Rumor: Sony Beginning to Phase Out the NR Series (Updated)

According to Eugene, Palm Infocenter's unofficial Tokyo corespondent, the NR70 and NR70V won't be available in retail stores in Tokyo for much longer. He spoke with the staff at a retail store there about why they had no NR series units on display and was told that Sony had stopped shipping those models. They are, however, still available through SonyStyle Japan.

This is the time of the year when Japanese electronics makers release their Fall offerings, so Sony could be close to announcing replacements for the NR series. It was this time last year that Sony announced the N760C. In August of 2000 it launched the Clié line in the U.S.

In what may be further evidence, several U.S. webstores have recently cut their prices for the NR70V. PC Mall, eCOST.com, and BuyDig.com are all offering it for around $500, down from the original $600.

Update: The Hong Kong Palm Users Group has posted details of what could be the replacement for the NR series. Supposedly, this information came from a source of Hong Kong PDA industry news.

The PEG-NR90 does not have the clamshell design from the earlier NR series models but it does have many of the same features. Most importantly, it isn't a Palm OS 5 device. Instead, it runs Palm OS 4.1 on a 66 MHz Dragonball Super VZ. It has 16 MB of RAM and 4 MB of ROM.

However, it does have the 320 by 480, hi-res+ screen with virtual Graffiti that many were asking for on the T665C. It also has a built-in camera and an MP3 player. An audio remote controller and headphones will come with it.

According to this source, the NR90 is 4.65 by 2.83 by 0.50 inches and weighs 4.9 oz. It runs off an internal Lithium-ion polymer rechargeable battery.

Or Maybe Palm OS 5
Earlier this month, Julie from The Gadgeteer said a 'reliable source' told her that Sony was working on a model that runs Palm OS 5 but is similar to the NR70V. It will have a clamshell shape and a built-in camera which will be capable of both still images and video capture.

It will have a Memory Stick slot and a Compact Flash slot, though this won't work with memory cards, just add-on peripherals.

The source says will ship with a version of Flash Player that can run in full-screen mode.

It does not have any built-in wireless networking capabilities, neither Bluetooth nor Wi-Fi.

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T665C or NR?

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/23/2002 12:18:13 PM #
OK, let's assume Sony is going to use a 200 MHz Dragonball MX1 and Palm OS 5 in their new handheld. What shape would you rather have, something like the T665C or like NR70V?

I'd vote for the NR series model because I want the 320 by 480 screen. Anyone else want to give their opinion?

RE: T665C or NR?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/23/2002 1:29:14 PM #
How about both. I'll bet they'll (Sony) will do it too.
RE: T665C or NR?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/23/2002 1:31:52 PM #
How can something be both a clamshell design and not a clamhshell design? It can't be both; They are mutually exclusive.
RE: T665C or NR?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/23/2002 1:41:32 PM #
Probably he meant flat body but with a virtual graffiti screen
RE: T665C or NR?
robrecht @ 8/23/2002 1:53:07 PM #
Yes, flat body but with a virtual graffiti screen. All you really gain with the clamshell design is a thumboard and the potential for a built in camera. I'd rather have the smallest form factor and add on these things if I ever want to use them.


Thanks, Robrecht

RE: T665C or NR?
Ed @ 8/23/2002 2:17:39 PM #
Don't miss the update that I just added to the article that touches on this very issue. The Hong Kong Palm User Group has posted some info on what may be the NR70V replacement, which is more like a T665C with virtual graffiti.

---
News Editor
RE: T665C or NR?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/23/2002 2:59:46 PM #
I don't believe that! It says that it will have Palm OS 4.1 that is just stupid!
RE: T665C or NR?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/23/2002 3:53:36 PM #
Phasing out their flagship models to introduce yet another OS 4.1 model. Ugh!

I don't think ANYONE would have a problem if they were phasing out the NR-70 series for an OS 5 replacement, but this is silly.

RE: T665C or NR?
c_blue @ 8/23/2002 4:34:57 PM #
Don't worry, if they have an OS5 pda on their workbench to be released in 6 months they have time (3 month lifespan) for 2 more new OS4.1 models

c_Blue

Oh no....
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/23/2002 5:44:45 PM #
Here's to hoping that the Hong Kong rumor is wrong, or at least that they're both correct. I love the clamshell design (keyboard and built in case/screen protector).
RE: T665C or NR?
Token User @ 8/23/2002 6:26:18 PM #
The clam shell design is about the only way they can cram enough battery capacity into the device to keep everything running.

My guess is that they are both right - and talking about different models.

Even better would be Sony performing a FUD campaign (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) to hide the fact they are buying Palm, Inc., and their next device will infact be the Oslo, except with the screen and virtual graffiti of the NR, and dual SD/MS slot config.

Sony releasing OSLO!!!!!
orb2069 @ 8/24/2002 12:41:10 AM #
...their next device will infact be the Oslo, except with the screen and virtual graffiti of the NR, and dual SD/MS slot config.

***************

Thanks! I almost laughed myself SICK reading that.

The Oslo isen't anywhere near pretty enough to be a clie.

RE: T665C or NR?
useybird @ 8/24/2002 8:26:48 PM #
you can't have a 200mhz Dragonball with OS5...

----------------------------------------
Senioritis: The chronic inflammation of the Senior.
RE: T665C or NR?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/24/2002 9:39:50 PM #
You can if its the Dragonball MX1, a 200MHz ARM processor from Motorola:

http://makeashorterlink.com/?X2DE12A91

RE: T665C or NR?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/25/2002 5:21:34 PM #
I would rather the T665C Body but with the NR screen . I believe the NR to be too bulky and large for quick pocket use and carry. My T65C fits perfectly in Shirt pocket or pant pocket. The NR sticks out and is just too big!
RE: T665C or NR?
gaardii @ 8/26/2002 8:00:51 AM #
>Phasing out their flagship models to introduce
>yet another OS 4.1 model. Ugh!

>I don't think ANYONE would have a problem if they
>were phasing out the NR-70 series for an OS 5
>replacement, but this is silly.

Not if it has flashable ROM. An OS5 upgrade could be made available some time in the near future which users could download. Whether or not it would be free is a good question. Something to bear in mind is that the Sony 4.1 OS was already doing many of the things that Palm OS5 does way before Palm got around to releasing 'their' latest version. And, as always when choosing a pda, a customer should consider their needs for the next year or so cos if what's available now will do the job - buy it. Sure, another model or PalmOS upgrade will come along soon, but hey, that's life. :-)

T665C form factor w VG and a battery that lasts one week on a single charge with heavy usage. Mmmm...

Gordon from Edinburgh

RE: T665C or NR?
Ed @ 8/26/2002 8:18:41 AM #
> Not if it has flashable ROM. An OS5 upgrade could be made available some
> time in the near future which users could download.

I strongly doubt there will be a version of OS 5 for the Dragonball processor, considering the major point of OS 5 is the switch to ARM-based processors.

Please, don't anyone make a decision on whether to buy any current handheld on the hope that there will be an OS 5 upgrade for it. The odds of such a thing being released are very small. If you definitely want OS 5, the best thing to do is wait for the first handhelds to ship with it on it.

---
News Editor

RE: T665C or NR?
robrecht @ 8/26/2002 8:23:28 AM #
But a 66 MHz Dragonball Super VZ processor would not be able to run OS5

Thanks, Robrecht

Is something new coming?

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/23/2002 12:09:59 PM #
What is next? As long as it is Sony, I will buy it!
RE: Is something new coming?
EdwardGreen @ 8/23/2002 12:21:23 PM #
Sony Toothbrush with MS Duo?

-
kHiTeDev
RE: Is something new coming?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/23/2002 12:53:55 PM #
Gosh I hope so. My two month old NR70V was run over by a New York taxi last week -- a long story, which I will post, with horrifying pictures, to the Graveyard soon. So I'm back in the "what to buy next" zone a little earlier that I'd anticipated. I loved it and want it back but the prospect of an OS5 unit being around the corner is hugely tempting. Erm, other than Oslo that is -- it looks like an early Psion.
RE: Is something new coming?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/23/2002 12:55:07 PM #
With Sony, something new is ALWAYS coming.
RE: Is something new coming?
mrfrodo1 @ 8/23/2002 12:55:53 PM #
Something new is always coming from Sony...I wish they would make an adaptor for their memory stick so that it could take SD cards...or add an SD card slot as well as the memory stick slot! That way I could buy the new SD Wireless Card that is due out around the end of the year.

I hope so
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/23/2002 1:40:25 PM #
I like that Sony is pushing the envelope.

I think it pushes Palm beyond the level/rate of innovation they'd normally deliver, and I think it makes for a better marketplace.

The positives outweight the negatives, clearly, in spite of all the whining.

RE: Is something new coming?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/23/2002 4:02:56 PM #
Noting the weight - 4.9oz....Mmmm....

NR70 screen with T665 battery?

Sony finally innovate a palm-powered device with less than 3 hours usage with middle backlight on. And, if you cannot recharge it in 1 or 2 hours, you will lost all the data you write on the road.

Fantastic as a toy, garbage as a tool. Its a sony.

RE: Is something new coming?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/24/2002 1:27:35 AM #
Rumor?
Yawn
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/25/2002 3:15:06 AM #
... This is yet another attempt by Sony's marketing guys to create some news. If they want to release a new unit, fine - let's see the goods. Until then, don't insult consumers' intelligence with this guerilla-marketing garbage.
Bluetooth Modules for Sony PDA's
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/26/2002 4:04:07 AM #
You don't have heard it from me but.....

Sony has new Bluetooth Modules out on the market.

I hope they will do some interesting things with it!

;o)

RE: Is something new coming?
Bartman007 @ 8/26/2002 4:55:58 AM #
"Something new is always coming from Sony...I wish they would make an adaptor for their memory stick so that it could take SD cards"

An SD card is physically wider than a MS card, so it is impossible to make an adaptor unless it protrudes quite far out of the device.

"...or add an SD card slot as well as the memory stick slot! That way I could buy the new SD Wireless Card that is due out around the end of the year."

That move would totally undermine Sony's big push behind the MemoryStick. Sony has spent millions upon millions of dollars putting MS slots in nearly every portable (and many stationary) devices they make. To suddenly give people a choice would be stupid (from a financial standpoint.) On top of that, Sony is now ramping up the MS Duo, a smaller version of the MS, and with an adaptor these will work in existing devices.

In short, this would be just as weird a move as Sony deciding to put Palm's UC on their devices alongside their HotSync connectors.


I hope this post makes sense as I am righting it while majorly jetlagged and at 2 am.

Peace,
-Bartman007

New Sony Bluetooth?
Palm_Otaku @ 8/26/2002 3:22:55 PM #
Sony has new Bluetooth Modules out on the market.

Really? Got a link??? Or are you hinting that there is a new Bt module coming out sometime soon?

Sony at fault

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/23/2002 12:20:10 PM #
Could it be possible that Sony and stores are attempting to reduce the NR70 and NR70V prices, because of the memory stick problem?
Amazing how many boxes and PDA's Sony will have to recall back and fix, only because of this MS problem.
RE: Sony at fault
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/23/2002 12:58:03 PM #
I'm not sure every user will experience the MS problem. I haven't, and I use 3 different MemSticks all the time. I've owned my NR-70 since June.
RE: Sony at fault
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/23/2002 2:02:19 PM #
The memory stick problem is REAL!
RE: Sony at fault
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/24/2002 2:09:11 PM #
I never said it wasn't, moron. I said I wasn't sure if EVERY user would experience it. I haven't yet, as I said, but you didn't bother to read it, and I use my Clie and my MemSticks ALL THE TIME.

RTFP next time, dolt.

RE: Sony at fault
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/26/2002 11:32:29 AM #
Obviously the poster is a troll....
RE: Sony at fault
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/27/2002 11:04:39 AM #
I wouldn't be surprised that Sony just dropped it. I have had the MS problem and have been waiting almost 3 weeks to get it back. It is a real design flaw in my opinion. When I called last week they said there was a back order for parts to fix the NR70. It is obvious that there are a lot of malfunctioning units. This is really unacceptable for a company like Sony. Especially for people like me who use and depend on this device for almost everything I do. I will not buy a sony again because of their service. I am very disappointed.

Cut Sony a Break

kevdo @ 8/23/2002 12:47:40 PM #
It isn't like these models have only been on the market for three months. These units are definitely getting long in the tooth and it is high time Sony did something about it by end-of-lifeing them.

-Kevin Crossman
RE: Cut Sony a Break
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/23/2002 1:00:04 PM #
Good grief, I HOPE this is sarcasm. Otherwise you might just be on crack.
RE: Cut Sony a Break
ardee @ 8/23/2002 1:18:42 PM #
I think it was indeed sarcasm. The models have only been out about the 3 months he references. Sony changes models more often than Hugh Hefner!

RE: Cut Sony a Break
Ronin @ 8/23/2002 1:26:08 PM #
"Sony changes models more often than Hugh Hefner!"


LOL!

In the Spirit of Umoja,
Ronin

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