MobileInfocenter

Editorial: iPhone or iClone?

By: Tim Carroll
January 10, 2007

How to define a surprise that isn't? Rumours have been floating around for years, but Apple finally laid them to rest today when they announced the long-awaited iPhone. It's a svelte, sexy little smartphone, with an impressively long spec sheet and unique new gesture-based touch controls, that appears to have ripped more than a few pages out of the Treo's playbook.

So, the big question: how do our beloved Treos stack up against this uber-machine? Is Palm dead and buried? Will this strange rash on my inner thigh go away with the liberal application of moisturising products, or should I try a heavy-duty burn ointment? [note: edit that last sentence out. I don't want to be seen as a shill for moisturising companies] Let's take a blowtorch to the hype. Read on for PIC's in-depth analysis...

Looks: The new gangly iTeen

The iPhone is indeed a gorgeous little unit. It's very thin with a huge 3.5 inch display and an accelerometer that automatically switches from portrait to landscape in one smooth motion. The "first-glance" test blows both the WinMob and PalmOS Treos out of the water: the UI is simply beautiful, with smooth, clear fonts, transparencies and iPod-inherited sliding menus.

The display is 320x480 and has an impressively high pixels-per-inch ratio of 160 - about the same as the Treo, but with more screen real estate. When it comes to brightness, there are two big innovations: firstly, the iPhone has a sensor that detects when it's pushed up against another object - like your head - and accordingly dims the screen and locks the touchscreen. Secondly, there's an ambient light sensor that will adapt the brightness of the screen to your environment, outdoors or indoors - a functionality very similar to the Brightcam app for the Treo, but (one assumes) a much more advanced implementation.

In short, the closest Palm has to competing with this in looks is the dark, rubberised and nice-looking Treo 750. And "nice-looking" is far from "gorgeous". Point to Apple.

Everybody Loves Features. Nobody Loves Bankruptcy

Apple iPhone vs Palm TreoPalm should be embarassed. Apple's debut product has more and better features than the Treo, the market leader! Landscape display: check. Wi-fi: check. Bluetooth 2.0: check. 2 megapixel camera: check. Gigs of internal storage: check. Standard 3.5mm headphone jack: check. In short, the iPhone will have all the features that Treo users have been clamoring for for years.

But this impressive spec sheet comes at a price: $499. Minimum. With contract. If you want an 8GB model then it's $599. A Treo 680 with contract is $199 standard, and you can throw in an 8GB SDHC card for about another $100. So for half the price of the 8GB iPhone, you can get a Treo 680 with the same amount of storage. Even the premium Treo 750 is cheaper.

I give the point to Palm here: Apple's price is exorbitant, no matter the feature set. There's no other word for it. Give it a year or two and I imagine we'll see that number fall a bit, but for now a Treo 680 represents better value for money. And with that spare 2-300 hundred bucks you could buy a seperate camera that puts iPhone to shame.

A Pinch of Web

iPhone's most impressive feature is the fully-loaded Safari web browser. Rather than taking Blazer's on-device optimizing route, or Opera Mini's server-side compression path, iPhone basically gives us a desktop browser with some truly unique features that make it much more feasible for mobile use.

How have Apple gotten around the size limitations of a phone screen? Easy: smart zooming. When you load up a page, it will present it to you as a whole, zoomed out so you can see the entire thing. Think of it as looking down from a blimp. If you double-tap a particular item, it will dynamically zoom in. Say you wanted to look at a picture more closely: tap-tap and it now fills the screen. For manual zooming, you just place two fingers on the screen and pinch them together, or push them apart. It looks great.

Questions still remain: will it support Java applets? Flash? Do we really want real web pages on a tiny screen? Is it going to usable in one hand, like Blazer? I'm guessing not, given that you need two hands for zooming and there's no buttons for quick link-selection or the like. But those are just niggles: this looks truly amazing and should finally provide us with real mobile internet.

Also on the wireless internet front, Apple have seen fit to include WiFi, an area Palm have neglected for years. Given that Cingular will be selling this device, it's amazing that Apple were able to win this concession, given the carrier's obvious reluctance to undercut their own wireless networks. Even more amazing? iPhone will dynamically switch data connections between wifi and cellular networks, depending on what's available.

Point to Apple. Actually, give them two.

iPod On Steroids

We all knew the iPhone was going to incorporate iPod features, but I certainly didn't suspect they were going to soup it up as much they have. The media functionality works exactly the same as any iPod, with a hierarchical sliding menu format, except the much bigger display means navigating your media collection is a bucketload of Easy. But not as easy as a Treo app like mOcean, where you just type a few letters to get what you want. There's an extra sheen of gloss over everything that frankly makes the iPod look like something you'd find fossilised in a cave, next to stone knives and rock carvings.

Also worthy of mention is the video playback: it automatically switches to landscape mode and you can toggle letterbox and pan-and-scan views with a tap. Given the thinness of the device, I'm very skeptical of how this will affect the battery: Apple claims five hours of playback. I simply don't belive it, but I suppose we'll have to take their word for it until we can run some real-world tests. There's no word on which video formats it will support: DivX in particular is a must for any video player to be taken seriously. We'll be keeping our eyes open.

Of course, all your media is synced with iTunes. Say what you will about iTunes (personally, I loathe it), but it's a very well-rounded and simple process and much better than the third-party media solutions we currently have available to us on Palm OS. I've long held that Palm need to integrate media functionality into the Palm Desktop, a similarly intuitive one-stop sync shop. iPhone will hopefully spur them into action, but to be frank iTunes has an enormous head start and I don't see Palm catching up anytime soon.

Point to Apple.

The sincerest form of flattery...

Apple claim to have "revolutionised the phone" with iPhone. It's a load of hogwash; Apple have ripped off the Treo wholesale when it comes to on-screen call controls, Contacts management, Favourites and threaded messaging. Not that this is a bad thing: indeed, more companies could stand to follow Palm's example. But Apple have made a few key blunders, chief of which is the complete absence of physical buttons.

For example, one of the most strident criticisms of the Treo is the difficulty of dialing without looking. Touchscreen buttons provide no feedback and those physical number keys are just a little too fiddly for those with big thumbs. iPhone isn't going to solve your problems here: you're limited to a touchscreen dialpad and that's it. Amusingly, Jobs unintentionally highlighted this problem in his keynote: while telling us how Apple have "revolutionised the phone", he dialed the wrong number.

According to Jobs, Apple want to move us away from dialing the phone number constantly and instead dial via a Contacts search. This is the default on a Treo and again, the physical keyboard puts it streets ahead.

Apple iPhoneAnother issue with the phone is the on-screen End Call button. Palm specifically dropped this from the 680 because people were too often accidentally mashing the button with their ear or other body parts. While Apple's innovative new proximity sensor should alleviate matters, a dedicated button just makes more sense from a usability standpoint.

Call conferencing is just as easy as on a Treo; however, rather than displaying individual Caller ID photos for each conference member, the iPhone has a scrolling text display, which doesn't really work for at-a-glance information.

And then we come to messaging. In short: don't bother. Jobs slowly picked his way through a text message with one finger, and even the much-vaunted predictive text didn't help. You won't be able to gently rest your thumbs, Treo-style, on the virtual keyboard. Instead, you'll have to keep them hovering above the touchscreen and use your thumbtips to hit the keys. I could see it very quickly tiring your thumbs and possibly even causing long-term thumb or wrist injuries.

It's nice to see that Apple have essentially cloned Palm's threaded messaging, and it certainly looks much sleeker and glossier, but its usefulness is quite simply crippled by the virtual keyboard. And as for writing long emails? I'm still laughing at the thought.

Point to Palm. Touchscreens work as a supplement to real buttons, not a replacement. Otherwise, phone, messaging and email functionality are pretty much identical. Hardly a revolution.

A Real OS With Tidget Widgets

Much like the Today Screen plugins available for Windows Mobile Treos, iPhone has a number of widgets available from weather forecasts to stock tickers. These are essentially fluff, but nice to have.

Much bigger news is the fact that iPhone will be running Mac OS X, a UNIX-based desktop operating system with all the features that entails: multitasking, advanced power management, networking, you name it. I imagine developers - Mac developers, especially - are going to be thrilled. This is an extraordinarily impressive achievement and Apple seemed deservedly proud of it.

Questions remain: just how advanced IS the power management? Given the rather pitiful battery life we've seen from fully-featured Linux devices, you'd think that this is not going to be particularly thrifty. And do users really need all the overhead that comes with a desktop OS? How does performance hold up when you're multi-tasking? I noticed some long delays when he was emailing a picture while on a call; the Treo is much snappier here.

No points on either side here. Until power users can sink their teeth into iPhone, I'm not going to call it.

(insert Judgement Day joke here)

Apple claim to have revolutionised the phone with iPhone. Frankly? They're full of crap: the only truly revolutionary iPhone feature is the desktop-style web browsing and media integration: everything else has been stolen from the Treo.

But revolutions aren't required to make a great product, as Palm has ably demonstrated with years of incremental Treo upgrades. And iPhone is indeed a great product: it's absolutely gorgeous and is nearly as intuitive a phone as the Treo. The multitude of sensors makes it one of the smartest devices on the market, the landscape switching is smooth and attractive and the one-stop-sync-shop advantage iTunes brings to the table is very hard to ignore, If Palm aren't feverishly working on upgrading their own syncing software then they're fools and Apple are going to leave them in the dust.

Crimson Palm Treo 680As a portable media player/voice phone, the iPhone looks fantastic. As a true communicator (voice/messaging/email) it is sadly lacking. And that's why I'll be sticking with my Treo. Let's not even mention the exorbitant price point

How Can Palm Compete?

It's really not as Herculean a task as you might think. As we've already noted, the iPhone has essentially cloned the best bits of the Treo and wrapped them up in a prettier package. Palm needs:

1) A media syncing solution that supports ALL formats of video and audio, which will make iPhone's walled-garden format support (I'm assuming it'll be like the iPod) look as artificially limiting as it is.

2) A keyboard-less Treo with a landscape screen.

3) PalmOS needs a visual upgrade. Like, yesterday. iPhone's UI looks gorgeous and puts both Palm OS and Windows Mobile to shame.

4) Wifi, wifi, wifi.

Simple huh? Heck, you could do (1) and (3) right now with a ROM update. Are Palm up to the challenge, or are we about to watch our favourite company get steamrolled? I think they can do it, but they need to move quickly.

Yibada-yibada, that's all folks!

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Definitely wifi

BaalthazaaR @ 1/10/2007 1:41:12 PM # Q
Palm has always been behind the ball with that one... I'd go for two devices if they had a PDA that had the speeds of 802.11g... in fact I'm still considering going with two devices and getting a new TX even though they only have the old 802.11b standard... I've been waiting for palm to get off their posteriors and come out with a big jump instead of the screwball incremental refreshes that leave them in the same place as before.
RE: Definitely wifi
jfme @ 1/10/2007 2:12:43 PM # Q
Support of Palm's OWN SD Wi-Fi card is the start. The "marketing analysis" theory that certain carrier does not want Wi-FI support in favor of data plans fell on its own face as of Yesterday.

Not only the iPhone will have Wi-Fi but it will automatically switch from data plan depending on which connection is the fastest. Wow....can you say consumer wins all around!!!

RE: Definitely wifi
BaalthazaaR @ 1/10/2007 2:46:01 PM # Q

The "marketing analysis" theory that certain carrier does not want Wi-FI support in favor of data plans fell on its own face as of Yesterday.

That "analysis" or "theory" (more accurately BS) was always debunked... all the US carriers have always had at least a couple of phones that had Wi-Fi. Unfortunately for me they were all running Macroshaft's winDOHs mobile_bloatware.

RE: Definitely wifi
Alfa @ 1/11/2007 1:14:41 PM # Q
Treo needs built-in wifi b/g especially now that there are 3 Voip programs for Palm OS.
Treo + wifi + voip program would be fantastic especially for people traveling a lot.
Wake up Palm! Give us a Treo with wifi !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bring the Cobalt back!
uuhh @ 1/15/2007 5:18:53 PM # Q
Stop that Ubuntu porting madness !
All, that iPhone can do now, Cobalt did in 2004

Reply to this comment

Not a Treo killer yet.

xImtc @ 1/10/2007 1:42:37 PM # Q
No gimme my keyboard. No getta my Treo.

RE: Not a Treo killer yet.
BaalthazaaR @ 1/10/2007 1:49:26 PM # Q
No gimme my keyboard. No getta my Treo.

Actually I don't feel that the keyboard is that critical... or maybe it is because every now and then I find myself writing on paper with Grafitti 1 strokes.

RE: Not a Treo killer yet.
LiveFaith @ 1/10/2007 5:02:12 PM # Q
#2 #2 #2 #2 #2 #2 ... Treo 800 please!!!!

Pat Horne
RE: Not a Treo killer yet.
buckeyetex315-2 @ 1/10/2007 5:21:49 PM # Q

LiveFaith wrote:
... Treo 800 please!!!!

LiveFaith -
Do you have a picture of your "mythical" Treo 800 posted somewhere? From reading the PIC board I think it is a TX based phone. Would love to see a pic.

Brent


Palm Vx -----> LONG WAIT -----> Palm T|X

RE: Not a Treo killer yet.
LiveFaith @ 1/10/2007 10:01:39 PM # Q
RE: Not a Treo killer yet.
ggeoffre @ 1/10/2007 11:18:47 PM # Q
I was once a very proficient graffiti tapper, and now I am happily all thumbs. Not quite sure how things will work out with no stylus, no graffiti of any sort, and no thumb board. The one thing we did not see at all was 'massive' data inputs like with a word/text application. The expectation with the iPhone may be that the majority of edits will take place on the Mac (PC), and not on the iPhone itself.
RE: Not a Treo killer yet.
buckeyetex315-2 @ 1/11/2007 6:42:49 PM # Q

Thanks, LiveFaith. Let us know when your website is up again so we can see the larger picture.

Brent

Palm Vx -----> LONG WAIT -----> Palm T|X

Reply to this comment

Treo vs. iPhone

dennitzio @ 1/10/2007 1:48:49 PM # Q
I think you make some decent points, but I'd say that the Treo is the severely compromised unit. What I've always wanted is a real Palm - something like a T3 or Lifedrive - with phone capabilities. Palm's out of the box software sucks donkey, but third parties have made up for a lot of that. I make up for a lack of iPod capabilities by owning an iPod. Since the new iPhone doesn't come with decent storage, I'm still stuck with my iPod.

If Palm wanted to outdo the iPhone, give the LifeDrive a phone unit, a large hard drive (>60gb), and decent software. That's where Apple excels - great, easy-to-use, intuitive software that wasn't designed for the ease of the engineer making it.

RE: Treo vs. iPhone
dennitzio @ 1/10/2007 1:57:08 PM # Q
Oh, as for cribbing the Treo, consider that the iPod, the Macintosh, even the Apple ][ weren't original. There already were MP3 players, graphic computers (well, not publicly), and personal computers (PET!). But Apple simply did them better than anyone else. Especially recently with the iPod, where they haven't screwed up their market lead. There were programs like iPhoto, iTunes, iDVD, etc... But again, no one did them as well as Apple did. Call it a Bionic version of a clone, if you must.

RE: Treo vs. iPhone
freakout @ 1/10/2007 6:19:19 PM # Q
I think you make some decent points, but I'd say that the Treo is the severely compromised unit.

Don't let Apple's glossy graphics blind you to the fact that apart from the web browser and (admittedly quite cool) sensors, there's really nothing new in the iPhone. Given that the Treo 680 is $300 cheaper than the iPhone I'd hardly call it "severely compromised" - you can do pretty much anything that you could do on an iPhone on a Treo with the bonus of real, physical buttons. It may not be as pretty but Palm have long been saying they're after substance, not style.

Plus, there's still a big question mark hanging over the iPhone battery life. Such a thin device running three different radios and a huge screen... 5 hours seems laughably optimistic.

If Palm wanted to outdo the iPhone, give the LifeDrive a phone unit, a large hard drive (>60gb), and decent software.

I agree, although we might want to pick a product a little less loathed by Palm fans than the Lifedrive. ;)

That's where Apple excels - great, easy-to-use, intuitive software that wasn't designed for the ease of the engineer making it.

Actually, this is where Palm excels as well. PalmOS has survived all these years not on the strength of its features or its looks, but rather that it is just so damn easy to learn and use. PalmOS routinely tops user satisfaction surveys and they're market leaders for a reason.

I think the real force behind iPhone will be the iTunes syncing - as Jobs pointed out, people have gotten used to doing it with the iPod. It's familiar and looks nice. I know I've become addicted to having all my phone information available on my PC.


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: Treo vs. iPhone
ggeoffre @ 1/10/2007 11:23:45 PM # Q
There is nothing about being revolutionary that requires one to also be original or the first to market. The revolution will come in the form of strategic partnerships to accomplish some technical advancement that no one company could do on their own. Like the relationship with Yahoo for free push mail, and the relationship with Cingular for dynamic access to voice mail. What will be interesting is to see what additional partnerships and technical advances (small or large) will ignite from this revolutionary spark.
RE: Treo vs. iPhone
moofie @ 1/11/2007 1:13:15 AM # Q
"It may not be as pretty but Palm have long been saying they're after substance, not style."

Hey, I've got an idea, Palm. How about you stop worrying about style AND substance, and get your act together with STABILITY. Then try style and/or substance.

I just got a Treo 700p. The iPhone isn't /quite/ hot enough to make me drop the Treo in June, but I'm pretty confident the 2nd gen iPhone will be even better.

I figure Palm has right about a year to get their ship in order, or I'll drop them and never look back. Looking at their track record for the last three years, I have a pretty good guess as to what's going to happen.

The iPhone doesn't need a 40 gb hard drive or a 3g data connection to kill everything else in its market. It just needs to work elegantly. The Treo works. Sorta. Unless your bluetooth headset is on the other side of your body from the phone, or you need to look in your notes database to get an account number and fumble back to the phone app to type it in, or find the one feature that you really really CAN'T access without digging the stylus out of the sheath.

The visual voice mail feature should have been standard with every mobile phone ever. Linear, audio-based voice mail is stupid. Why did it take Apple to force this change?

I don't believe for a second that Apple is going to lock developers out of the phone. I would ABSOLUTELY believe that Cingular would lock developers out of the phone. That, right there, is the one big question left in my mind. How much of a screwing am I going to have to take from Cingular?

(Unlimited data? How much? Phone as modem? How much?)

We'll see. Palm needs to get moving.

RE: Treo vs. iPhone
freakout @ 1/11/2007 1:27:16 AM # Q
ggeoffre:
There is nothing about being revolutionary that requires one to also be original or the first to market. The revolution will come in the form of strategic partnerships to accomplish some technical advancement that no one company could do on their own. Like the relationship with Yahoo for free push mail, and the relationship with Cingular for dynamic access to voice mail. What will be interesting is to see what additional partnerships and technical advances (small or large) will ignite from this revolutionary spark.

Apple aren't the only ones to partner with other companies dude; see Palm's inclusion of Yahoo! Music with the 680, or Google Maps, or the on-screen voicemail controls on the 700wx/750. Apple are just better at getting the attention, which is admittedly a very important aspect.

I too am looking forward to further partnerships between gadget makers and the big tech companies.

moofie:
Hey, I've got an idea, Palm. How about you stop worrying about style AND substance, and get your act together with STABILITY. Then try style and/or substance.

You want a Treo 680. Rock-solid.

RE: Treo vs. iPhone
Iphonefanatic @ 1/11/2007 2:22:54 AM # Q
"It may not be as pretty but Palm have long been saying they're after substance, not style."

I do think that style points was what made the Treo 600 (and subsequent Treos) successful. Treos, apart from the keyboard and cellular access differ very little from current Palm PDAs, such as the LifeDrive or the T/X, which sometimes even have additional features than Treos (such as a hard drive or Wi-Fi). Treos are very easy to handle, enable one-handed navigation, and offer (unintentionally) a higher res screen than Palm PDAs due to the tighter pixellation. Everything else is pretty much the same as a Tungsten X/Lifedrive except for a smaller body and cellular radio.

If:
- the Mac OS X implementation on the iPhone isn't crash prone,
- the iPhone provides average to above average battery life
- the Safari browser can support plug-ins
- and if everything else works the way it should...

...every other cell phone manufacturer is in some real trouble. If the iPhone works the way it should, the implementation of a robust OS in a mobile device with a stunning GUI makes other devices look like toys, and it will make UMPCs look clunky and overpriced.

I personally don't think the iPhone is overpriced, when Treo 650s are still being sold at $400+ unlocked (and $400+ for unlocked 680s - the supposed 'budget Treo'). What you get is a real OS, a real iPod video/audio player and most of all, a near-desktop computing experience in a 3.5 inch device. This is what the Zaurus could have been.

Then again, buggy execution will destroy this dream.

RE: Treo vs. iPhone
freakout @ 1/11/2007 3:23:20 AM # Q
I personally don't think the iPhone is overpriced, when Treo 650s are still being sold at $400+ unlocked (and $400+ for unlocked 680s - the supposed 'budget Treo').

A more accurate comparison is the $199 Treo 680, with 2-year contract, vs. $499 for the iPhone, with 2-year contract.

I agree with your other points though.

RE: Treo vs. iPhone
jfme @ 1/11/2007 7:11:47 AM # Q
"A more accurate comparison is the $199 Treo 680, with 2-year contract, vs. $499 for the iPhone, with 2-year contract."

Treo 680 $199
Wi-Fi Sled $150
4 GB SD $100
------------------
Total $449

For what you get in the iPhone, the price is competitive.

RE: Treo vs. iPhone
freakout @ 1/11/2007 8:13:35 AM # Q
Try $50 for that 4GB SD, and did you notice your total price was still cheaper than the iPhone? ;)
RE: Treo vs. iPhone
SeldomVisitor @ 1/11/2007 8:17:48 AM # Q
> ...The visual voice mail feature should have been standard
> with every mobile phone ever...

That feature of the "iPhone" is actually a feature of the iPhone's service from Cingular - they "collaborated" on that, among other things (like "triangulation" - cell-based GPS-like location tracking).

See the very well done keynote presentation (I'd recommend everyone watch that not only to see what is shown but to see what isn't shown - like applications - maybe not enough time? Uh huh...) on Apple's site.

RE: Treo vs. iPhone
ChiA @ 1/11/2007 8:28:20 AM # Q
Try $50 for that 4GB SD, and did you notice your total price was still cheaper than the iPhone?

Not when you add a 2 megapixel to compensate for the Treo 680's VGA camera.

RE: Treo vs. iPhone
jfme @ 1/11/2007 8:43:12 AM # Q
>>Try $50 for that 4GB SD, and did you notice your total price was still cheaper than the iPhone?

>Not when you add a 2 megapixel to compensate for the Treo 680's VGA camera.

And a larger screen, and iTunes out of the box, and a new updated OS, and the cost of the backpack you would need to carry such brick (treo+sled) and accessories together... I think that would make the Treo over $700 in Palm dollars.



Reply to this comment

apples vs. oranges

jakemonO @ 1/10/2007 3:08:13 PM # Q
how many people who need what a smartphone provides: Messaging, light browsing, specific apps, will actually be enticed by an Phone? Sure its sexy, but what it is is a media device with voice capablilites, not a messaging tool. As a platform, though, it may show the most potential for growth and adoptability (pending a deeperre review of hardware and sotware)

RE: apples vs. oranges
LiveFaith @ 1/10/2007 10:02:26 PM # Q
Interesting title considering this is an Apple vs "Orange" Palm battle.

Pat Horne
RE: apples vs. oranges
ggeoffre @ 1/11/2007 12:01:51 AM # Q
Ask the same question from the opposite angle, how many people cary around both a 'basic' cell phone and any iPod would be interested in some additional smart phone capabilities? I do not think that this was meant to be a smart phone killer. In the keynote, Steve mentioned several times over how Cingular is the largest cell phone company, and how Yahoo is the largest e-mail provider, and how iPod has the largest market share for MP3s, and how he intends to sell 10 million iPhones. Cingular is looking that the massive iPod population and hoping to grow its business rather than offer a new phone option to existing smart phone customers. How many more Sprint customers will jump ship and upgrade their current iPod to an iPhone?

Sprint Nextel Will Layoff 5,000 After Loss Of Subscribers
http://www.informationweek.com/hardware/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=196802283

Reply to this comment

Applications?

feranick @ 1/10/2007 2:00:42 PM # Q
If I am not mistaken, addition of new software is going to be very limited. Either you will not be able, or you will only be able to get it from Cingular. Jobs justify that in terms of security, for the user and for the Cingular network.

To me that would cripple significantly the device, and would frustrate much of the power users. Palm has a huge advantage on this as much software can be obtained from third-parties

What is the advantage of having OSX if you can't fully use the Unix foundation (shell for example)?

Any comments?

RE: Applications?
Ryan @ 1/10/2007 8:09:18 PM # Q
Gizmodo is reporting that like the iPod, the iPhone will be closed platform.

http://tinyurl.com/ygjhfg

This would be a tragedy if true - as a device like this screams out for additional software and utilities.

RE: Applications?
ggeoffre @ 1/10/2007 11:28:32 PM # Q
What was also interesting was the lack of video games on this new generation iPod like those that the new 5G iPods now support. Adding to the perception that even iTunes will not be able to add any sort of new apps to the device.
No third-party software allowed
feranick @ 1/12/2007 1:11:43 PM # Q
It doesn't even run OSX
feranick @ 1/13/2007 5:37:21 PM # Q
From here:

http://apple.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/01/13/1746234

"We know that Steve Jobs has said the iPhone won't accept third-party apps.
The iPhone looks to be running on a Samsung provided ARM core processor. That means it's not running on an Intel (or PPC) core. That means it's not running OS X in any meaningful sense (Apple can brand toilet paper as running OS X if they like). Darwin, the BSD based operating system that underlies what Apple has previously been calling OS X, does not run on ARM processors. The Darwin / Apple Public Source licensing agreement says the source would have to be made available if it is modified and sold (paraphrased; read it yourself). A Cingular rep has said the iPhone version of the OS source will not be made available. It will be closed, like the iPod OS and not like Darwin. So if it ain't Darwin, it ain't OS X (in any meaningful way). An InfoWorld article on an FBR Research report breaks down iPhone component providers and lists Samsung as the chip maker for the main application / video cpu. So, that leaves the question... What OS is this phone really running? Not Linux or the source would need to be open."

Reply to this comment

iTreo

benway88 @ 1/10/2007 3:17:50 PM # Q
I can't emphasize enough the multi-tasking capabilities of the iPhone, compared to the Treo which is prehistoric. There is no answer for this from Palm / Access for the foreseeable future. Spending 5 minutes looking up a web link on the Palm, and then losing it completely by having to look at something else or receive a call is simply torture. But we are the consumers of a company that sold out its braintrust for profit, the Palm OS, and we're all suffering with the frozen Treo OS because of it.

The iPhone is the new video iPod, and it's a smartphone. If you own an iPod, then you may as well upgrade everything to this. The Treo converged three things, the iPhone does same and brings in the iPod. Palm could suffer here, especially if Apple begins to eye the lower priced market.

Scrolling for contacts on the iPhone will be tedious, but iPhone owners may just exist in ignorant bliss. Treo owners have the superior Phone solution for the past 6 years and it continues almost unchanged from the Handspring era.

MS Office on the Treo is killer. But the widgets capabilities on the iPhone opens up possibilities when regular users become widget creators in the forthcoming Mac OS.

RE: iTreo
LiveFaith @ 1/10/2007 5:06:00 PM # Q
Ironically, I can't quite thinking about how Palm and Apple shadow the days of the phenominal innovative Newton, and the little Pilot that could. Palm's weaker products dusted them then.

Could it happen again? The economics look similar at $499 & $599 w/contract price points.

Pat Horne

RE: iTreo
freakout @ 1/10/2007 6:51:24 PM # Q
^^ That's a very good point...
RE: iTreo
ggeoffre @ 1/10/2007 11:31:45 PM # Q
Palm is already suffering in one way at least...

"Apple shares jumped $7.10 to close at $92.57 on the Nasdaq Stock Market. The stock has traded in a 52-week range of $50.16 to $93.16. Nearly 120 million Apple shares were traded on Tuesday, more than four times the average daily volume. Meanwhile, shares of other smart-phone makers slid: Treo-maker Palm dropped 5.7 percent, BlackBerry's Research In Motion Ltd. lost 7.9 percent and Motorola Inc. shed 1.8 percent."

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/01/10/ap/business/mainD8MI3JRO0.shtml


RE: iTreo
freakout @ 1/11/2007 1:35:25 AM # Q
That was to be expected - the real question is whether or not they'll go back up again once the hoopla is over...
RE: iTreo
Iphonefanatic @ 1/11/2007 2:34:19 AM # Q
I think that if the iPhone can replicate a desktop computing experience on a mobile platform, then Palm and Windows Mobile will fall by the wayside. Newer Nokia devices would be the closest competitor, but even they look prehistoric compared to the iPhone.

Basically, if you add a Bluetooth keyboard to the iPhone, you theoretically get a laptop/UMPC. If you add a keyboard to a Palm device, you get a word processor at best.

But these are just assumptions on my part on a device which hasn't been tested yet. I could be wrong.

I'm not familiar with the Newton debacle, but if anyone could provide any parallels or insight into a comparison between the iPhone and Newton, it would be appreciated.

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How Can Palm Compete?

mikecane @ 1/10/2007 3:45:27 PM # Q
For my personal money, they can't. I want the iPhone. I passed on the Treo 680 -- which looks more like a quaint antique with each passing second...

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