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Palm Confirms m130 Does Not Have 16-Bit Screen (Updated)

Almost since the release of the Palm m130, there has been a debate, sometimes quite acrimonious, on the PIC Palm Forum on whether it really has the 16-bit color screen Palm said it did. One user calling himself an0nym0vs has claimed for months that the device actually has a 12-bit screen. Today, a Palm spokesperson admitted to Wired that the m130's screen really isn't 16-bit.

"We want our customers to know we made this honest mistake," the spokesperson said. "We truly believed the m130 offered 65,000 color combinations. We want to offer an apology."

Update: According to a follow-up article in Wired, Palm does not plan to reimburse m130 owners for this error.

Update 2: According to Palm spokesperson Marlene Somsak, Wired, is incorrect and Palm is currently looking into ways to compensate m130 owners.

Update 3: Please read the follow-up article: Palm Deciding How to Compensate m130 Owners.

Palm will be in touch with all owners of the m130 about this, though it hasn't committed to compensating them in any way. It will also need to change the m130's packaging and its own website.

A 12-bit screen can display 4,000 colors, while a 16-bit one can display 65,000.

This same mistake happened to Hewlett-Packard several years ago. The HP Jornada 420, 430, and 540 were advertised as having 16-bit color screens when they were released and only later did HP realize and admit they were really only 12-bit.

Thanks to Michael Gunn and Gordon for the tips and an0nym0vs for bringing the true facts to light. -Ed

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same thing..

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/19/2002 11:42:37 AM #
12 16 or 32 its still the same, colors are still bluish and can never look as good as the t665.
RE: same thing..
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/19/2002 1:59:26 PM #
True, but my m130 was $120 less than the t665c. I'll put up with the screen for a 30% savings. Don't tell me about the t616C, I'd have to buy a new Stowaway for another $100.
RE: same thing..
TexSkater9140 @ 8/19/2002 7:18:04 PM #
mine was only 150. for that price i dont care how much it displays, although it would have been nice to buy a product with real 16-bit color. but hey, it was only 150!
-alex

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Check out my site:
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And host pictures [:D]
RE: same thing..
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/19/2002 9:04:52 PM #
yeah u got what u pay for...

Can Someone Save Palm From Its Misery?

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/19/2002 11:39:55 AM #
This is so telling of what is happening at Palm. THEY DON'T EVEN KNOW THEIR OWN PRODUCT!!! And the m130 has been in the market for how many months?

They don't know what the customers want and now they don't even know what they have built! I am so disgusted by them.

RE: Can Someone Save Palm From Its Misery?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/19/2002 12:35:07 PM #
I'm not sure which is worse; that they didn't know or that they did know and still claimed 16-bit. Either way it's pretty bad.
RE: Can Someone Save Palm From Its Misery?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/19/2002 1:32:55 PM #
Did anyone that bought this product actually think it was 16 bit? If so they obviously never turned it on and used it. It's amazing how people can act surprised now. Big deal...get over it.
RE: Can Someone Save Palm From Its Misery?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/19/2002 2:50:52 PM #
You can look at it from any point of view - however you massage it, what turns out at the end of the day is, that from the Palm CEO - headed by the incredible idiotic Benhamuchi downwards the whole Palm management ist totally incompetent.
They do not know their customers, dealers nor there markets - they would not get a job as dishwasher if there would not be the madhouse Palm taking everybody, provided he is a proven stupid or a former (for incompetence) sacked Apple emploee.
Who wonders the stock of a active company fell fron over 100 bucks to 70 cent?
Thats not the failing economy - thats pure reality carved in stock value.
RE: Can Someone Save Palm From Its Misery?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/19/2002 9:57:59 PM #
To the second poster in this comment - what are you made of? Get over it? Are you that fool in Palm that made everyone believe it was 16-bit instead of 12-bit and now 'GET OVER IT?'

Boy, I hope whomever your employer is don't really know who you are. If I were the employer I will sack you and let's see how you get over it.

RE: Can Someone Save Palm From Its Misery?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/21/2002 12:46:39 AM #
Palm, you are such great disappointment to have only 'discover' it only now.

What are you guys doing at work? having 8hours continuously running tea break?


how could they NOT know?

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/19/2002 11:45:57 AM #
give me a break...they knew. I'm sure there would have never been an article in Wired about this if the super slooths at PIC hadn't unfoiled the truth about the m130 screen.

thumbs down to Palm.

RE: how could they NOT know?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/19/2002 11:51:28 AM #
Of course they didn't know. They just lied. Palm is the cheapest handheld manufacturer out there, and you have to be literally insane to buy one at this point. Why should you pay for a Palm when you can get a Sony handheld with the more features and higher quality compenents for the same price? Pathetic, just pathetic. The only good thing Palm has done recently is their i705, but who wants bulky, monochrome palm, which if almost featureless, but has a wireless internet connection which costs as much as a cell phone plan? Once again, pathetic.
RE: how could they NOT know?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/19/2002 12:05:01 PM #
Not like Palm is the first. HP did the same thing with the Jornada 430 and 54x series. It is quite possible the guys in marketing and packaging were told early on the 130 would be 16bit and proceeded on that while Joe Engineer either gave wrong info or made a change.
RE: how could they NOT know?
Moosecat @ 8/19/2002 12:07:01 PM #
A lack of communication between the engineering and marketing groups may explain the error but it does not excuse it. This is really egregious. And Palm certainly let this error persist for a long time. Why didn't anyone in the company who knew the truth (e.g., the people responsible for the screen) alert the company to this earlier? Or worse, what if they did alert the company but Palm decided not to do anything in the hope that the public would never find out?

RE: how could they NOT know?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/19/2002 12:18:32 PM #
I'd bet the M130 is made for Palm by a 3rd party supplier. Palm wanted 16 bit, but either through miscommunication or deliberate cheating by their supplier they got 12 bit. Its still their fault for not verifying what they were selling.
RE: how could they NOT know?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/19/2002 12:39:25 PM #
Someone got promoted because he run the company so well.

Be honest. Those M130 customers are very lucky persons
comparing to Palm shareholders.

And someone said here Money talks. Not in
NAZ.

RE: how could they NOT know?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/19/2002 12:53:18 PM #
Depends on which "they" you are referring to... the marketing department, the managers, the engineers, or the 3rd party suppliers that provided the screen.

In the design, they may have specified 16 bit, and would not know differently unless notified by the vendor or engineering. It may be the same scenario as the IIIc, which could use any colors from the 16bit color table, but could only display a 12 bit selection on the screen at the same time. Still, if it were my company, I'd have at least a couple people to verify that it is exactly what was specified before the ads went out.

Easily
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/19/2002 1:01:15 PM #
> Of course they didn't know. They just lied. Palm is the cheapest handheld manufacturer
> out there, and you have to be literally insane to buy one at this point.

Oh come on, HP released the Jornada 420 in March in 1999 and no one figured out its 16-bit screen was really 12-bit until June 2000. That's 15 months!! HP even released two more models, the 430 and 540 with the exact same flaw and no one figured it out.

This isn't a glaring error. You can't pick up a handheld and say, "That's 12-bit but that one over there is 16-bit."

It was kind of sloppy but not a sign of criminal malfeasance. There were no lawsuits against HP.

RE: how could they NOT know?
Mojo Jojo @ 8/19/2002 2:43:30 PM #
Yes, there were no lawsuits against HP, but they did come up with a fair resolution to the issue. THey accepted the fact, admited their error, then offered users options to solve the problem. You could return your handheld for a refund, you could also send in your handheld and recieve credit towards the purchase of another HP model. Or you could say that it didn't really effect you and move on.

So far I have not seen anything other then the 'lump it and leave it' option from Palm.

RE: how could they NOT know?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/19/2002 3:41:56 PM #
HP didn't do any of the things you said in the first six hours after the word got out that the Jornada's were flawed. Give Palm a chance to react. If they haven't done anything to redress this problem in a few days, what you say might have some legitimacy.

We've all be spoiled by the Internet Age. We want everything to happen instantaneously. That's why we stand next to our microwaves complaining that heating our lunch up takes a whole MINUTE. But decisions involving large amounts of money aren't made in 30 minutes or less.

It could be all the m130's can be easily fixed. If that's true, maybe Palm will ask everyone to send in their m130 for repair. Maybe they will offer to replace all the m130s with ones that are 16-bit. Maybe it is a software bug and a simple patch will fix it. I'm just pointing out that refunds aren't the only answer. I would rather Palm make the best decision than it make a quick one.

RE: how could they NOT know?
Mojo Jojo @ 8/19/2002 3:46:41 PM #
If you believe that they just found out about this today... well I have this bridge you see, but I can't pay the taxes and I would be willing to sell it cheap.

Palm got backed into a corner, they could deny it and get there reputation further trashed, or claim ignorance and buy some time...

If what they say is true and no one caught this with a proof of concept model, then went straight ahead ordered inventory parts and assembled them, then shipped them and no one checked? SOMEBODY is asleep at the wheel.

Back to the point here, sure a reasonable amount of time should be granted for them to check what it takes to repair, study what can be fixed, etc... however what I disagree on is that they have no real comments at all during this time.

In this instance no response, in my opinion, is the same as admitting the likely action to take place, nothing. I think consumers who have bought this model are owed even a simple statment such as 'we will find a fair and equiatble solution to this issue'. No promises, just communication.



This is an excellent case of misleading the consumer
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/19/2002 6:48:31 PM #
I've been reading the comments on here, and I'm seeing stuff from accurate statements to total absurdity.

The truth of the matter is this - Palm lied. They lied on their packaging, they lied on their advertising, and in doing so, they mislead the consumer.

Now, I realize that not too many people would utilize all 65k colors. I don't use all the colors in my palm m515, yet I fully expect it to have 65k colors because they advertised it as having 65k colors.

Palm's already in a precarious financial position already...they cannot afford to fight this one. Either they give 100% purchase credit to the consumers (like HP did), or they lose in court.

Side Note - Palm has changed their m130 web page to reflect "thousands of colors" rather than 65k colors.

RE: how could they NOT know?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/19/2002 7:55:42 PM #
Yes indeed there WAS an HP class-action law suit -- I received a letter from the lawyers who wanted to know if I wanted to be a claimant. I refused, but HP did get sued and did have a judgement handed down to them.

Palm screwed up and should do as HP did -- offer a FULL REFUND to any customer who was under the FALSE impression that the unit is 16 bit and is dissatisfied. HP handled their fiasco well. Let's see how Palm will handle this -- I think the FTC would like to know as well.

A Better Example
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/20/2002 12:02:37 AM #
I don't anticipate ever actually USING the airbags in my vehicle.

However, they sure as h*ll better work if I get in a head on collision.

It was advertised and listed as a feature & benefit on my vehicle, and it d*mn well better be there when I need it.

Don't fool yourselves into thinking this is a "minor" offense just because you may never USE all of the available colors.

Whether the mistake was deliberate, or the product of a beureaucratic miscommunication, the bottom line is that THE END RESULT ***could have been avoided*** cheaply and effectively.

Therefore, the offense was deliberate, regardless of whether the original "miscommunication" (as I'm calling it) was not.

The design of this unit, and even its packaging happened WAAAAY before the re-org, and we all know Palm was full of Suck back then, and possibly still are.

FIN.

If Palm didn't know, it sure as s--t should have!
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/20/2002 12:03:04 AM #
There is no excuse.
RE: how could they NOT know?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/20/2002 1:44:28 AM #
Didn't everyone say when the M130 came out, that it's screen looked great, even better than the M515. If so, why cry....
RE: how could they NOT know?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/22/2002 7:06:31 PM #
I don't know about you, but I am unhappy and I want to get something back, even if it's a coupon for money off Palm stuff. The only way these bastards listen is if you sue 'em. The suit against Palm for the cradles that shorted out mobos was started by some lawyer at www.paulwhalen.com

I'm calling him and I advise you all to do the same. If we can get enough pissed off people together, maybe Palm will listen.

Déjà-vu All Over Again

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/19/2002 11:56:28 AM #
Anyone remember when this happened to HP back in 2000? Did HP do anything for people who bought the Jornada 540 or any of the other models? Give them refunds or anything?
RE: Déjà-vu All Over Again
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/19/2002 12:51:48 PM #
Refunds were offered by HP back then.

http://news.com.com/2100-1040-241337.html?legacy=cnet

RE: Déjà-vu All Over Again
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/19/2002 2:04:58 PM #
I returned my HP after their admission of 12bit color and their offer for a full refund. I was impressed with their cooperation and promptness in issuing the refund. It will be interesting to see what Palm will do.
RE: Déjà-vu All Over Again
useybird @ 8/19/2002 2:17:31 PM #
what refunds? Are we paying by the color now?

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

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

RE: Déjà-vu All Over Again
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/19/2002 4:17:05 PM #
Nope, we pay by the feature.

32 bit > 16 bit > 12 bit > monochrome.

Each one has an attached value and a target demographic.

What that value is, in terms of a refund, is ultimately up to Palm to figure out now. If I were them I would err on the high side. Their best bet is to follow HP's example, IMO.

Palm does it again....what a surprise........

Fender @ 8/19/2002 12:10:14 PM #
I bought a Clie for the simple reason that I was sick of this sort of thing. I was unhappy about the hotsync discharge problem (I had an m505). They wouldn't admit that there was a problem until months after the problem started appearing. And, after several bouts with Palm "support", I had enough (I'll spare everyone the ranting details). The m505 is boxed up in the back bedroom. I haven't decided what to do with it. Maybe I should send it to Palm with a jar of vaseline.

RE: Palm does it again....what a surprise........
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/19/2002 12:31:22 PM #
Yawn. How's that Memory Stick fitting in your NR70, or that OS 4 upgrade for your N710C?
RE: Palm does it again....what a surprise........
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/19/2002 1:07:13 PM #
"The m505 is boxed up in the back bedroom."

If you don't know what to do with it, sent it to me. I could use it for some hardware testing. I went through a few 505's myself before upgrading.

PS: hold the vaseline!

RE: Palm does it again....what a surprise........
iain.collins @ 8/19/2002 1:14:27 PM #
Yawn, hows that ultra low 160x160 resolution display, no sound and having to reset your Palm? I don't want to get into a flame war with some moron, but clearly Sony's offerings are clearly better.

I've gone through an Apple Newton, HP Jornada 420, Handspring Visor, Palm m500 and NR70v. (In that order).

I rate them in this order (based on my satisfaction with them at time of purchase):

NR70V,
Handspring Visor,
Apple Newton,
HP Jornada,
Palm m500.

Yep, the Palm m500 was lousy, it had frequent static problems, meaning it had to be reset. I went through 2 bluetooth cards because, unlike the Sony Memory Sticks, they are flimsy things and break easily unless removed when not in use, and the screen is very difficult to read in 'normal' light (e.g. anything other than bright sunlight or darkness).

I ditched it after about 3 months. The easy avaliblity of the BlueTooth memory stick was the only reason I got it in the first place, and as it's _really_ not worth it.

I am back to zapping stuff via IR until I can get a BT MS. It's a hassle, but it's no where near as much a hassle as having to do complelte battery drains every month on an m500 because of the static problems (which 'don't exist', lest we forget).

RE: Palm does it again....what a surprise........
Fender @ 8/19/2002 1:58:18 PM #
"Yawn. How's that Memory Stick fitting in your NR70, or that OS 4 upgrade for your N710C?"

Did I say that I had an N710C??????

RE: Palm does it again....what a surprise........
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/19/2002 2:00:36 PM #
I think you are confused. The 505 had the static problem, not the 500. I was only interested in the unused 505 for hardware testing and parts, and also because I can fix the usb problem in two minutes if the warranty is expired.

It's nice that you have the nr70v, which is a great device, but remember a few things while looking down your nose: Not everyone's life revolves around watching two minute video clips. Not everyone wants to carry around one of the biggest pda's on earth. Not everyone wants to keep thinking about if they will make it to their next recharge. If battery life was equivalent to sex life, most Sony devices would be patients at impotency clinics.

RE: Palm does it again....what a surprise........
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/19/2002 2:07:59 PM #
Fender, you also said you had an m505, so why should you be unhappy about the m130?

You were making the point that Palm has some problems and so you got a Sony. He was making that point that Sony has its own share of problems.

RE: Palm does it again....what a surprise........
iain.collins @ 8/20/2002 5:39:32 AM #
>I think you are confused.
>The 505 had the static problem, not the 500.

Nope - the m500 very definately did have exactly the same static problem as the m505 (even Palm have confirmed this).


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