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Rumor: Details on Upcoming Sony Handheld (Updated)

Julie from The Gadgeteer quotes a 'reliable source' with some details on a upcoming device from Sony. According to this source, it will have a 206 MHz StrongARM processor from Intel, which means, of course, that it will have to run Palm OS 5. It will have a clamshell shape, though Julie says she's not sure if it is the same design as the NR series. Like the NR70V it will have a built-in camera, though this one will be able to do video capture, not just take still images.

Update: This rumor is a bit suspect because, according to a someone high up at PalmSource, Intel's StrongARM family isn't part of the Palm OS Ready Program, only its XScale family.

Of course, it will have a Memory Stick slot. In a surprising move, it will also have a Compact Flash slot, though this won't work with memory cards, just add-on peripherals. Sony offers sleds for some of its models that let them use some Compact Flash add-ons but not memory cards. These sleds, however, are available only in Japan.

The source says will ship with a version of Flash Player that can run in full-screen mode. According to a rumor from last March, Macromedia already has a version of the Flash Player written for the Palm OS; however, it is too slow to be usable on the slower Dragonball processors and the company is holding it back until the move to ARM-based processors.

This rumored new model from Sony does not have any built-in wireless networking capabilities, neither Bluetooth nor Wi-Fi.

Unfortunately, a great many details still remain unknown, such as how much RAM it will have, how much it will cost, and when it will be available.

Since PalmSource completed work on Palm OS 5 last month and set it on to its licensees, there has been tremendous anticipation for the first devices using the new operating system. Some information has been leaked about an OS 5 device from Palm but this is the first info of any kind on a model from Sony.

Thanks to Gavin Maxwell and Brad White for the tips. -Ed

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PRICE?

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/7/2002 9:03:35 AM #
Will this thing cost $800 when it comes out?
RE: PRICE?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/7/2002 9:18:55 AM #
It can't possibly cost less than the NR70V, so I'd say about $600.
RE: PRICE?
Memling @ 8/7/2002 11:33:59 AM #
It had better not cost more than a 206Mhz PPC or Sony will get worked. Sure throw in the camera, but lose wireless means the price should still be about the current non-XScale PPC's ($500-$650). Just because Sony could price their Dragonball products more, doesn't mean they will survive once they are on "equal" ground with PPC.

Hans.

cool, but i wouldn't buy it

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/7/2002 9:02:59 AM #
I don't need a camera and don't like the idea of two types of expansion.

I'll take a T with 66mhz, virtual grafiti, and built in bluetooth though.

RE: cool, but i wouldn't buy it
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/7/2002 9:09:03 AM #
What do you need to record tiny, low-res vidoes for? Seems like a waste of $$$. And why would you want to use a Memory Stick in your PDA, a CF card in your digital camera and an SD card in a voice recorder? It seems like a really silly idea to be able to play full screen flash movies, when you don't have a wireless network connection (but I guess that'd be resolved with a CF WiFi card). It sounds like one expensive toy. I think Sony has ravaged the Zen of Palm and left it for dead.
RE: cool, but i wouldn't buy it
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/7/2002 9:12:10 AM #
Why dont you like the idea of two types of expansion? I highly doubt they increased the form factor over the size of the NRV to add compactflash.
with the addition of the compact flash expansion slot you are no longer tied to the limited number of expensive Memorystick expansion options available. The CF slot will more than make up for th elack of any wireless by allowing the consumer to choose a wireless system from those availabel in CF format (ie: all of them). Personaly it has been one of my gripes about laptop and handhelds being released here in the states compared to the UK that we never get a choice and almost always get stuck with 802.11b which is all well and good if your company has a Wifi network, or you are constantly at airports or coffee shops with Wifi hotspots, but in general For consumer users I think Bluetooth is much more convient and compelling. Simply being able to use your bluetooth enabled phone (which there are a number of now in a range of prices) as a modem to check email or send a few instant messages on your palm is the ideal solution for me and lots of other personal users.

In any case as usual sony inovates and everybody else will attempt to follow if they are smart at all. I understand a Palm devotees love of simplicity sony is constantly pushing the envelope and once most users see wat sony is offering compared to how little palm offers they very well may switch. Unfortunatly personal sales dont matter nearly as much as corporate sales and palm has that arena pretty well locked up, so i dont see them going aout of business netime soon. hopefully they can start makin cooler devices though

-Bobby Digital
::End Rant

RE: cool, but i wouldn't buy it
nategall @ 8/7/2002 9:12:31 AM #
gee, can you list other things that you don't want? I am really interested. Don't worry, sony will have a bunch of stripped down versions for you, and then you can post a two line thing of why you don't like them.

Thanks Sony, thanks palm, thanks Handera, thanks Handspring, give me more options! Long live choices. Long live PalmInfoCenter!

nategall says "blah!"

RE: cool, but i wouldn't buy it
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/7/2002 9:12:35 AM #
You can bet it's not expansion the way we're used to understanding it. Remember, Sony makes MemoryStick.

They won't go usurping their own market before the device hits the streets, and this is exactly why they don't allow memory cards to be used in the devices. You can bet they did the same with CF cameras and Bluetooth devices, since Sony also makes those in MemoryStick versions. Expect to see more "orhpaning" of CF/SD/MMC devices as Sony comes out with their own versions.

RE: cool, but i wouldn't buy it
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/7/2002 9:15:45 AM #
I think Sony has ravaged the Zen of Palm and left it for dead.
There's a reason the earlier Sony devices were called PEG devices. They are not PDAs, they are not PIMs, they are Entertainment devices, meant for media in all forms; music, video, audio (something Sony believes they excel at). Palm handheld devices for them are a way for them to sell more "media solutions" to a larger audience (while at the same time, restricting their ability to use it, i.e. proprietary formats, DRM, and being the largest financial backer of the RIAA).

Sony screwed up too many times while designing their earlier PDAs, and they've learned to stay away from the PDA market, and focus on the "gadget" market (mp3 player, walkman, "flash movies").

I'll bet they screw it up like they always have..
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/7/2002 9:22:10 AM #
Who is willing to bet that Sony screws this one up like they've done to 4 of their previous devices? I'm not talking about features, color, size, shape, or design. I'm talking about functionality under the hood.

When they released the PEG-S300, the first "true" USB device to hit the market (Handspring was and is still serial) they mangled the Handspring HotSync protocol and made it incompatible with Palm's HotSync version (recall "USB PDA Switcher" that was required?) We know this because we write Linux tools that work with Palm devices (without any help or documentation, I might add)

They fixed that by the time their second device came around, and had a couple of good, working USB devices, then came out with another version which claimed to have the same product_id in the USB media descriptor as one of their previous devices, but used a different USB port internally, so you couldn't tell which protocol was needed for which device (programatically, some used USB0, some used USB1)

Then they release yet another couple of versions, and then one device appears claiming to have 3 USB ports instead of the normal 2 (yes, all USB palm devices have two USB ports).

And I'll bet when this OS5 device comes out, it'll be nice and shiny, light, fast, colored, and come complete with a completely different incompatible USB connector type, broken protocol, and riddled with DRM components everywhere, locking you into Sony-only solutions.

No thanks, not for me.

RE: cool, but i wouldn't buy it
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/7/2002 9:23:25 AM #
> I don't need a camera

I don't either. Hope there will be a $500 version without the camera and a $600 one with it. Wish I knew how well the NR70 is selling compared to the NR70V. If the one with a camera is way outselling the one without, there may only be a camera one.

Sony finally has a FERRARI Engine to work with now
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/7/2002 9:40:30 AM #
The beauty is that SONY finally has a FERRARI (ARM) engine and 94 Octane (OS5) to work with! Before they were crippled by Dragonball and OS4 and still did amazing things!

My hats are off to Sony, love 'em or hate 'em - they know how to push the envelope!

Sony is pushing something, but it's not the envelope..
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/7/2002 10:13:20 AM #
My hats are off to Sony, love 'em or hate 'em - they know how to push the envelope!

Yes, and how to piss off developers.
RE: cool, but i wouldn't buy it
Phil @ 8/7/2002 11:05:43 AM #
Sony, if you read this:

Seems like Im not the only one who just wants

* T626c form factor
* Virtual Graffiti (HighRes+)
* Build in Bluetooth
* Up n down key like the NR70 or Palm M515
* Voice Recorder (?)
* Anhanced Sound (like T-Series)

Is that really too much to ask for???

Come on, you can do it. And a lot of people are looking forward to it.

Phil

RE: cool, but i wouldn't buy it
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/7/2002 12:33:03 PM #
Did somebody mention Ferrari here?

Parrot had the privilege of being invited by Ferrari at their factory to install their CK3000 Bluetooth car kit for Jean Todt, Team Principal of the Ferrari F1 Team.

Jean Todt has lately set up his new highly mobile office. A Ferrari Maranello 575 that was fitted with additional high-performance equipment: Harman Becker navigation system, Bose Audio system, and a Parrot CK3000 Bluetooth car kit.

The CK3000 allows Jean Todt to place his calls by pressing one button and speaking any of his phonebook's names. Incoming calls are accepted pressing on a second button.

During calls, the audio system is automatically turned off, and the conversation is routed to the speakers.

The phone stays inside the pocket all the while: the pairing and exchanges between the phone and the car kit is fully wireless using Bluetooth.

Parrot CK3000 installation at Ferrari.

Installation was carried out at the factory. The Bluetooth car kit only requires connecting the CK3000 unit to 12V supply, to the mike, and to the place-call and hang-up buttons. The mute cable intercepts the audio wiring between the radio and the loudspeakers.

http://www.say-parrot.com/parrot/uk/ck3000_eng.htm

Handspring = serial port? Please clarify!!!
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/7/2002 1:23:45 PM #
Someone posted tests a while back comparing Visor sync speeds on USB vs. serial cradles, and the USB one was ~4x the speed of the serial. If you're claiming that's a "jerry-rigged serial port" rather than a USB one (with serial adapters built into serial cradles), what can you show to back that up?
RE: cool, but i wouldn't buy it
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/7/2002 3:04:56 PM #
Someone posted tests a while back comparing Visor sync speeds on USB vs. serial cradles, and the USB one was ~4x the speed of the serial.

It is 4x the speed because it's a "wider" port to send the serial protocol over. Look closely at the underlying protocol, it's still serial, even if it goes over a connector that connects through a USB hardware device.

If you're claiming that's a "jerry-rigged serial port" rather than a USB one (with serial adapters built into serial cradles), what can you show to back that up?

Again, look at the protocol behind it. It's serial. Look at the drivers which support it, also serial. This is not a USB protocol, and there is not a single PalmOS© PDA in existance that uses USB natively. They're all serial, transmitting their communications over a USB hardware port.

Not that I'm complaining, it makes it easy to interface with external, third-party serial devices with a small change in pinouts on the connector type.

RE: cool, but i wouldn't buy it
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/7/2002 6:44:13 PM #
USB is a serial protocol. It uses two pins for a differential serial signal, and two pins for power and ground. It's not wider by any stretch of the imagination, it's just faster (like comparing ultra160 scsi to ultra320, they both have the same bus width, but one is just on faster hardware). This is why porting a serial device to USB is so easy.
RE: cool, but i wouldn't buy it
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/7/2002 11:18:46 PM #
"USB is a serial protocol. It uses two pins for a differential serial signal, and two pins for power and ground....... This is why porting a serial device to USB is so easy."

I've been wondering this for a while. Why do so many device makers still make serial connections if USB is so easy to port? I guess another question is why isn't there a native USB driver for hotsyncing. Wouldn't that greatly speed things up with little effort on Palm's part?

RE: cool, but i wouldn't buy it
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/8/2002 9:36:07 AM #
Only fools do not buy Sony PDA's, period.
RE: cool, but i wouldn't buy it
MacPrince @ 8/8/2002 7:02:08 PM #
Only fools would claim any one device manufacturer is the ultimate and is perfect for everyone. And do so from an anonymous account out of cowardice.

Period.

RE: cool, but i wouldn't buy it
useybird @ 8/8/2002 10:34:26 PM #
Sony offering a CF slot is like Handspring not offering any expansion on the Treos. If you can't use memory(in which CF comes in higher capacities over 128MB) and you can't use a CF Bluetooth or Wifi, what can you use? Sony is better off leaving out the CF Slot.

----------------------------------------

As heard on "Cheers":
All:NORM!
Woody:What's up Mr. Peterson?
Norm:The warranty on my liver!

RE: cool, but i wouldn't buy it
TDS Computer @ 8/10/2002 12:30:43 PM #
Pertaining to the Handspring/USB comments above. Think about what USB stands for "Universal Serial Bus" - Of course it is serial. Hence the name.

Visit us at www.tdscomputer.com

I hope my patience will be rewarded....

Isaiahp @ 8/7/2002 9:03:40 AM #
I have been holding off on replacing my VIIx for a while now. I keep hoping that OS5 and the new faster Palms will blow me away. If this is basically the NRV series with a faster processor, I will drop my dough post haste!

I wonder if it will run Pocket PC 2002?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/7/2002 1:28:39 PM #
Gee, I wonder if this is Sony's attempt to enter the PPC camp? Wouldn't this be great?! A sleek design by Sony, with the stablility and ease of use of PPC OS? Something to think about...
RE: I hope my patience will be rewarded....
LarryGarfield @ 8/7/2002 1:49:25 PM #
...with the stablility and ease of use of PPC OS

Um, what? Stability and ease of use of PPC? Sorry, even in PPC 2002 the PocketPC is generations behind the Palm III in terms of end-user usability. It leads in wiz-bang features, perhaps, but the interface is still bass-ackwards. As for stability, I've seen more MS salesment reset PPCs to fix crashes than anyone else. :-)

What Sony is gunning for is the *features* of a PPC with the stability and ease of use (I hope!) of Palm OS.

--
This post is ROT26 encrypted. Reading it is a violation of the DMCA

OSLO KILLER

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/7/2002 9:14:15 AM #
This thing sounds sweet. If they can price it right, it will kill that Frankenstein-looking OSLO.
RE: Oslo's Best Friend
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/7/2002 9:19:54 AM #
Yes, just like the N710C killed the m505 and the NR70V killed the m515. Wait, that didn't happen, did it?

The sounds like a cool PDA but it is going to be about twice the size of the Oslo and cost $150 -- $200 more. Both will appeal to different people and both will sell well.

RE: OSLO KILLER
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/7/2002 9:29:37 AM #
If Sony sold their PDA's in Office supply stores too, I think they would be gaining even more market share.
RE: OSLO KILLER
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/7/2002 12:05:54 PM #
"This thing sounds sweet. If they can price it right, it will kill that Frankenstein-looking OSLO."

I'm starting to think Sony becoming a licensee was one of the worst things to happen to the PalmOS community. Sure they bring increased market share, but is that a desirable chunk of the market?

Sort of like the average AOL user. How many support staffers groan when they see them coming...

Perhaps parts of the market don't *have* to be brought into the fold...

RE: OSLO KILLER
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/7/2002 12:14:22 PM #
"Perhaps parts of the market don't *have* to be brought into the fold..."

That was probably one of the most arrogant, elitist statements I ever read here at PIC. Hey "know it all" - you're not half as smart as you think you are.

RE: OSLO KILLER
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/7/2002 2:22:13 PM #
"Perhaps parts of the market don't *have* to be brought into the fold..."

so you must be one of those smart palm Users that didn't buy a Clie, are you assuming all ppl who bought the Clie are like morons or something ??

RE: OSLO KILLER
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/7/2002 2:47:34 PM #
> I'm starting to think Sony becoming a licensee was one of the worst things to happen to the PalmOS community.

You must be a Machead.
You sound like Steve Jobs who commenced to destroy all of the cloners.

I'm all for Sony. It keeps Palm honest by showing the company what you can do with the technology. And it's a win for the consumer because it gives us choice, but it sounds like you're in the zone of Jobs' reality distortion field and alternative lifestyle. You don't believe in choice. You only believe in mandated products with incremental changes at maximum premium prices.

Thank the gods for Sony. Keep it up Sony!!!

RE: OSLO KILLER
abosco @ 8/7/2002 2:53:36 PM #
I agree with you that Palm does overcharge on their products but you do get good tech support (most of the time) that comes with the product. However, I do have a problem with this statement:

"You only believe in mandated products with incremental changes at maximum premium prices."

Maximum premuim prices? Umm, excuse me but what is the most expensive Palm OS unit ever? The NR70v which is made by who? SONY!

I understand that Sony does a good job at keeping their prices down in the mid range and low end markets but in the high range, they are pricier than a PPC. Don't you think $600 is a bit much? This rumored new model will likely cost more than that too.

----------
Well FINE! Be that way!
Excuse me while I go pout and cry in the corner...

RE: OSLO KILLER
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/7/2002 3:03:32 PM #
If this thing lacks wireless (like the rumors say), I am sooo going with OSLO! Sony needs to support wireless!!
RE: OSLO KILLER
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/7/2002 3:20:58 PM #
"...are you assuming all ppl who bought the Clie are like morons or something ??"

I let the statistical sampling posting here speak for themselves...

So no, not all. Just apparently a wide cross-section of those in this neighborhood of the online community. One can only *hope* it's not a representative sample.

Enough with the Yahoo, kiddy'up Sony fluff. Let each product stand on it's own merits without artificial fluffing and drive-by competition smearing.

RE: OSLO KILLER
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/7/2002 3:29:36 PM #
That's exactly what the rumored CF slot would be FOR. Optional wireless. Keep the price down, and let those who want it add a $99 802.11b card, or a CF bluetooth card. That's BETTER than having a PDA manufacturer make your wireless choice for you (by building it in).


RE: OSLO KILLER
abosco @ 8/7/2002 3:35:47 PM #
Why take up the CF slot with a bluetooth card when it can be incorporated in a device for an extra $10? And I mean't wireless as in things like Palm.net or your own ISP that you can dial out through an add-on modem or built in radio. Something that you can go on the internet without a phone while in a car.

The Oslo has a better edge on wireless. They incorporated bluetooth and they still have an sd slot and the universal connector to connect to a modem which already exists because of the UC. Palm is starting to make some smarter moves while Sony is becoming a little more iffy. Wireless is becoming a major part in buying a handheld, and those pdas that have to use extra cards and slots and cables are at a disadvantage.

----------
Well FINE! Be that way!
Excuse me while I go pout and cry in the corner...

RE: OSLO KILLER
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/7/2002 7:22:40 PM #
If they want to throw in BT a little to no extra cost, fine. But that doesn't help if that's not your chosen wireless solution. By providing a slot for option accessories, in addition to the one for RAM expansion, the wireless world is your oyster (in whatever direction it develops).

Today I can use 802.11b at home, the office, in public hotspots such as airports, hotels, cafes, and grassroots public networks. Even the telcos and ISP's have been making noises in the media about teaming up to supplement 3G data with 802.11b coverage. For that sort of connectivity (better than CDPD, cellular circuit switched data, ricochet or whatever), a slot to accept 802.11b today and 802.11[x,y, or z] tomorrow, seems more helpful.

And there's nothing special about the UC and wireless modems. Any PalmOS device can currently connect to a cellphone or similar device for wireless data via a cable.

Wireless expansion options: a scenario
Palm_Otaku @ 8/7/2002 8:01:27 PM #
Maybe [_probably_ IMNSHO] this rumor has some mistakes [or is full of them].

I doubt that the next Clie will have CF built-in, primarily because it takes up too much room, but partly for another reason.

Imagine for a moment that Sony's next high-end device does have dual slots - BOTH of them Memory Stick (MS). Or more likely, one regular MS and one of the miniature "Duo" MS memory cards.

Users could then buy the Sony InfoStick (MS Bluetooth), the MS camera, MS GPS, etc. to upgrade their devices Hmmm.

I *hope* that isn't the direction they're going, and that the new high-end Clie will integrate Bt, but I can see how the "Dual-stick" business model might be appealing to Sony (and to any other company considering making a Memory Stick peripheral).

For WiFi, Sony might release the existing CF-sleds (available in Japan) and use OS5's built-in 802.11b support. Because the sled has an integrated auxilliary battery, it would be a practical (but expensive?) upgrade for those who want it.

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