IDC: Handheld Sales Continue Decline

IDC's latest worldwide handheld market report states the second quarter of 2006 saw the worldwide handheld device market experience its tenth consecutive quarter of year-over-year decline. Vendors shipped a total of 1.4 million devices, a 26.3% decrease from the same quarter one year ago. For the first half of the year, vendors shipped a total of 2.9 million units, down 21.4% from the 3.7 million units shipped during the first half of 2005.

"The past ten quarters have provided a combination of factors that have led to this milestone: the exit of vendors from the handheld market, the shift of vendor focus from handheld devices to converged mobile devices (i.e. smartphones), and the increasing popularity of converged mobile devices overall," said Ramon Llamas, research analyst with IDC's Mobile Markets Team. "Looking ahead, we expect additional quarters of decline and a flattening out of shipment activity before a return to growth. In order to do that, vendors must discover more market segments, relevant applications, and improved usability beyond personal information management. The inclusion of Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and GPS have kept handheld devices relevant, particularly for core users. However, more applications must be deployed to reach more users and eventually bring about a stabilizing effect to shipment activity."

Vendor Highlights

  • Palm, Inc. Despite posting a year-over-year decline, Palm remained far and away the worldwide market leader of handheld devices with shipments totaling more than the next two vendors combined. In addition to being the leader of handheld devices, Palm has also developed its converged mobile devices, with shipments surpassing its handheld devices.
  • HP HP remained the clear number 2 vendor of handheld devices worldwide, with double the shipment volume of the number 3 vendor, Dell. Like Palm, HP has been developing its own line of converged mobile devices, but during Q2 HP's handheld devices still outpaced its converged mobile devices.
  • Dell Holding steady in the number 3 position was U.S.-based Dell. Over the course of the quarter, Dell continued to tout the Axim X51, having phased out its Axim X30 and X50 products from a year ago. Unlike Palm and HP, Dell has not released a converged mobile device to the market.
  • Mio Despite posting a year-over-year decrease this quarter, Taiwanese vendor Mio was able to post the smallest year-over-year decrease of the top five vendors, and supplanted Acer for the number 4 position worldwide after trailing by just a thousand units last quarter in the process.
  • Acer Of the top five vendors, Acer suffered the largest year-over-year decline, but still managed to remain ahead of other vendors to lay claim to the number 5 position worldwide. Acer's position as the number 5 vendor worldwide is hardly assured, with a number of vendors trailing closely behind.

Top 5 Vendors, Worldwide Handheld Device Shipments and Market Share, 2Q 2006 (Preliminary)

Vendor

2Q06

Shipments

2Q06

Market Share

2Q05

Shipments

2Q05

Market Share

2Q06/2Q05

Growth

1. Palm

475,000

34.9%

638,376

34.6%

-25.6%

2. HP

260,000

19.1%

380,000

20.6%

-31.6%

3. Dell

132,050

9.7%

179,200

9.7%

-26.3%

4. Mio

91,700

6.7%

110,660

6.0%

-17.1%

5. Acer

60,000

4.4%

199,351

10.8%

-69.9%

Others

401,250

29.5%

538,225

29.1%

-25.4%

Total

1,360,000

100.0%

1,846,461

100.0%

-26.3%

Source: IDC Worldwide Handheld QView, August 3, 2006

Notes:

  • Vendor shipments are branded shipments and exclude OEM sales for all vendors.
  • Handheld devices are pocket-sized, either pen or keypad-centric, and are capable of synchronizing with desktop or laptop computers. Handheld devices are designed to access and manage data including office documents, multimedia, and games.
  • Handheld devices do not include telephony but may include wireless capabilities that enable Internet access and text communication. These devices feature evolved operating systems or applications environments such as the Palm OS, Windows Mobile Pocket PC, Linux, or other proprietary platforms with the ability to download, run applications, and store user data beyond their required PIM capabilities.

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Leader of a Shrinking and Dying Market

Gekko @ 8/3/2006 5:58:02 PM # Q

That's not where you want to be, kids.

As evidenced by no new handhelds, it looks like Palm has decided to do the smart thing and pull the plug on that product segment and have focused all resources on Smartphones.

Sorry, VampireBoy. Please turn the lights off on the way out.

Good night.

RE: Leader of a Shrinking and Dying Market
VampireLestat @ 8/5/2006 4:35:06 AM # Q
Stick a sock in it lizard.

Reply to this comment

The Decline of Sales

bluemax @ 8/3/2006 7:11:36 PM # Q
* "Palm, Inc. Despite posting a year-over-year decline, Palm remained far and away the worldwide market leader of handheld devices with shipments totaling more than the next two vendors combined. In addition to being the leader of handheld devices, Palm has also developed its converged mobile devices, with shipments surpassing its handheld devices."
Well, it's no wonder the sales have gone down, when the Palm Support group is absolutly none. You can try everything that they suggest to do on their 'so called support pages' and nothing works. I would not buy any palm product either, and believe me that the word is out that Palm has poor to none help in a problem that you have. There is no phone no. to call or even a person to contact about the type of problems you have.
Sure, the drive it directed to the Smart Phones but there is still a need for the hand held.
I have to use my hand held Palm Tungsten C every day and every since I had some computer problems and had to have it re-formated and ever since the program that came with the Tungsten C and Palm nothing works and I'm left with a non-functional hand held piece of equipment.
I suppose this sounds like I a little angry about Palm but since they are such a large company I would think that they could get their act together.

Just need some GOOD information on how to get my Tungsten C to up/down load by using the HOT SYNC. I'm like many of the other readers on this forum. I have done everything that many of the people on this forum have tried and still nothing will work. I don't know what's the problem with Palm and their customer Servie it's deplorable.
RE: The Decline of Sales
sremick @ 8/3/2006 7:32:35 PM # Q
I agree that many people have the cause-effect thing all messed up with the declining PDA markets.

Many people say: "Look! We aren't selling as many PDAs as we used to! The PDA market is declining! PDAs are dead! Let's abandon them, cut back on support, stop putting out hot new models, and instead focus on the next-big-fad: SMARTPHONES! Smartphones are selling far more than PDAs!"

While a wise person will say: "No wonder PDAs aren't selling. First of all, you haven't come out with a hot PDA since the T3. All the PDAs since have had countless problems and have been full of cut or compromised features. If you don't offer people something better than what they already have, there's no incentive for them to buy a new PDA. Also, if you all but abandon advertising PDAs, of course they're going to not sell as much as the products you ARE advertising... which happen to be the smartphones. Very convenient: abandon advertising on one thing, only advertise the new thing, and then use the excuse that only the new thing is selling so the market for the old thing is dead."

People will buy the stupidest things solely based upon advertising. Advertising can single-handedly create and kill markets. It is not honorable to first manipulate your advertising, then take the results and swap cause/effect to justify a pre-determined move as if it were outside of your control.

If Palm actually PRODUCED some decent PDAs and MARKETED them, guess what? THEY'D BE SELLING! But they don't, so the whole "PDAs aren't selling too hot these days" is the "duh" heard 'round the world.

While some people might like smartphones, they really are not well-suited. They are a moden image thing more than a practical one, used as a status symbol inspired by Blackberries. A merged phone+PDA makes for a device that is not good as either. It's too bulky as a phone, it's too small as a PDA.

People scream on these forums and others about wanting more PDA-only devices and exactly what they want in a PDA. Customers are doing Palm's market-research for them free of charge and handing the results to them on a silver platter. There is no technical reason that such a device could not be produced, and sellible at a pricepoint that would make both Palm and customers happy. So what's Palm's excuse for not producing one? Just the circular red-herring argument that "the PDA market is going away"... a BS situation of their own creation.

http://vtbsd.net/winhelp/

RE: The Decline of Sales
MovableTechnology51 @ 8/3/2006 8:02:06 PM # Q
Palm never promoted the PDA and what the PDA could accomplish for the average person. Palm chose not to listen to anyone when suggestions were made (I know because I've spoken directly to their reps in user group meetings). But the other reason for the decline is that selling smartphones made them more money. The PDA as consumer device depends on "churning" the market, which means constantly getting comsumers to buy the latest model with better features. Smartphones on the other hand were purchased by the carriers with only some of the costs passed along to the consumer. This was a much more attractive business model for Palm. Why put the money into manufacturing R&D for a number of models when you could only have just 2 smartphone lines to develop and improve?

RE: The Decline of Sales
Gekko @ 8/3/2006 8:07:05 PM # Q

no, silly. if there was a big growing market for handhelds, somebody would fill it. it is not a question of supply but of demand. demand drives supply. now stop being silly.



RE: The Decline of Sales
drw @ 8/3/2006 10:48:16 PM # Q
I demand an update for my aging Tungsten C. At this point I don't care if it's produced by Palm, HP, or Dell.

I want a decent thumbpad (i.e. not the midget treo thumbpad), wifi with wpa capability, bluetooth, and fast processor.

Why is there no supply for my demand?

---
David

RE: The Decline of Sales
Gekko @ 8/3/2006 11:06:34 PM # Q

Because you are in the minority, sir.

It's 2006. Do you demand a rotary phone too? How about an 8 track tape player?

Now get with the times and stop being silly.



RE: The Decline of Sales
freakout @ 8/4/2006 12:07:34 AM # Q
I want a decent thumbpad (i.e. not the midget treo thumbpad), wifi with wpa capability, bluetooth, and fast processor.

If you can stomach Windows Mobile, one of those HTC ones with the horizontal slide-out keyboard would be just what you're after, methinks.

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

RE: The Decline of Sales
zinzan @ 8/4/2006 8:42:42 AM # Q

He's not living int the past at all, there simply hasn't been a better device made since - it's lack of competition that has caused stagnation in the market place. The Palm OS/Pocket PC competition is irrelevant as both formts have their supporters.The problem is Palm has a a monopoly. Look at the devices and change that occurred when Sony were marketting Clies. It was a brilliant time to be loking for handhleds. That is what is needed now, someone to come into the market and put a boot up palm's a$$ and make them compete.
I agree with some earlier comments - the reason the market is in decline is that the devices are not being renewed on a regular basis and they simply are not cutting edge enough.
Palm has become lazy and is trying to milk the treo cash cow without doing anything else to stabilise it's business. Even the treo hasn't changed much over the course of it's lifetime compare to the tungsten W. It is snail paced development that is causing the decline in the market, not lack of consumer interest. More people than ever are interested, but are not being sufficiently tempted by what's available.
RE: The Decline of Sales
JPT|X @ 8/4/2006 9:00:24 AM # Q
I think the future of the PDA is in a pda about twice the size of the tx- give it multimedia functions, fabulous handwriting recognition (not graffiti), a paper feeling but clear screen. Folding in half to be pocketable might be helpful

always on internet- and/or wifi-

and, most importantly awesomely durable and mega battery life--

4 gigs of storage would be nice- 20 gigs better.

an application that organizes all of your handwritten notes well-

RE: The Decline of Sales
Gekko @ 8/4/2006 9:46:23 AM # Q

There's no reason to buy/manage/charge/carry/sync/fight/fumble with 2+ devices when ONE Smartphone can do it all.

The rest of the free world has come to this realization. You should too.


RE: The Decline of Sales
cervezas @ 8/4/2006 10:22:59 AM # Q
Gekko wrote:
There's no reason to buy/manage/charge/carry/sync/fight/fumble with 2+ devices when ONE Smartphone can do it all.

Too many compromises for a lot of people. There are lots of trade-offs between good phone usage, screen size, weight/size, battery life, simplicity, etc. and when you bake all the features into one device you invariably force trade-offs that don't suit a lot of people. The Treo, for example, is very communication-centric, but not ideal for people who need to work with large amounts of data that they edit, search, and read because the screen is too small. I'm not sure why you insist on telling people what they need, as if everyone was exactly like you, Gekko. You'd be a lousy entrepreneur.

Anyway, if free Wi-Fi hotspots hit a critical mass it could spur a renaissance of non-phone mobile devices, including PDAs, mini-tablets, eReaders, etc. I think we're still some time away from this, but I do expect it to happen.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: The Decline of Sales
hkklife @ 8/4/2006 11:54:05 AM # Q
My personal dream device would be something the size of the TX with HVGA or a VGA screen with an internal EVDO cellular radio, full BT functionality, and a removable battery. 4gb+ of internal flash and Wi-Fi would be a bonus. Essentially, a PDA that can connect anywhere, anytime. Voice functionality is a toss-up--I could use it in a pinch or I could carry a RAZR. I just don't see phone-centric, keyboard-based smartphones matching anytime soon the functionality of a large screen tablet style PDA (TH-55, TX etc).

For the short SMS & emails I do send on my Treo I could make do with Graffiti 1 or a BT or IR keyboard while traveling.

The best part about the Treo is its "anywhere" connectivity. Its greatest compromise, by far, it its cramped screen size & resolution.


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

RE: The Decline of Sales
cervezas @ 8/4/2006 12:39:53 PM # Q
My personal dream device would be something the size of the TX with HVGA or a VGA screen with an internal EVDO cellular radio, full BT functionality, and a removable battery. 4gb+ of internal flash and Wi-Fi would be a bonus.

Me too. I keep trying the Treos and still feel cool about them, but I would happily carry the device you describe paired with a small low-function BT flip phone. I want to be able to browse on a decent sized screen, read and edit documents in a comfortable format during the 10-15 hrs/mo I spend on planes, and occasionally VNC into my desktop or servers when I'm away from a PC or can't get out through a client's firewall. I'd also like to be able to carry my development environment around on a drive-mode flash partition so I can work on software projects from any PC and not have to worry about installing/synchronizing my software or data on them. Even just 256Mb for this would be very usable for me, as the stuff that's important to me is just my IDE and a ton of text files, but if I had more I could keep a desktop email client and all my email on it, which would be awesome.



David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: The Decline of Sales
EdH @ 8/4/2006 1:21:35 PM # Q
sremick wrote:

While a wise person will say: "No wonder PDAs aren't selling. First of all, you haven't come out with a hot PDA since the T3. All the PDAs since have had countless problems and have been full of cut or compromised features. If you don't offer people something better than what they already have, there's no incentive for them to buy a new PDA. Also, if you all but abandon advertising PDAs, of course they're going to not sell as much as the products you ARE advertising... which happen to be the smartphones. Very convenient: abandon advertising on one thing, only advertise the new thing, and then use the excuse that only the new thing is selling so the market for the old thing is dead."

No. The wise person looks at a PDA and goes "why in the world would I want one of these when I can get the same functionality in a device that has a cellular radio in it, i.e. is a phone?"

ONly the nostalgic are wanting a really cool PDA circa 2001 mentality. I really wish Palm or HP would come out with a really great PDA that would be the best PDA ever built just so sales would totally flop since it lacked cellular technology just to prove my point, because it would fail miserably. By almost any measure, today's PDAs are far superior to anything made in 2003 or 2004, yet people are, with good reason, totally uninterested.

RE: The Decline of Sales
Timothy Rapson @ 8/4/2006 2:12:43 PM # Q
There are two possible models that could endorse if not prove your point.

The Axim X51v is all that and a bag of chips. Lacks only a camera.

The Palm TX is another. Has a LOT of what we've always wanted.

But, the Axim is the same $500 list it was when it came out 2.5 years ago. Why are sales going down? Everyone who wants to pay that much for one has already done so. They need to add a camera or lower the price. The price is exactly why I don't have one.

The TX? Well, it offers practically no more features than a three-year-old T3 and it is slower and more buggy. It does not work with my essential legacy app.

Now, if you could get Dell to release a camera model for $400 or to drop each of their models down one price slot, I would buy one. If the TX had a removable battery, camera, and worked with FITALY (etc.) I would have one. There are two more sales than they have gotten with the current tired status quo.


The fact is that competition from cell phones or not, a market this bereft of new reasons to buy, AND with prices actually increasing (rediculous in a high-tech market area.) is no way to increase sales. No wonder.

RE: The Decline of Sales
hkklife @ 8/4/2006 2:31:26 PM # Q
The TX is at a distinct disadvantage to the T3 in several key areas:

No charge LED
No microphone or VR software
No vibrating alarm
No CDMA BT DUN functionality
No cradle in the box
Cheap, tired looking plastic housing
Inferior stylus to T|T/LD line
Still some OS/NVFS quirks & lag

The TX looks like a screaming value at $299 MSRP until you realize that the T3 was only $399 new in 2003 and selling for much less than tha at reputable retailers (I bought my 2nd T3 for $320 new at BB).

EdH, it's entirely possible to produce a world-beating PDA with today's economies of scale and sell it profitably at $300ish. It's just that the manufacturers don't see a NEED to. Timothy is right in that the TX only improves on the T3 by adding wi-fi and 2x the program memory (at the expense of DBHeap memory).

Again, cellular connectivity is the key IMO. Take the TX-style device I mention and add an EVDO capable CDMA radio to it and you have a superb device. The X51v lacks only a camera & cellular connectivity and is saddled with WinMob.

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

RE: The Decline of Sales
Timothy Rapson @ 8/4/2006 8:20:54 PM # Q
Exactly.

I can't speak for the whole market, but for myself. I would have bought twice or three times (I would have bought one for everyone in my family) as many PDAs if they had kept up the pace of feature improvement, price drops, etc. that they were making in 2002-2003 era. Just for myself, the reason I am not buying is exactly what I have heard stated over and over right here.

It is not because of cell phones. I don't own one, and I know no one who has a cell phone who uses it as I use my PDA.

It is not because laptops are so cheap. I can't carry a laptop in my pocket all day and am unlikely to ever buy one.

It is because I can't get a full featured, powerful, PDA at a decent price.

This is the device you want, Beersy. Try it. You'll like it.
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 8/6/2006 4:41:13 PM # Q
>>>My personal dream device would be something the size of the TX with HVGA or a VGA screen with an internal EVDO cellular radio, full BT functionality, and a removable battery. 4gb+ of internal flash and Wi-Fi would be a bonus.

Me too. I keep trying the Treos and still feel cool about them, but I would happily carry the device you describe paired with a small low-function BT flip phone. I want to be able to browse on a decent sized screen, read and edit documents in a comfortable format during the 10-15 hrs/mo I spend on planes, and occasionally VNC into my desktop or servers when I'm away from a PC or can't get out through a client's firewall. I'd also like to be able to carry my development environment around on a drive-mode flash partition so I can work on software projects from any PC and not have to worry about installing/synchronizing my software or data on them. Even just 256Mb for this would be very usable for me, as the stuff that's important to me is just my IDE and a ton of text files, but if I had more I could keep a desktop email client and all my email on it, which would be awesome.

http://www.digitalworldtokyo.com/2006/05/review_sony_vaio_vgnux50_handh.php

This is the REAL THING, Beersy. Trust me.

TVoR

RE: The Decline of Sales
Gekko @ 8/6/2006 8:24:40 PM # Q

carrying around a 1 pound brick that you can't even pocket kind of defeats the purpose. you might as well just buy a Dell ultralight notebook with a full screen and keyboard rather than this novelty.



RE: This is the device you want, Beersy. NOT.
cervezas @ 8/8/2006 12:51:19 PM # Q
I think that review makes pretty clear why very few people are going to have any use for a device like this. Unusable keyboard, unusable pixel density on the screen, extremely short battery life, and ridiculously high price. It's a neat toy to show off to friends, but not something you can get any real work done on.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
www.pikesoft.com/blog
Reply to this comment

PDAs - a twenty-five year old niche

ChiA @ 8/4/2006 9:00:13 PM # Q
PDAs have been around for the past twenty-five years (before they were even called PDAs) and yet, unlike mobile phones, they've never appealed to a broad market.

Late 70s and early 80s:
- Sharp and Casio pocket computers (which resembled calculators on steroids

80s:
- Psion Organiser
- Psion Series 3
- Atari Portfolio (a pocketable, handheld DOS machine)
- those cheap and cheerful electronic diaries

90s:
- Apple Newton (which coined the term PDA)
- Psion Series 5 (whose EPOC OS morphed into the current Symbian)
- our own lovable PalmPilot
- Windows CE and PocketPC abominations from HP, Dell etc.

00s:
the familiar PalmOS and Windows Mobile gallery.

PDAs haven't taken off simply because few people require the features offered by a PDA or their needs are just as satisfactorily met by cheaper alternatives (paper, mobile etc).

Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital. Aaron Levenstein

RE: PDAs - a twenty-five year old niche
ChiA @ 8/4/2006 9:23:59 PM # Q
...therefore it's natural that PDA sales decline as more and more phones (smart or otherwise) incorporate features which were previously unique to a PDA. There will still be a niche market for heavy PDA users until UMPCs with the price, size and battery life of a PDA are available (which is probably not more than two-three years away). Most other people will gravitate towards the phone with PDA function as they'll use more of the phone function than the PDA.

It's notable that several laptop manufacturers are incorporating HSDPA 3G cellular into their laptops. A UMPC with this feature but with the usability, price, size and battery life of a smartphone will kill the smartphone market stone dead.

Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital. Aaron Levenstein

RE: PDAs - a twenty-five year old niche
hkklife @ 8/4/2006 11:26:30 PM # Q
Don't you dare forget the Tandy 100/102!!!

http://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?c=233
This was THE machine back in the day! I remember wanting one sooo badly as a kid b/c I thought the Tandy + the old acoustic coupler 300 baud modem was THE setup to have! Typing wasn't too terribly difficult on these old warhorses either!



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

Reply to this comment

My take.

VampireLestat @ 8/5/2006 3:59:30 AM # Q
I am very happy to see that Palm is the solid leader for handhelds; more than both Dell and HP together.

This market downturn can be reversed. The blame is on the makers.

HP = ridiculous products not even meriting analysis. They are a farce.
Dell = 1 VGA model with tons of problems.

Palm is once again the master of handhelds. I'd like to believe that the formidable Palm TX is responsible for keeping handhelds sales going.

Now why are Palm handhelds declining?
- Palm is solely seriously focused on Treos. Handheld R&D is being abused.
- There is a false impression out there that the market is dying and everyone is discouraged. This is crazy. The first company to wake up and aggressively attack the market with exciting new devices will start consolidating big parts of the market.
- Look@!.. I already have a fricken TX, if they want me to spend again, the need to release more handheld units. All I see is TREO THIS, TREO THAT; and I am sick of it.
- The LD was a disaster because of the HD lag and I blame it for hurtning Palm's prestigious reputation.
- The TX lacks a whole bunch of cool things that were present in the T5 and T3. Bring em back! Wake up!
- They need to follow my detailed advice on Brighthand on how to make the TX|2.
- The TX|2 has to been a middle price point market for business consumers like myself. Actually I am lying, I would pay much more than 399$CAD if it contained advanced features, hardware and software. And OLED. Maybe make two releases of the Palm TX|2.
- OS 6 or Palm OS Unity!
- OLED to take us into the next generation of visual clarity and battery savings.


HP and Dell are sloppy and weak right now, their guard is down, they have no creativity, it shows they have no vision, no direction, no spirit. THIS IS ONE OF THEM GOLDEN OPPORTUNITIES FOR PALM TO SWOOP INTO THE MARKET WITH A KILLER PDA AND STEAL AWAY MANY OF THE PPC CONSUMERS. Windows Mobile 5 is trash and Palm should not wait until Gates fixes it and takes over the world market.

Palm TOTALLY missed the iPOD market boat. They should have taken that market a long time before Apple. I ask all my friends, "Why are you not buying a Palm instead of your mp3 player? Don't you know that it runs thousands of programs for just a 100$ more?" Answer: "Yeah I know but this is all I need and 399$CAD is too much. Besides, my MP3 player has 8 GB and costs less!".
So how come Palm does not make a PalmPOD with 160x160 with PocketTunes and Core Media Player, at an MP3 player price? Apple is selling those iPODs which are in turn resulting in Desktop MacIntosh sales. A PalmPod would result in upgrades to more sophisticated Palm devices. And EVEN IF IT DID NOT!, Palm would still be in the game with 160x160 (or maybe even widescreen for DVD movies) OLED mp3/ogg/movie players; with the added advantage of running thousands of programs. It is surreal to me that Palm is not fighting in that market and leveraging the huge and incredibly fun to use Palm OS software library. The message to the market should be: "Choose Palm! You know us well as the inventors of handhelds and now you can choose an MP3 player from us that looks like all the others you are used to seeing, in the same price range, but... BUT! look at this... movies... and thousands of programs! What the hell are you waiting for?"


RE: My take.
Foo Fighter @ 8/5/2006 8:44:58 AM # Q
>> "I am very happy to see that Palm is the solid leader for handhelds; more than both Dell and HP together."

Wrong again, clueless. According to these figures Windows Mobile vendors outsell Palm by a substantial margin, at least 600,000 units sold. Possibly more depending on what percentage of "Other" belongs to Microsoft.

Second, only you would see Palm's declining sales as good news. Do you not understand that Palm's handheld sales are tanking? In the year ago quarter Palm sold more than 638,376. This quarter they lost more than twenty five percent of sales, only moving 475,000 units. At the rate of loss Palm will be where HP is now by late '07.

Palm will be out of the handheld business next year, as will everyone else.

>> "This market downturn can be reversed. The blame is on the makers."

Uh..no..the blame is on consumers, who aren't interested in buying obsolete technology. Nobody wants PDAs anymore.

>> "Palm is once again the master of handhelds."

Palm isn't master of any market. Certainly not handhelds. Or did you somehow miss the part of this report disclosing Palm's 25% loss in sales? And how exactly is it "good" that Palm is leader in a dying product segment. Would it make you happy if Palm was leading the Fondue pot market?

>> "I'd like to believe that the formidable Palm TX is responsible for keeping handhelds sales going."

Be my guest. You'll believe just about anything outside the realm of reality. Don't let logic get in the way of a good fantasy. All things considered I would imagine TX probably is Palm's product leader, but since sales are dropping and consumers show little interest it's a moot point.

>> "There is a false impression out there that the market is dying and everyone is discouraged. This is crazy."

Yeah, false impressions can be a funny thing, but I've never seen a case where one managed to kill off an entire market. Handheld sales are dying because DEMAND is dying. It's the basic business concept of supply vs. demand. Palm could introduce an entire new line of stellar PDA products this month, and none of them would sell beyond current levels. You keep implying that all it takes to reignite the PDA sector is a X feature, but that simply isn't the case. Go ahead and add that OLED screen to the TX, it won't make a damned bit of difference.

>> "Palm is solely seriously focused on Treos. Handheld R&D is being abused. [snip] All I see is TREO THIS, TREO THAT; and I am sick of it."

Well be prepared to check yourself into the Infirmary, because that's all you're ever going to hear. Palm is wisely investing its R&D money into growth segments. No one is investing in the handheld space, and for good reason. They would be burning much needed cash on a declining segment.

>> "OS 6 or Palm OS Unity!"

There isn't going to be a PalmOS 6. Based on what we already know, the OS that Access is working on is not PalmOS, it's something completely different whose only connection to PalmOS will lay in its ability to run Palm apps (via PACE). Beyond that, the OS will most likely look and feel completely alien to you.

ALP isn't going to be to PalmOS what OSX was to Macintosh.

As for Palm Unity, this is all rumor fodder. We've seen no evidence to support the existence of this secret OS project that some believe is in the works at Palm. And Palm's hiring of numerous Linux developers, which was the basis for this rumor, were most likely utilized in Palm's collaborative efforts with PalmSource.

Palm's strategy has been, and will continue to be, to implement and support Garnet on its products. That is the future platform as far as Palm is concerned. At least until ALP arrives, or they move completely to Windows Mobile, whichever comes first.

>> "THIS IS ONE OF THEM GOLDEN OPPORTUNITIES FOR PALM TO SWOOP INTO THE MARKET WITH A KILLER PDA AND STEAL AWAY MANY OF THE PPC CONSUMERS. Windows Mobile 5 is trash and Palm should not wait until Gates fixes it and takes over the world market."

My eyes are rolling so far back in my head I can see the inside of my sockets. You really need to get out more.

First of all, genius, Windows Mobile outsells PalmOS quite a big market, and it's growing fast. PalmOS is on its deathbed. Developers know this, which is why we're seeing lessening interest in PalmOS development. Just about every new app in existence arrives on Windows Mobile first. So, trash or not, Windows Mobile leads PalmOS.

Second, you needn't worry about Windows Mobile taking over the world market. That will NEVER happen. The handset market is simply to broad and too fragmented. At this point in time MS has I believe somewhere around 12% of the global market...which hardly puts them in a monopoly position.

No one company will ever lead this space, it will always have numerous players with many companies carving out profitable niches..like Palm for example. You'll see many OSs built on top of Linux (which is a rapidly growing market), then we have Symbian (who leads MS by a pretty big ass margin), then of course the proprietary OSs used by Motorola, LG, Samsung, etc.

I think the most disruptive force will be Linux, and we'll see that ultimately replace all these proprietary custom OSs that are floating around. If and when handset vendors standardize on APIs and frameworks for Linux, then and only then will mobile Linux emerge as a viable mobile platform with a wealthy application library. Until then, it's nothing more than a kernal sitting in the closet. I cringe whenever I see Motorola phones or some other device referred to as "Linux phones" because that is simply a misnomer..giving far too much credit to Linux. The Motorola ROKR E2 is a case in point; it's NOT a Linux phone...the entire software substrate is designed by Motorola. The Applications, the UI, basically everything you use and interact with is Motorola software. Just having a Linux kernal behind the curtain does not make for a "Linux phone". That's like referring to my Ford Ranger as a "Firestone" simply because it rides on Firestone tires.

But I digress...

>> "Palm TOTALLY missed the iPOD market boat."

Palm is all about computing devices. Not personal entertainment. Besides, the last company Palm needs to go head to head with is Apple. A company that has managed to soundly hand Microsoft its @ss on a plate is a company that Palm should stay far away from.

Besides, it's only a matter of time before the DAP market becomes commoditized. When that happens profit margins fall and less revenue opportunities abound. Palm still hasn't managed to master the smartphone market yet. They need to nail that down before they expand into new markets.

-------------------------------
PocketFactory, www.pocketfactory.com
Elitist Snob, www.elitistsnob.com

RE: My take.
Gekko @ 8/5/2006 7:27:26 PM # Q

Foo - great post.


RE: My take.
VampireLestat @ 8/6/2006 2:11:04 AM # Q
Wrong again, clueless. According to these figures Windows Mobile vendors outsell Palm by a substantial margin, at least 600,000 units sold. Possibly more depending on what percentage of "Other" belongs to Microsoft.

600 000? You are lumping in the 401 000 units in the Others column. You don't know for sure they all use WM. If you are comparing Palm OS vs WM, add Treos.

Second, only you would see Palm's declining sales as good news. Do you not understand that Palm's handheld sales are tanking? In the year ago quarter Palm sold more than 638,376. This quarter they lost more than twenty five percent of sales, only moving 475,000 units. At the rate of loss Palm will be where HP is now by late '07.

Sales are tanking because a) not enough new devices b) devices are only incremental or sidegrades c) the pricepoints are still an issue because of increased competition from mp3 players and feature phones.

Palm will be out of the handheld business next year, as will everyone else.

Nothing more of an opinion. For all we know, HP and Dell could be out of the business and Palm will pick those markets. No one knows.

Uh..no..the blame is on consumers, who aren't interested in buying obsolete technology. Nobody wants PDAs anymore.

No, you don't want a PDA. I do. And so do millions of other people. Palm plans on releasing handhelds with different wireless radios. If they do that, in conjuction with OLED screens and enhanced software/hardware, it will give current owners a reason to buy.

Palm isn't master of any market. Certainly not handhelds. Or did you somehow miss the part of this report disclosing Palm's 25% loss in sales? And how exactly is it "good" that Palm is leader in a dying product segment. Would it make you happy if Palm was leading the Fondue pot market?

Palm lost 25%, sure, but look at the rest; was worse. You can't keep increasing sales non-stop. The market peaks, the devices have to wear out, then people start buying again. It is a cycle. Only disillusioned, money hungry, irrealistic stock holders expect constant record growth. The Treos will plateau and fall in sales; mark my words. It is all a cycle. No product is immune.

Be my guest. You'll believe just about anything outside the realm of reality. Don't let logic get in the way of a good fantasy. All things considered I would imagine TX probably is Palm's product leader, but since sales are dropping and consumers show little interest it's a moot point.

Again, consumers are interested, they need a good reason to abandon current devices and buy new ones. And by the way, I think the E2 might be more popular than the TX, because of the lower cost.

Yeah, false impressions can be a funny thing, but I've never seen a case where one managed to kill off an entire market. Handheld sales are dying because DEMAND is dying. It's the basic business concept of supply vs. demand. Palm could introduce an entire new line of stellar PDA products this month, and none of them would sell beyond current levels. You keep implying that all it takes to reignite the PDA sector is a X feature, but that simply isn't the case. Go ahead and add that OLED screen to the TX, it won't make a damned bit of difference.

You are wrong buddy. The core need and excitement created by the ability of having mobile personal information management, mp3s, games, movies, pictures and ebooks; all on a larger screen is appealing. That appeal will not go away. What IS happening is the Apple iPod and the multiple feature phone makers are raping Palm's market. That is why I explained the need for handhelds to take on the mp3 market and Treos take on the feature phone market.

Well be prepared to check yourself into the Infirmary, because that's all you're ever going to hear. Palm is wisely investing its R&D money into growth segments. No one is investing in the handheld space, and for good reason. They would be burning much needed cash on a declining segment.

You R&D to make a product better, with the expectation of selling new devices. No R&D means lesser sales. The TX offers a 320x480 screen, WiFi and a think form factor for people who want a more specialized mobile computing experience. Treos lock you down into rigid contracts, with expensive voice and data plans and the screen is small. Not everyone is interested in Treos. I understand that market, but concluding that its success means the failure of handhelds is wrong. They are different products.

There isn't going to be a PalmOS 6. Based on what we already know, the OS that Access is working on is not PalmOS, it's something completely different whose only connection to PalmOS will lay in its ability to run Palm apps (via PACE). Beyond that, the OS will most likely look and feel completely alien to you.

I guarantee you Palm Inc. will be buying the full license rights to own and do whatever the hell they want with OS 5 and / or OS 6, or else they will be making their own 100% OS 4 OS 5 retro-compatible Palm OS ver. 2 in house based on a Linux kernel. Palm has had enough of relying on the outside for its OS, it does not want to be held by the balls anymore and they are acting. They did not buy the Palm brand name rights for nothing.

Palm's strategy has been, and will continue to be, to implement and support Garnet on its products. That is the future platform as far as Palm is concerned. At least until ALP arrives, or they move completely to Windows Mobile, whichever comes first.

Staying with OS 5 is fine. As long as the current Palm OS software base remains intact, and the Palm OS culture remains, then I have no problem with staying on OS 5. Would be nice to see if multitasking could work fast on OS 6 though. But if it means turning Palm OS into the slow WM, I am not interested.

My eyes are rolling so far back in my head I can see the inside of my sockets. You really need to get out more. First of all, genius, Windows Mobile outsells PalmOS quite a big market, and it's growing fast. PalmOS is on its deathbed. Developers know this, which is why we're seeing lessening interest in PalmOS development. Just about every new app in existence arrives on Windows Mobile first. So, trash or not, Windows Mobile leads PalmOS.

Palm OS is a superior OS in that it offers mobile users a faster, better user experience. WM leverages the illusion of the Microsoft brand name. Many Palm OS programs are coming out weekly and many are very high quality. And when they are ports from WM to Palm OS, often the Palm OS version is more fun because of the larger screen and higher resolution.

Second, you needn't worry about Windows Mobile taking over the world market. That will NEVER happen. The handset market is simply to broad and too fragmented. At this point in time MS has I believe somewhere around 12% of the global market...which hardly puts them in a monopoly position.

Good. Thank you for reassuring me. Then we agree that Palm OS can maintain and forge itself a bigger part of the world market, while operating among the competition.

Linux comments

I support Linux and all open source initiaves. I have no problem with a Palm OS Unity device with a Linux kernel, as long as it is now slower than OS 5.

Palm is all about computing devices. Not personal entertainment. Besides, the last company Palm needs to go head to head with is Apple. A company that has managed to soundly hand Microsoft its @ss on a plate is a company that Palm should stay far away from.

Fear will assure a downfall. Apple is not God. Palm OS is a superior well established product and it will grow is Palm Inc. does things right. It took a decade to get Palm OS where it is today, Palm Inc. would be stupid to abandon it.

Besides, it's only a matter of time before the DAP market becomes commoditized. When that happens profit margins fall and less revenue opportunities abound. Palm still hasn't managed to master the smartphone market yet. They need to nail that down before they expand into new markets.

Commoditized products means mass sales at lower prices. How can that be bad for consumers? And if there are more sales, how can it be bad for Palm? The whole idea is to make handhelds second nature for millions of people. Palm is about to find out how tough it is to ensure a good long term business plan when they have to rely on carriers for so many things. Like anyone who invests, they should have a diversified portefolio (just in case), and that means holding on to the handheld market.

I will continue to buy Palm OS handhelds.

RE: My take.
AdamaDBrown @ 8/6/2006 11:46:59 AM # Q
Foo wrote:
Besides, it's only a matter of time before the DAP market becomes commoditized. When that happens profit margins fall and less revenue opportunities abound.

Three words: "Free with activation." Smartphones are going to become commoditized long before multimedia will, which is why as a long term profit center smartphones are a losing battle.

Go easy on Bloodsucker Boy. Smartphones are NOT the answer.
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 8/6/2006 3:27:54 PM # Q
Vamp, is English your 3rd (turd) language? Are you in Quebec? Thought so.

Anyway, you made a few decent points among your clueless cheerleading drivel.

1) Palm currently has a disorganized corporate strategy and a VERY weak lineup of products.

2) Yes, Palm completely missed an opportunity to be a MAJOR force in the MP3 player market which could have revitalized sales of PalmOS devices. Even now they could sell a basic $99 Palm that plays MP3 and generate a ton of impulse sales

3) The "death" of handhelds is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Say it enough times and everyone (consumers, pundits, retailers and manufacturers) begin to believe it. And once sales falter, it adds more fuel to the fire. Palm hasn't produced a decent PDA in YEARS, so consumers don't have any compelling reasons to buy a Palm. Palm needs to trim down and revamp its lineup of devices in an effort to resuscitate the market.

- a $99 MP3 player-centric device
- a $199 improved TX˛
- a $299 PalmPort™ with all the bells & whistles (TH55 form factor, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, DVD ripping software, MP3 software, etc.)
- $199 Treo 200 phone-centric smartphone
- $499 Treo 800g (without keyboard) and 800k (with keyboard) data-centric smartphones [Wi-Fi, internal antenna, smaller, lighter, durable black case, 128 MB RealRAM™ or 512 MB NVRAM, high quality speaker + microphone, 2 MP camera]

http://www.churchoflivingfaith.com/images/treo800big.jpg

If Palm doesn't want to take a chance on traditional PDAs, then they should simply concentrate on the $99 and $199 price points.

***************************************************************************

With current technology, smartphones - by definition - require users to make several compromises. Not everyone wants to make those compromises. In order to have a screen large enough to be comfortable to use as a PDA, a smartphone becomes too large to use as a regular cellphone. Battery life in smartphones can't compete with separate devices. Using phone and PDA at the same time is awkward with smartphones. Having the ability to upgrade only the phone or PDA is a compelling option. Having the redundancy of data afforded by separate devices is reassuring (lose/damage one device and you still have access to contacts, schedule, etc. on the other). Furthermore, not everyone needs (or wants) a cellphone. A 3 or 4 ounce tiny Bluetooth phone with EVDO capability + a separate 5 ounce 320 x 480 screened Bluetooth/Wi-Fi PDA is a much more effective combination than a regular smartphone.

Ubiquitous Wi-Fi will cause a resurgence in sales of PDA-sized devices. The question is whether the price + battery life advantage of PalmOS devices will be able to overcome the obvious advantage of running Real Windows™ on a UMPC. Palm is missing yet another opportunity to gain market share by positioning their devices as Wi-Fi connected Internet tablets/video players.

Palm's failure to grow its market is DIRECTLY a result of the company's lack of interesting/useful new products. If you've ever seen a CLIE TH55 set up with apps like TCPMP, WiFile, Mergic VPN, Picsel, Resco Photo Viewer, FileMan, NetFront, DVD ripping software, etc and hardware like the VR100K Memory Stick recorder (works exactly like a VCR and records TV shows directly onto Memory Stick) you'll understand how much potential PalmOS devices have, even with Good Old PalmOS 5. Why Palm has remained too lazy/clueless to exploit that potential and educate users about what its devices are capable of is the $324 million question.

TVoR

RE: My take.
AdamaDBrown @ 8/6/2006 7:48:28 PM # Q
3) The "death" of handhelds is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Say it enough times and everyone (consumers, pundits, retailers and manufacturers) begin to believe it. And once sales falter, it adds more fuel to the fire. Palm hasn't produced a decent PDA in YEARS, so consumers don't have any compelling reasons to buy a Palm. Palm needs to trim down and revamp its lineup of devices in an effort to resuscitate the market.

Jackpot. Glad to hear somebody else say it.

Honestly, I don't think that the window to break into the multimedia market is closed yet. There are a lot of future killer apps that iPods and the like can't touch yet. If they try to scale up into things like streaming audio, wireless music delivery, etcetera, they're going to hit the same kind of roadblocks that Palm OS went through when they started trying to adapt it from being a basic organizer to a full-fledged OS. A tightly optimized system doesn't scale up well. Palm (or HP, or Dell, et al) already has all the needed infrastructure; just write the application which interfaces with the online music library. They provide the hardware, and partner with someone else who handles the content. Provide searches for title, artist, album, lyric, etcetera, and offer instant downloads. How much envy would that provoke among the iPod faithful?

RE: My take.
Gekko @ 8/6/2006 8:13:25 PM # Q

>Three words: "Free with activation." Smartphones are going to become commoditized long before multimedia will, which is why as a long term profit center smartphones are a losing battle.

Almost everything eventually gets commoditized, silly.

But if you're good, you can still make a profit. For instance, Dell made $3.4 BILLION in profit last fiscal year selling primarily PCs.

You armchair capitalists scare me.


RE: My take.
Gekko @ 8/6/2006 8:19:24 PM # Q

Palm is giving the market what it wants - Smartphones. If there was a void in the market for X PDA, somebody would deliver X PDA to fill that void.

Nobody but a few nerds here wants a PDA anymore.

Do any of you people work in a real, professional business environment?????? NOBODY HAS A PDA ANYMORE BECAUSE NOBODY WANTS ONE.

(*Psych-ward and Circuit City does not constitute a real, professional business environment.)

RE: My take.
Foo Fighter @ 8/6/2006 9:23:20 PM # Q
>> "600 000? You are lumping in the 401 000 units in the Others column. You don't know for sure they all use WM."

No, I am adding Acer and Mio to the equation because both are Windows Mobile vendors. That produces a grand total of 543,750 compared to Palm's 475,000. And there are still uncounted WM volumes within that mysterious "Other" category. No matter, as we would be enganging in an argument over who is dying faster than the other.

>> "Sales are tanking because a) not enough new devices b) devices are only incremental or sidegrades c) the pricepoints are still an issue because of increased competition from mp3 players and feature phones."

You'll get no argument from me that PDA vendors have allowed their handheld lines to languish, but there is a reason form this; their customers don't want PDAs. Demand drives sales, product development, R&D, etc. Palm could introduce a sleek new TX replacement tomorrow featuring an OLED screen, 4GB+ of flash storage, Opera Mini, a sh!tload of bundled software, etc., and the end result would still be the same as it is now; poor sales performance. Palm knows this, HP knows this, and Dell knows this...which is why they aren't investing in this space.

You're thinking in the right direction with point c), ecxept that the devices you referenced are the very ones that have marginalized PDAs. It's not so much that PDAs compete with cell phones and MP3 players directly in terms of price points. It has more to do with the fact those devices are more compelling and are therefore adopted by consumers. In a nutshell, consumers aren't buying PDAs because they simply do not want them. I don't know what further evidence you or the other hardcore PDA fanboys out there need before you finally realize this, but the evidence speaks for itself. Along the lines of what Ed Hansberry recently posted, I half wish Palm would develop the very PDA you're all pining for, and watch it fall flat on its face just to prove the point that consumers don't want the device you seem to be interested in.

Just look around you. What device do you see EVERYONE carry these days? From teenagers to the elderly...it's the cell phone. And more and more with regard to younger users I see cell phones being used for more advanced purposes like digital audio playback, and video. Adults care less about such features, but kids are really plugged into to this trend. Over time feature phones could even begin to dent DAP sales, which is why we're beginning to hear rumbles from Cupertino about Apple's impending iPhone, or iPod with some form of cellular connectivity. Apple knows a sea change is coming and if they are to remain competitive they need to be abreast of that techtonic shift.

>> "Nothing more of an opinion. For all we know, HP and Dell could be out of the business and Palm will pick those markets. No one knows."

You could discount what I said as mere speculation...unless you look at the numbers, which clearly define my "speculation" is a fait accompli. Handheld sales are irreversably shrinking to levels that are now officially bottoming out. Neither Palm, HP, nor Dell are going to wait for those volume levels to hit zero before bailing. In fact at the current levels HP and Dell are moving volumes, PDAs have already become unprofitable for them. Palm isn't too far behind. Dell is at 100k units per quarter, and it's no surprise they plan to bail on this experiment. HP has already publically disclosed forward looking statements, hinting at plans to leave this space.

Palm will have the distinction of being last man out only because their volumes still have farther to fall before reaching HP's current levels. Take into account that handhelds now account for less than 37% of Palm's overall revenues, and becoming less relevant with each passing quarter, and you can see that it's only a matter of time before Palm will get out...probably well into 2007. Next quarter Palm's total handheld sales are likely to hit somewhere in the 300k+ range. How do I know this? Simply by analying the percentage of decline vs. units sold on a year over year basis. By this time next year PDAs will account for somewhere in the 20-something percentile range of Palm's overall revenues, if that. Colligan and his team know this.

>> "Only disillusioned, money hungry, irrealistic stock holders expect constant record growth."

Uh...that's how investment works. The purpose of any publically traded company is to earn profits for its shareholders. That is Business 101.

You invest your money in a company in order to get back more than you put into it. What exactly do think these "money hungry" "irrealistic" (love that word you made up, it says quite a lot about your intelligence) should expect to get in return? A free coupon to the Jelly of the Month club?

>> "Palm lost 25%, sure, but look at the rest; was worse. You can't keep increasing sales non-stop. The market peaks, the devices have to wear out, then people start buying again. It is a cycle."

Rest of what? The other PDA vendors? Uh, you still don't get it, do you? THEY ARE ALL IN THE SAME BOAT. The only reason the others appear to have suffered worse is because they were already in a lower starting position to begin with. At the rate of decline Palm will soon be where HP is now. So how exactly do you see any of this as "good news" for Palm?

And this isn't a market peak, numbskull. A market peak happens when sales growth declines, not sales. The PDA market reached its peak years ago. This is a segment implosion.

>> "The Treos will plateau and fall in sales; mark my words. It is all a cycle. No product is immune."

Of course. That happens to every product category. It's the nature any popular product segment to grow and ultimately reach critical mass. There are indiciations this is now beginning to take effect with iPod sales. Where, for the first time, sales growth is tapering off. Sales are still growing, but not as sharply.

So yes, this will happen to the Treo over time. But the smartphone market has quite some time before sales begin to platuea.

>> "No, you don't want a PDA. I do. And so do millions of other people. Palm plans on releasing handhelds with different wireless radios. If they do that, in conjuction with OLED screens and enhanced software/hardware, it will give current owners a reason to buy."

Wrong. There are not millions of others who want PDAs. If there were, PDAs would be selling by the millions instead of 100k lots. And those numbers are shrinking with each quarter. As I've said in other discussions, there simply aren't enough of "you" out there to sustain this market. Hence disintegrating sales.

>> "Again, consumers are interested, they need a good reason to abandon current devices and buy new ones. And by the way, I think the E2 might be more popular than the TX, because of the lower cost."

This may come as a complete shock to you...but most consumers don't own a PDA. So that rather deflates your argument about pent up demand rejuvinating PDA sales. People aren't waiting to buy anything...they're buying iPods, digital cameras, Cell phones. Consumers vote with their wallets by investing in what they want. And they don't want PDAs.

>> "You are wrong buddy. The core need and excitement created by the ability of having mobile personal information management, mp3s, games, movies, pictures and ebooks; all on a larger screen is appealing. That appeal will not go away. What IS happening is the Apple iPod and the multiple feature phone makers are raping Palm's market. That is why I explained the need for handhelds to take on the mp3 market and Treos take on the feature phone market."

PIM can be found on any garden variety cell phone, desktop PC, iPod, or gaming device. It's a pedestrian feature that no longer requires a dedicated device (PDA). My Treo 650 and Nokia E61 are both far better PIM devices simply by integrating a phone into the mix, allowing me to no only access contacts in my address book but also call or send emails directly to them at the push of a button. Or did you forget that a PDA is a business tool, not a plaything for geeks?

As for digital audio content...people want iPods for that, not PDAs. Ebooks are a non starter as that technology has failed to even get off the ground. Pictures? Cell phones are what I see people snapping and sharing photos with...not a PDA. For real photography a digital camera is the tool of choice. Movies? Who the hell watches movies on a tiny screen except video iPod junkies? That feature will matter even less as Apple is going to release a full screen video device in November that will likely take the market by storm. Guess which device people will buy this holiday season for portable video playback? If you said PDA, you'd be wrong again.

Palm isn't going to take on Apple. That battle would be lost before war was even declared. Microsoft is in for one hell of a bumpy ride with its ZUNE project, and even they know this. You think an also ran like Palm is even contemplating going up against Apple? Colligan is smarter than that.

>> "The TX offers a 320x480 screen, WiFi and a think form factor for people who want a more specialized mobile computing experience."

All true, except you're assuming consumers actually want that mobile computing experience you speak so highly of. Guess what? They don't!

>> "Treos lock you down into rigid contracts, with expensive voice and data plans and the screen is small."

You are already tied down to a contract anyway when you buy a cell phone line. If your smartphone has WiFI then you don't need the costly data plan. And smartphones come in different form factors, some feature rather nice large screens.

>> "Not everyone is interested in Treos. I understand that market, but concluding that its success means the failure of handhelds is wrong. They are different products."

It's not that growth of smartphones that precludes the dead of handhelds. It's the death handheld sales that preclude that.

>> "I guarantee you Palm Inc. will be buying the full license rights to own and do whatever the hell they want with OS 5 and / or OS 6"

Uh..what makes you think Access is going to sell them the rights to do so? You're forgetting that Palm doesn't have the luxury of simply buying what they need to do "whatever the hell they want" with PalmOS. They blew that when they spun-off and subsequently allowed PalmOS to be bought up. They are screwed now.

>> "or else they will be making their own 100% OS 4 OS 5 retro-compatible Palm OS ver. 2 in house based on a Linux kernel. "

Except they can't do that legally. So no, Palm will not be developing its own flavor of PalmOS. The funny thing is you and the other nutsacks can't read the tea leaves..we already know Palm's future plans with regards to PalmOS...they're going to stick with Garnet. The only question that remains is will they adopt ALP? I doubt they will, and I fully expect them to shift entirely to Windows Mobile.

>> "Palm OS is a superior OS in that it offers mobile users a faster, better user experience."

OSX offers a superior user experience to Windows, and yet Macintosh accounts for less than 5% of the overall PC market. The funny thing about Microsoft is they don't need to reach perfection in order to win the game. They just need to reach a stage of "good enough" to succeed. They manage to pull that off with the PC client OS, and now they're doing it with mobile devices as well.

>> "Then we agree that Palm OS can maintain and forge itself a bigger part of the world market, while operating among the competition."

No, I said Windows Mobile will never dominate the market. No one OS will ever do that here. PalmOS on the other hand is finished. It will linger on only while Palm continues manufacturing products based on this antiquated platform. PalmOS is shrinking by the way, I don't understand why you claim it has even the slightest hope of maintaining its presence in the market, let alone forging ahead. But then again you'll beleive just about anything, so good luck with that.

>> "I support Linux and all open source initiaves. I have no problem with a Palm OS Unity device with a Linux kernel, as long as it is now slower than OS 5."

If, by support, you mean that you downloaded a free copy of Linux and installed it on your PC then you are not a "supporter" of Linux. If you're a true supporter then open your wallet as I have done and donate money to the cause. Otherwise you're nothing more than a leech using freebie software. The last time I downloaded Ubuntu I donated $20 to the cause.

>> "Fear will assure a downfall. Apple is not God. Palm OS is a superior well established product and it will grow is Palm Inc. does things right."

Even mentioning Apple and Palm in the same sentence is a joke unto itself. But the fact that you think PalmOS is growing is even more comical. Do you not understand that PalmOS is a dying platform, with shrinking sales a shrinking user base?

>> "It took a decade to get Palm OS where it is today, Palm Inc. would be stupid to abandon it."

They don't have a choice. Much like the transition from handhelds to smartphones they too must transition to a platform where demand and growth is heading. That ain't PalmOS.

>> "Commoditized products means mass sales at lower prices. How can that be bad for consumers?"

It's bad for consumers because the "advantages" of commiditized products (i.e. lower prices) comes at a cost to innovation and selection. Because over time fewer developer participate in a market that is over saturated and profit anemic. So basically you get products that are cheap, but suck immensely. Is that really what you want in order to save a buck? Not me. Just look at the PC market. I build my own PCs, and tomorrow when Apple announces its new Intel-based PowerMac success at WWDC I'll be waiting right there with my credit card in hand. I reward innovators by buying their products. Which is also why I recently purchased a Nokia E61 instead of waiting for Palm to regurgitate their tired Treo design.

-------------------------------
PocketFactory, www.pocketfactory.com
Elitist Snob, www.elitistsnob.com

RE: My take.
Gekko @ 8/6/2006 9:54:22 PM # Q

Foo - Wow, nice energetic rant (especially for a Sunday night). What are you drinking? I need to get me some of that shiit!



RE: My take.
Foo Fighter @ 8/6/2006 10:22:31 PM # Q
Pabst, baby! Get yourself a case of Pabst!

-------------------------------
PocketFactory, www.pocketfactory.com
Elitist Snob, www.elitistsnob.com
RE: My take.
VampireLestat @ 8/7/2006 1:12:57 AM # Q
Time will tell who is right.

I and many others who enjoy handhelds with Palm OS will stay the course.

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Pardon - 'Dell's out' post shoulda been here

SeldomVisitor @ 8/7/2006 5:51:29 PM # Q
.

RE: Pardon - 'Dell's out' post shoulda been here
Gekko @ 8/7/2006 5:58:36 PM # Q

Good. Now maybe they can get the f***ing stock price back up.



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