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Handheld Market Continues Downhill Slide

The worldwide handheld device market opened the year with its thirteenth consecutive quarter of year-on-year decline as user interest continued to transition towards converged mobile devices and other consumer electronics devices. According to IDC's Worldwide Handheld QView, vendors shipped just over 900,000 handheld devices in the first quarter of 2007, 36.3% less than the previous quarter and 40.6% less than the same quarter a year ago. The decrease in shipments coincides with the announcement that a former leading handheld PDA vendor, Dell, is leaving the industry.

"Dell's exit from the handheld device market underscores the market's decline," says Ramon Llamas, research analyst with IDC's Mobile Device Technology and Trends team. "The features found on a handheld device are not exclusive to handheld devices. Personal information management, the key feature that once distinguished handheld devices, can now be found commonly on converged mobile devices. The growing popularity of converged mobile devices combined with declining prices for laptop computers have put tremendous pressure on the handheld device market. The addition of multimedia and GPS features onto handheld devices did not stem their decline because standalone multimedia players and personal navigation devices grew in popularity. The growth in these other segments have come at the expense of the handheld device as vendors have responded eagerly with new, feature-rich products."

Top Five Handheld Device Vendors, Q1 2007

Palm stood out as the clear leader among all handheld device vendors during the quarter, but even it was not immune to the decline in shipments, dipping below the 300,000 unit mark. Consequently, Palm saw its lead over second place HP shrink to less than 100,000 units. Palm has yet to introduce a follow-up to its Palm Z22 and Palm TX devices which were introduced to the market in late 2005, but remains committed to this space as the company believes a core group of loyal users exists for handheld devices. At the same time, the company has since launched several new Treo converged mobile devices, which have generated more revenue for the company.

HP remained the clear number two vendor worldwide, but nonetheless saw its shipment volumes decline. HP has not been shy about introducing new devices to the market, and launched its rx4240 Mobile Media Companion and rx5915 Travel Companion to the market, optimized for multimedia and navigation respectively. HP has also been developing its converged mobile device line-up, and recently announced its 510 Voice Messenger, its first non-QWERTY converged mobile device to the market.

Mio gained further clarity as the number three vendor worldwide, distancing itself further from fourth place Dell and posting the only positive year-on-year change among the leading vendors. Mio's year-on-year gains came with the introduction of two new devices to its product portfolio, the P350 and the P550. Like many of its previous handheld devices, Mio leads with GPS capability in addition to its PIM functionalities.

Dell began 2007 with shipments below the 100,000 unit mark for the first time since late 2002. With no announced replacement to its Axim X51 series, Dell will instead sell third party devices on its website while still providing support to its own devices. Shipments are expected to continue during the year in order to clear out remaining inventory.

Sharp rounded out the top five with shipments of its Zaurus product line, but registered the largest year-on-year decline of the leading vendors. Unlike other vendors, all of Sharp's devices arrived in Japan. Following Sharp is a short list of other vendors, including Medion, ASUSTeK, and Acer, all of which posted similar year-on-year shipment declines.

Vendor

Q1 2007 Shipments

Q1 2007 Market Share

Q1 2006 Shipments

Q1 2006 Market Share

1Q06/1Q05 Growth

Palm

295,250

32.1%

475,000

30.7%

-37.8%

HP

199,400

21.7%

346,000

22.3%

-42.4%

Mio

138,631

15.1%

104,609

6.8%

32.5%

Dell

78,000

8.5%

143,100

9.2%

-25.4%

Sharp

44,000

4.8%

99,000

6.4%

-55.6%

Others

164,635

17.9%

381,490

24.6%

-56.8%

Total

919,916

100.0%

1,549,199

100.0%

-40.6%

Source: IDC Worldwide Handheld QView, May 7, 2007

Notes:
  • Vendor shipments are branded shipments and exclude ODM 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 (like Bluetooth and WiFi) 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 PIM capabilities.

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No kidding

Colormeweb @ 5/15/2007 1:21:53 PM # Q
How about the fact that Palm has not come out with a new handheld for over 2 years now. Palm is NO LONGER a handheld producer. They are a phone company that has been selling off its old stock for the past year and a half.

RE: No kidding
numlock @ 5/15/2007 1:35:20 PM # Q
How the heck to they get... "Palm remains committed" from no new products in the category in two years?
Reply to this comment

You'd think about a million units a year...

madmaxmedia @ 5/15/2007 1:46:00 PM # Q
...would still be worth a minor spec rev, wouldn't it?

That way they could still tease some upgrade sales with minimal investment. OTOH, they probably want to maintain separation between Z22, T2, and TX, and figure there's not much left to do with the TX (without designing a new model.)


RE: You'd think about a million units a year...
Foo Fighter @ 5/15/2007 2:07:20 PM # Q
900,000 units aren't worth monkey urine in terms of revenue. To put this number into perspective, Palm sold 1 million units in the first 18 months of launching the orginal Palm Pilot. So basically the handheld market has now officially bottomed out. We're back to 1997 shipment levels, but it's even worse because at that time Palm owned the market in a time when profit margins were lavishly high and growing fast.

Contrast that with today - the handheld market is rapidly imploding. Margins are minimal. And Palm only commands a portion of the already meager volume levels.

It's over.

-------------------------------
http://www.pocketfactory.com
http://www.elitistsnob.com

RE: You'd think about a million units a year...
PacManFoo @ 5/15/2007 10:59:50 PM # Q
If Palm hadn't come out with a new TREO in nearly 2 years do you think they'd be selling much better? Basically only Two Handheld makers remain (HP, and Palm) and their products have remained stagnate for longer then that. It doesn't help when the handelds that Palm has put out recently have been problem ridden. If it were not for 3rd party developers I'd have given up on using the TX long ago but thanks to the work of these developers I love using it again. There are still plenty of PDA users out their. If no more PDA's come out we will either adapt to what ever is out their or in my case just throw up our hands and say f it. I'm not alone in saying that I have no need or desire for a "smartphone". I really don't care to lug a $500 device with me where ever I go as opposed to a $50 cell phone. I've been through the premature end of the Newton and now I feel the premature end to the PDA.

What I really don't understand is all those on this board who seem to be cheering the end of the PDA. It's as if you don't think the Smartphone and PDA can coexist and mock those who perfer the PDA.

To answer a question down below, I would not even consider a non-phone that I had to purchase a data plan. No Wifi - No Sale in my case. I also would not consider anything larger in size then a PDA. If I want bigger I'll just take my iBook along.

PDA's Past and Present:
Palm - IIIxe, Vx, M500, M505, Tungsten T, TX
Handspring - Edge, Platinum, Deluxe
Sony - SJ22
Apple - MP110, MP2000, MP2100

Reply to this comment

Rage against the dying light

Foo Fighter @ 5/15/2007 1:59:39 PM # Q
What amazes me is that some vocal diehards here still refuse to believe the handheld market is dead. A 36% slide with numbers now falling to 900k shipments (we've gone back to 1997 volumes now) should penetrate even the thickest skull.


-------------------------------
http://www.pocketfactory.com
http://www.elitistsnob.com

RE: Rage against the dying light
sremick @ 5/15/2007 2:07:32 PM # Q
What amazes me is some people here don't seem to get that what you market, sells. What you don't market tends to NOT sell. Also, what you come out with new versions of, sells. What you put no R&D into and release no updated models of in 2+ years, doesn't sell.

If advertising didn't successfully take something that was good and desired but wasn't selling due to lack of word getting out, then we wouldn't have advertising. Advertising works, and tips the scales. When was the last time you saw an ad for a straight-PDA Palm? Me either. Hell, a non-phone PDA could be marketed as a feature/selling-point:

"Still need to get at your contacts, addressbook, and memos places where cell phones aren't allowed (and maybe play a game or 12)...?"

"Need to organize your life, but don't want your life tied to a cell phone...?"

"Want a simple digital device without the complexity of an online device...?"

"Want to pay for an electronic organizer once, and not month after month...?"

The market is there, whether Palm chooses to cater to it or not (and whether YOU'RE in it or not). Take a pill, no one is asking you to give up your Treo or for Palm to STOP making them for those who want them.

http://www.vtbsd.net/

RE: Rage against the dying light
Foo Fighter @ 5/15/2007 2:25:55 PM # Q
A valid point, but irrelevant. You market where demand exists. What you don't seem to grasp is that no one wants these devices anymore...they are obsolete technology designed for different paradigm. Mobile technology evolved and user demands have changed. Back in 1997 a personal digital assistant was a cutting edge device that served a growing need for basic organization. Today that role has shifted to connected cellular devices (aka smartphones) and ever cheaper portable PCs. We no longer need dedicated devices to hold our calendars and contacts. And combining those features with a phone proved to be the "killer app" that killed the PDA.

Consumers don't want a dedicated PDA, and companies that produce these devices are well aware of this fact. Sales aren't declining due to consumer pause, while they eagerly wait for new models to roll out. They're declining because consumers have voted traditional PDAs out of their pockets. Apple's iPod line hasn't seen a significant product refresh in some time and yet their growth continues.


-------------------------------
http://www.pocketfactory.com
http://www.elitistsnob.com

RE: Rage against the dying light
Foo Fighter @ 5/15/2007 2:36:31 PM # Q
The market is there, whether Palm chooses to cater to it or not (and whether YOU'RE in it or not).

The market is NOT there. If it were sales would be growing, not declining - and certainly not declining at the astonishing rate it's occurring now. Even in a stagnant or over saturated segment there is growth. For example, look at the PC industry. Desktop and portables reached plateau long ago and the market is heavily commoditized and over saturated. Although the growth RATE has declined the sector still sees growth. Why? Because PCs are in demand. We all use desktop computers, notebooks, and workstations in our daily lives, even though we may not upgrade or buy new hardware for extended periods.

That isn't the case with handhelds. The problem with you and others like you is that you have no understanding of business. If you had you wouldn't be making such ridiculous claims as "the market is there" in a sector that is plummeting into the ground at 36% year-over-year.

-------------------------------
http://www.pocketfactory.com
http://www.elitistsnob.com

RE: Rage against the dying light
mikecane @ 5/15/2007 2:47:08 PM # Q
>>>What amazes me is that some vocal diehards here still refuse to believe the handheld market is dead. A 36% slide with numbers now falling to 900k shipments (we've gone back to 1997 volumes now) should penetrate even the thickest skull.

Oh bugger off, Foo. I still *need* a PDA, whether you or Palm care to admit it or not. Hey, maybe an ACCESS licensee will see it! As long as I have my damned 4 core apps, I'll be on my way to happy -- with a 320x480 screen, of course!

RE: Rage against the dying light
Foo Fighter @ 5/15/2007 2:59:38 PM # Q
I still *need* a PDA, whether you or Palm care to admit it or not.

You needn't worry. With the current installed base there are plenty of old PDAs in circulation to provide a recycled economy for handheld diehards like yourself, for many years to come. Just look at the Newton - those damned things are STILL around.

And you might be soon eating your words as more UMPC and Linux handheld PCs emerge. If you're going to carry a dedicated device in your pocket, why not carry a REAL computer and now a dumbed down antiquated mobile OS like Palm?

Which brings me to another factor in the death of handhelds - pocket-sized computers. UMPC hasn't taken off yet, or perhaps never will. But devices like it and experimental Linux portables like the Nokia N800 (sorry Mike) are a harbinger of things to come. Who would want a Garnet powered TX when true portable computers can be had for roughly the same price, in the same form factor?

-------------------------------
http://www.pocketfactory.com
http://www.elitistsnob.com

RE: Rage against the dying light
mikecane @ 5/15/2007 3:18:44 PM # Q
Foo, when will you keep up with me by reading my damned blog? Geez!

The N800? Hahahaha!
http://tinyurl.com/384l7h

REAL pocket computer?
http://tinyurl.com/2mq6fl

Hello? Welcome to Today. (Oh, was that already taken by someone?)

RE: Rage against the dying light
mikecane @ 5/15/2007 3:19:56 PM # Q
Also, Foo, I need a fekkin **PDA**. You expect VISTA to wake up a POCKET COMPUTER to beep at me for a scheduled appointment?

R u mAd?!!?

RE: Rage against the dying light
Foo Fighter @ 5/15/2007 3:29:31 PM # Q
There are more choices than Vista on portable devices. Linux has potential, provided you strip out the bloat and tailor a proper UI for small form factors.

-------------------------------
http://www.pocketfactory.com
http://www.elitistsnob.com
RE: Rage against the dying light
Foo Fighter @ 5/15/2007 3:37:35 PM # Q
Hello? Welcome to Today. (Oh, was that already taken by someone?)

Wait a sec... You're welcoming ME to "today" while lamenting about needing PDAs? Sounds like you're welcoming me from yesterday.

-------------------------------
http://www.pocketfactory.com
http://www.elitistsnob.com

RE: Rage against the dying light
Foo Fighter @ 5/15/2007 3:51:38 PM # Q
And other thing! (Well, not a thing really...just a rant)

If you need a PDA so badly, why is it you never buy one? Your Clie was stolen (and promptly placed on exhibit at the Smithsonian), so you end up with another relic. All the while complaining that every model on the market fails you're requirements. Now the market is disappearing.

Do you realize the implication? You actually out-waited the lifespan of an entire technology. It's the equivalent of someone from the horse-drawn era waiting for the right automobile to come along, until motor vehicles are eventually replaced by flying cars.

I gotta hand it to you (no pun intended). Your stubbornness is truly amazing. ^_^


-------------------------------
http://www.pocketfactory.com
http://www.elitistsnob.com

RE: Rage against the dying light
Galaxyhunter1 @ 5/15/2007 4:22:11 PM # Q
Well Palm...start putting out new PDA's and you will see the market increase.
No one wants to buy old/unrevised stock. You just cannot beat a good PDA. The smart phones do not compare. They are a phone with an alternate limited use. You couldn't get me to trade my PDA for a phone.

RE: Rage against the dying light
twrock @ 5/15/2007 7:46:40 PM # Q
Mio's year-on-year gains came with the introduction of two new devices to its product portfolio, the P350 and the P550.

Well golly gee, who'd thunk if you actually put out a couple of new units, people would actually buy them?

Foo, most of what you say is completely valid. However, I find it interesting that you make some great distinction between a "pocketable pc" and a "pda". You talk about how PC's are getting smaller and how Linux is a viable OS for these devices, but then you somehow don't seem to notice that Palm is also moving toward the same destination from the other side.

How is my TX "only" a PDA when I can edit Office documents on it? When I can store my entire "My documents" folder on the SD card (no media of course) and access any of my documents anywhere? When I have complete dictionaries, even multi-lingual dictionaries available to me in an instant? When I have a huge collection of reference material of my choosing available at my fingertips anywhere I am? The list could go on. And for their next trick, they are going to start shipping devices with a Linux kernel. Starts to look like a "pocketable pc", doesn't it? No, they aren't there yet, but isn't that where this is going?

(Disclaimer: Palm is moving so slowly that they may likely never get there. This does not mean that the idea isn't good. This likely is the cause of the frustration of many of us. We see that it can be done; it just isn't being done well or fast enough.)




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

RE: Rage against the dying light
mikecane @ 5/15/2007 8:31:50 PM # Q
Foo, thou art denser than Rosie O's ass!

http://tinyurl.com/2o6yed

And, Linux?!!!? %@#$&!!!

RE: Rage against the dying light
mikecane @ 5/15/2007 8:41:38 PM # Q
And Foo, YOU coined Open Sores, yet you recommend Linux?!!?

RE: Rage against the dying light
sremick @ 5/16/2007 9:42:12 AM # Q
You still don't get it.

There is still a PDA market. There are still lots of people using them. I see them every day. But they no longer have any reason to upgrade, not because they don't want to, but because there's nothing for them to upgrade to. I have a 400MHz 320x480 PDA. with 64MB of RAM. What has Palm produced that beats that? And this PDA is like 4 years old.

In that 36% decline are people like myself and them with money ready to spend on a next-generation PDA if Palm would actually make one. It doesn't even need to be higher-res. Just faster CPU, more battery life (OLED?), no slider, support for larger SD cards... along with the features I use that they've done away with like charge LED, memo recorder and vibrating alerts, and I'm ready to spend money. $399? $499? Whatever, just make the damn thing and we'll buy it.

The PC market continues to flourish because manufacturers haven't let the specs on the models stagnate. They continue to produce something better, PCs that can do everything the previous one could and then-some. So people have a reason to upgrade without losing any capability. I haven't been able to do that with my PDA in 4 years.

http://www.vtbsd.net/

Reply to this comment

'Remains committed'

hkklife @ 5/15/2007 2:55:09 PM # Q
Are those Palm's own words on the topic or is that just from whoever wrote the article for IDC?

Also, here's just a few examples off the top of my head for how Palm can quietly & cheaply boost the sales of the their three remaining PDA models while maintaing the same price point & margins:

Z22:
-Add an SD slot and headphone jack like its predecessor the Zire 31 had. If budget permits, throw in a cheap VGA camera. For $100, it'd still sell well to students & soccer moms etc.

T|E2:
-Two strategies here. Palm can either double the RAM, upgrade the software bundle & OS and drop the MSRP by $40-$50 and keep it a fine model "as is".

Or Palm could add in wi-fi and/or integrated GPS capabilities and keep it at $200ish. Sell the software extra to keep the costs down but advertise it as "GPS-capable"

OR

-Palm could take a Treo 680, give it a fixed battery and a slightly larger LCD and make it a good bit thinner and call it the T|E3. No one has done a non-smartphone QWERTY-enabled Palm OS PDA since the Treo 90. Palm might pick up a few sales to those who prefer a thumboard over Graffiti 2. I've long maintained Palm could easy score a few sales with SMS-crazed kids who either already have a cell phone and/or cannot handle the costs associated with a Treo with a cheap, wi-fi enabled, QWERTY thumbboard PDA.


TX:
-Keep the existing formfactor & $299.99 price point but change the top panel slightly. Redesign the power button (m500 style) to accomodate an integrated LED light for message notification and charge status. Put a slit next to the headphone jack and give it an internal microphone. These two steps are *crucial*.

-Higher capacity internal battery
-Same RAM but give it the DBHeap/Cache from the 700p/755p.
-Stay with the 312mhz CPU for cost & battery reasons
-Bundle a decent VOIP app in ROM or on the software CD.
-Bluetooth 1.2 with the updated 755p BT stack
-(optional) Give it a T5-style internal flash but make it 1gb. Offer "official" 4gb SDHC support or just use the 680's slot & driver and let users bring their own unofficial support for 8gb+ volumes.

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

RE: 'Remains committed'
Ryan @ 5/15/2007 2:59:49 PM # Q
The "Palm remains committed" statement is from IDC, as are the other summaries of each comany.
RE: 'Remains committed'
mikecane @ 5/15/2007 3:21:01 PM # Q
Which institution has Palm been committed to? I'd like to send flowers. And maybe a card. OK, an e-card. And e-flowers.

RE: 'Remains committed'
Foo Fighter @ 5/15/2007 3:38:56 PM # Q
"We remain committed...to watching this segment implode so we can move on to more lucrative markets."

-------------------------------
http://www.pocketfactory.com
http://www.elitistsnob.com
RE: 'Remains committed'
BaalthazaaR @ 5/15/2007 4:00:44 PM # Q
No reason to buy a second TX. If Palm officially kills off PDAs, I'd have a reason to buy a TX as a backup.

RE: 'Remains committed'
hkklife @ 5/15/2007 5:40:59 PM # Q
I currently have two TXs. One is my "2nd daily device" in addition to my 700p and the other is in the box as a backup/spare. I just grabbed one when I saw it for sale cheap.

If/when Palm announces they are pulling the plug on PDAs for good, I may either buy a 3rd TX or a used E2 or something.

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

RE: 'Remains committed'
specterss @ 5/16/2007 10:07:09 AM # Q
Palm holds the flag on sinking ship.

Well, I'm still "commited" with my hacked m505 as daily pda, and TT3 waiting if first dies.
Good outdoor visibility and longer batt. life are more important than some MHz.
For multimedia I use a phone.

I will never again buy anything with G2 shit. (TT3 has of course modified rom).

RE: 'Remains committed'
mikecane @ 5/17/2007 11:11:27 AM # Q
>>>I will never again buy anything with G2 shit.

Now THAT is something that sketchy Official Palm Blog should address: Is G1 EVER coming back now that the legal fire is out?!

RE: 'Remains committed'
hkklife @ 5/17/2007 12:37:17 PM # Q
Indeed, indeed. I'd like to compile a list of "real" pressing questions/issues/concerns and see them all flaunted before the Palm staffers and answered HONESTLY on the blog.

Of course, I'd expect something like that to go (at best) like one of those PalmAddicts exclusive interviews that are filled with a lot of PR dept-speak and (at worst) to just go ignored in lieu of a bunch of app recommendation from Palm emplyees.

Palm wants to get into the "services" business soooo badly....well, for starters, how about paying Xerox a few royalty $ and offer a $20 downloadable, officially-licensed-from-Xerox and officially-supported-by-Palm Graffiti 1 plugin for ALL OS 5.2 + devices. As a baseline, it MUST be at least as fast and as accurate as the fantastic G1 execution on the T|T (truly the swansong of fast & accurate single stroke character input).

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

Sprint: we're releasing 3-4 PDAs in Q4 07

cervezas @ 5/15/2007 4:09:23 PM # Q
I mentioned this a few days ago, but this seems to be a more appropriate place for this comment.

I listened to a 3G Software Platform Manager at Sprint talking last week about his company releasing 3-4 "PDAs" (presumably with 3G radios) in the 4th quarter of 2007. He specifically distinguished these from "handsets." This is not a big secret: there were about 100 people in the room.

While disconnected organizer-style PDAs are a fading technology, data-centric devices that deliver Web 2.0 to the palm of your hand via WiFi, WiMax or 3G networks are finally being readied for market. I notice that Dell (http://tinyurl.com/2sqm4a) and Gateway (http://www.gateway.com/accessories/product/13381795.php?seg=hm) have both started selling the Nokia N800 Internet Tablet. Then you have Intel's MID mini-tablets (http://www.engadget.com/2007/04/16/intels-mid-umpcs-so-long-xp-vista-hello-linux/) and Palm's new device announcement at the end of this month. Seems to me things are about to get interesting again for folks who don't want their mobile data apps hamstrung by mobile phone hardware.

By the way, I have an unspecifiable reason to believe that Palm's new Linux whatchmacallit devices could be dishing up some pretty slick graphic effects. Which is to say it's not your father's Palm OS. :-)

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

RE: Sprint: we're releasing 3-4 PDAs in Q4 07
SeldomVisitor @ 5/15/2007 4:35:37 PM # Q
> ...By the way, I have an unspecifiable reason to believe that
> Palm's new Linux whatchmacallit devices could be dishing up some
> pretty slick graphic effects...

You must have missed Motorola's "new phones coming soon or here now" presentation.

Featuring Java/Linux phones et al.

> ...Which is to say it's not your father's Palm OS. :-)

Interestingly, neither were Motorola's!

RE: Sprint: we're releasing 3-4 PDAs in Q4 07
cervezas @ 5/15/2007 5:28:12 PM # Q
You must have missed Motorola's "new phones coming soon or here now" presentation. Featuring Java/Linux phones et al.

Scalable vector graphics have been around for Java phones for a while (see for example Yahoo Go!) and have little to do with either Motorola or Linux. But we are just now beginning to get announcements of handsets with the Java ME MSA architecture that bakes SVG into enough phones to make it interesting to developers. Silverlight is pretty much still a science experiment on Windows Mobile, as is the new JavaFX Mobile smartphone OS that Sun just announced. So it's arguably Adobe, not Sun, that has the lead in the mobile graphics arena with Flash Lite. But where are all the apps? Flash Lite doesn't have enough under the hood to deliver on the kind of applications that Palm OS users are interested in. It has about the same capabilities for persisting data on the phone as your browser does via cookies.

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

RE: Sprint: we're releasing 3-4 PDAs in Q4 07
cervezas @ 5/15/2007 5:46:02 PM # Q
Anyway, the comment about the upcoming eye candy was perhaps the least interesting part of the post. I'm more interested to hear how many Palm OS users would ante up for a tablet-style Palm OS-compatible handheld that has EVDO and a big screen but doesn't even pretend to be a phone. Keeping in mind that you'd presumably need a separate data-only wireless account with Sprint to run this puppy on their network. Not saying I know that this is happening, just that Sprint's and Palm's low-key announcements this month do seem to be timed close together. And if Sprint was releasing 3 or 4 non-phone wireless handhelds before Christmas, would it be outlandish to suppose that one or more of them might come from the world's leading handheld maker?

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
www.pikesoft.com/blog
RE: Sprint: we're releasing 3-4 PDAs in Q4 07
SeldomVisitor @ 5/15/2007 6:59:06 PM # Q
End of year is target timeframe for the first PALM Linux device.

RE: Sprint: we're releasing 3-4 PDAs in Q4 07
cervezas @ 5/15/2007 8:08:27 PM # Q
End of year is target timeframe for the first PALM Linux device.

... and also the timeframe for Sprint's wireless "PDA" releases. That was my point. So what's your point?

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

RE: Sprint: we're releasing 3-4 PDAs in Q4 07
mikecane @ 5/15/2007 8:39:04 PM # Q
Oh swell. Now it'll be $700+ for a fekkin "unlocked" PDA...

RE: Sprint: we're releasing 3-4 PDAs in Q4 07
cervezas @ 5/15/2007 9:50:11 PM # Q
Sprint says the new WiMax network is going to be open to any device no service contract required: http://mobileopportunity.blogspot.com/2007/01/sprint-and-wimax-are-these-guys-serious.html

Which means no subsidies, but no locking/unlocking either. I would think that the going price for the Nokia N800 would be a reasonable point of reference for pricing of devices like this. Dell is selling the N800 for $392.55 right now, not $700.

Maybe on EVDO units they'll subsidize and try to lock you in as they do now, I don't know.

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

RE: Sprint: we're releasing 3-4 PDAs in Q4 07
mikecane @ 5/16/2007 9:22:07 AM # Q
Are you getting some sort of kickback for mentioning that abomination, the N800? Will you bloody stop it? Its fraud has been exposed, dammit. It's garbage, just like the 770.

RE: Sprint: we're releasing 3-4 PDAs in Q4 07
cervezas @ 5/16/2007 9:44:49 AM # Q
All I can say is that it's the first mobile device I've owned that I've felt a real attachment to since the Samsung i500 that I bought five years ago. There are many ways the N800 could be improved--it is still really a pioneer device for early adopters--but to put the discussion back on topic, I'm thinking we will look back on this year as the dawn of a new class of inexpensive handheld mobile device that is focused on delivering a superior full web experience to your pocket, briefcase, or coffee table.

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