Comments on: Handspring Admits Non-Color Edge a Mistake

Ed Colligan, Handspring's chief operating officer, admitted that leaving color out of the Visor Edge was a mistake, according to an article published this weekend by The San Francisco Chronicle. The Edge was intended to be Handspring's answer to the m500. However, sales of the Edge have been extremely disappointing for the company. In May, it accounted for less than 1% of the PDA market, according to NPD Intelect. The company has not yet said whether it plans to make a color version of the Edge.
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no color edge

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/6/2001 7:56:20 AM #
Well duh! It was a mistake of course. Palm will be making the same mistake with a non color replacement for the VIIx. Here's a thought for both Palm and Handspring. Focus groups and customer research. With all of the dozens of sites for the palm os from this site to the hight tech house wives , palm power etc. Why not ask people who use them. Not just the major magazine editors but the people who are free lance writers and contributors for publications. Ordinary people who rely on the palms for day day stuff. Maybe, just maybe the manufactuers would get a clue or at least buy a clue!

RE: no color edge
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/6/2001 8:56:56 AM #
I'm certainly a believer in the collection of data.

However, the users who post on message boards, download files, etc. account for a very small percentage of handheld users (fewer than 5% according to the last numbers I saw). Palm may be, and probably is, doing focus groups. Large portions of their audience are never going to install a 3rd party application - for those folks, color is not an issue.

The problem is releasing one unit with color and one without, then having them be only 10-15% different in price. How big a deal is $50 when you're already paying $400? (Palm m500 vs. m505 being the example here.) Who isn't going to spring for the color in that case? Now, if the cost difference was $150 instead of $50, you might see much higher sells of the B&W unit....

Focus groups and consumer research
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/6/2001 9:46:36 AM #
I was watching an interesting show on marketing on ABC with John Stossel the other night.

He interviewed a marketer who briefly described the consumer research done by Coke prior to the introduction of New Coke. According to the marketer, the focus groups said that, yes, they would like a new flavor of Coke, and, yes, they liked the new flavor that they tasted.

We know how that went. The moral of the story is that sometimes, even good research goes bad.

RE: no color edge
RoofusPennymore @ 8/6/2001 10:03:22 AM #
I think that at the time they came out with it, there was not color M505. The competition with a B&W device was more logical. Then Palm came out with a color device and then Handspring was screwed.

RE: no color edge
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/6/2001 10:06:25 AM #
What are the chances that HS didn't know that Palm had a color device in the works. Precisely nil.

RE: no color edge
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/6/2001 10:40:07 AM #
Let us not make assumptions, either. My input to a focus group, and that of my Palm using friends and family, would be: Grayscale is Great. We don't want to pay for color, both in $$ and in battery life.

RE: no color edge
Midknyte @ 8/6/2001 10:59:19 AM #
"What are the chances that HS didn't know that Palm had a color device in the works..."

What rock we you under? That [color 5 series Palm] rumor mill was crankin for months. Much to the dismay of much of the Palm economy as we all sat on our dollars and bought little else until it did.

RE: market research
Cheetah @ 8/6/2001 11:16:36 AM #
I often wonder why companies don't do more (or better) market research.

However, I believe Palm does alot of market research. For example I remember a quote from a Palm rep stating that they went with the Palm V form factor for the 500 series because their focus groups indicated that people liked it the best out of the designs they tested. I myself have gone to about a dozen paid focus groups from anything to Intel advertisements, software to printers.

Regarding doing research on these PDA websites, I just saw yesterday a post in a PPC forum from a M$ rep doing some research on application capatibility with storage cards.

I do think there is a place for doing research at websites, but like a poster stated, the people on these boards are certainly not "representative" of the "population" (a key criteria for market research).

Hi tech housewives
AriB @ 8/7/2001 2:31:28 AM #
I never even heard of this before

RE: no color edge
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/12/2001 9:58:27 AM #
This is in regards to the previous post about Coke. I spoke to a retired scientist with Coke who was in the mix at the time new-Coke was intorduced. Some would say it was a mistake. However, this scientist convinced me that the new-Coke idea was due to Cokes falling market share at the time and needed new marketing stunts. They created this new-product on purpose to force people to miss the original Coke. Do you remember the outcry of how bad it was? Why don't you think that they pulled the original off the shelves and gave people only the one option? After the classic was released, % of sales were more than that of the original coke, even though it was the same formula. Lets face it, it worked.

Color vs. non

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/6/2001 9:05:37 AM #
The problem is that for the average joe consumer, there just isn't enough differentiation bewt the edge & the M series. m500 has everything the Edge does except springboard, but it can use memory expansion w/out losing form, and weighs less. I love my edge, but mostly because of its style. Style only goes so far.

What about ugly?!

mikecane @ 8/6/2001 9:24:43 AM #
Did Colligan -- or anyone else -- happen to notice that the Edge is butt ugly and looks like something that could've been "designed" by the old East Germany?! Did they mention that it might have been inspired by a tin of losenges? So far, HS's designs have not been as pleasing as Palm's.

RE: What about ugly?!
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/6/2001 9:28:33 AM #
Different strokes for different folks. I like the Edge, I think it makes the M series look cludgy.

RE: What about ugly?!
mikecane @ 8/6/2001 10:24:30 AM #
Ah! I'd forgotten all about the M! So ugly it doesn't register. Thanks for reminding me. Have fun w/your Edge.

RE: Design
Cheetah @ 8/6/2001 11:22:17 AM #
I don't care for the design of the Edge overall, but there are some design features that I like.

However, what I didn't like was the way the stylus fit into the unit. It took me almost a minute to even figure out how to put it back in the Edge.


I.M. Anonymous @ 8/6/2001 9:32:34 AM #
I'm surprised that no one has mentioned price. $400 for a B&W PDA? Not when Sony is about to release the S-320 for $200 and the N-610C for $400. Handspring and Palm have to get a clue...I've asked friends what they're price point for a decent PDA is and they have all said around $200, maybe $250, but not $400. Especially with this economic downturn...who has the money?

RE: Price?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/6/2001 9:41:08 AM #
I agree........I've had 3 Palm's and one Visor so far....and I'll not buy anymore untill they get the price down. I'll admit that I'm a certified gadget freak, but I've had it with these $400.00 to $$449.00 prices.

RE: Price?
mikecane @ 8/6/2001 10:25:31 AM #
What do you think the price point for a color PDA should be? Is the m505 too high? The CLIE N710C?

RE: Price?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/6/2001 10:33:33 AM #
Handspring use MASK ROM !! So they shoud cut down the price of their products too !!

RE: Price?
wilco @ 8/6/2001 10:41:50 AM #
To entice new users, you got to price it aggresively like say $199, to entice users to upgrade you got to add features top differentiate it to existing gadgets. The Edge and m50x series failed in this aspects, it's priced too high for new users and whatever new features are not good enough to encourage users of V series or IIIc to upgrade. V Series is almost of the same size as m50x, while the IIIc has a better color screen in most lighting conditions, both are a lot cheaper now. The only advantage of the m50x is the expansion slot and (maybe USB), but it adds to the cost ( plus it not user friendly). Sony had a better job with its CLIE, but it's timing is bad(in the mist of an economic downturn). Hope it perform well.
About the always-on wireless gadgets Palm and Handspring are planning to release. Again, bad timing. Even RIM, the industry leader for such gadgets is suffering:
And such devices probably be displaced by 2.5G and 3G phones in a few year. As for now, maybe Handspring and Palm should release a COMMON standard for their wireless device or it will fragmentize the Palm wireless market and only confuse the end users and discourage users specially the corporate sectors who favor standardization.

RE: Price?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/6/2001 12:44:07 PM #

who cares about $100 up or down....

The worst features of the EDGE (I have one) are:

1) that the pins are not compatible with the Visor/Prism etc and there is not a base adaptor to use things like my Stowaway keyboard.
2) the kludge out of form add on.

The best feature is the style and form of the Edge. It fits in any pocket, it is light and feels solidly built. The stylus is easy to get.

I ordered by edge on the upgrad offer for $300...It is faster than a deluxe and except for the loss of a keyboard is easily available.

I ordered mine without looking at the Palm color 505. Palm is promissing pin compatibility in the future and has 2 add on slots (and there is a base adaptor available that allows use of older Palm add ons. My guess is that in the long run this is the way to go and I will probably buy a Palm or Sony clie'[much as I hate their proprietory memory] before I invest $100 in another keyboard for my Edge. Oh well......


Ed @ 8/6/2001 10:54:42 AM #
This entire article was copied on the PDAlive website with Beng Yeow's name attached to it. While they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, somehow I don't feel very flattered.

News Editor
Palm Infocenter
RE: Plagiary
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/6/2001 11:04:16 AM #
PalmInfoCenter is THE reference site for Palm news. So I guess this happens quite often !

RE: Plagiary
wilco @ 8/6/2001 11:05:02 AM #
Maybe they thought the "posted by ed" refers to Ed from Handspring. :-) Seriously, It really boggles the mind for them to do such a thing. They got to be either lazy or plain stupid. Maybe they just want to hide the fact that they do not have access to 'inside info' that Ed had. Ed, why not write them and force them to put an apology on their site. All of us, Palm Infocenter regulars could write PDA Alive to complain too.

RE: Plagiary
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/6/2001 11:10:06 AM #

"Dear X,

It has come to my attention that an article you recently posted on your web site was written by me. Since this article appeared without my permission, without attribution, and without compensation, it violates my copyright.

I would prefer not to be forced to take legal action. Please remove the article from your web site immediately. If you want, you may excerpt a small portion and link to Palminfocenter as the source of the article, but you may not reproduce the article in its entirety.



If that doesn't work, you can follow up with some more nasty stuff. Since you HAVE to enforce your copyright in order to keep it, it is important that when you find someone is violating it, that you bring it to their attention and make them aware that once they have published an article written by you without your permission, they have violated your copyright and are IMMEDIATELY liable to you for damages.

That said, it is often best to be at least a little understanding, since no one knows where some of these kinds of submissions come from. Give 'em a chance to take it down before threatening more immediate action.

RE: Plagiary
Ed @ 8/6/2001 11:37:11 AM #
To add insult to injury, he then submitted an article to PalmStation with a link to "his" article. I've sent a note to Hal asking him to either remove the article or give me proper credit.

News Editor
Palm Infocenter
RE: Plagiary
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/6/2001 12:23:38 PM #
Might I suggest writing to the sponsers of PDAlive or PalmStation if they don't reply.

RE: Plagiary
Admin @ 8/6/2001 1:29:29 PM #
We have writen to PDALive and as of this post (1:30 PM) still have not heard back from them.

Editor in Chief
RE: Plagiary
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/6/2001 1:37:39 PM #
Well, give them some time, I guess. If they post anything before responding to you, it's time for smackdown.

RE: Plagiary
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/6/2001 7:02:55 PM #
It has been taken down and the editor posted an apology on (says someone else sent the article to him and claimed authorship)

RE: Plagiary
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/6/2001 7:54:35 PM #
I find that somewhat odd, since the person posting the apology was originally listed as the author of the article on their site. Now he's claiming that he thought some 3rd party supposedly wrote it. So now he's admitting that he only thought he plagiarized it from someone else who sent it to him.

RE: Plagiary
mashby @ 8/7/2001 8:21:57 AM #
FYI: if you take a closer look at the news items on PDALive, you'll notice that ALL news listed on his site is posted by Beng Yeow. His site doesn't list the person's name who submitted it. Also, "posted" and "written by" are two different things.

I know that it sucks that the article appeared in two different places as unique news, when in fact it was an original news item from PalmInfoCenter, but it appears to have been a simple mistake. Hal corrected the issue by linking to the correct source, and Beng took it down all together.

Both these sites are run by top notch guys and no harm was intended, I'm sure. So, why don't we cut them a little slack and be thankfull that they responded so quickly to fix it, once you brought it to their attention.

...can't we all just get along? :-P

RE: Plagiary
mikecane @ 8/7/2001 8:35:41 AM #
Didn't I tell you to wear gloves when handling humans?

Or should it be:

All Your Palm Infocenter Articles Are Belong To Us?

RE: Plagiary
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/7/2001 9:25:59 AM #
Responded quickly?! The article was on PDAlive and linked on PalmStation all day.

RE: Plagiary
wayne @ 8/7/2001 7:58:09 PM #
> Since you HAVE to enforce your copyright
> in order to keep it

IANAL but I think you're mixing up trademarks with copyrights. Trademarks have to be enforced or they you lose legal standing. Copyrights don't.

Dear Palm Partners: Listen to your customers!

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/6/2001 11:00:30 AM #
"The key to a customer-driven business is listening -- listening, understanding, and being able to deliver exactly what customers want. And working directly with our customers helps drive our product direction -- and ultimately our entire strategy. We spend a lot of time at Dell listening. For me and for Dell -- customers will drive us. We'll listen, and we'll respond. We'll respond with hardware and related services -- from the wireless notebook to the datacenter. And we're going to do it better than anyone else. It's about the customer. It's that simple. There's some security you can hang onto in an insecure world."
-Michael Dell

Design had more to do with it

jayhawk88 @ 8/6/2001 11:29:39 AM #
Lack of color may have hurt them with some consumers, but keep in mind there is a vast number of Palm customers who still don't give a rats behind about color screens. Still, there were several design issues with the Edge that turned me off of it:

- Backpack expansion module. Springport slots are nice, but making us have a completely seperate backpack module to accomodate it was in hindsight a terrible decision. Having the backpack on the Edge makes it incredibly bulky, and prevents you from having a face-cover. I realize there probably wasn't any way to fit a Springport on the unit and still make it with the smaller size (at that time anyway), but it's still a sore selling point.

- The stylus. Big, bluky, hard to remove and in the way all the time. There's just nothing good about it.

- The timing. If Edge had been released 6 months before it was, it might have been more of a hit. As it is, waiting for the m50x, and perhaps even the Sony and Handera models, was just too tempting for many people.

RE: Design had more to do with it
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/6/2001 10:04:44 PM #

Slim is just not that big of a deal. I don;t think the Visors are that big and I like having the memory all contained. I am using 64 mb for medical files and would not like to have to leave a backpack or what ever attached to make it more awkward. If the new color version (whenever it comes out) is the same way I will buy a prism on closeout.

SF Chron Article

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/6/2001 11:52:32 AM #
The actual article is here: It's not clear that Colligan actually said "mistake" - the article is not quoting him directly at that point

RE: SF Chron Article
Ed @ 8/6/2001 12:09:54 PM #
To directly quote the SF Chronicle article:
    Handspring sacrificed a color screen and its signature expansion slot to make the Edge thin and light -- while competitors such as Palm and Sony charged more for color. That was a development mistake, acknowledged Ed Colligan, Handspring's chief operating officer.

Seems clear enough to me.

News Editor
Palm Infocenter
RE: SF Chron Article
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/6/2001 5:06:42 PM #
Sorry - didn't mean to say that you had taken it out of context. It was just surprising to me to see a high level official of any company admitting straight up that his company had made a mistake. But that is what Colligan seems to be saying.

The design of Edge is too ugly

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/6/2001 1:25:32 PM #

RE: The design of Edge is too ugly
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/6/2001 1:26:34 PM #
Too metallic

Edge Faults
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/6/2001 2:50:06 PM #
1. No color screen.
2. Ugly Design with poor stylus mount.
3. Too Realtively Expensive.
4. Poor Resolution.
5. No Flash.
6. Old OS.
7. Large, Heavy, proprietary, additional-hardware, expensive Expansion technology.
8. Nothing new to offer.

Any questions, Ms. Dumbinsky??? Mr. Hooligan?? Mr. Hawk-it??? No, just a deafening silence.

RE: The design of Edge is too ugly
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/19/2002 4:03:47 PM #
too metallic?

You want them to make the metal to look like plastic?

Mistake on connector

Mike Barney @ 8/6/2001 4:35:01 PM #
I think was the mistake of changing the connector again. I consider the color Visor a connect a change too. By changing the connector, it would have had to spend and extra $200 to replace all my extra device I bought to connect to my Handspring Visor (included 2 serial cradles, cell phone cord, and Keyboard). Plus I would have to carry around an extra piece to put in my springboard which I always kept in my Visor.

I went with a Handera 330 because of the standard equipment they used.

RE: Mistake on connector
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/7/2001 12:02:02 AM #
That is correct. By not sticking to a platform and connection set Handspring has repeatedly alienated its former customer base and given out the message loud and clear: "heres your unit that'll be $400..Allright, now screw you, I got your money, SCRAM."

With its multiple "special deals" offers, often within days of each other without any thought to its customer base that purchased its products before, again, Handspring is saying, "I already got your money, now get lost loser."

I finally got the message too. I'll "scram" for good as far as Handspring goes. Have a fun in bankruptcy court, your sorryass company will NOT be missed. Hello Palm.

RE: Mistake on connector
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/7/2001 4:22:01 AM #
There needs to be some standards set by the manufacturer's of Palm OS devices.
1). Standardize the Docking Port
2). Stardardize the Expansion Port(s)
2a. Not that there should be only one type of expansion slot, but there really shouldn't be 4 different ones(Springboard, CF, MMC/SD, and Memory Stick). And that doesn't count the adapter for the PCMCIA cards.
2b. The support for the standard expansions should be built into the OS.
3). Create a Palm Certification program. It doesn't matter certification for what (Normal usage, Programmer, or consultant). Just anything to do with Palm. Certification Programs have helped MS and Cisco a great deal.
4). I'm going to bed. I'm too tired to think

RE: Mistake on connector
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/7/2001 7:56:25 AM #
The fact that Handspring doesn't allow for OS updates via flash should be the first clue that all they want to do is take your money and run. There's no reason any of their devices shouldn't be priced in the range of the m100/m105 except maybe the Prism.


I.M. Anonymous @ 8/7/2001 5:49:26 AM #
The Palm itself is somewhat oddball with its non-standard proprietary OS, but the m50x series at least has a standard expansion slot. The Handspring models are completely off: all the connectors are different from Palm. Handspring should have gone with CF or SD on their new models. And $400 for a b/w PDA running at 33MHz with no Flash memory??? That's way overpriced. At $200, it would be an interesting choice compared to Sony and Palm. At $400, it's a luxury item.

RE: non-standard
mashby @ 8/7/2001 8:12:59 AM #
See, I disagree from your thoughts and those of the thread above.

Although the Handspring Springboard slot was a departure from the standards that were out at the time, I think they did the right thing. Keep in mind that when Handpring launched there were NO Palm devices with an expansion slot. Granted, TRG came out with the TRGPro soon thereafter, but you get my point.

IMHO, the advantage of the Handpring line is that, for the most part, all the devices use the same expansion slot and bottom connector. That means that if I want to upgrade from a Deluxe to a Prism, I can use all the accessories that I have for my Deluxe.

Personally, I have a Palm Vx. I would like to upgrade, but I can't afford it. I have too many accessories that I'd have to purchase, so for me, it's not a $500 upgrade, but a $1000+ upgrade and it's just not worth it.

So, when I look at the Handspring line I see something promising. Granted the Springboard isn't a standard like CF or SD, but it IS a standard within the Handspring line and that can't be said of Palm.

RE: non-standard
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/7/2001 9:28:57 AM #
Handspring made a terrible mistake by making up their own expansion slot (Springboard) rather than using CompactFlash. I know why they did, they wanted to to have "plug and play" where you popped in the module and it loaded its software. But making up a new one meant that there were just a couple of modules for about a year and they still cost too much. If they had used CF there would be lots more options for us and they'd be cheaper too. And CF cards are just a lot smaller than Springboards. The Edge proved hiow hard it is to get a big Springboard slot into a small PDA.

RE: non-standard
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/10/2001 9:32:29 PM #
How much in US$ is your m505, here in New Zealand, the m505 is like US$650!!

I got my m505 for $419 at Best Buy.
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/10/2001 9:35:22 PM #

Handspring crap

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/7/2001 7:55:05 PM #
I had an Edge for a while and hated it. Stupid cover, buttons that corrode, no flash, etc. Now I have a Palm m505. Love it. It's great. Perfect. End of story.

Same asm500

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/7/2001 9:22:04 PM #
when will palm admit its fault in releasing m500. Because of little difference in the cost between m500 & m505, few people will buy the non-color model.
I agree - Why would anyone not spend $50 more and get color?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/8/2001 3:58:43 PM #



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