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Handspring Plans Mystery Device (Updated)

During a conference call with analysts this afternoon after announcing its most recent quarterly results, Handspring executives talked about the company's plans for future models.

Some of these plans don't come as a surprise. The company intends to release a color version of the Treo and one that runs on CDMA wireless networks that are widely used in the U.S.

However, the call was not without its surprises. Ms. Dubinsky went on to say that her company would be announcing a new model that "fits into the communicator product strategy". She gave no other details.

Update: Originally, this article mistakenly said that the new model would be a wireless one. However, Allen Bush from Handspring emailed me to say, "The new device Donna mentioned today in our conference call is in fact an organizer, not a wirelessly enabled device... What we meant was that the product could borrow some of the design characteristics of our communicator family - not that it would be wirelessly enabled."

All of three of these will be released this financial quarter, which is over at the end of June.

Handspring first announced that it would release a color version of the Treo last fall when the 180 was announced.

Last month, it said it would have a CDMA version out sometime this summer.

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Another blackberry clone>>

gfunkmagic @ 4/15/2002 6:35:23 PM #
IMHO, If i was handspring, i would bet that this new device would be a data only two messaging device in the mold of blackberry and the i705.

RE: Another blackberry clone>>
jeremyf @ 4/15/2002 6:44:15 PM #
A treo you can't talk into? =(

My guess, bets anyone?
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/15/2002 7:00:07 PM #
If I was handspring, I would ship a device with the keyboard of the trio. Enhance the resolution. Make the unit only available in color. Throw in MP3 playback capability. I'd leave out the cell phone. The treo already does that, pretty well in fact. What I would put in its place is an integrated 802.11 wireless AND bluetooth system. In the office the device would hook into the existing 802.11 net, 1.5mb per sec., fast enough to stream video! Out of the office the device would use bluetooth to connect to your 2.5G or 3G (someday!) cell phone. Hitting the Starbucks your device would flip seemlessly back into 802.11 mode.
Oh, and I think the ability to run remote java applications like danger's hiptop.
If I was handspring that is what I would build. Let's see how close I come. Wagers anyone?
Best, James Scherber
jscherber@tech-pacifica.com
http://www.tech-pacifica.com
RE: Another blackberry clone>>
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/15/2002 7:28:05 PM #
yeah and how you propose to do all that under $499? not even Sony with chips design capability has been able to do that.
RE: Another blackberry clone>>
gfunkmagic @ 4/15/2002 7:28:19 PM #
The truth is that Handspring cannot just hedge their future on just one product platform (ie. the treo) In my opinion if Handspring really wanted to suprise us, they would try to compete with and emulate what I think may deceptively be one the most interesting and potentially competive devices to the Palm OS universe, that is the iPod. The truth is the iPod, with its huge storage capacity and novel design, is an intriguing option out there for people who carve infintesimal space and the freedom to store and carry around with them almost anything they desire. There are already dozens of hacks that equip the iPod with traditional PDA functionality, and the simplicity of Apple's design that allows drag and drop of files makes this a very useful device. I know i know that there are options like the Handera 330 out there, but i really think the real future has to be a PDA (hopefully PalmOS)device that allows maximal portabilty of data BUILT-IN. The fact is that any device that allows the user to do the most to personlize their data with music, notes, addresses, web pages, books, applications and etc will be the most successfull. Add to this wireless interconnectivity like bluetooth or 802.11b and you gotta something to talk about. Of course form factor, battery life and screen are important, but the Treo isn't exactly a light weight. I persanlly wouldn't mind fi handpring came out with a Treo form factor, QERTY device with color, wireless data only, intgrated Bluetooth, SD expansion, jog dial, and 1-5 GB storage capabilties!! Why isn't that possible?

It's the battery, stupid.
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/15/2002 7:46:43 PM #
Yeah you want a device with built-in 802.11b and Bluetooth? You know that both of these puppies have to be always on?

I bet the battery of this device will last 30 minutes.

You think Sony/Palm don't know that people want a 802.11b PDA? It's the battery, stupid.

And we haven't even talked about the cost.

RE: Another blackberry clone>>
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/15/2002 8:39:48 PM #
I agree with the reader on an iPod-type device. The cradle "HotSync" method is so last century. The point of having a PDA is also to carry less especially when you travel so junking the cradle and syncing directly to a port (FireWire/USB2.0) seems more efficient.

Also, carrying a high capacity iPod-type device that is capable of "configuring" itself to carry music, video and data and access it on the go is what I would call a true PDA. Imagine listening to MP3, watching video and carrying your data with you using a viewer to open up Word files. Throw in a cellphone and it will be a killer.

With some of the new technologies coming (OLED, slim drives from Toshiba, etc) it is possible. Of course there is always the question of battery-life and price.

How long more do we have to wait?

RE: Another blackberry clone>>
dboehme @ 4/15/2002 9:06:01 PM #
Why does 802.11 and Bluetooth always need to be on? I don't think that's the case...

Also, calling people "stupid" isn't the best way to tell someone that you disagree with them.

RE: Another blackberry clone>>
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/15/2002 10:08:17 PM #
AHEM>>

To the, of course, anonymous poster of "its the battery stupid" thread: I never stated that i wanted BOTH built-in bluetooth and wifi. If you had tried to read the comment instead of trying to flam me you have understood clearly. Furthermore, the limitations of current battery technology is something i'm fully cognizant of. IMHO whats wrong with a iPod-Palm PDA like device that would last two days with intermittent use? I dunno but i charge my palm ever other day anyways...

RE: Another blackberry clone>>
Ed @ 4/15/2002 10:40:53 PM #
Please be sure to read my "Not a Wireless Device" comment below.

www.palminfocenter.com/view_Story.asp?ID=3297&MODE=FLAT#45387

---
News Editor

RE: Another blackberry clone>>
rigter @ 4/16/2002 7:10:29 AM #
WiFi is an american thing.
According to Ed's comment, this device won't have that anyway.

Now BT would be something...

Cheers,
Jan

/*
One thing a computer can do that most humans can't is be sealed up in a cardboard box and sit in a warehouse.
*/

RE: Another blackberry clone>>
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/16/2002 11:56:52 AM #

We already know it's NOT wireless, so it isn't a Blackberry clone.
I just hope it's not an organizer w/ thumboard only input. The iPod
idea is interesting, but there are a lot of ways to do it wrong. The
iPod screen is just *too* small to be useful as full fledged organizer.
A Gb device well done would be cool. Maybe they're going to announce
an OS5 device...

To gfunkmagic, the "It's the battery, stupid" message was not to you,
but to the "My guess, bets anyone?" message (by I.M. Anonymous @
4/15/2002 7:00:07 PM).

Also: "...for people who carve infintesimal space and the
freedom to store and carry around..." I think you meant "infinite
space" as infinitesimal means immeasurably *small* :}

Ed - Is there a way to number responses so we can easly reference them?
I've seen this on another forum (don't recall which at the moment)
where people routinely make replies like: "To #14, try pressing
Ctrl-Alt-Del..." Just a thought.

RE: Another blackberry clone>>
cyruski @ 4/16/2002 12:02:44 PM #
well, if you put 802.11b in such device without a battery twice the size, your palm would have the battery life of a pocket pc :)

cyruski!
RE: Another blackberry clone>>
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/16/2002 12:25:16 PM #
It really depends on what you want. I also use a Compaq Ipaq with an 802.11 sled. It works great. Yes its bigger than a palm 5, yes I have to put it in it's charger once a day. So what? It does most of what I want my notebook computer to do at significantly less weight. I can also slip it into my jacket pocket. Battery limitations, not really. Wasn't it not too long ago all the manufacturers where screaming that color screens took up too much power to be practical in a PDA. Hmmmmmm. If it's Handspring's intention to stick with their Trio line of products for any length of time Nokia and Sony Erricson will eat their lunch. Time to innovate kids. Sony makes a better Palm than does Palm itself or Handspring, what is the deal there?

Best, James Scherber
jscherber@tech-pacifica.com
http://www.tech-pacifica.com

To it's the battery stupid
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/16/2002 4:46:11 PM #
Ah, sorry it's not the battery.

Visit this site

http://makeashorterlink.com/?L2F2122B

This is the type of company Handspring/Palm is going to have to deal with. If they won't innovate, someone else will. Feel free to disagree but please keep the personal attacks to yourself as they are juvenile.

Best, James Scherber
jscherber@tech-pacifica.com
http://www.tech-pacifica.com


The OQO press release, and 'Innovation'.
orb2069 @ 4/16/2002 5:52:05 PM #
> Ah, sorry it's not the battery.
> Visit this site
> http://makeashorterlink.com/?L2F2122B
[Press release about the 'OQO device'.]

Maybe you don't remember the FIRST wave of WinCE press releases? Where Bill was promising flawless voice recognition, week-long battery life, perfect all-condition viewable screens, etc, etc, etc...

Thanks, but I'll get worried about this when it actually starts shipping.

They're saying that this device is going to be a Windows-XP based PC in a pocketable form factor?

If you need somebody to tell you what an amazing SNAFU that could be, try digging out a copy of 'Pen for windows' and installing it on any of that era's pen tablets.

Heck, for that matter, just resize your montor to 640x480 and see how much of your current software breaks or becomes unusable. Now imagine your desktop screen being the size of a PDA and trying to read it.

This press release is just more WinCE Hype in preperation for Bill's upcoming Pen-for-windows ressurection.

Innovation is something you can ship. Hype is something you grease industry press with.

In short, maybe you aught to take your bull-leftovers detector into the shop. I think it needs to be recalibrated.

I /am/ the eggman.

''It's the battery, stupid...''
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/16/2002 10:16:22 PM #
At the risk of putting words in a previous poster's mouth, this may be an attempt to paraphrase the line "It's the economy, stupid." For those outside the US and unfamiliar with its politics, those anywhere who don't follow politics, or those who don't remember tons of trivia, the Clinton campaign actually put posters inside their campaign headquarters saying "It's the economy, stupid."--reminding them that this was the point they needed to highlight. The "stupid" here wasn't directed at others (voters, reporters, etc.) but at oneself.

If this was the intended sentiment here, though, it would have been good to clarify that.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled discussion already in progress...

To Eggman
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/17/2002 12:22:08 AM #
“Maybe you don't remember the FIRST wave of WinCE press releases...”

I don’t rely on press releases. It works, I’ve seen it.

“Thanks, but I'll get worried about this when it actually starts shipping.”

Why worry, do you work for Handspring?

”They're saying that this device is going to be a Windows-XP based PC in a pocketable form factor?”

Yes, the design is modular. Use it as either a PDA with limited functionality or put it in it’s base station to use it as a Desktop.

”Heck, for that matter, just resize your monitor to 640x480 and see how much of your current software breaks or becomes unusable…”

Please see statement above plus if I want to run Palm Apps use a palm emulator or for that matter Win CE apps with a CE emulator. Both exist right now. Plus no hot-syncing. You’re not showing very much imaginative thinking!

”Innovation is something you can ship. Hype is something you grease industry press with.”

Hmmm… the last bit of hype these folks designed was the titanium powerbook. Did that do well enough for you?

”In short, maybe you aught to take your bull-leftovers detector into the shop. I think it needs to be recalibrated.”

I’ve done pretty well for myself without the calibration, thanks anyway.

”I /am/ the eggman.”

Sorry to hear it, perhaps a plastic surgeon?

Best, James Scherber
jscherber@tech-pacifica.com
http://www.tech-pacifica.com

OQOQOQOQO - Tje name fits together neat, 70's style.
orb2069 @ 4/17/2002 4:08:02 AM #
> I don’t rely on press releases. It works, I’ve seen it.

Wow - you're a step up on the people who wrote the article you cited, then - You'd figure that if they had a working prototype, it would be out where the press could see it working - for the investors' sake, at least.

Not that I'm calling you a liar - If you say you've seen a UFO, that's cool. Don't expect me to buy a ticket to Alpha Centauri untill I have more proof, though.

> Please see statement above plus if I want to run Palm
> Apps use a palm emulator or for that matter Win CE
> apps with a CE emulator. Both exist right now.

Ummm, sure. And what sort of battery life would this thing have, running CE emulation? Seeing as how a P300 barely runs POSE realtime?

I have a funny feeling that 9.5 hours is VERY optimistic.

I know Transmeta can do the impossible, but I can't imagine you're going to have incredible performance with a Crusoe chip emulating a x86 chip emulating a PowerPC.

> Plus no Hot Syncing.

Since you're going to have to stick the thing in a dock, or at least recharge it, how is that functionally diffrent from hotsyncing? I mean, other than involving a complex connector.

> You’re not showing very much imaginative thinking!

I guess I'm just old and cynical - Saw the docking laptops come and go - Saw the high-horsepower PDA's show up and go on M$ life support. Can't see why anybody would combine them, particularly when it forms a non-upgradable $1000+ device for you to drop or spill a drink on.

That, and I think the cutting edge just snuck up on me a little. But I think I can be forgiven a little incredulty when Slashdot's intro article on this thing ended with '...Now, only if this didn't sound like vaporware.'

> Hmmm… the last bit of hype these folks designed was
> the titanium powerbook. Did that do well enough for > you?

Tesla made a great three-phase power system, then spent the rest of his life trying to electrocute people with wireless power transmission... or 'Past performance is not an indicator of future trends.', if you prefer.

I've really just gotten tired of people pointing at this week's sci-fi/IPO fantasy and going 'Look! Everything sucks compared to THIS!' Plenty of things have been announced and never made it to market - heck, a lot of them were a lot more plausable than this thing.

If they ship the thing for a sane price (See the poll ), great - you can salt my words so I can have them for lunch. But even if they DO have a working prototype, they're a long way from taking over the market - I don't think Handspring has anything to worry about from them in the next quarter, at any rate.


I /am/ the eggman.

RE: Another blackberry clone>>
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/17/2002 2:02:11 PM #
are you saying you rather not have the option running emulator in place of battery life?

running emulator is just for that short apps. Nobody would run importnat apps on emulator, since there are ebtter alternative in PPC for all of them.

Three devices this financial quarter??

Palm_Otaku @ 4/15/2002 7:15:40 PM #
Ed, when you say that all of these will be released this financial quarter which ends in May, do you mean that the Treo 270 the CDMA Treo and the new "Mysterion" will all be introduced in the next 6 weeks?

Also, when you reported the US Retail Sales for February, did you happen to get the percentage figures for 4th place Compaq and 5th place HP?

RE: Three devices this financial quarter??
martianviking @ 4/15/2002 8:41:30 PM #
It might mean that your "Mysterion" will be announced, but not actually available.

RE: Three devices this financial quarter??
Ed @ 4/15/2002 9:50:08 PM #
I just confirmed with Brian Jaquet at Handspring that they do intend to have all of these devices introduced before the end of June and we'd start getting details on the mystery device before much longer. Looks like they have a busy few weeks coming up.

As for your second question, sorry I could not. I put an in-depth explanation why in a comment under that article.

---
News Editor

RE: Three devices this financial quarter??
Palm_Otaku @ 4/16/2002 1:42:31 PM #
Ah, I see you've modified the article saying Handspring's Quarter is end of June: 10 weeks sounds more realistic :)
With the other article change ("no wireless"), my guess is a Visor Prism replacement (new color): two versions: keyboard / jogdial or Graffiti 16MB RAM VZsuper (66MHz) processor Springboard.

Typo

Fzara2000 @ 4/15/2002 7:34:01 PM #
Ed, theres a typo:
---->>>Some of some of these plans don't come as a surprise. The company intends to release a color version of the Treo and one that runs on CDMA wireless networks that are widely used in the U.S.

Perhaps: Some of these plans...
Fzara

SONY ROCKS!

RE: Typo
Ed @ 4/15/2002 8:46:52 PM #
Fixed. I also fixed the one where I said Handspring's financial quarter is over at the end of May. It is actually end of June. Sorry, I was writing these really fast while the conference call was still going on.

---
News Editor
RE: Typo
Fzara2000 @ 4/15/2002 11:19:40 PM #
Its cool, you're a cool guy Ed

SONY ROCKS!
RE: Typo
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/16/2002 4:33:14 PM #
I agree...SONy is the bomb...they just keep shelling out CLIÉ's-i hope to have the NR70V someday (i have a S320 now)

Just Gimme the Color Treo

I.M. Anonymous @ 4/15/2002 9:08:01 PM #
I saw a business contact toting the monochrome Treo the other day. If it's in color I want one immediately.

Any chance the color Treo will be released soon?

RE: Just Gimme the Color Treo
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/15/2002 9:48:29 PM #
why would you want to have color treo when the XDA will come out with similar price and MUCH better capability. It will be launched this month in europe at 650 Euro with contract. US will come out next month.
RE: Just Gimme the Color Treo
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/15/2002 10:38:03 PM #
Because the O2 xda will be a huge pile of junk, crippled with Micro$oft's crappy OS, that's why.
RE: Just Gimme the Color Treo
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/16/2002 12:44:40 AM #
hey at least that piece of junk actually have a real browser, multi task, and has a built in SD. Try that with treo.
RE: Just Gimme the Color Treo
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/16/2002 6:26:38 AM #
02 XDA? You're kidding, right? That's like holding a gigantic laptop against your ear. Quite ridiculous. No thanks.
RE: Just Gimme the Color Treo
cyruski @ 4/16/2002 12:15:08 PM #
hah. and my pants dropping to the floor when i try to put it deliberately in my pocket.

cyruski!
RE: Just Gimme the Color Treo
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/16/2002 2:13:20 PM #
XDA has the same width as treo, but slightly longer. In fact Treo is much bigger when flipped open and used as telephone. Treo is relatively huge compare to other phone with basic PIM function.

Treo 160gr.
XDA 190gr.


The comparison picture.

http://www.pdabuzz.com/Reviews
/Detailed/Handspring_Treo_180.html

RE: Just Gimme the Color Treo
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/16/2002 3:25:03 PM #
"Treo is relatively huge compare to other phone with basic PIM function."

Well it's clear you have never even held a Treo - It's about the same size as my Palm V and much smaller than my Visor.

"Treo 160gr. XDA 190gr."

Yep, and it's lighter.


RE: Just Gimme the Color Treo
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/16/2002 4:22:00 PM #
Obviously you never compare it to the latest motorola phone with pretty big screen. And at least now nobody whine about how big XDA is compare to treo. since it's flip open and turn into a monster compared to XDA.

oh yeah and 30 grams different. woo hoo.....(what did you trade off anyway with that 30 grs? GPRS, Strong arm, SD slot, BIG color screen, browser and office apps, and hey you can even use grafitti on it.)

hey it runs quake in color, never mind run of the mill office app/email. can your treo do that? Oh wait it's 30 grams less..

call back, when you get a real smartphone.

RE: Just Gimme the Color Treo
MJGunn @ 4/16/2002 8:56:40 PM #
Personally I like the fact that its pretty big when flipped open. Makes it more comfortable to hold against your head. So, back to the original question, anyone know when the Color treo is coming out?
RE: Just Gimme the Color Treo
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/16/2002 9:19:20 PM #
this summer (if no delay), visorcentral.com has some short blurb about it.

battery is dysmal, and screen is not spectacular. Everything else is the same.

RE: Just Gimme the Color Treo
TDS @ 4/17/2002 10:04:04 AM #
The poster above mentioned that the XDA runs Quake in color. I thought that the microsoft Smartphone software was not compatable with PocketPC 2002. I think it is based on the CE engine, but it is not designed to run the same software. Don't apps have to be custom written for it? Please correct me if I am wrong.


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