Sony T415 Discontinued? (Updated)

Sony's monochrome PEG-T415 now appears on the official company webstore listed as "Sold Out". Based on past experience, this is a strong indication that the model has been discontinued. If so, it will have had the shortest handheld product lifespan on record, as it first appeared in stores in the U.S. in late November of last year, a bit over four months ago.

Update: According to a Sony spokesperson, the T415 has not been discontinued. It is only temporarily out of stock.

By all indications, the T415 hasn't been a big success for Sony. Though it was introduced at $300, the company dropped its price by $50 less than two months after its introduction and dropped it another $30 about a month after that.

The T415 is a 320 by 320 monochrome model. Though only .39 inches thick, it has a Jog Dial and a Memory Stick slot. It runs Palm OS 4.1 and has 8 MB of RAM and 4 MB of Flash ROM. It uses the 33 MHz Dragonball processor from Motorola. Its infrared port has been enhanced to let it be used as a TV/VCR remote and it has an improved speaker and audio abilities.

Though it has received good marks for its super-slim case, its monochrome screen has been a frequent source of complaints.

The T415's 8 MB of RAM is less than that in the S360, which is cheaper. It's possible Sony intends to release an updated version of the T415 with more memory, as it did recently with the S320.

Thanks to Alan for the tip. -Ed

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One more nail in the monochrome coffin

I.M. Anonymous @ 4/3/2002 8:42:24 AM #
Monochrome PDA's are living on borrowed time. Yes, I know Palm's m100 series are cheap and plentiful and big sellers, but once color PDA's drop to $200, monochrome will be but a fading memory

RE: One more nail in the monochrome coffin
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/3/2002 8:59:50 AM #
Do not use the worst screen ever built to discuss the fate of monochrome/greyscale screens. Current color screens are nothing to get excited about either given their current lighting and power requirements.

The death of the T415 should be the final nail in the coffin of screens that are completely unreadable even with the backlight on. Why someone would release a device with a screen like the T415 in the first place is beyond me anyhow.

RE: One more nail in the monochrome coffin
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/3/2002 9:05:57 AM #
I disagree. Now, if you said "One more nail in the overpriced-monochrome-with-a-hideous-screen coffin," then I would agree.

I think the idea of a monochrome handheld in an ultra-thin case is a dead issue. The Palm V series was the first, last, and ultimate expression of that combination. Visor Edge and Clie T415 have both failed miserably. Palm m500 has been disappointing, because it's basically just a Vx with an SD slot and USB. There is still a market for monochrome, but it is at the low end, where people aren't that concerned about thin or about hi-res. The m100/105 have sold very well, but they'll be discontinued soon because of lack of expandability and USB. The m125 and the S360 will still be viable handhelds for another year, maybe 2 on the outside.

Meanwhile, people are want thinner/more pocketable also seek color. This most likely includes PIC readers. So I think your comment projects your own interests on the general population, which simply doesn't work.

RE: One more nail in the monochrome coffin
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/3/2002 9:56:18 AM #
Monochrome is about to die but there is no rush for that. I, like many peoples, don't need color. But I do need long battery life. Furthermore, the price is lower. And I think, except if you have a specific need for color, that a good monochrome unit is better than a cheap color pda (like the T415). Everybody know that color screen will, in the future, be in all units. But according to your words, it's like the future is now. Sorry but later is not now ;)

RE: One more nail in the monochrome coffin
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/3/2002 11:38:47 AM #
>> And I think, except if you have a specific need for color, that a good monochrome unit is better than a cheap color pda (like the T415). <<

Except that the term "a good monochrome unit" doesn't fit the T415. It's being discontinued as a natural consequence of its lack of demand.

RE: One more nail in the monochrome coffin
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/3/2002 12:26:38 PM #
You're right. The T415 is a monchrome unit. You are also right when you say that it was not successful because of it's cheap screen rather than because it's monochrome. It's too bad because there is not much choice at this price range.

RE: One more nail in the monochrome coffin
LC @ 4/3/2002 1:27:27 PM #
I remember way back when I wanted my parents to get me a color monitor for my apple //e... My father asked simply for me to tell him WHY color was so important for school work... I eventually came up with a good answer because I got the screen.
It seems to me that every once in a while this argument crops up in one form or another.

Why color for a kid's computer...


Then, many years later the SAME arguments that are NOW being made for/against color/mono where made for laptop (portable!) screens. Battery consumption; you don't need color to run word(star/perfect etal) or 123/excel. and what happened? I doubt that you can find one NEW laptop for sale anywhere in the world that has a mono screen (apart from very specialized or rugedized machines)

Same for handhelds/pda's eventually there won't be any mono devices (appart from the VERY low end, just the same as with TV's) everyone will assume color.

Weather it is necesary for your phone book or notepad is irrelevant, tech marches on sometimes just for innovations sake.

I read somewhere that Sharp or Samsung came out with a mono 18" Flat Panel TV they could market for <$200.00 (with tv tuner) but that the first comment that their test marketing subjects made was "But I can't watch TV in B/W!" Heck, if I could buy it I would.. I don't NEED color in the kitchen but I do need counterspace! :)

RE: One more nail in the monochrome coffin
Scott @ 4/3/2002 3:13:25 PM #
"It seems to me that every once in a while this argument crops up in one form or another."

And, once again, I'm joining in with the "monochrome" crowd. I love color. I'll pay extra for color. I won't mind decreased battery life. But monochrome is not dead in the PDA world and won't be a for a little while yet. Sure, its death will come eventually. The arguments about a color TV or even a color laptop are different than when dealing with a PDA. Aside from the battery life issue, remember that the cost of the screen is a significant percentage of the entire cost of a PDA. On a laptop, that percentage is much smaller. Until the difference in cost between a monochrome PDA screen and a color PDA screen is about $5, manufacturers will still be able to produce significantly less expensive PDAs which are monochrome than are color.

RE: One more nail in the monochrome coffin
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/3/2002 4:23:15 PM #
Small B/W screen is dead, unless for under $100 PDA.

RE: One more nail in the monochrome coffin
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/3/2002 4:55:01 PM #
> Small B/W screen is dead, unless for under $100 PDA.

That's funny, the small B&W screen PDAs over $100 far outsell color PDAs by a large margin.

RE: One more nail in the monochrome coffin
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/3/2002 6:08:27 PM #
Color TV sets, when first introduced, were considered
an expensive luxury; now more than 95% of all television sets
sold, even in 3rd word markets, are color. Color
computer monitors, when first introduced, were considered
to be much too expensive and too hard to read. Now it's very
hard to buy a new monochrome monitor, except for very
specialized and expensive document imaging applications.
All laptops used to have monochrome displays; I haven't
seen a monochrome laptop for years.

Color Palmtops will eventually dominate the market.

That said, there will be monochrome Palmtops produced
for a long time. There are at least 2 reasons why:

There are many people who will value battery life
more than color, and a color display will always
require more power for the same contrast ratio.

Aging baby-boomers with declining eyesight will value
high contrast over color and it's more costly to make
a color display with as high a contrast as a
monochrome display with around same power consumption.

(things may change when color OLED panel's become cheap
to manufacture in quantity.)

Monochrome isn't dead; it's just getting focused to
the niches of lowest entry cost, highest readability,
and longest battery life.

The t415 is a bad example of doing monochrome right.
Maybe Sony will fix the display. Maybe they're just
going to upgrade the memory to 16MB or the CPU to
66 MHz to stay competitive. If you look at Walkman's;
Sony produced zillions of models to cover all kinds
of market niches. I fully expect a kid-proof
"My First Clie"(tm) someday soon.

RE: One more nail in the monochrome coffin
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/3/2002 6:45:19 PM #
I really think the issue of battery life is being breezed over here. Color, especially high-contrast bright screen color is a huge battery drain. The other day I took my first long passenger trip since I got my m505. I was playing Bejeweled with the back light on because it was dark out. After playing for about two hours I realized that my previously full battery was now nearly empty. I didn't bring my recharger on the trip because I had gotten used to getting at least 5 or 6 hours of use with my Palm V with the backlighting on. I spent the rest of my trip trying not to use my Palm in order to preserve what little battery life I had left.

The moral: I am thinking about buying a cheap mono screened Palm for use on long trips.

Mono won't die until they can figure out how to make a readable low-power color screen that has the same battery life as a mono screen with the backlight on.

RE: One more nail in the monochrome coffin
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/3/2002 9:06:35 PM #
> Mono won't die until they can figure out how to make a
> readable low-power color screen that has the same
> battery life as a mono screen with the backlight on.

Ugh. I hope we can do better than that. Mono screens with the backlight on still suck power pretty fast.

RE: One more nail in the monochrome coffin
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/3/2002 10:51:08 PM #
Don't talk about Palm V battery life. It's garbage. The moment I returned mine to get my CLIE... My N7160 has the best battery life I've seen...

ciaran

RE: One more nail in the monochrome coffin
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/4/2002 2:12:14 AM #
Oh ya, another nail buddy in the coffin. Another year and monochrome will be in $100 devices or less. When we get a taste of os5 multimedia features, we will all want color! Die monochrome, die!

RE: One more nail in the monochrome coffin
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/4/2002 6:41:18 AM #
The screen on the T415 was a disgrace. It was marketed as a "paperwhite" screen but it was not even in the same league as the m500 or Edge screens. I'm glad to see this sorry chapter in PDA history closed and I hope that Sony has learned not to mislead its customers.

RE: One more nail in the monochrome coffin
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/4/2002 7:07:13 AM #
I bought a Palm IIIc and have been getting about a 14 hour battery life. Sounds a lot better than all this 2-5 hour battery life crap I've been hearing.

Odd sntence....

sub_tex @ 4/3/2002 8:50:34 AM #
"This it has received good marks for its super-slim case, its monochrome screen has been a frequent source of complaints."

Shouldn't that say "THOUGH it has received..."

RE: Odd sntence....
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/3/2002 8:57:00 AM #
Shouldn't your subject say "RE: Odd sentence"?

RE: Odd sentence....
Ed @ 4/3/2002 8:59:22 AM #
You are correct on both accounts.

---
News Editor
RE: Odd sntence....
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/3/2002 11:45:35 AM #
Shouldn't that be counts?

RE: Odd sntence....
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/3/2002 11:47:57 AM #
That's corright

RE: Odd sentence....
Ed @ 4/3/2002 12:33:05 PM #
* sigh * Go easy on me. It's been a hard week.

---
News Editor
RE: Odd sntence....
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/3/2002 4:06:19 PM #
LMAO
-soph

RE: Odd sntence....
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/3/2002 7:01:23 PM #
Well....this has been entertaining....=)

Image looks like a color screen

I.M. Anonymous @ 4/3/2002 9:08:10 AM #
Did they really show pictures of this handheld looking like it has a color screen? You can plainly see reds and blues against a white background. No wonder they got complaints!

RE: Image looks like a color screen
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/3/2002 9:10:52 AM #
> No wonder they got complaints!

The screen on the T415 was unreadable under most any condition. If it had even looked nearly as good as any of the Palm monochrome screens, or the Sony S-series, it probably would have sold fairly well.


Sony takeover?

LiveFaith @ 4/3/2002 9:04:53 AM #
Is there any way that Sony can make $$$ on products with such short lifespans. I doubt it. Seems they are developing and marketing "radically" new products at a 2:1 speed over Palm and H/S etc.

My inclination is that they are paying out whatever it takes to own the Palm hardware market. I don't know the stats, but from a product perspective it looks like they are doing a pretty good job of it?

Pat Horne; www.churchoflivingfaith.com

RE: Sony takeover?
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/3/2002 1:15:05 PM #
Sony already owns Asia Palm market.
( or dominate)


RE: Sony takeover?
spartacvs @ 4/3/2002 1:35:41 PM #
It's better to remove a bad product than leave it in the market.
Of course, Sony shouldn't have release it but the damage is done so they take the best solution to correct their mistake.

같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같
Shoot, a fella' could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff.
Dr. Strangelove
RE: Sony takeover?
LC @ 4/3/2002 9:22:56 PM #
I don't know but would it be conceivable that sony comes out with this palm device for secondary markets?
Maybe africa, latin america etc? That way they recoup their investments? I know that some other CE companies do this and well it makes a certain sort of sense in as they have the tooling for it....

I remember reading about an Indian PDA that was supposed to do all of these marvelous things for a retail price of about $200.00 and it occurs to me that at the lower price points (<200) people don't seem to care as much about screen quality..


= = =
LC =
= = =

RE: Sony takeover?
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/5/2002 9:12:37 AM #
Sony is taking the pda market by storm, they have the ability to do the r&d and if they make a product flop they can it and go back to the drawing board. In the past the companys developing palm os handhelds havent had the financial resources that sony has now. There is always heavy losses involved when entering a new market but the prospect of future profits is what keeps great technolgy coming out. I seriously doubt that sony has made any profit on it's palm devices to date.

What will fill this hole?

I.M. Anonymous @ 4/3/2002 9:07:43 AM #
I loved this unit, except for that green screen. I wonder if Sony has it's hands on a OLED screen to make this colour, but keep the thinness. The OLED screens can be 1mm thick! But then that would just be a thin 615c right... makes sense to bring together the best of both worlds. I'd LOVE a colour 415 sized palm with a thumkeyboard off the Blackberry. I don't think I'd ever put it down!!

RE: What will fill this hole?
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/3/2002 9:14:24 AM #
Green? The screen of the T415 was black. It looked black no matter what was displayed on it. The T615 is essentially the same device, in color, only slightly thicker.

RE: What will fill this hole?
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/3/2002 9:16:56 AM #
I think the answer to your question is "dirt." This hole NEEDS to be here. There is no market for a product in this class, especially at that price. Add to that the lousy screen, and you have an inferior product with no market. Not exactly the formula for profits, is it?

RE: What will fill this hole?
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/3/2002 9:19:40 AM #
>> The screen of the T415 was black. <<

I think you've been assessing the T415 screen based on the "screenshots" (i.e., simulated images) Sony posted on its website. The T415 may be trying to be black-on-white, but it clearly has a greenish tint to it, especially with the backlight on.

RE: What will fill this hole?
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/3/2002 10:28:06 AM #
> I think you've been assessing the T415 screen based on the
> "screenshots" (i.e., simulated images) Sony posted on its website.
> The T415 may be trying to be black-on-white [...]

No, I've used the T415. There is is no white. There is no green. The screen was mostly black with a dark muddy brown-grey in the areas that were supposed to be "white". Unless you were looking at it point blank with the backlight on, the entire screen appeared completely black.

RE: What will fill this hole?
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/3/2002 11:41:55 AM #
OK, I misunderstood. I thought you meant it looked black-on-white, and you were saying it was just black-on-black, can't-see-it mud. Thanks for the clarification.

RE: What will fill this hole?
big_raji @ 4/3/2002 11:43:39 AM #
When I had a T415, it was clearly blue. Not green. Not black. Blue.

All the blacks were dark blue.

All the whites were not-so-dark blue.

All the greys were sort-of-dark blue.

Blue.

Obviously, I was very unhappy with my T415. Add to that the fact that 90% of apps that supported Hi-Res Sony did NOT support monochrome.

How's that for a kick in the nuts?

---
If you sing in french while hopping on one foot, the evil birds won't come out of your bathroom mirror.

RE: What will fill this hole?
LanMan @ 4/3/2002 2:08:26 PM #
When you say that the T415 won't work with 90% of "hi-res" apps, do you mean that you just get 160x160 pixels displayed or the app won't work at all?

I'm thinking of buying a T415 and would like to know if the unit has problems with apps. I'm familar with the screen darkness issue, but I would like to know if the unit is flawed other than that.

Thanks

<><

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