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Palm Planning to Revive Foleo as a WebOS Netbook?

Palm FoleoRumor: Trip Chowdhry, an analyst with Global Equities Research, asserts in a note to clients today (via Tech Trader Daily) that Palm intends to produce a $399 netbook that will run WebOS. The speculation is not without precedent as Palm has stated on numerous occasions that the WebOS will power a family of products and has said in the past that a Foleo followup is not out of the question.

Chowdhry is saying that the device will basically be a revised version of the Foleo and will be powered by an ARM chipset and will use a Gobi 3G wireless chip from Qualcomm for an estimated 8-10 hour battery life. He says the project is being designed by three ex-Apple iPod guys.

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Cell Phone

sford @ 5/1/2009 3:52:59 PM # Q
So, would this have cell phone functionality as well?
Since 1996: Pilot Pro, III, IIIe, Nino (yeah...oops!), IIIc, VIIx, m505, NR70V, NZ90, NX60, T3, Zire 72s, NX80V, Treo 90, Treo 650
RE: Cell Phone
freakout @ 5/1/2009 6:00:23 PM # Q
sounds to me like it'll have a cell radio for data, but won't be a phone. Makes sense.
RE: Cell Phone
DarthRepublican @ 5/2/2009 1:21:30 AM # Q
Netbooks have been trying the same strategy as well with some models of the Acer Aspire One going for as little as $100 when you shell out for a 3G data plan with a two year commitment. Presumably, the new Foleo will also be subsidized by carriers. I doubt if Palm could sell a stand alone unsubsidized version for the $400 with the market saturated by Netbooks. But a subsidized $100 (or even free) Foleo would be competing on much more even terms with low end netbooks. Palm may also be hoping for a halo effect of newly minted Pre-verts going for a webOS powered netbook because they like their Pres so much.
Screw convergence
Palm III->Visor Deluxe->Visor Platinum->Visor Prism->Tungsten E->Palm LifeDrive->Palm TX
Visor Pro+VisorPhone->Treo 180g->Treo 270->Treo 600->Treo 680->T-Mobile G1
http://mind-grapes.blogspot.com/
RE: Cell Phone
mikecane @ 5/3/2009 8:22:04 AM # Q
>>Pre-verts

LMAO!!! Coinage FTW!

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Um....

medevilenemy @ 5/1/2009 4:23:35 PM # Q
But that doesn't address the point that the Foleo was a really stupid idea. If this revived foleo is intended as a STAND ALONE, then just maybe will it be viable, but if it is still intended to basically be an accessory to a smartphone...
RE: Um....
freakout @ 5/1/2009 6:08:51 PM # Q
If they're including a seperate cell radio then the "mobile companion" idea is probably toast.

The real challenge will be the software package. Since it's obviously not going to compete with PC netbooks hardware specs-wise, it's going to need a killer mobile-optimized software package to make an impact. I look forward to seeing it!

RE: Um....
freakout @ 5/1/2009 6:11:53 PM # Q
^^ (if it exists, that is)
RE: Um....
DarthRepublican @ 5/2/2009 1:31:09 AM # Q
It comes down to how you use your netbook. Web browsing and email? Those are fairly simple tasks which for some people are better accomplished in a web browser than they are with stand alone apps. They should be no problem for a webOS netbook. Gaming? You'll at least need flash. Music should be no problem. Video? They could use an iPhone-style Youtube app if it can scale up to the Foleo II's bigger screen but ideally they'd need flash. Palm has been in bed with Dataviz for years and they'll need to have a version Documents to Go. Skype would be nice but not absolutely necessary. And streaming, streaming, streaming. That pretty much takes care of 90% of what people do with their netbooks. Sure, I occasionally run bittorrent on my netbook but those are pretty rare occasions.
Screw convergence
Palm III->Visor Deluxe->Visor Platinum->Visor Prism->Tungsten E->Palm LifeDrive->Palm TX
Visor Pro+VisorPhone->Treo 180g->Treo 270->Treo 600->Treo 680->T-Mobile G1
http://mind-grapes.blogspot.com/
RE: Um....
freakout @ 5/4/2009 3:11:49 AM # Q
What I use my Eee for, in order of frequency:

1) Web browsing. webOS should have this covered no sweat.
2) Skyping. Netbooks make excellent video phones. I want Foleo 2 to have a webcam, and I want Skype to come up with a webOS version that supports video calling.
3) Media playback - mainly streaming stuff, although occasionally i'll load up a movie or some tv shows. webOS has this covered too, or it will once Adobe put out Flash for it.
4) Document editing etc. since we know DataViz are working on a webOS version there's no worries here either. If Foleo 2 retains the full-size keyboard I'll be most pleased.

If a Foleo 2 could do all of the above with instant-on, touchscreen/gesture support and snappy Pre-like performace, I'm sold.


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Nice

gtbaum @ 5/1/2009 6:19:33 PM # Q
I would buy one.
RE: Nice
millydog @ 5/1/2009 9:28:56 PM # Q
I also want one. I am so excited, hoping that this is true. :)
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I'd rather have Windows 7 Starter

sbono13 @ 5/1/2009 9:10:31 PM # Q
Honestly, it's it's shaped like a laptop, it better be as capable as a laptop.
RE: I'd rather have Windows 7 Starter
zuhmir @ 5/1/2009 10:13:08 PM # Q
Why?
You can use LogMeIn.com to use your powerful desktop computer at home thus getting all the power a laptop can never give you while staying Truly mobile and long time away from power outlets.
I always thought this was the idea behind the Foleo and I'll buy one if this rumor is true...
RE: I'd rather have Windows 7 Starter
DarthRepublican @ 5/2/2009 1:33:28 AM # Q
Everything I've heard about Windows 7 Starter is that it'll be so crippled that it will be almost useless. I mean isn't it supposed to limit you to running four apps at one time? That alone is enough to make me want to stick with XP or Easy Peasy.
Screw convergence
Palm III->Visor Deluxe->Visor Platinum->Visor Prism->Tungsten E->Palm LifeDrive->Palm TX
Visor Pro+VisorPhone->Treo 180g->Treo 270->Treo 600->Treo 680->T-Mobile G1
http://mind-grapes.blogspot.com/
RE: I'd rather have Windows 7 Starter
cstamper @ 5/2/2009 7:35:22 AM # Q
No, I think win7 starter is actually limited to 2-3 apps.

The crashes and viruses come free, with all editions.
http://tinyurl.com/2ooncg

RE: I'd rather have Windows 7 Starter
sbono13 @ 5/2/2009 8:35:34 AM # Q
Win 7 Starter limits to 3 apps. That's 3 more Windows apps than a WebOS netbook could run, the most important one being Firefox (or Chrome). I simply wouldn't want to deal with the limitations of a mobile browser (and mobile processor) if I had a laptop form factor (no Flash, no Google Docs, etc). A WebOS tablet is a lot more compelling, since the OS is optimized for touch.

But if you could install WebOS on your desktop computer and use that instead of OSX or Windows, would you?

RE: I'd rather have Windows 7 Starter
SeldomVisitor @ 5/2/2009 8:49:05 AM # Q
Along with the Web Browser on whatever device (Pre, miniPre, FooleoPre) comes the software on the web servers that Palm has been talking about in their SEC filings.

RE: I'd rather have Windows 7 Starter
twrock @ 5/2/2009 4:17:14 PM # Q
sbono13 wrote:
But if you could install WebOS on your desktop computer and use that instead of OSX or Windows, would you?

No, I wouldn't. There are too many good Linux desktop systems, even those optimised for netbooks (EasyPeasy/Ubuntu Netbook Remix has already been mentioned). I don't see the advantage of locking myself into Palm's system on my desktop/laptop/netbook. (There might be some real advantage of doing so on a smartphone, but I'm not yet convinced of that either; I can't figure out why I need webOS as a solution.)

But why anyone would choose to pay for the pain that will be Win7 Starter is beyond me.

Hey Palm! Where's my PDA with Wifi and phone capabilities?

RE: I'd rather have Windows 7 Starter
DarthRepublican @ 5/3/2009 12:44:31 AM # Q
Just three apps? Ouch. Each tab in Chrome runs as a separate process and appears in Task Manager as a separate .exe file. Depending on how Windows 7 Starter defines an application, things can get quite limiting. You may not be able to use another app if you have just three tabs open in Chrome. I routinely run Agent (for Usenet) and Firefox side by side on my Acer Aspire One. Open up AIM for IM chat and Windows 7 Starter is maxed out while XP, regular Win7, and Linux can still launch more apps.

The list of apps I'd want on a netbook before webOS would include Windows XP, full-blown Linux, and possibly the full version of Windows 7 if the final release version is as good as the current beta. But it does not include Win7 Starter. It seems that Microsoft will intentionally cripple that OS. webOS on the other hand, might actually surprise us by scaling better to netbooks than we expect.
Screw convergence
Palm III->Visor Deluxe->Visor Platinum->Visor Prism->Tungsten E->Palm LifeDrive->Palm TX
Visor Pro+VisorPhone->Treo 180g->Treo 270->Treo 600->Treo 680->T-Mobile G1
http://mind-grapes.blogspot.com/

RE: I'd rather have Windows 7 Starter
sungod @ 5/4/2009 12:40:57 AM # Q
Isn't this all just a mute point.

Last thing I heard Win7 Starter is only being sold in developing countries and the simplest version of Win7 in western countries will be Win7 Basic ed.
The same setup they have with Vista now.

RE: I'd rather have Windows 7 Starter
twrock @ 5/4/2009 4:19:48 AM # Q
sungod wrote:
Isn't this all just a mute point.

Not if you are one of the suckers getting stuck with Win7 Starter.
Last thing I heard Win7 Starter is only being sold in developing countries and the simplest version of Win7 in western countries will be Win7 Basic ed.
The same setup they have with Vista now.

No matter how they package it or where they sell it, "why anyone would choose to pay for the pain that will be Win7 Starter is beyond me." There are much better alternatives.

Hey Palm! Where's my PDA with Wifi and phone capabilities?
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missed opportunity

tompi @ 5/3/2009 8:03:38 AM # Q
Palm should have taken the hardware design for the Foleo (which they had already developed), slapped a standard version of Linux on it, and sold it for $200-$250. They could have owned the Netbook market.

I think they're out of the game now: Linux, Android, and Windows are splitting that market, and Chinese companies are going to come out with really low-cost ARM-based systems.

RE: missed opportunity
hkklife @ 5/3/2009 12:30:18 PM # Q
No they wouldn't. The Foleo had a garbage CPU, was way under spec'd for RAM, and had no hardware video acceleration to speak of. It wouldn't be able to handle any kind of fullscreen local video playback, much less YouTube HQ or Hulu streaming no matter how much Palm would've tweaked the software. Even the first-generation 4G EEE PC has a Celeron-M CPU alongside an Intel GMA900 + a 915G chipset. That's 512mb RAM + 4GB SSD storage vs. the Fooleo's 128MB RAM and no onboard storage. Those EEE specs are not gonna set the world on fire but it's lightyears ahead of the circa 2004 PDA innards Palm was using for the Fooleo.

No, Palm made a very, very wise decision to kill the Fooleo. They also could not have made a profit on it at $200-$250, if you consider the small production volumes and Palm's minimal purchasing power in comparison to Samsung, Asus, Acer, et al.

I do agree that the time is OVER for Palm to make any kind of impact in the netbook market. It's awash with dozens of companies with deeper pockets, more aggressice release schedules and more experience than Palm.

No, what WebOS DOES need to scale up to is a nice tablet-style device. It must have at least a 7", 800x480 screen. AT LEAST! Maybe a formfactor similar to the size of the Sony E-Reader but (of course) with much better hardware. Offer one version at retail with just wi-fi & BT, offer another through the carriers subsidized with 3G built-in, and eventually offer a WiMax or LTE version depending on however the market goes.
Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->?

RE: missed opportunity
tompi @ 5/4/2009 10:58:48 AM # Q
How hard/expensive could it have been to double or quadruple the memory and add a flash drive? Linux doesn't need that much in terms of CPU. The Foleo seems to have had a decent keyboard, screen, and form factor.
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Do it right!

mikecane @ 5/3/2009 8:25:05 AM # Q
They'll be going up against some Android-based netbooks due this year, to be announced Real Soon Now.

That will be an interesting battle, eh? The New Palm vs. the Old PalmSource.

By the time this is out, there should be many devs with real webOS apps. I could go for this, particularly if it still has the original swank design.

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Pre first

jca666us @ 5/3/2009 9:32:10 AM # Q
They should focus on launching the Pre and making it successful, before jumping onto the Foleo 2.
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