wireless options in Canada Palm VII is not possible, OmniSky isn't. The only reasonable choice is Canada-based RIM BlackBerry.
RE: Need Canadian coverage
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/15/2001 12:53:21 AM #
Another great choice is AvantGo. Free and you can easily connect using your data enabled phone.

Addictive to owners

mikecane @ 2/10/2001 5:34:00 PM #
I think the 7 addicts its owners. I have a friend with a 7 and his only complaint is the 2 MB of RAM. (His company paid for the unit and usage, so at least it wasn't his mistake...)

I'd like to see what the m505 will offer.

RE: Addictive to owners
PFloyd @ 2/10/2001 8:37:18 PM #
I'm thrilled with my Vx. My friend wouldn't be without his VIIx. He was just as welded to his VII. Over lunch folks ask to use his VIIx to check their ebay stuff, weather, google, dictionary.com (I think), and imdb. His only complaint is speed. It's slow enough that you can look up to talk while it's getting the data and forget to look down for a while. He'll buy whatever color wireless unit Palm puts out with palm.net if it's faster than the one he has. Someone above said the VII was to test the market. I'm sure they got what they wanted if that's the case. There are a lot of addicts. PQA's are pretty neat. I've run them on my Vx with a modem. They're very nice even with a slow modem connection. If all Palm's will be able to run PQA's with bluetooth, 802.11, and so on it'll be a good thing.

Gag!

I.M. Anonymous @ 2/10/2001 5:32:44 PM #
Anyone who tries to tell me that the Palm VII series was a secret success has got to be a Palm PR employee. Face it, like the IIIc, the VII was a complete and total flop...plain and simple. It was the wrong form factor with the wrong features at the wrong price. Palm deserved exactly what they got. They thought they could come up with their own (proprietary) wireless solution and charge whatever they like for both the hardware and the service, and it bit them in the ass. They got what they deserved, plain and simple.

We'll see if they have learned anything with their new upcoming devices. Palm is becoming every bit as arrogant as Microsoft!

RE: Gag!
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/10/2001 11:08:21 PM #
Palm VII:
Everything I need.
If I wanted to drag my laptop every where I would.

RE: Gag!
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/10/2001 11:14:23 PM #
The palm VII is great.
I don't want a handheld to surf the web. I want a PDA for business purposes.
I have several freinds with PDA's other that the 3com and basically it's just a toy.
Cute, sounds good, looks fun.....no business need.
Don't knock it....
I know very few people who use the VII as it is intended and complain.

RE: Gag!
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/13/2001 11:59:19 AM #
Surfing the web does has it's business purposes. What do you do when you surf the web? Go to porn sites? I see this as a HUGE issue alone..even to much of a degree more important than getting email at times. That is the future. Many businesses now do things and orders over the internet. If your ideal of doing business apps for the Palm and using wireless capibilities is email only, than perhaps you should look into AOLs new email and IM pager size device. If thats all Palm is going to do with their PDA's than it will be a waste of time and money. I peronalyy would like to do more than that. PIMs are find and great, and for that I love the Palm. But using it as a "real business" tool has it's short commings and Palm should look at this seriously, because other PDA Vendors (at least one which will remain nameless) are addressing this issue pretty successfully.

Specif audience

jrroberts @ 2/10/2001 6:00:50 PM #
Granted the Palm VII series was created for a specific audience, I love my Palm VII and would use any other Palm device. I do not know what I would do with the wireless access to my email, my finances, directions, my calendar updates, and the lst goes own. With the VII I can have a calendar at Palm.Net that is used by my office and send/receive updates remotely without my laptop or a wired connection.

Beyond the current benefits, I believe that this is the future of handhelds. Not just the web clipping, but the easy integration with business application using a proprietary network. The use of a proprietary network offers a level of security, a standard for business applications, and ease of use across the different level of users.

For instance, I have recently started a new ASP that markets our own products. We provide our customers with an interface to our products using the palm.net network. This gives us the opportunity to market this advanced technology to a low-tech industry without the frustrations of different types of equipment, different services coming in and receiving data, etc.

Anyway, in a few words, this is the future!

Palm VIIx a flop?

I.M. Anonymous @ 2/10/2001 6:23:47 PM #
For $9.99 a month I want a bit more k. That is why I dropped the service. Up the k, and I'll be back.

Not A Flopp

I.M. Anonymous @ 2/10/2001 7:05:40 PM #
The VII is great for what it is. It allows me to access my email wirelessly (all my POP3 accounts and even my hotmail). I can even recieve and view email attached word and excel files. You can surf the web with DPWeb or using the "easter egg" or with a number of other free apps. No you don't have a direct connect but you do have an all in one wireless solutions that does a great job of doing what it was designed for. Using a WAP brower I can even chat in ICQ. If you haven't used one don't bad mouth it and don't compare it to a wireless with a dedicated IP because its not.

Only Anonymous cause i'm too lazy to login....

RE: Not A Flopp
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/11/2001 3:07:55 AM #
please add the ability to EDIT word and excel, view jpg and pdf WIRELESSLY.

i did beta testing and it is all TRUE!
remarkable


RE: Not A Flopp
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/11/2001 2:49:12 PM #
I love my VIIx and my IIIc in a perfect world I would own a VIIxc (wireless color with 20-32 mb. Minstrel scrapped plans for a wireless modem for the IIIc due to lack of interestr. They never asked the IIIc owners. I love color for the easy viewing and the ability to use datebk 4 and color sketching tools. I love the VIIx for news and weather on the fly, access to email without schlepping my thinkpad, movie phone, mapquest. The company bought my VIIx but if I leave I'll pay them it's going with me

RE: Not A Flopp
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/12/2001 10:57:42 AM #
"I can even recieve and view email attached word and excel files"

Alright, how do you do that?



RE: Not A Flopp
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/12/2001 12:23:56 PM #
Cotrsoft Aileron allows you to receive and view Word and Excel attachments on the VII. $30 at www.corsoft.net

RE: Not A Flopp
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/13/2001 8:28:32 AM #
My personal take on this is that the VII technology is not a flop - it attenpts to start trying to re-write the book in terms on internet usage. This is no bad thing given how many appaulingly designed web sites are out there that are mega bandwidth hungry! My only gripe is that Plam could have improved on the 'success' of the VII family had we in Europe not had to wait for so long for it. We have a number of very capable cellular networks over here that enable a lot of people to obtain near 100% coverage in almost every country - this was, and to a large degree still is a massive missed chance.

Coverage needs work

I.M. Anonymous @ 2/10/2001 11:13:50 PM #
I bought a VIIx shortly after they came out. (previously was using a IIIx)

I really, really liked the VIIx - where it worked. The wireless service was great, but unfortunetly, it was only great where their was a signal. In places where coverage wasn't listed as "excellent" (and even a few where it was) the service was pretty much useless.

I'd still be using it and loving it if the coverage allowed me to go pretty much anywhere, inside or out. I eventually canceled and replaced it with a Palm IIIc.

I use a Sprint PCS phone for both voice and wireless web access now. While I really am not fond of the minibrowser on a phone-sized screen (not to mention horrible input methods) I am able to use it whereever I want - their coverage is pretty much seamless.

Matt

RE: Coverage needs work
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/11/2001 8:13:52 AM #
Coverage is a good issue. I'm in NC and I do have seemless coverage (indoors and out) where I am located which is great. I would love to try Omnisky but I have the opposite problem....no coverage in this area.

RE: Coverage needs work
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/12/2001 12:25:20 PM #
I agree that coverage is an issue with ANY wireless service, cell phones included. However, I'm in NYC and coverage with the VII is infinitely better than with Omnisky. The VII works about 50% of the time if you're in a big building and not near a window. The Omnisky works no better than 50% of the time even if you ARE near a window in a big building!! All in all, I think Palm.net coverage is actually better than Omnisky. For example, there is no Omnisky CDPD service at all in Atlanta for gosh sakes!!

Sprint deal

I.M. Anonymous @ 2/11/2001 3:34:04 PM #
hasn't the coverage and service issues just been resolved by the announcment that all of the future products will use sprints CDMA network. The Palm VII is now legacy hardware and i'll be interested to see how long palm keeps it's propritary palm.net up and running.

PQA is great until Web designers get it right

GrouchoMarx @ 2/11/2001 4:47:52 PM #
the Palm VII(x) itself is not the most impressive device ever. It's rather bulky as Palms go (although still more pocket-friendly than WinCE devices), and aside from Palm.Net offers nothing the IIIxe offers. Palm.Net is proprietary, slow, and expensive, and not that widely available.

The Web Clipping/PQA concept, on the other hand, is brilliant. I don't know why people keep insisting on full web browsing on a PDA. Try loading a mainstream website into even Pocket Explorer on an HP Jornada, and it looks like crap. 99% of web sites out there are written for people with 800x600x16bit screens, absolute minimum. Many require 1024x768x24bit with DSL or Ethernet to work right. There is simply no way any of these are going to fly on a PDA, either bandwidth-wise or screen-wise.

The W3C has for several years been pushing for better web design, using XHTML Strict, CSS1, CSS2, and Mobile Device Identification. These techniques, combined with just a little bit of server-side processing, allow you to retranslate a web site for a PDA or a desktop on the fly, completely optimizing it for the desired client, without the user taking any action. I've done some research in this field, and it works. The problem is (A) Most web designers are too lazy to write their pages properly, and (B) Most web browsers are too poorly written to take advantage of the W3C's proposals. It will be several years, if ever, before the web authoring community at large gets their act together.

Into the void steps web clipping and other channel-services like AvantGo. Channels flopped big time on the desktop, because people had no use for them. On a PDA, however, they are perfect. Who needs to load an entire web page to find out what the weather is? The formatting is the same anyways, just send back a few short numbers and let the client plug it into the page. Why bother with anything more than the stock code and current value when checking your portfolio? Why bother with fancy graphics when looking at the New York Times daily (via AvantGo)? Web clipping, even if its current implementation on the Palm VII is proprietary, is by far the best way around the bandwidth-blues and screen-squeeze of PDAs. The first may someday go away, but the second will always be with us, until someone invents the spatially collapsing pocket.

In an ideal world, web clipping will be replaced with new browsers for PDAs that use ONLY the W3C's standards. XHTML Strict is easier to parse than HTML, so the browser can be smaller and lighter. If the PDA market embraces the W3C's standards work, designed specifically for that market, then as wireless PDA use grows it can force the rest of the industry to change and grow up and use open standards. Of course, that's not financially advantageous in the short term, so the chances of it happening are slim unless some company actually gets the balls to do something for the community rather than stockholders.

For the optimist, there's the W3C standards. For everthing else, there's PQA-style web clipping.

--GrouchoMarx

PQA good, custom apps better
bcombee @ 2/12/2001 6:31:39 AM #
Based on what I'm seeing on the dev forums, I think the real growth area for the VII/VIIx is custom applications. In the last few months we've seen releases and/or demonstrations of interoperable email solutions (Aileron), online chatting (VChat), financial management (Stock Manager), and more. PQA's are great, but custom apps will really sell the devices.

Commercial failure, research success

I.M. Anonymous @ 2/12/2001 2:21:46 AM #
The sales numbers are pretty clear about its failure. (Though I'm sure it's successful relative to horrible WAP service on horrible WAP browsing cell phones... just less hyped because it's semi-proprietary).

On the other hand, I think it's a great research success. Palm VII* and Palm.net customers are funding Palm's research into wireless services; essentially paying to be beta testers. They're getting value for their money, but it's obvious that this service isn't for everyone, and won't be until Palm continuously applies what they're learning from their customers.

And what might they be learning? Which applications customers run, what service plans people subscribe to, what information people customers access, when they access it, and how they use it. All of this is very valuable information that few other firms are able to capture because they don't have the same end-to-end integration that Palm has, combining control of the interface, hardware, network, and (relatively) content. They are gaining a clear view of what works and what doesn't that no one else is gaining, on a very large test group (over 100K users is HUGE for research purposes). If that's not a success, then I don't know what is.

Personally, I used to be a Palm VII user. In fact, I was a beta tester of the service. Web Clipping is amazing; right on target in terms of how I think the information can be usefully and relevantly presented.

I've since given my Palm VII to a brother of a friend, and I pay for his service. He's getting a lot of use out of it. I prefer my Palm Vx because it has more RAM and an outstanding form factor. If the Palm VIIx had the case of a Palm Vx, I'd get it in a second; it's just that the incremental benefit of wireless access isn't significant enough for me to give up the great feeling of carrying around the Palm Vx, particularly when most of the places I travel to have Internet access points nearby.

Plus, the bandwidth is much too low; it's most useful to me in its messaging capacity. I compromise and use the Multimail conduit with Multimail and my IMAP account; it's just about as good. If I needed wireless, I'd use OmniSky; in fact I can, as I have a friend who doesn't use his OmniSky modem. But in this case, I don't want to give up having my programs in Flash using FlashPro, which doesn't work well with OmniSky.

I guess it's just that for me, wireless access is an impulse kind of thing most of the time -- meaning that I don't need to know information immediately most of the time, I can wait until I HotSync or until I get to a computer that's on the net. For those times in which I need to know something now, I just pick up my cellphone and call someone. When I _need_ to have wireless service (which I don't project any time soon) I'll probably get OmniSky or hope that 3G stuff is out. In the interim, I'm pretty happy with syncing up...

Matthew

VII/VIIx Good Enough

bcombee @ 2/12/2001 6:17:05 AM #
I think the VII/VIIx line succeeds in being the most usable wireless amoung all the selections available. I use my VIIx constantly; email access, chatting online, and web clipping are all very useful. When I shop, I take it with me and pull up price comparisons from Amazon and buy.com to see if something's a good deal. When I'm on the road, I can send off quick emails, something especially nice with the Palm Portable Keyboard.

Its biggest fault is the lack of push to the device, but its not too bad with clever software design. For example, in VChat, the VII-based chat room program my team distributed at PalmSource, we enabled a Star Trek communicator mode, where just flipping up the antenna had it go and check for new messages, enabling a very natural usage style.

Custom applications are what will make the VII's shine. Web clipping is nice, but getting the units hooked up into the enterprise is where Palm can win. With the critical mass of wireless programmers focusing on the Palm finally getting established, I think the VII's have a bright future

Especially if they can update them to color and add the SD slot with a new casing, :)

Let's be realistic

I.M. Anonymous @ 2/12/2001 10:44:56 AM #
Now that palm made the terrible mistake of anouncing a NEW generation of palms, why would anyone buy a VII, if it's gonna be a piece of obsolete technology as late as may?

Palm's main strong suit over the pigs at microsoft was that microsoft products become old every six months or so, while products like the palm V, or the non color III series palms have been around for years, and they're still in the "main" palm lineup. Quoth the raven, nevermore! Now the new IIIc and VII/x will become OLD stuff by the time of may 20 or so.

So if palms are gona age as fast and ungracefully as microsoft products, why to buy a palm? People in general think "why to buy a palm now? Let's either wait until may and buy a new next gen palm that will be old in maybe 8 months, or buy a pocket pc that will give me mp3 player, pocket internet explorer and word, and that even if it will be old in 8 months, will be a good gameboy/mp3 player/palm substitute easily".

Either way, its the IIIc's and VII'S loss.

So its a no brainer, when palm recently gave up on their "products that won't become old in 8 months" philosophy, they competed peer to peer against microsoft's 200+ mhz product line (I want to see the new 40 mhz generation of palms compete to that)

If palm had holded on their new generation at least 2 years, people would have actually thought on buyin palm's current generation, but who will buy somethign to learn in may thta it's been discotinued/terminated/laughable?

RE: Let's be realistic
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/13/2001 10:45:21 AM #
If the technology is useful to you, it's not all that obsolete. If you can get over the 'gotta have the latest and greatest" factor, you can get 90% of the technology for 50% of the price. The IIIc came down to $330 recently. ANd if you want some thing with an OS you can use, don't get a PocketPC. The hardware is nice, the OS is actively user hostile.

The numbers are wrong...way wrong

Michael @ 2/12/2001 6:24:00 PM #
Folks,

FYI, we (Palm) are talking with the Giga folks to get a correction. There are actually well over 150,000 palm.net subscribers from Palm VII and VIIx handhelds (actually, closer to 200k by this point in time).

You can form your own conclusions about the success of the product, but given the relatively high price of the VIIx compared to our other products, I think that's not bad at all.

We'd love to see broader network coverage, but that's a function of the Mobitex network, and the coverage is not bad in urban areas. You wouldn't want to use most of today's cell phone networks for the Palm VII as you have to dial to make a connection. The cool thing about Mobitex is that you connect almost instantly.

Mike



RE: The numbers are wrong...way wrong
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/14/2001 11:05:18 AM #
Hello Michael,

Thank you for coming on and clarifying this issue. As of November 30, 2000. PALM.NET users total about 150,000 according the PALM's 2Q conference call with Wall Street. Now given the fact that up until January 15th, 2001 PALM management has not been able to agressively market(promote) the VIIx (because of continuous key parts shortages for the VIIX), 150,000 subscibers is not bad at all.

Now, since January 15th, as promised in the 2Q CC, management stated that after qualifing a new supplier and a re-design of the VIIX to qualify this new supplier, the VIIx would be available in plentifull quantities, allowing PALM to finally agressively promote the VIIx. As part of this promotion, they have lowered the price $50, increased media ads and have had several in-store VIIx workshops with potential Customers. In my checks with 50 online retailers and 40 brick and mortar retailers, I can calculate that PALM had shipped roughly 400,000 - 500,000 Palm VIIx since January 15, 2001.

I consider that a success, NOT a failure.

Don't you think?



RE: The numbers are wrong...way wrong
Michael @ 2/15/2001 8:00:48 PM #
Thanks, Mr. or Ms. Anonymous. And yes, I agree. I didn't want to engage in anything that people might view as vendor hype, but I agree with your take on the success of VII.

Michael Mace
CCO & VP Product Planning
Palm

I Didn't Know I Had So Many Friends

Talldog @ 2/14/2001 3:02:51 PM #
It's nice to see some real VII/VIIx users out there who appreciate their devices as much as I do. It seems like most of the dissin' that I see comes from people who don't even own wireless devices, and frankly don't get it. I know the points have already been made, but I have to say it anyway.

1. It's the only one-piece, out of the box solution other than Blackberry. The Blackberry is a nice device with a bright future, but I can do much more with my VIIx.

2. The Palm.net/Mobitex coverage is better than Omnisky. Incidentally, the regular Blackberry uses the Mobitex network, too. You can get Blackberry models that use the Motient network, but it's more expensive and burns batteries like kindling.

3. You CAN surf the web with DPWeb, KBrowser (WAP), and now with MyPalm's beta software. I do it all the time.

4. Aileron is a terrific full-function mail client that supports attachments. And, if you're a cheap bastard (not that there's anything wrong with that), you can get your wireless email with ThinAir and iPopper for free.

5. PQAs are the best way to get targeted content in a limited bandwidth environment. Even many Omnisky users have tweaked their configurations so that they can use PQAs.

6. Comparing the sales figures of the $400 wireless VIIx to the $150, entry level, small screen m100 and calling it a failure is like calling the Mustang GT a failure because Ford sells more Escorts.

All I want is more memory and color. If I can get that, I'll even keep the same form factor.


RE: I Didn't Know I Had So Many Friends
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/15/2001 8:13:21 PM #
Great summary. Every few months I feel like the money I invested in my VII was so much more worth it when a new "killer app" comes out (recently PICQ). My VII is the device I have been waiting a decade for, and it rocks. So what if newer and better things are coming? The VII is here now, blwing a lot of people away. New awesome apps come out regularly, greatly enhancing the value of the product. I do not regret getting it at all!

Palm VII Not "A Flop"

I.M. Anonymous @ 2/16/2001 2:30:01 AM #
I was on the ground floor of the Palm VII debut and apparently one of the first of the 150,000 purported owners.

I like the VII for its wireless functionality and I'm not overly put off by the web-clipping type of interface as opposed to true surfing. I say this because I also have a Go America account with a Merlin Card which I use in my laptop. When comparing the two, I find that a form over substance analogy prevails here: in other words, it's nice the Merlin has the ability to not only surf but also display full web pages in their normal format, but the drawback is that it's a slow and arduous process. On the other hand, the VII tends to pull in only the information needed and ostensibly transmits the same. Of course, depending on location, the VII can be painfully slow for those of us who are spoiled, but all in all I feel it was a good technology for the day.

I would definitely like to see the VII incorporate CDPD tecnology and move away from the Bell South Proprietary network. This, perhaps would greatly enhance not only functionality but also coverage. It would also be nice to see the VII incorporate the SanDisk SD cards for added memory. Let's face it; Sandisk can put 340MB on a postage stamp yet the VII ships with 2MB. You do the math and the measurements. Overall, I'll give the VII a thumb's up...


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