MobileInfocenter

Engadget Editorial: Palm, It's Time for an Intervention

Engadget has posted a scathing editorial/open letter piece entitled, "Dear Palm: It's time for an intervention" in which Palm is taken to task for a variety of issues surrounding their Treo and Foleo product lines.

Engadget’s Peter Rojas is the primary author of the lengthy piece, which begins with a retrospective look at Palm’s past innovations in the PDA world starting with 1996's Pilot. The article supports Palm’s efforts at changing the handheld computing landscape after numerous larger manufacturers failed to capitalize upon the tremendous potential of PDA-style devices. It goes on to offer a variety of suggestions for improvement targeted at Palm's hardware, their OS, their bundled software and "other stuff" which is essentially advice to jettison the Foleo immediately and reshuffle Palm's development and marketing efforts.

While Engadget’s article offers a good summarization of Palm's past, present, and future efforts, it does not go into details to differentiate what is legitimate wishful thinking from users (for example, a large-screened 320x480 Treo) versus product improvements that Palm has actually claimed are in the works, such as wi-fi in future Treos. Additionally, some of Engadget’s suggestions are a bit vague or unrealistic, such as implying that Palm and Google need to team up ASAP for an entire suite of Google-branded apps or that the Palm Centro and 800p need to be immediately axed. In reality, Palm’s product roadmap, pending FCC approval, is likely planned out with their carrier partners for at least the next 8-12 months, so any plans to cancel an imminent handset release would be disastrous.

The Engadget article also fails to address concrete issues surrounding the Palm community at the present time. For example, the myriad of 700p/w/wx woes, the no-show WM6 upgrade for the Treo 750, and the huge delays behind the beta release of a Vista-compliant Palm Desktop are just a handful of genuine issues not addressed.

Nevertheless, the article makes for compelling reading and discussion, especially for non-mobile or Palm-centric site. The suggestions offered by Mr. Rojas, while by no means comprehensive and sometimes haughty in tone, do at least provide a fairly comprehensive litany of the various aspirations and criticisms voiced by the Palm faithful over the past several years.

Article Comments

 (56 comments)

The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. PalmInfocenter is not responsible for them in any way.
Please Login or register here to add your comments.

Start a new Comment Down View Full Comment Thread

Palminfocenter's just jealous

superdork @ 8/21/2007 3:47:29 PM # Q
I thought the article was excellent and if the guys here were honest with themselves they would be posting more articles like Engadget's.



RE: Palminfocenter's just jealous
hkklife @ 8/21/2007 4:31:25 PM # Q
I'm brutally honest when it comes to pointing fingers at Palm, thank you very much.

But I really got the feeling that the Engadget piece was written by someone who was more or less a former Palm OS user who had been kinda/sorta casually following the scene in the past year or so. Besides, Ryan prefers for PIC contributors to present relatively unbiased opinions in the text of news items and leave the personal opinions of the author to the comments area.

Some of the most valid complaints not touched upon by Engadget (in MY opinion as an 11-year user of the platform) are the complete & utter abandomment of the PDA line when Palm had the market nearly to itself (and nearly perfected), the complete and utter abandonment of Graffiti 1, the horrific saga of the bundled 700p/w/wx ROM updaters, various other quality control issues over the years (T3 SD card frying, LifeDrive's memory architecture, Treo 650's NVFS woes etc ), no support for any recent non-XP OS from M$ until last month's Palm Desktop beta release, etc.

For Palm to maintain a relatively static, unimpressive hardware line with conservative, incremental technical upgrades is one thing (look how well that strategy served IBM's Thinkpad division for years or Nokia's handset division until just a few years ago). But for that same static lineup to be riddled with poor quality control, numerous bugs, device to device hardware inconsistencies, and no clear-cut policy in place for issuing bugfixes and EOLing hardware makes even loyal Palm OS fans feel like orphans. If a company is going to proceed at a glacial pace with their hardware releases, then they MUST be absolutely rock-solid, backed by superb support policies (tiny Matrox Graphics, for instance), and not bury their head in the sand when it comes to positing their devices within the marketplace.

I think Engadget's article, while good, could have been better had it been a bit less presumptuous and instead really taken a detatched, honest view at Palm's failure to not just deliver new product but support its EXISTING products and its (dwindling) loyal fanbase.

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

Daft. Simply daft.
freakout @ 8/21/2007 5:33:43 PM # Q
I thought the article was excellent and if the guys here were honest with themselves they would be posting more articles like Engadget's.

Maybe you don't read PIC all that often - Kris is one of the biggest Palm critics on the web and knows the company and its devices a whole lot better than sites like Engadget seem to. Ryan is mostly neutral, and I think the Treo is still the best smartphone available bar none. Between the three of us I reckon we cover the spectrum of Palm opinions quite nicely, thank you very much.

The article was excellent? Well... there are plenty of good criticisms to be leveled at Palm. But this editorial doesn't make many. Let's take out our fine-tooth combs...

Get thin - Three words: FIGURE IT OUT. If HTC, Apple, and Motorola can offer thin (and we mean friggin' thin) smartphones, you can too. We know you think the Treo is perfectly proportioned, but it's not. It's chubby. No excuses any more, ok? It doesn't have to be as thin as the iPhone, but you've gotta trim some of the fat.

Agreed. What do they suggest Palm take away in order to give us the thinness? The removable battery? (iPhone) The touchscreen? (Motorola Q) Sorry, I must have missed HTC's thin devices - all the ones I've seen in the wild are even bigger than the Treo.

Bigger, higher resolution displays - Make the screen bigger and up the resolution and you'll go a long way towards winning us back. There's no reason the 750 shouldn't have 320 x 320 (or higher) -- Windows Mobile 6 supports that, or didn't you hear?

Yes, and Windows Mobile 6 wasn't available when the 750 was launched.

But for new devices you might want to have the keyboard slide out, like with the HTC Hermes or the Samsung i730. It's a really smart move. The long and short of it is this: if you can find some way to marry the expanse of something like the iPhone's or G900's massive, high res screens and still retain the spirit of the Palm keyboard, people will be very interested.

Fair enough.

Make it look nice - We know Jeff Hawkins thinks Palm (well, technically Handspring) nailed it with the Treo form-factor, but it's been almost FOUR YEARS since you introduced the Treo 600, and apart from a few long-overdue improvements here and there (losing the antenna stub, making the casing a few millimeters thinner, tweaking the keyboard), it's essentially the same phone. The Treo used to win design awards, but now it looks really clunky compared to devices like the Dash, the Curve, and the iPhone.

Dunno about them, but I think the Treo 750 looks and feels mint. Bit too fat, but otherwise it's nice. Beauty is in the eye of beholder. Heck, put the Centro in something other than that icky white - black, maybe - and it'd look tops.

Add WiFi - Is it really almost 2008 and the Treo STILL doesn't have WiFi? No excuses any more, sort it out.

Amen, baby!

Think about adding some storage - There was a time when just having expandable storage via a memory card slot was enough, but that time's passed. People won't mind sideloading via USB if you make the Treo appear as a mass storage device, meaning you can add embedded flash memory (a few gigs would be nice). 8GB in a cellphone is now the new bar. Meet or exceed it, but don't ignore the fact.

I disagree completely. If you bundle an 8GB/4GB SDHC card in the box and put a slot somewhere hidden - like under the battery - then you still have all the benefits of expandable storage and to the common user it's exactly the same as having it built-in. Gigs of built-in memory would be nice, but it's hardly necessary.

Finally, put the kibosh on the Centro / Gandolf / Treo 800p - You're going down the wong path with these devices, and everyone knows it but you. We don't want to harp on this, but if what we've heard in the initial reports, and seen in blurry photos is what you're really going to offer, and believe it or not, you'll actually be able to expect a reception from your community roughly twice as lukewarm as it was for the Foleo. Palm, put your ear to the ground and listen. We hate to be jerks, but now appears to be the time for some tough love.

Yes, put the kaibosh on the first new smartphone form factor they've come up with in years! Puh-lease No thank you. I'm satisfied with it now that we know it's not going to be a "Treo" - this means that those like me who find the Treo to be the best smartphone compromise available will still be happy. The Centro is the small PalmOS smartphone that people have been clamoring for. It's just a shame it's such a fugly colour...

Completely overhaul the OS - We know you're working on a Linux-based mobile OS to succeed Palm OS Garnet -- which was already REALLY showing its age two years ago -- but we're sorta worried that you're going to just port the old UI to a new kernel. It's too late for that. Apple's winning converts because they totally rethought how we should interact with a mobile phone, and Palm needs to do the same thing.

Yes - we should interact with mobile phones by not having inconveniences like hang-up buttons or cut-and-paste. Get serious! Know what makes the iPhone so pretty? Transitions. One app fades to the next, making it all look seamless. Add that and smooth font support and they'll be on the same level. News flash: Apple's designs are not perfect. Very ****ing far from it, actually.

Offer great Mac support out of the box - A lot of people use Macs now -- it's not 1999 anymore.

Guess what, Mac users. You are the minority. You chose to buy a PC that is in the minority. Quit whingeing about the fact you don't get full support from companies. If Palm have to divert resources from making Windows compatibility bulletproof, or developing their new phone OS, then I'd rather they just told Mac users to take a flying leap.

Multimedia - The multimedia aspects of the Treo are really underappreciated, and that's probably because they're very poorly integrated right now. Pocket Tunes, TCPMP, and Kinoma are alright, but -- love it or hate it -- the iPod functionality and integration in the iPhone completely redefined multimedia convergence in cellphones. But remember: a lot of people (us included) aren't really into the whole iTunes ecosystem, and would love a viable alternative. Again, make loading multimedia on the Treo as simple as drag and drop, and make playing it back as simple and sexy as Apple.

Amen!

Stop wasting money on the Foleo - We all know this isn't going anywhere. And even if it does do alright -- and let's be real, it's never going to do better than alright -- it's really just a distraction from the main business you're already neglecting. Besides, how many Treo companions do you expect to sell if the Treo itself isn't up to snuff? The Foleo is not the way to make the core product better.

Foleo is not their core product. It a new business line. And how does he know it's never going to be better than alright? I bet people said the same thing about the Pilot. (I wouldn't know; I was only just out of primary school at the time...) Guess what: Foleo has a lot of very cool things going for it, the least of which is a brand-new Linux OS that can smoothly on very meagre hardware.

Stop keeping us in the dark - A lot of former Treo fanatics we've spoken with have abandoned Palm because they're just tired of the complete lack of information about stuff like where the platform is going and when much-needed software updates will be available. We don't expect you to reveal all your secrets (that's what Engadget is here for), but it would be nice to get some confirmation about when we'll finally see some the first Linux-powered Treos, not cagey answers and misleading statements. If you're worried about cannibalizing sales, don't be, because a lot of people who might stick around for a new-and-improved Treo are already jumping ship for iPhones, HTCs, and BlackBerrys.

Agreed.

Now I'm off to work. Anyone want to take bets on how long it takes before someone labels me a "Palm Apologist"?

Tim
I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 ---> Treo 650 ---> Crimson Treo 680

RE: Palminfocenter's just jealous
jca666us @ 8/21/2007 6:55:54 PM # Q
Freak,

You're not a "Palm Apologist", you're just a hack.

>The article was excellent? Well... there are plenty of good criticisms to be leveled
>at Palm. But this editorial doesn't make many.

I think the article makes plenty of valid criticisms.

>What do they suggest Palm take away in order to give us the thinness? The removable
>battery? (iPhone) The touchscreen? (Motorola Q).

Why should they suggest anything - they're making note that Palm's competition is currently capable of making thinner more functional smartphones than Palm - the one time industry leader.

Palm squandered years of lead time and R&D budgets by continually pushing uninspiring and stagnant hardware releases. Years of bad decisions have caught up with them.

>Yes, and Windows Mobile 6 wasn't available when the 750 was launched.

Correct - I think the idea in the article is that with Windows Mobile 6 out, how much longer is it going to take for Palm to get revised treo out that supports Windows Mobile 6?

It can't take that long, can it?

>Dunno about them, but I think the Treo 750 looks and feels mint. Bit too fat, but
>otherwise it's nice. Beauty is in the eye of beholder. Heck, put the Centro in
>something other than that icky white - black, maybe - and it'd look tops.

You haven't seen an iphone yet, have you? The Treo 750 looks serviceable and hefty, but the iphone looks solid and sexy and thin.

>I disagree completely. If you bundle an 8GB/4GB SDHC card in the box and put a slot
>somewhere hidden - like under the battery - then you still have all the benefits of
>expandable storage and to the common user it's exactly the same as having it
>built-in. Gigs of built-in memory would be nice, but it's hardly necessary.

If it's built-in then s/w developers can take advantage of the extra storage. Build it in but still have an open sd slot for expandability - one up apple that way.

>Yes, put the kaibosh on the first new smartphone form factor they've come up with in
>years! Puh-lease No thank you. I'm satisfied with it now that we know it's not going
>to be a "Treo" - this means that those like me who find the Treo to be the best
>smartphone compromise available will still be happy. The Centro is the small PalmOS
>smartphone that people have been clamoring for. It's just a shame it's such a fugly
>colour...

You're happy with the Centro as long as you don't have to use it - that sounds about right.

I would think you'd be disappointed with the centro because it and the foleo are taking resources away from Palm making more substantial improving to their product line (I'll retract this comment if some of the work to reduce the size of the centro makes its way into future palm devices).

>Yes - we should interact with mobile phones by not having inconveniences like
>hang-up buttons or cut-and-paste. Get serious! Know what makes the iPhone so pretty?
>Transitions. One app fades to the next, making it all look seamless. Add that and
>smooth font support and they'll be on the same level. News flash: Apple's designs
>are not perfect. Very ****ing far from it, actually.

How would you know, you've not used one. This is why I think you're a hack - write about what you know and you'll be in safe territory. I'll give you a few clues - some things that make the iphone's OS better:

1. Stability
2. Multitasking performance
3. Better use of screen real estate
4. Better web browser

At no point do I mention transitions. Lack of cut and paste is a shortcoming - however I'd rather lack cut and paste than lack a stable OS. After using the iphone, I have more faith in Apple's ability to add "cut and paste" than I do with Palm releasing a state of the art Palm OS.

Being burned by Palm for a few years will do that to you.

>If Palm have to divert resources from making Windows compatibility bulletproof, or
>developing their new phone OS, then I'd rather they just told Mac users to take a
>flying leap.

Exactly - Palm doesn't have the resources.

>Foleo is not their core product. It a new business line. And how does he know it's
>never going to be better than alright? I bet people said the same thing about the
>Pilot. (I wouldn't know; I was only just out of primary school at the time...) Guess
>what: Foleo has a lot of very cool things going for it, the least of which is a
>brand-new Linux OS that can smoothly on very meager hardware.

Still, if Palm needed a test-bed for a new Linux-based OS - there are many more viable alternatives than the Foleo. Palm should be focused on improving their core business before jumping head first into "a new line of business" - this "Ralph Kramden" business model they're pursuing could kill them.

>Now I'm off to work. Anyone want to take bets on how long it takes before someone
>labels me a "Palm Apologist"?

Not I - however I do disagree with some of your points.

Palminfocenter's SO jealous. Green as the Grinch!
freakout @ 8/21/2007 8:01:45 PM # Q
By God, you really don't know how to read, do you. Or maybe it's just comprehension skills you lack...

I said: "Know what makes the iPhone so pretty?

jca said: "How would you know, you've not used one. This is why I think you're a hack - write about what you know and you'll be in safe territory. I'll give you a few clues - some things that make the iphone's OS better:"

I'm not comparing the features of the OSs, silly. I'm talking about what makes the iPhone UI so graphically appealing: nice fonts and smooth transitions/animations between apps. And guess what: there's videos and pictures of the iPhone in action all over the Internet! No need to have used one to see its graphics in action.

Gawd. I swore to myself I'd just scroll past your posts from now on. Why do I keep punishing myself like this?

RE: Palminfocenter's just jealous
jca666us @ 8/21/2007 8:18:50 PM # Q
freak - the original article you were quoting from talked about the OS - you went on a rant regarding transitions - perhaps if were more eloquent in your language these "misinterpretations" wouldn't happen.

Btw, you do realize that the transitions aren't magic - they're functionality built into the os.

My comments on the os are perfectly valid - just because you ignore them doesnt make them invalid.

RE: Palminfocenter's just jealous
freakout @ 8/21/2007 9:04:20 PM # Q
freak - the original article you were quoting from talked about the OS

The section I quoted said:

Completely overhaul the OS - We know you're working on a Linux-based mobile OS to succeed Palm OS Garnet -- which was already REALLY showing its age two years ago -- but we're sorta worried that you're going to just port the old UI to a new kernel. Apple's winning converts because they totally rethought how we should interact with a mobile phone, and Palm needs to do the same thing.

Porting the Palm OS UI to a new kernel would be fantastic. Palm OS is very user-friendly, even with Garnet's evil crashing issues. Spruce it up a bit and, as we Aussies like to say, "She'll be sweet, mate."

The iPhone, apart from removing instant access via hard buttons and tactile feedback, has done absolutely nothing for changing how we interact with mobile phones, apart from a prettier GUI. Anyone who swallows Apple's "It's revolutionary!" line is a gullible fool. WinMob does multitasking, both Palm OS and WinMob have had touch interfaces for yonks, and it can feeze and apps can crash just like any other mobile computer. Maybe not as much, but it sill happens, as power users have already attested.

All Apple gave us was a landscape screen, which has been done before, and multi-touch, which is impressive, but hardly a must-have feature. Check out Opera Mini 4 - it's still in beta and thus quite unstable, but it does all the iPhone's smart-zooming and scrolling tricks and it can do them on even the simplest Java-equipped dumbphone.

The iPhone is all gloss. It's over-hyped, over-priced, and under-featured. Apart from wifi and a large screen, I hope Palm does not take any design cues from Apple, whose slogan should be: "Design minimalism at all costs! Functionality be damned!"

Tim
I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 ---> Treo 650 ---> Crimson Treo 680

RE: Palminfocenter's just jealous
jca666us @ 8/21/2007 10:06:13 PM # Q
cry all you want freak - until you've actually used an iPhone your critique of it is worthless. If palm were smart they would be taking cues from the iPhone. Its selling like hotcakes and is a high margin product people want. Whereas the treo...say how many treos were sold last quarter?

RE: Palminfocenter's just jealous
JayC3 @ 8/21/2007 10:57:38 PM # Q
Tim, don't "freak out" if Engadget nailed the plight of most Palm users. Its okay, all of us want Palm to succeed and Engadget is one of the top sites that hopefully can make them do something about it.

But I have to commend you on a good job in generating hits for this site. It keeps PIC one of the most interesting, vibrant and amusing Palm site. Keep it up ^^

RE: Palminfocenter's just jealous
mtt @ 8/21/2007 11:20:47 PM # Q
Engadget, especially Peter Rojas, was a HUGE Treo fan.

I've been reading Engadget since they started, and once upon a time they fawned over the Treos like people do iPhones now, and they (at least Peter) used a Treo as his personal phone.

They (at Engadget) have got their finger on the consumer's pulse here, and they nailed it with this article.

Handspring Visor, Palm V, Treo 180, Treo 90, Treo 600, Treo 650, Treo 700p
MTT

The green-eyed monster
freakout @ 8/21/2007 11:52:39 PM # Q
Its selling like hotcakes and is a high margin product people want. Whereas the treo...say how many treos were sold last quarter?

jca - Who cares? McDonald's has sold about 7 trillon Big Macs as I type this post, but no one's gonna call it fine cuisine.

Tim, don't "freak out" if Engadget nailed the plight of most Palm users.

JayC3 - I'm happy for Engadget to criticise. It's an editorial after all. But some of their points are just strange, and most of them seem to be coming from the position "Treos should be more like the iPhone". Which rankles me. A Treo is currently a far more useful device than the iPhone. I don't want to see Palm turning their versatile smartphones into expensive toys - do you?

I actually don't believe it's "the plight of most Palm users". I believe it's the plight of the Internet gadget geek, whom, while an important driver of online opinion, is not the majority of Palm's customers. Their opinions should be taken as such. I'm sick to death of all the griping about Palm. If they were half as bad as people claim they are they would have gone belly-up years ago. They haven't. Who's wrong: Palm or the nattering naybobs of negativity on the Internet?

Tim
I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 ---> Treo 650 ---> Crimson Treo 680

RE: Palminfocenter's just jealous
JayC3 @ 8/22/2007 1:54:14 AM # Q
"JayC3 - I'm happy for Engadget to criticise. It's an editorial after all. But some of their points are just strange, and most of them seem to be coming from the position "Treos should be more like the iPhone". Which rankles me. A Treo is currently a far more useful device than the iPhone. I don't want to see Palm turning their versatile smartphones into expensive toys - do you?"

==> Treos are already expensive. Try buying it without carrier subsidies or outside the US. You'll be surprised (but maybe not) at how much they cost. So I don't see any reason why Palm shouldn't copy some of the feauture of the iPhone.

I actually don't believe it's "the plight of most Palm users". I believe it's the plight of the Internet gadget geek, whom, while an important driver of online opinion, is not the majority of Palm's customers. Their opinions should be taken as such. I'm sick to death of all the griping about Palm. If they were half as bad as people claim they are they would have gone belly-up years ago. They haven't. Who's wrong: Palm or the nattering naybobs of negativity on the Internet?

==> Did you read all the comments from the engadget post (I'm only at page 2)? Most of them are from former or current Palm/Treo users(or that's what they say they are, we'll never know), which may also be the internet gadget geek that you mention.

==> Yes, they haven't gone belly-up yet, but how about Netscape? Did they belly-up yet? They were the top dog in the browser wars before and look at where they are now. I hate to see Palm suffer the same fate as Netscape (they're like a walking zombie). In this day and age, Palm needs to be a leader in innovation as they were 10 years ago. Now, they seem to be just a shadow of their former self. However, I do hope that they have an ace up their sleeve(I hope its not gandolf or the foleo) to surprise the competition in 2008.

RE: Palminfocenter's just jealous
JayC3 @ 8/22/2007 2:05:02 AM # Q
Sorry about the duplicate posts ^^

RE: Palminfocenter's just jealous
jca666us @ 8/22/2007 2:33:35 AM # Q
Freak,

As usual, you twist an analogy to reflect your version of reality:

>>Its selling like hotcakes and is a high margin product people want. Whereas the treo...say how many treos
>>were sold last quarter?

>Who cares? McDonald's has sold about 7 trillon Big Macs as I type this post, but no one's gonna call it fine
>cuisine.

You don't pay top dollar at McDonalds (just in case McDonalds *is* fine cuisine in Australia - it's not in the US).

Here's a better analogy:

Restaurant Apple:

You go into this five star restaurant that has gotten increasingly popular - lines are around the block!

The atmosphere is great, the waiter is extremely helpful, the wine is top quality and your filet mignon is spectacular. You have an excellent time and you believe it's well worth your money, but some friends say the place is too costly.

Restaurant Palm:

This restaurant used to be fantastic. It's under new management, but has changed hands and names several times in the past. They've had financial problems; currently the place is understaffed because there have been more layoffs recently.

In order to quell increasingly bad word of mouth, the prices have become more affordable - they're trying to attract a "bigger demographic"

As you sit down, you notice that your silverware is dirty and ask for it to be replaced. You attribute this to the fact that the staff is overworked. This is "Restaurant Palm" - they were a contender in their day - you give them a chance.

You order a caesar salad; the salad is dry (it's been sitting out all day). As you go to eat it, you find a dead cockroach in your salad. Again, this is "Restaurant Palm" - they were a contender in their day - you give them another chance and decide to stay and eat. Why let one bug spoil your meal?

You order the filet mignon - a signature dish Restaurant Palm was known for.

Your mouth waters as the dish arrives...as you look closely, you see that your filet mignon is in fact NOT filet mignon...it's actually greasy overcooked ground up liver shaped to look like a filet mignon(!!!)

You finally go and complain to the management - they explain that these issues are the result of their "cost cutting measures".

You figure at least the bill won't be that expensive - since the experience wasn't all that and they did recently lower their prices.

Unfortunately the bill isn't much lower than "Restaurant Apple"

"Restaurant Palm" has to show the new management and new investors they have that they're capable of making a profit.

Aside from a case of food poisoning you have the same experience as your friends. None of you have anything good to say about "Restaurant Palm" - having been burned by them repeatedly.

RE: Palminfocenter's just jealous
freakout @ 8/22/2007 4:42:00 AM # Q
You don't pay top dollar at McDonalds (just in case McDonalds *is* fine cuisine in Australia - it's not in the US).

I used to work for Maccas in my high school days. The profit margins on their food are huge, and the drinks... gawd, they charge a dollar for something that costs them roughly ten cents. But that's not the point I was making: my point is that popularity is not an indication of quality.

Your Restaurant Apple analogy is laughably biased. It's more like an exclusive club filled with snooty wankers who love nothing better than to yammer on and on to each other about how much better their choice of restuarant makes them than other people. Needless to say, they don't complain about the fact that Restaurant Apple has an extraordinarily limited menu, costs twice as much as competitors and doesn't let you eat with a knife and fork, claiming that people never really needed them anyway and that their "revolutionary" new experience of eating steak with a spoon will change the face of the restaurant industry as we know it.

The moral of this story? Analogies are stupid.

JayC3:
==> Treos are already expensive. Try buying it without carrier subsidies or outside the US. You'll be surprised (but maybe not) at how much they cost. So I don't see any reason why Palm shouldn't copy some of the feauture of the iPhone.

Yes indeed, the international prices are ridiculous, which is why I bought my 680 from the U.S. But the iPhone is five hundred bucks. Minimum. With contract. To a carrier that can be described as average at best. And I'm betting the international prices will be even more ridiculous. An unlocked 680 is 400 bucks and can be used on any network you like all around the world.

A 3G 755p is $279 with contract - $230 less than the cheapest iPhone. Say what you will about Palm, they've made great strides in bringing down the prices of their U.S. Treos.

RE: Palminfocenter's just jealous
SeldomVisitor @ 8/22/2007 6:20:01 AM # Q
> ...It's [the iPhone] selling like hotcakes...

Ya think it's selling well now, wait til you see the results when those three European carriers start selling it - like soon, too.

AAPL is gonna make tremendous bucks from this one - bet on it.

RE: Palminfocenter's just jealous
jca666us @ 8/22/2007 6:32:46 AM # Q
I know...as do many ppl. on this board. Freak keeps pooh poohing it.

He always has a (wrong) answer:

if the iphone doesn't sell it's because it's limited, too expensive, consumers want choice, blah blah blah.

if the iphone does sell it's not indicative of anything - (see crappy McDonalds analogy).

Note to freak: if you really worked in a restaurant even as the guy who cleaned the toilets, you'd know that service is important to consumers.

That's one main reason (among many) why consumers dislike Palm and love Apple.

The engadget article isn't a wakeup call for Palm - read the responses. It will end up a footnote in their obituary.

RE: Palminfocenter's just jealous
freakout @ 8/22/2007 7:05:11 AM # Q
^^ Holy shit. It's like talking to a ****ing brick wall.

Maybe on your planet, jca, people make informed choices about everything they buy. Humans, however... well, 90% of them are morons and will buy, eat, watch, and listen to whatever swill is pushed in front of them. With Apple's genius marketing and the media taking every chance they can to pimp the iPhone, it's success was pre-ordained, even before it was announced. Just like Coke, McDonald's and Wal-Mart; people will go there just for the brand - never mind the fact that the service is crap or the product sub-par. See news reports that kids will eat more carrots if they come in a McDonald's wrapper: http://tinyurl.com/2jxhxx

Similarly, people will buy any piece of crap electronics - provided it comes with a half-eaten Apple on it.

I do not deny the iPhone is successful, nor that it will continue to be successful.

However, I can see plain as day that it's severely lacking as a smartphone, as can anyone who has an IQ in the positive and even the smallest sliver of critical thinking skills. Those who can't are either:

A) Apple fanboys
B) Morons (see option A)

Which are you, sweetie? XX OO

Tim
I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 ---> Treo 650 ---> Crimson Treo 680

RE: Palminfocenter's just jealous
JayC3 @ 8/22/2007 9:41:52 AM # Q
Yes indeed, the international prices are ridiculous, which is why I bought my 680 from the U.S. But the iPhone is five hundred bucks. Minimum. With contract. To a carrier that can be described as average at best. And I'm betting the international prices will be even more ridiculous. An unlocked 680 is 400 bucks and can be used on any network you like all around the world.

A 3G 755p is $279 with contract - $230 less than the cheapest iPhone. Say what you will about Palm, they've made great strides in bringing down the prices of their U.S. Treos.

I also bought my 680 in the US. It is much cheaper than in other parts in the world. I believe folks in the US are not used to pay $500 or $600 phones. In Asia, that's the normal price for a smartphone or a high-end nokia/SE/HTC/Moto phone. So if ever the iPhone comes here, a lot of people will be buying it.

I thought the carrier were the ones who make it cheaper and not Palm? Their phones are basically the same price (outside the US) as the 600, 650, 750 when they were first introduce. I guess Palm needed to lower the price in the US to remain competitive, even if affects their profit.

RE: Palminfocenter's just jealous
Ronin @ 8/22/2007 10:04:47 AM # Q
I am glad the iPhone owners are happy with their purchase. I purchased a Treo and I am happy with my purchase.

I am unaware of any electronic device that satisfies the needs of every potential customer. When it comes to electronics one size does not fit all. Heck, they even have a wide variety of electric can openers because not every is going to like open their cans the same way or with the same design, etc.

As to my personal opinion, the iPhone is nice but in its current incarnation can not fill my needs. No smartphone on the market is perfect and the iPhone (no matter what anyone says) is not perfect. First, a cell phone without a replaceable battery is a non-starter for me. The only reason I use a smartphone is because I can install apps on it, if not, I would still be using a 'dumb' phone and a PDA.

I still say that if Palm released tomorrow an thin phone with no keyboard, no replaceable battery, no cut and paste, built-in storage that was completely inaccessible to the user except to store music files and that had a closed system within which apps crashed nevertheless there would be an uproar that would cause a rift in the time/space continuum.

As to the Engadget editorial, God save us from fanboy editorializing as if they were the be all and end all of the customer base. Further, I think that company's go out of business all the time. If Palm can no longer produce a product that satisfies consumer needs then they will go the way of the dodo because we will all stop buying their stuff. They had a nice run and que sera.

I note that, as per the SeekingAlpha site, Palm currently has 23% of the smartphone market and is in the number 2 position behind RIM. This is certainly nothing to sneeze at. They are far ahead of the number 3. This amount of market share would suggest their products do not completely suck. It seems to me that whether Palm loses more ground depends on the competing products (i.e. Apple, RIM, Motorola, etc.) and how well they execute and integrate the long overdue next generation OS.

In the Spirit of Umoja,
Ronin

RE: Palminfocenter's just jealous
rmhurdman @ 8/22/2007 10:40:23 AM # Q
---Quote---
I note that, as per the SeekingAlpha site, Palm currently has 23% of the smartphone market and is in the number 2 position behind RIM. This is certainly nothing to sneeze at. They are far ahead of the number 3. This amount of market share would suggest their products do not completely suck. It seems to me that whether Palm loses more ground depends on the competing products (i.e. Apple, RIM, Motorola, etc.) and how well they execute and integrate the long overdue next generation OS.
---End Quote---

I guess it's lucky for Palm investors that SeekingAlpha defines smartphones the way they do. Have you ever been outside of the US? To somewhere where mobile phones make sense, like Europe, Asia or South America?

Palm is in trouble just for trying to compete with Nokia and Sony/Eriksson, who have way more experience and global perspective. Just that fact that they've survived this long is impressive. I, for one, don't expect it to last.

And now Palm is diluting their focus by trying to compete with Asus, Samsung and Sony in the "not-quite-a-laptop" segment. In all honesty, I actually hope to see Palm fail (go "belly-up", as a previous poster said), I'm that bitter about the way they have treated their once loyal users and small developers.

RE: Palminfocenter's just jealous
jca666us @ 8/22/2007 10:58:08 AM # Q
OK Freak, here you go:

>With Apple's genius marketing and the media taking every chance they can to pimp the
>iPhone, it's success was pre-ordained, even before it was announced. Just like Coke,
>McDonald's and Wal-Mart; people will go there just for the brand - never mind the fact
>that the service is crap or the product sub-par.

>Similarly, people will buy any piece of crap electronics - provided it comes with a
>half-eaten Apple on it.

I disagree with you here freak - look at the apple tv - certainly not selling well at all. Apple - like any other company - can't release crap and expect it to sell well.

Palm has released nothing but crap for years - they need to hit the next few out of the park - or there won't be a palm left to talk about.

>I do not deny the iPhone is successful, nor that it will continue to be successful.

It's success is more than marketing - technically it does some things much better than the treo - and it is lacking some refinements that will come about in time.

In two months, apple has released two os patches (bug fixes) for the iphone. Has palm been anywhere near as responsive?

NO. Timely OS updates are what is called being "service oriented" - remember that when you're cleaning toilets at another fine eating establishment.

>However, I can see plain as day that it's severely lacking as a smartphone, as can
>anyone who has an IQ in the positive and even the smallest sliver of critical
>thinking skills.

What we are seeing is your own stubborn attitude as to what a smartphone should be. Allow me to expand your horizons. A smartphone should have:

1. A lightweight multitasking OS
2. High resolution screen display
3. High speed processor with large amount of built-in memory.
4. Advanced web browser
5. Ajax/Web 2.0 support

An iphone doesn't meet your criteria for being a smartphone, while a treo doesn't meet my criteria.

Right now, when the treo rings it's the 1990's calling.

Palm - if they have any brains - should be looking to build future treos that takes their cues from the iphone.

Now because you're very one-dimensional, let me explain this - otherwise you'll go on another nonsensical rant about cut/copy/paste.

Things Palm will need to do:

1. Innovative form factor
2. Improved UI
3. Multitasking OS
4. Improved built-in applications
5. Better customer support
6. Stability
7. Better QC of hardware and software

I'd rather be considered a moron or an apple apologist to an idiot.

RE: Palminfocenter's just jealous
twrock @ 8/22/2007 11:01:45 AM # Q
In Asia, that's the normal price for a smartphone or a high-end nokia/SE/HTC/Moto phone. So if ever the iPhone comes here, a lot of people will be buying it.

So I'm curious about two things:
1. How does the iPhone do with Asian language character display?
2. How does the iPhone do with Asian language character entry (can it recognize hand-written Chinese characters)?
I'm not interested in any device that can't do those. YMMV.


Thinking about Vista? Think again: http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.txt
Want an alternative? Try this: http://www.ubuntu.com/ or http://www.mepis.org/
RE: Palminfocenter's just jealous
hkklife @ 8/22/2007 11:26:53 AM # Q
5. Better customer support
6. Stability
7. Better QC of hardware and software

THESE are the most crucial elements, IMO. I can live with sub-standard specs etc. but the phone needs to be ROCK-SOLID STABLE and Palm needs to address issues in a matter of days or weeks, not months, years or never.

I'd like to sit down & draw up a list of all of the Palm devices released since 2000 and what their major bugs were and whether or not they were addressed by Palm. And if so, how long did it take those updates to be released and did any of them have to be "re-issued" ala the 700p/w/wx ROM updaters?

The sad thing is that Garnet was and still is a perfectly fine "low-end" OS but the combination of piggybacking a telephony stack and Palm's endless NVFS hacking has broken it to the point where it's nearly beyond repair. It's bad when the Z22 a colleague uses is absolutely flawless & never resets and makes 700p look like a hideously unreliable paperweight. I'm actually getting LESS usage and functionality out of my 700p now with the "Error 3000" network bug than I did before when it lagged like crazy and has useless BT!

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

RE: Palminfocenter's just incredibly hot
freakout @ 8/22/2007 5:28:12 PM # Q
^^ Mmmm. To take us back to the article subject:

Stop keeping us in the dark - A lot of former Treo fanatics we've spoken with have abandoned Palm because they're just tired of the complete lack of information about stuff like where the platform is going and when much-needed software updates will be available. We don't expect you to reveal all your secrets (that's what Engadget is here for), but it would be nice to get some confirmation about when we'll finally see some the first Linux-powered Treos, not cagey answers and misleading statements. If you're worried about cannibalizing sales, don't be, because a lot of people who might stick around for a new-and-improved Treo are already jumping ship for iPhones, HTCs, and BlackBerrys.

Palm really need to let people know when their Treo Linux is coming. Perhaps they're afraid of repeating the Cobalt debacle - promising but never delivering?

RE: Palminfocenter's just jealous
JayC3 @ 8/23/2007 2:33:06 AM # Q
So I'm curious about two things:
1. How does the iPhone do with Asian language character display?
2. How does the iPhone do with Asian language character entry (can it recognize hand-written Chinese characters)?
I'm not interested in any device that can't do those. YMMV.

The iphone already supports Asian languate character display (OS X has it built in). Check out this site (its in chinese, but pictures do the talking): http://hk.phonedaily.com/news/?news_id=5121

As for the Asian language character entry, I believe they are working on this one and that is why they will release it here by 2008 (maybe mid-2008). I don't think it will much of an issue because the current smartphones (from HTC,Palm,O2) already supports Asian language character entry. ^^

RE: Palminfocenter's just jealous
twrock @ 8/23/2007 3:17:37 AM # Q
Agreed that it "shouldn't" be a problem, but that will only be if Steve says so. :) At this point I'm a bit wary of anybody's claims that any particular device will "eventually" have any particular feature. I'll wait until it is reported to be actually present before I'm ready to seriously consider anything. (Wow, that was a lot of "any's"!) Additionally, it'll be interesting to see how a device designed for finger input can handle the subtleties of a 20 stroke character. Maybe they'll have to bundle a stylus with the Asian release.


Thinking about Vista? Think again: http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.txt
Want an alternative? Try this: http://www.ubuntu.com/ or http://www.mepis.org/
Reply to this comment

Scathing?!!?

mikecane @ 8/21/2007 4:45:51 PM # Q
>>>Engadget has posted a scathing editorial/open letter piece

There weren't called "a pack of dumb f*cks" once.

And what they wrote has been said here over and over and over again.

Expect Palm to remain deaf.

RE: Scathing?!!?
mikecane @ 8/24/2007 11:08:13 AM # Q
http://mikecane.wordpress.com/2007/08/24/engadget-snags-the-attention-of-autistic-palm-inc/">Engadget Snags The Attention Of Autistic Palm, Inc.

Or if that doesn't work out: http://tinyurl.com/39trhy

Reply to this comment

iPhone clone

sgiga @ 8/21/2007 7:20:57 PM # Q
Seems to me the only "right" way to do things is the iPhone way, at least according to engadget. What the dude wants (due to complete lack of imagination) is an iPhone with an HTC keyboard, why not just say it out load?

"Unfortunately" Palm has alot of innovative spirit left, and understand that the iPhone is not the beginning and the end of mobile phones and other gadgets.

RE: iPhone clone
jca666us @ 8/21/2007 7:37:50 PM # Q
of course it isn't - however its a whole lot more innovative and does more things right than the past few years of palm released devices.

RE: iPhone clone
freakout @ 8/21/2007 7:45:41 PM # Q
^^ You're right. Love the stability of the closed OS! Love the power of the non-removable battery! Love the simplicity of not having to deal with tactile feedback! We hail thee, Apple, for thou art perfection! (bows)
RE: iPhone clone
Poopie @ 8/21/2007 8:12:44 PM # Q

Love the power of the non-removable battery! Love the simplicity of not having to deal with tactile feedback! We hail thee, Apple, for thou art perfection! (bows)

How many times have you removed your Treo battery other than to replace it with a higher capacity one, or to force a Treo reset without needing to unscrew your stylus or hunt for a paperclip?

re: tactile feedback - the four buttons and the one switch on the iPhone have very nice tactile feedback, and the touch keyboard's sounds provide a nice audible feedback.

None of the Palm PDAs had tactile feedback for entering text with Graffiti and nobody here complained too much...


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

RE: iPhone clone
jca666us @ 8/21/2007 8:23:03 PM # Q
shhhhh...dont confront freak with reality - his fragile mind might just -snap-

RE: iPhone clone
freakout @ 8/21/2007 10:15:56 PM # Q
How many times have you removed your Treo battery other than to replace it with a higher capacity one

Exactly. If I want to, I can put in a higher-capacity battery. If I need to, I can carry a spare battery. If the stock battery starts to lose capacity after 3-400 charges - like an iPhone battery - I can replace it without sending my phone away and paying extra fees.

re: tactile feedback - the four buttons and the one switch on the iPhone have very nice tactile feedback, and the touch keyboard's sounds provide a nice audible feedback.

It was the keyboard I was talking about - audible ain't tactile.

None of the Palm PDAs had tactile feedback for entering text with Graffiti and nobody here complained too much...

The Palm PDA's weren't designed with operations like text messaging and phone dialing in mind. Or one-handed usage, for that matter.

RE: iPhone clone
jca666us @ 8/21/2007 10:30:05 PM # Q
freak - how long does your treo last on a full charge - while browsing the web and continuously listening to music?

Treo power consumption and power mgmt. s-u-c-k

That's why you need the ability to swap/replace batteries!

The iPhone does an incredible job with power mgmt. The days of a treo or tungsten or m500 with the screen at 40% brightness to eek out longer battery life are long gone.

I hope palm puts a tenth of the engineering effort into the next gen. Treo that apple put into the iPhone.

RE: iPhone clone
twrock @ 8/22/2007 2:26:04 AM # Q
None of the Palm PDAs had tactile feedback for entering text with Graffiti and nobody here complained too much...

C'mon Poopie, that's just absurd. Does pen on paper have "tactile feedback"?

(What we have complained about, profusely, is the loss of G1.)

Carry on.


Thinking about Vista? Think again: http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.txt
Want an alternative? Try this: http://www.ubuntu.com/ or http://www.mepis.org/

RE: iPhone clone
mikecane @ 8/24/2007 11:29:50 AM # Q
>>>shhhhh...dont confront freak with reality - his fragile mind might just -snap-

You're trying to pull a fast one here and I won't stand for it, dammit.

Prove to everyone first that he actually has a mind!

Reply to this comment

It's not (yet?) getting any better.

SeldomVisitor @ 8/22/2007 8:35:16 AM # Q
RE: It's not (yet?) getting any better.
Poopie @ 8/22/2007 12:39:44 PM # Q
Yeah, the new blackberries are completely ready to eat Palm's lunch. When I was a palm fanatic, I remember thinking the blackberries were too focused on email and their UI was far too limited to satisfy a Palm user.

But now...

GPS+WiFi, switch between cellular and wifi without dropping calls, support for up to 32gb of storage...

http://www.engadget.com/tag/8820/


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

Reply to this comment
Start a New Comment Thread Top View Full Comment Thread
Achtung! Only the first 50 comments are displayed within the article.
    Click here for the full story discussion page...

Account

Register Register | Login Log in
user:
pass:

Latest Comments