Sony Announces OS Upgrade Program

Starting next month,, Sony Electronics will offer an official upgrade for the Clié N710C from Palm OS 3.5.2 to the latest version, Palm OS 4.1. The upgrade will be done by Sony technicians. For $50, Sony will pickup the handheld, upgrade it, and return it with a CD containing all the apps that come with the N760C.

According to a Sony spokesperson, they decided to upgrade the handhelds with their technicians rather than letting customers do it to "ensure a smooth transition".

Update: Sony has issued a correction to their original statement and now says that the upgrade will not include the three replacement styli. Also, I spoke with a Sony spokesperson about this upgrade prior to the official announcement and was told they would have a two day turn-around. Another person from Sony has now said that information was incorrect and the time this upgrade would take has not yet been determined. -Ed

In addition to support for 16-bit color, the OS 4.1 upgrade program from Sony also offers new applications for the N710C, including the ones that allow Memory Sticks to be mounted as removable drives on Windows PCs. It will also includes the updated version of PictureGear Pocket and its new companion app, Photo Stand.

To many users, this is a moot point as they went ahead last week and performed an unauthorized upgrade using a pirated version of OS 4.1.

In Japan, Sony has dropped the price of the equivalent program for the N700C to 6,000 Yen, about $50.

Thanks to Eugene for the tip about Japan. -Ed

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Little too late and Expensive

polymath @ 10/9/2001 9:33:05 AM #
Little too late in my book, and too expensive.

Also what's this with sending the unit to Sony for repair?

We all know it's possible to do with software upgrade.

RE: Little too late and Expensive
dwarchbold @ 10/9/2001 9:36:52 AM #
Yes, it's possible. But Sony probably doesn't want the "official" upgrade to become widely available.

RE: Little too late and Expensive
palmcoder @ 10/9/2001 9:37:52 AM #
It's true that most of the people that hit this site could perform the upgrade themselves. Heck, I'm running OS4.0 on my PalmVx.

But, if I were an average consumer and had invested that much money in a Palm PDA, I'd be inclined to pay the $50 and let Sony do it. That way, they'd be responsible for replacing the device if something *bad* happened during the upgrade.

Or, I'd sell my 710 on ebay and pick up a 760 through Dell for $365! :)


RE: Little too late and Expensive
polymath @ 10/9/2001 9:46:36 AM #
Now that this is out. I assume people who have been waiting for the official upgrade would jump on the bandwagon to get their OS upgraded now rather than later.

Looks like Sony is encouraging this more than ever.

RE: Little too late and Expensive
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/9/2001 1:51:37 PM #
Just to correct the comment above...the Clie 760 on the Dell web site is $465...NOT $365

RE: Little too late and Expensive
rldunn @ 10/9/2001 2:04:24 PM #
But there's $100 off until 10/15/2001 with the coupon code that's being posted all over the internet.

RE: Little too late and Expensive
palmcoder @ 10/9/2001 3:00:46 PM #
there's a $100 off coupon until 10/15 when buying thru Dell.


Thank you, Sony!

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/9/2001 9:36:55 AM #
Oh, nice and thanks you Sony! :-)

This way, being an European Clie user, I'm now pretty sure that I will never get an official upgrade from you.

So, my only option will be to go the "Pirated" way.

Or, maybe better, to keep my 50$ as an advance to a future Pocket PC.

RE: Thank you, Sony!
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/9/2001 9:42:54 AM #
Thank you Sony Corporation for confirming that I can confidently upgrade my Clie to OS4.01 myself and save $50! I feel much better in spending the time to upgrade myself, instead of sending it to you and getting back 3 fuxxxxx stylus which sucxx big time in the first place. I can now sleep better at night, even with a world war raging on.

Do Mo Ari Gato!

RE: Thank you, Sony!
polymath @ 10/9/2001 10:06:41 AM #
Who needs those 3 styli? I would rather see them cut the price down instead?

Assuming everything goes smoothly, I would think it would take more than 5 days.

Initial Transit time + 2 days + 2 day transit time for priority delivery.

I can't imagine not having my Clie for more than a day.

RE: Thank you, Sony!
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/9/2001 2:06:43 PM #
I live in the UK and purchased my 710c in New York in July. I knew that one day it could get officially upgraded but I never knew it would result in sending it off. Naturally this will be a problem for me here in the UK. I use it every day and cannot and do not want to be without it for about a week or so. I estimate a few days to get to US, couple days to upgrade and few days to get back (fingers crossed). Plus $50, plus shipping. Is it all worth it if I hear that people have upgraded successfully themselves?

I only got the Clie because I was told that it would not be on sale in UK. How wrong I was told. The N770c was on sale as of a week ago here in UK. I feel gutted.

I would be happy to pay for an official download of the upgrade from Sony, if we can do it ourselves. Just download the necessary files.

I was intending to go to New York again before christmas and do an exchange as I have a 4 year warranty. Because of the war, I won't be going to US for some time. So I am stuck.

Now I am tempted to do it myself. Sadly - illegally.

RE: Thank you, Sony!
Edward @ 10/10/2001 5:22:32 PM #
Where have you seen the n770c in the UK. The gerks in the Sony shop said december ...

RE: Thank you, Sony!
Edward @ 10/10/2001 5:32:41 PM #
Found it on the net .. gotta laugh tho at the tech support:

Q:The HotSync operation stops responding when the HotSync button on the cradle is pressed during a HotSync operation.
A:To avoid this issue, do not press the HotSync button during a HotSync operation.

Sony's martketing mistake!!!

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/9/2001 9:31:11 AM #
I've been waiting for this annoucement. As far as I'm concerned, Sony messed up. I work in sales and can see that they obviously made a big marketing mistake and are now asking for their customers to pay of it. I've never heard of a company producing a product; replacing that product; and then ask the customer to pay for the upgrade. "SONY, this is a product recall!!!" I'll wait 1 month to see if Sony retracts their annoucement and offers the upgrade for free before I put my Sony digital camera, camcorder, receiver, and portable DVD player for sale on eBay. I will NEVER recommend or purchase a Sony product again if I'm made to pay for this upgrade.

RE: Sony's martketing mistake!!!
polymath @ 10/9/2001 9:47:42 AM #
I teach in the business school, and this to me is a classic marketing mistake. Then again, Sony is always known for its technology, not marketing.

I would be thinking twice before purchasing Sony again. That's too bad since I was going to buy a Vaio laptop to get the built-in memeory stick reader. I guess I'll stick to another Thinkpad.

RE: Sony's martketing mistake!!!
skoty @ 10/9/2001 10:21:47 AM #
>I've never heard of a company producing a product;
>replacing that product; and then ask the customer to
>pay for the upgrade.

You do realize that Microsoft does this all the time. You don't expect to get Office 2002 since you already own Office 2000 do you? Windows 95 doesn't support USB, but if you want those featurs, you're going to have to pay for them. Some companies put their customers first, others put themselves first.

RE: Sony's martketing mistake!!!
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/9/2001 10:27:58 AM #
True, but Microsoft adds major features and doesn't do this within a 6 month period. Sony has done this!! All reviews of the 760, show that the changes were features that were original marketed before the product shipped. These feature were not available day one, and now they want us to pay addition money for it.

By the way, I use Linux because of the way Microsoft does business. I don't buy products that "lock" the customer into a product line.

RE: Sony's martketing mistake!!!
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/9/2001 3:48:55 PM #
This is B*** S**T !! Time is not the issue,there is nothing wrong to release a new machine even day by day.
The point is , you want to upgrade , you have to pay !!
If Micro$oft can give you a new version of their Window$ OS, they will happy to do so and they still charge you about the upgrading fee. Linux is not the MAJOR and SUCCESSFUL OS so you don't have to pay for the new version too often.

RE: Sony's martketing mistake!!!
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/9/2001 4:47:13 PM #
Even Palm charges for their software upgrades...

RE: Sony's martketing mistake!!!
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/9/2001 5:04:17 PM #
Not true. I have a Palm Vx with OS 3.3 and Palm gave Vx owners a free upgrade to OS 3.5 when the new OS was released later for the Vx (proof is still available at the Palm website). Sony should be doing the same thing.

RE: Sony's martketing mistake!!!
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/9/2001 6:02:52 PM #
Palm did charge $20 for Palm III and other users though.

RE: Sony's martketing mistake!!!
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/9/2001 8:13:49 PM #
That's exactly what happened to me and the PEG-S300, I called them and they said they would not upgrade this device within a year or so. 45 days later, boom, new sony N710. Sony would not upgrade me for the difference, so I bought a Palm!!!

They do not support their products or customers! If you bought it your stuck!!

RE: Sony's martketing mistake!!!
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/9/2001 8:58:26 PM #
You bought palm and you will suck first !

i am very happy but....
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/10/2001 9:32:31 PM #
i am very happy but i think that it must to be free the upgrade because i already payd 499 for the 710 sony clie and they dident tell me anithing about the 760 sony clie if they tolme that they are going to have this new unit I had hoped to buy the new Sony clie 760.
they are cheaters.
Thanke you very mutch.

Difficult To Please Everyone

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/9/2001 9:46:49 AM #
No upgrade, we complained. Now Sony announces upgrade, we also complain. It is hard to satisfy everyone isn't is? :D

RE: Difficult To Please Everyone
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/9/2001 10:44:24 AM #
I think everyone stated from day one that we didn't want to pay for an upgrade!! Sony is taking advanage of their customers for no new features. Check into Sony's original marketing of the unit and you'll see that they didn't deliver on what they promised, and now want us to pay more than the original $500.00 we paid for the unit. If they are serious about entering the handheld market, they need to offer this upgrade for free. I would bet that a lot of people will be staying away from other Sony products with the message they're sending out today.

RE: Difficult To Please Everyone
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/9/2001 10:55:26 AM #
> Check into Sony's original marketing of the unit and you'll
> see that they didn't deliver on what they promised

i don't remember any thing the sony promised the 710 would do that it doesn't. got examples? i know i don't remember "free upgrades" any where.

its easy to please everyone. all they want is every thing for free.

Upgrade is fine, $50 is not!!!!
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/9/2001 11:45:30 AM #
How about 15 dollars? If it is a bug fix and the original version is behind in terms of 0S (m505 has OS 4 when palm made the announcement). I strongly disagree paying $50 for such an upgrade in such a short period of time

I agree. Nothing wrong with upgrade program.
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/9/2001 12:15:25 PM #
The original product was never "defective." People asked for an upgrade and Sony is offering it. What's wrong with that?

If the upgrade is "totally useless", then why do people want it so bad and why are they up in arms?

If anyone doesn't want the upgrade, they don't have to get it.

RE: Difficult To Please Everyone
polymath @ 10/9/2001 1:23:16 PM #
I'm willing to bet that people who are posting that upgrade is OK is not the current 710C owners. Perhpas they are not even Clie owners. However, if you are 610C or 320C owners, just be aware that you might be in a similar situation in the future.

If Sony does this once, what prevents them from doing it again later with other units.

RE: Difficult To Please Everyone
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/9/2001 3:58:14 PM #
I don't quite understand why we have to send the thing in? I upgraded my 710 last week and it took me all of 15 minutes. What is the deal with 3-5 days to upgrade plus having to pay another $50.00, plus shipping, plus the original $500.00 for the 710?? Do they think we are stupid?

Yes, they do think you are stupid.
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/9/2001 5:36:32 PM #

RE: Difficult To Please Everyone
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/9/2001 6:53:01 PM #
MOST people are stupid esp. the whiners.

RE: Difficult To Please Everyone
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/9/2001 8:41:52 PM #
Well, I feel better about selling my Clie and going for the Visor Prism. Not having flash menory in the Visor to upgrade the OS doesn't seem so terrible now... Ship the unit back?! Seems a little embarrassing, from a tech point of view...

RE: Difficult To Please Everyone
TDS @ 10/9/2001 11:34:30 PM #
I have just fired off a nasty Email to Sony. i am insisting that the President of Sony personally come out to my house and upgrade my Clie...

Ah the joys of upgrading... Not!

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/9/2001 10:18:13 AM #
Well, ive been waiting for this one mainly so I can do away with the USB Switcher nonsense so I can reliably sync multiple palm devices with one PC. Im glad sony finally came thru on upgrade plans, but dont think they will be suitable for my needs, heres why...

The OS is in flash for a reason, it should be user upgradable... and from the pirated version out there id say it is... sending it to Sony might be safer but not by much id guess.

As mentioned earlier, at best its a 5 day turnaround... that long is more than most folks will
do without their PDA.

Right now I have a fully functional, scratch free Clie 710c... whos to say what I'll get back from sonys techs, from past experience i wouldnt even swear to getting the same clie back.

So what to do... I could keep my 710c as is and go on with life (possible), or i could sell my 710c and look for a 760 deal (hmm.), or I could look into updating to the pirated OS...

Im betting they are wanting to do the upgrade themselves due to... before update needs Sony palm desktop with USB switcher, then after update needs new desktop with real USB support... im comfortable with that so think the upgrade would be a snap if i could just find it... ;-)

RE: Ah the joys of upgrading... Not!
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/9/2001 10:51:26 AM #
Check the link below for a great step by step upgrade site.

RE: Ah the joys of upgrading... Not!
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/9/2001 10:52:14 AM #
My two cents:

If Sony screws you once, they'll screw you again. Sell you 710 and buy something else. That's what I'll be doing. Sony: try educating your marketing folks so they can properly report on what the comsumer is looking for in a product.

RE: Ah the joys of upgrading... Not!
Roy @ 10/9/2001 12:31:46 PM #
That link is okay, but whe you get to the upgrade site, cannot access the 760rom zip file. Page not found error.


I.M. Anonymous @ 10/9/2001 10:25:28 AM #
As one of the many people who posted that people shouldn't buy Sony Palms because of poor support, I can unfortunately only find this humorous.

Sony has lost control of its OS upgrade process and a potential small revenue stream, plus its customers are up in arms about their failure to handle the problem in even a close to reasonable fashon.

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