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Rumor: Bluetooth Memory Stick Available Soon Outside Japan

According to an anonymous source, Sony is close to releasing its Bluetooth Memory Stick in Europe. If this report is correct, it will be available in about a month for between 130 and 150 inc VAT.

This might be an indication that the company will be releasing it in the U.S. at about the same time, but this isn't definite. Bluetooth has a much larger foothold in Europe than it does in the U.S.

In March, Sony began selling the PEGA-MSB1, its Bluetooth Memory Stick, only in Japan. It allows Sony's handhelds to wirelessly connect to Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones to check email and even surf the Web. It can also connect to other peripherals like printers as long as they use Bluetooth as well.

Brando is already offering the Japanese version of the MSB1 on his webstore, which will work with non-Japanese handhelds. It is $210.

About Bluetooth
Bluetooth is a low-powered, short-range wireless network technology best suited for mobile devices, as they may not have enough power to support 802.11b signals. It creates a Personal Area Network (PAN) by directly connecting two devices together within a range of approximately 10 to 100 meters depending on power levels. It is also being used as a networking option for mobile devices.

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$$$

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/14/2002 11:19:04 AM #
Wasn't Bluetooth supposed to be a low-cost wireless technology?
RE: $$$
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/14/2002 11:33:58 AM #
not when sony makes it in a memory stick format, its initial inception was to be integrated wich would have kept the cost down
RE: $$$
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/14/2002 11:51:33 AM #
I could have sworn I just read something on C-Net not more than a week ago stating Bluetooth chip prices around $5 bulk. With manufacturing costs, R&D, and everything else I couldn't expect these units to cost more than $60 retail. Even at that price they would make a killing by selling in volume.

I'm a PDA geek and would not even think about buying one for $200.

--Dave

RE: $$$
PengLord @ 6/14/2002 12:05:23 PM #
$100 tops, considering I can get a adapter for my PC for about $30US on ebay

RE: $$$
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/14/2002 12:07:18 PM #
You can't forget the $200 LED on the top of the stick that glows a cool blue. Without that, who needs Bluetooth?
RE: $$$
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/14/2002 12:35:21 PM #
> I could have sworn I just read something on C-Net not more than a week ago
> stating Bluetooth chip prices around $5 bulk.

That Texas Instruments Bluetooth chip was just announced. Previous chipsets have been more expensive, leading to more expensive products. Hopefully, in a few months there will be much cheaper Bluetooth options.

Don't forget, you are paying the Early Adopters' Tax, too. I read something in Scientific American that said in 1952, a single transistor was selling for $50. That's in 1952 dollars. What do they cost now? Pennies? Less? Give it some time and the price of Bluetooth will drop in the same way.

RE: $$$
tipds @ 6/14/2002 1:18:03 PM #
That's true. Companies typically try to make up for all it's development costs early in the product cycle. This ensures the product will become profitable. This is especially true in the high-tech market, where a product will typically only sell for 2 yrs. As mentioned, new chip sets are on the way, so a whole new development process will be necessary. If they can't turn the current model into a profit soon, it never will. You should also consider the time value of your purchase. Maybe you pay more to get it early. On the other hand, you will have had use of the device for much longer when they are obsolete. i.e. Break it down to $/day. If you pay $200 for it now, and get 3 years of use out of it, you came out better than paying $100 for it two years later, when you'd only get a year's use out of it.

I'm not saying the product is worth $200, but it's just something to help husbands justify it to their wives.(G)

Tip DS

RE: $$$
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/14/2002 1:45:03 PM #
"Don't forget, you are paying the Early Adopters' Tax, too. I read something in Scientific American that said in 1952, a single transistor was selling for $50. That's in 1952 dollars. What do they cost now? Pennies? Less? Give it some time and the price of Bluetooth will drop in the same way."

Without a doubt I agree with you. I understand to be "cutting edge" you are going to have to spend some $. I just happen to think a $200 transmitter is a bit much even by todays "technology standards". Think of the current crop of Bluetooth enabled phones. Are they $400? I'm not sure but I doubt it.

--Dave

RE: $$$
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/14/2002 4:33:48 PM #
more than $400.

The ericsson t68 is around $600.

Every bluetooth product that is available now costs alot.

RE: $$$
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/14/2002 6:00:57 PM #
Wow, that is a lot. I didn't know the phones were that much. So to be able to Bluetooth to a cell phone I'll need to spend ~$450 (if $600 is the going price) more than I normally spend on a decent phone today plus $200 for the MS device. $650 just to be able to "cut the cord". I don't think so. I'll wait till about this time next year and see what happens price wise.

--Dave

RE: $$$
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/14/2002 8:14:53 PM #
The Ericsson T68 with bluetooth is $199 at ATTWS and cheaper with some mLife plans.

www.shopattwireless.com/webcode/main/phones.asp


RE: $$$
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/14/2002 11:03:18 PM #
I don't see the T68 listed for sale on that ATTwireless site....only the the R300LX and the T60LX.

Where can I find a US provider selling the T68?

RE: $$$
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/14/2002 11:39:35 PM #
$199 for a T68 is probably a sim-locked
phone with contract (meaning that the cellular
phone provider probably gave discounts up front
on the phone to ensure a steady stream of
revenue later on). That isn't comparing apples
to oranges. Just like getting a Treo activated
will be cheaper.

Try comparing a T68 sim-unlocked with no contract.

RE: $$$
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/15/2002 8:37:25 AM #
A t39m with bluetooth costs FREE with airtime contract.
RE: $$$
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/16/2002 3:46:18 AM #
In Canada, the T68i can be had for about $450 CDN.
RE: $$$
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/19/2002 1:46:14 PM #
Just got a t39m for free with voicestream's "get more" service activation at an indirect reseller.

I'd rather wait...

big_raji @ 6/14/2002 1:57:22 PM #
Should I spend $150 on a BT memory stick for my Clie n610? Or should I sell my clie on eBay, and spend the extra $150 to get a new Palm with integrated bluetooth in a few months?

You all know it will happen.

---
What's Wrong With This Picture?
http://raj.phangureh.com/picture.html

RE: I'd rather wait...
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/14/2002 4:27:46 PM #
Few months? My bet is not before christmas.
RE: I'd rather wait...
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/14/2002 11:42:11 PM #
Not necessarily. If you look at the PocketPC scene, you'll actually find that a lot of the machines are starting to have 802.11b and Bluetooth integrated. (Case in point, the Ipaq and the Toshiba e740).

I don't see why sony or palm WOULDN'T start integrating these same wireless features in, as these features are mainly aimed towards the business or high end users - ie) palm/sony can charge a higher premium, therefore a better gross margin.

RE: I'd rather wait...
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/15/2002 7:31:02 PM #
Palm with Bluetooth integrated probably will
come with 5.0, I guess.

I read that some ARM chips have BT support built,
probably make it cheaper to have BT then.


Has anyone tried it?

ssummer @ 6/14/2002 1:58:41 PM #
Has anyone actually tried the Bluetooth MS with a BT cell phone to surf the web? If so, how is the experience/performance?

RE: Has anyone tried it?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/16/2002 11:24:05 PM #
I've tried it.

Actually, it already included a English Driver on the CD-ROM comes with it. I have tried it on my N760C, which works out fine.

I don't need a Japanese machine to use it. So... I think this product was made for World Wide, just release in Japan first.

RE: Has anyone tried it?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 9:13:57 AM #
I've tried it too... bought it here in Singapore and I don't speak a lick of Japanese. The English drivers are obvious because they don't have the _JAjp or whatever on them... Also, the performance using dialup (9600 baud) with my Ericsson T68 isn't bad. I've tried the GPRS too and it connects quickly, but I think my provider has coverage issues... (M1 here in Sing.)

Also, just synched today with my laptop and it worked great, except it was slower than my USB cable.. convenient, but disappointing.

The extra Bluetooth drivers are easy to use, but a bit clunky. (takes a few clicks to disable the BT mem stick - since it drains a bit more power)

All in all, I'm pretty happy with it. However, Bluetooth is still a bit clunky to setup and it isn't as automatic as you'd expect - usually requires a manually initiated connection.

Hope that all helps. By the way, you can also buy it at http://www.expansys.com - they have a great Bluetooth section of their website.

Cheers.

What gives?

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/14/2002 3:52:16 PM #
Sony is abandoning MS for all intents and purposes. They will be moving to the new small stick (ala, copy of SD/MMC) so why would anyone buy this overpriced bluetooth stick when they know it will become obsolete in less than 6 months. The answer: sony will come out with a new tiny bluetooth stick for their new devices and you'll have to buy the same device for a second time. Sony is just abusing the hell out of you moron sonyphiles.....
RE: What gives?
mikemusick @ 6/14/2002 4:27:44 PM #
Huh? The new mini-MS is a memory-only product, at least as conveyed in Sony's announcements. The "full-size" MS is their only hardware expansion medium for the foreseeable future.

Now that, of course, doesn't get into Sony's proclivity to try to bundle every peripheral they deign you to have into the device itself, a la NR-70V.

RE: What gives?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/14/2002 4:28:39 PM #
You are not correct.

The MS Duo will be used mainly for mobile phones and other smaller devices.

The normal MS will not be discontinued.

Check www.memorystick.org for more info.

RE: What gives?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/14/2002 4:30:19 PM #
Troll, your first sentence is wrong already.

http://www.palminfocenter.com/view_Story.asp?ID=3582

Sony is not replacing MS with Duo. They will coexist & serve different purposes (Duo for memory storage, MS for I/O devices), so that you can take pictures using a MS camera module, and store them in a Duo; or use a MS GPS, and stores the maps in a Duo. Get it?

And hello, when Sony come out with a new Duo Bluetooth, or built-in bluetooh Clie, why would I need to buy the same device for a second time? Because Sony planted a time-bomb in the MS bluetooth stick that will suddenly explode when a new Bluetooth stick is released?

Troll, let me say this one more time: it's good that companies release new things fast, so that consumers will have a choice. Old devices do not obsolete because new devices come out.

Analogy: Your computer still function well when Intel releases a Pentium 4 2.2GHz right? If you need those fast processors, upgrade. If you only do email/word processing, continue to use your old machine which serves you well. Do you complain to Intel & AMD asking them to stop releasing new processors for 2 years?

I know, you might say that "no no no, Sony's new devices use different adaptor/connector, so old Clie obsolete". While this is somewhat true, most software continues to run on old & new Clie/Palm/Handspring. Sony releasing new connector is like Compaq releasing a new port replicator connector on their laptops. If you need lots of hardware accessories, get a Palm, and good for you! We have choices, and that's good.

Just don't complain that old devices obsolete the minute a new one comes out; and nobody force you to upgrade whenever a new one comes out.

RE: What gives?
Ed @ 6/14/2002 4:39:51 PM #
As others have said, the Duo Memory Stick format isn't a replacement for regular Memory Sticks; Sony will continue to make both through at least 2005. In addition, it projects that regular Memory Sticks will outsell Duo ones for the foreseeable future.

You might want to read this article with more details on Sony's plans for the Memory Stick and Memory Stick Duo:
www.palminfocenter.com/view_Story.asp?ID=3582

---
News Editor

RE: What gives?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/14/2002 4:51:28 PM #
I am not a Troll. I own a sony PDA you nin-com-poop. I just don't like how quickly sony makes something good and then trun around and make it obsolete. Thanks to ED for claryfing the point that MS is not going away. I like this site very much. keep up the good work Ed.
RE: What gives?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/14/2002 11:46:24 PM #
But the point is, if you're happy with your PDA,
it DOESN'T MATTER if Sony makes something new!
Your PDA WILL STILL WORK JUST LIKE WHEN YOU GOT IT.

If you want the newest and coolest, be prepared to
pay money for it. That's the fact of life. Just
like a previous poster wrote, when Intel releases
a new chip, your OLD CHIP WILL STILL WORK. IT IS
NOT OBSOLETE!

Allready available for (pre-?) order.

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/14/2002 4:31:19 PM #
You can order it from www.expansys.com.

Link: http://www.expansys.com/product.asp?code=PEGA-MSB1&curr=UKP

Their pricing is about 170.

RE: Already available for (pre-?) order.
mikemusick @ 6/14/2002 5:27:26 PM #
Expansys supports US ordering, just click on "US Dollars" on the left menu. Current price is $210.25. Advantage of Expansis is they support credit card ordering, while Brando has to have wire transfers. However, from earlier threads in the Sony forum, it appears that Expansys (like Brando) might be selling "gray market" Japanese-packaged units.

The "130 - 150 inc VAT" corresponds to $160 to $180 (after subtracting the 17.5% UK VAT). I'm going to wait a couple of more weeks to see if the prognostication for a U.S. release comes true, otherwise I'll pony-up the extra bucks. Still too much, yes, but that's life. I've had the BT support on the desktop and laptop for months, and if I'm going to get the jump on supporting this in my software I'm just going to have to swallow it. :(

RE: Allready available for (pre-?) order.
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/14/2002 7:31:46 PM #
Well, I have always ordered from Brando with my credit card. Works like a charm.
RE: Allready available for (pre-?) order.
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 8:56:25 AM #
This shop in Singapore is where I purchased mine. It was cheaper than either expansys or brando.($187 incl. 2 day fed ex shiping to US)

In this case I do not think it is grey market because Sony is actually selling it in Singapore. By shipping to the US, though, I guess it becomes grey market. Maybe just semantics, but cheaper none the less.

Unfortunatly they appear to be out of stock now. I have e-mailed the shop owner and had quick responses. If interested, you should e-mail to find out when their stock will return.

http://www.doml.com.sg/index.html

RE: Allready available for (pre-?) order.
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 9:20:38 AM #
I bought with these guys too - very helpful, give them a try. They even gave me a floppy with the English drivers in case I didn't have Win2K to read the CD-ROM.

Also, for all N710C owners, make sure you upgrade to OS 4.1 first! Don't know if you can any more though... I think Sony discontinued the upgrade...

Why such a big difference in price and other bluetooth

digilaw @ 6/19/2002 1:50:04 PM #
I may be off here but isn't the Palm SD bluetooth around $100? Why is the MS bluetooth more than twice the price. 170 pounds on expandsys is a ton of money (like $250). Thats the same price as a handheld. Also, the older bluetooth module that only had japanese drivers was around this price as well. That device (besides only having japanese drivers) is actually better since it doesn't take up the MS slot. If they released some English drivers for it, it'll probably sell better than this (overpriced) stick format.

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