Comments on: Handspring to Eventually Stop Making the Visor

During a conference call today, Handspring CEO Donna Dubinsky said for the first time that her company will eventually stop making Visors and only make Treos. She said, "We are a company that is transitioning out of the organizer business and into the communicator business. At some point we will have transitioned out of the organizer business." Ms. Dubinsky didn't say when this switchover might take place.
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Good luck Handspring

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 12:08:17 AM #
I'd like to wish them luck with the Treo line....... well as much luck as them copying the Newton OS anyways.

RE: Good luck Handspring
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 1:25:55 AM #
Wow, amazing that the first comment on a new thread at PIC is a Troll. I just can't believe it.

RE: Good luck Handspring
Foo Fighter @ 1/16/2002 1:48:33 AM #

RE: Good luck Handspring
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 8:55:14 AM #
I don't understand the troll's comment. What does the treo have to do with a failed OS from the mid-90s?

RE: Good luck Handspring
Foo Fighter @ 1/16/2002 9:37:22 AM #
I don't understand his/her point either. But the second post was funny!

RE: Good luck Handspring
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 2:21:01 PM #
Wow..Even more amazed.. Onetroll, followed by another, than another and another...The whol thread here are trolls.

This would be a stupid announcement

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 1:01:10 AM #
If the announcment turns out to be true, it would be a very dumb thing to say. "Gosh, we are going to discontinue our Visors... and by the way, the thing we are replacing them with are backordered!" This would have the effect of scaring away potential customers.

Lets hope this is not true.

It's True
Ed @ 1/16/2002 9:13:13 AM #
I'm not in the habit of making up the news. If you don't believe me, listen to the conference call yourself. It's archived here:

News Editor
RE: It's True
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 4:23:43 PM #
I think you're jumping to alot of conclusions even though it is true. They may still have new Visors that come out before they make their full transition. Donna refused to comment on anything else they had in the pipeline, Visors or Treos. She said they're not in the habbit of talking about any new devices before they're released. I think we can expect one maybe two more new Visor models before they complete their transition to a strictly communicator company. Additionally, I wouldn't be suprised if they offer some kind of "piggyback" way to use springboards with future TREOs.

The slant that you've taken Ed, is a strong and not necessarily correct one. It almost seems like you're reporting that Handspring is going to stop Visor sales, development, and support next week, which definately is not the case. It may be more than two years down the road (when all warranties are up) that they finally put the Visor line behind them. I think that you're just trying to gloat about the possibility of one of your predictions comming true (Springboards will be phased out). Lets try to keep the news unbiased as much as possible.

RE: This would be a stupid announcement
Ed @ 1/16/2002 5:25:13 PM #
Please notice the word "eventually" sprinkled through the article, as in "Handspring to Eventually Stop Making the Visor" . I think that makes it clear enough that Handspring isn't dropping the Visor line like a hot potato. Ms. Dubinsky's quote included in the article also emphasizes this.

You have to admit that the prospects for the Springboard don't look good. If Handspring had intended to continue using it, I believe Ms. Dubinsky would have made that clear as part of this statement. That she didn't do so I think speaks volumes. Perhaps I'm reading too much into an omission but conference calls like this with analysts and the press are carefully planned out and everything that gets mentioned, or doesn't get mentioned, is for a reason.

News Editor

RE: This would be a stupid announcement
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 6:43:07 PM #
Not to be a troll or anything, but I think un-biased news is bull****. I'd much rather read a site in which the writers/editors actually think about the news, analyze it, and report it, rather than hear from someone who is naive enough to think that it's possible to be unbiased.

We all have opinions and it colors the way we think and write. It's unavoidable.

My point (attempt to get this bit back on topic): Keep up the analysis, Ed! If anyone disagrees, it will just lead to (hopefully) thoughtful discussion.

RE: This would be a stupid announcement
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 8:40:50 PM #
Unbiased reporting is and always should be the goal. Otherwise reporting is just pure claptrap and just another person's personal opinion. Opinion pieces are just that... and are certainly NOT the same as reporting.

RE: This would be a stupid announcement
TDS @ 1/16/2002 11:52:44 PM #
I am the poster of the first comment here, and I certainly never meant to insinuate you were making it up, Ed. I was just kind of hoping it was a rumour tht was circulating. I have followed it on other sites today, and sure enough, it is true!
Handspring may need to do some damage control ASAP. So far, they have not made a nickel off of the unreleased Treo, and Donna has started rining the death bell of the only thing that they have ever sold! Lets hope this does not blow up in their faces.


RE: This would be a stupid announcement
james_sorenson @ 1/17/2002 1:27:51 AM #
Unbiased reporting may be the goal of some sites, but it certainly is not a requirement of all sites. Good grief, if he truly wanted to do unbiased reports, he would just post a link and say nothing else. PalmInfoCenter does it best. The link is posted (the unbiased part) and the editor gives a summary analysis (that may be slightly biased due to interpretation).

Lord knows, you are not required to take the same opinion as the editor! I enjoy how he can extrapolate viewpoints and make connections to past stories. It is what separates this site from Handango.

James Sorenson

RE: This would be a stupid announcement
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 1:11:16 PM #
I agree with James. I used to follow PIC and PDABuzz, but I've given up on Buzz, mainly because Wes, the site editor over there, places biases in almost everything, calls it "objective reporting," then whines about it like a baby whenever someone calls him on it. Ed approaches it properly, separating the story from the analysis/opinion. I prefer it. Wes, on the other hand, would label that "cheerleading," or whatever, but then, Wes is apparently an incredible jerk.

RE: This would be a stupid announcement
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/27/2002 7:08:54 PM #
There are two very important issues that are being left out here for all of you who are predicting the failure of HandSpring.

1. Take a look around you and see how many people have cell phones stuck in their ear vs. jotting down a note on a Visor or Palm. Janitors, Preachers, High School kids, etc.....everybody has a cell phone....but not a handheld.

2. There will come a time.....where the handheld device will take the same path as the calculator, VCR, CD Radio, other words....they will become much cheaper and common place than they are today.

Try making a profit on those margins while still making a innovative product.

HandSpring will not only will prosper.

Visor discontinued...

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 1:33:29 AM #

Guess I shouldn't hold out for a new hi-res reflective TFT screen Visor. Seems like everytime I buy a handheld, a year or so later they discontinue it. Then if I buy something new, I have to buy new accessories to go with it. I'm about ready to switch back to my dayrunner and shuck the entire electronic thing.

RE: Visor discontinued...
mikeliu @ 1/16/2002 3:01:45 AM #
hehe, or rather than switching back to the Dayrunner ,you could switch back to one of your old electronic handhelds that you already have all the accessories you wanted for it. it was good enough back then to replace your Dayrunner back in the day, unless it's broken nothing should change that...

RE: Visor discontinued...
pontif @ 1/16/2002 9:59:23 AM #
Thats my problem... My unit broke, but all the accessories are still fine. I just can't buy a new palm to fit them.

Ok, I probably could find one, buy I'm faced with these choices:

1) Buy a new one (Probably a Clie T615 actually) and replace any/all accessories I still want/need.

2) Pay almost as much as a new one would cost, for a replacement for the old one, with the understanding that cool accessories like the thumb keyboards will never be made for it, and I won't be able to use memory expansion, etc. (Am I really the only one constantly pushing the edge of 8mb?)

3) Buy a used one cheap, and risk it dying just like mine did. (Besides the non-replacable LI battery in it would be just about at the end of its lifespan by now, unless they never used or charged it.)

Just my thoughts...

RE: Visor discontinued...
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 2:00:57 PM #
R.e. Pontif.
Please don't buy a T615. I want one and I don't want
it discontinued. :-) ("everytime I buy a handheld,
a year or so latere they discontinue it")

RE: Visor discontinued...
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 5:13:03 PM #
If every time I bought a handheld, it got discontinued, I would try very hard, next time, NOT TO BUY A CRAPPY PDA! :)

RE: Visor discontinued...
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 6:40:53 PM #
Amen Brother!

RE: Visor discontinued...
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 9:32:55 PM #
My take on this is: run out and buy a Visor Deluxe for $100 at Fry's Electronics, and a FlashPlus adapter and 64MB CF card at for expansion (for well under $100), and you're good for a year or two. Or, get the Prism for $200. Get the extended warranty from Fry's, if you can, 'cuz by the time your Visor breaks, the Visor will be discontinued and Fry's will give you the latest and greatest for about $35.

RE: Visor discontinued...
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 4:52:23 PM #
I feel the same way !


Foo Fighter @ 1/16/2002 1:49:21 AM #
It saddens me to see the once proud name of Handspring disappear from the shelves, but it's not surprising. Handspring will be bankrupt before the color Treo model ever hits the market.


RE: Sad...
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 2:03:22 AM #
Foo, you seem to be a strong believer that HS is going under. But given the facts around it, you may be correct. HS tries to market and depend their fate on the Treo as if they will be the only communicator manufacturer in the market. They seem to be oblivious to Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Motorola and others. Wireless is a dynamic market, I do not know how much resources they have to compete against the mobile/wireless big brothers already in the market.

But I guess they have no choice, they can neither compete with Palm in the low end not Sony on the high end. Since they are going to die anyway, why not take the last bet?? They may survive....

RE: Sad...
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 4:35:23 AM #
Well, maybe not. The guys at Qualcomm seem to think that Handspring will do well, so much so that they invested USD50m (in real honest-to-goodness cash). Maybe they know something that we don't.

RE: Sad...
jonecool @ 1/16/2002 8:36:58 AM #
I am beginning to agree with you. Perhaps there is some adapter for the TREO that we just don't know about that allows Springboards to work with the TREO. If this is the case, "most" (definitely not all) of our concerns about the Springboard and dropping the Visor would not be as big of a deal.

However, if they offer no form of expansion for the TREO then they are admitting the Springboard was a flop. If that is the case, then I'm afraid they have ruined the business contacts that have given HS the edge(no pun intended) for the past few years.

At some point, HS *WILL* be considering a form of expansion for the TREO and when they do, they will find it difficult to sign up their first manufacturer.

I wonder if it was that Napping module that finally made them pull the plug on the Visor? Hmm.... -That's a Joke, ok ;)

RE: Sad...
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 8:59:44 AM #
You can't say the Springboard was a failure. It DID make them the second largest handheld maker in the world, selling more than all the PPC makers combined. Say instead that the market has changed and Handspring is following the new trend.

RE: Sad...
Ed @ 1/16/2002 9:30:01 AM #
Foo Fighter, whatever your opinions on Handspring's long-term prospects, its very unlikely they will go out of business before the Treo 270 gets released, which is scheduled to be in the next three to six months. Even if it takes Handspring the longest estimate, all the way to June, that's only two financial quarters.

Currently, the company's cash and investments balance is $175.5 million, of which $124.8 million was unrestricted. Last quarter, Handspring lost $15.2 million and the quarter before it was $26.2 million. So at absolute worst, the company might lose $30 million a quarter. And that's assuming the Treo utterly flops. That means Handspring is good for at least another year at minimum.

That's a really pessimistic analysis. Handspring has an optimistic one that says the company will be profitable by June. In either case, the company isn't going anywhere soon.

News Editor

RE: Sad...
peter167 @ 1/16/2002 10:51:45 AM #
Ed, I hope you got the facts right about Handspring.

It's $112.7 mil cash as of Dec 31st, 2001. That includes investment(s) from Qualcomm already.

With Visors quitting Handspring's lineup in the coming quarters, Handspring's revenue will come from primarily Treo. In the meantime, the revenue will only keeps going down and down. Also, when new users know that the Visors will be discontinued, that hurts consumer's confidence to buy their handhelds because there is a likely chance there will not be add-ons and accessories any more.

Yes, Handspring may not run out of cash when it announces the color-version. But it would just shortly after that. Remember, you have to pay cash to manufacturers to make the products. So that if the monochrome versions are dying, they will not get the cash returned to build the color version one. And more important is that if the B/W fails, would anyone buy the color one, presumably it will be about $200 more? I know most of us are Palm lovers, but Handspring's condition is really in question.

RE: Sad...
Foo Fighter @ 1/16/2002 1:19:29 PM #
Ed, Handspring has been making projections about future profitability every quarter. Dubinsky once projected that the Edge would carry them to profitability, but we know how that story ended. Look at their recent earnings report. Revenues were up only 15% over the holiday season. One report posted by NPD stated that Handspring's sales were up less than 9% at the start of the shopping season. Terrible performance. Even Compaq, with its ultra expensive iPaq was able to double sales. What do you think Handsprings earnings will look like for Q1 of this year? Not good. Sales always drop post-holiday. And now that Handspring is going up against the big wireless companies, especially Nokia, they will face even tighter profit margins. The only hope for Handspring is a buyout. But I don't see them as an acquisition target considering they have no technology to offer.

5 months may be a little too pessimistic, but I can promise you that Handspring won't be celebrating Christmas, if you know what I mean.

RE: Sad...
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 5:41:38 PM #
Unless i'm mis-remembering, the Springboard uses the same bus as the connector at the bottom of all Handspring devices. So couldn't some clever third party developer create a small device hich plugged into the bottom and took Springboard modules?

New English?
TDS @ 1/16/2002 11:57:56 PM #
I think that is the first time I have seen someone use the word "mis-remembering". Is that a word? ;)

RE: Sad...
swinginjonny @ 1/17/2002 2:17:45 PM #
No, it's not a word. But I think he gets major points for creativity. I think I'll be using "misremembering" from now on.

Bye, bye Handspring

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 6:22:45 AM #
I really liked the Visor line. mp3 players, PresenterToGO, adapters for all sorts of memory cards, Palm OS, cheap prices. It's sad they'll go.

If Handspring really focusses only on the Treo, I'll bet they'll be dead at least in two years. A combination of PDA and cell phone sucks. It's heavy nadf bulky, or has a way to small screen. genuine PDAs and genuine cell phones are still much more powerfull (small m505 with all it's advantages, ericsson t39 with voice dialing, vioce commands for answeriung/rejecting calls and so on), and if I loose one device or one battery runs out, the other is still good. WIth bluetooth built in in all future PDAs and cell phones, no one needs a LAME combination, because you can use the two in a much more conveniant way (cell phone to your ear, pda in your hand) or like a combo device (cell phone in the briefcase, but use the PDA like it was a combo).

The Siemens SX45 was the one I thougth to be a good combination, but it's really LAME. It has the old PPC system, not upgradeable to PPC2002 (I like Palm OS better, but that's not the point here), has less phone features than the cheapest Siemens cell phone two years ago. It really sucks.

The Nokia communicator is a real brick and very ugly. It's a good device only for few people, and most people buying it are dump asses in my opinion "Wow, PDA and phjone, I have to get it" - despite the fact it costs more than two good separate devices and it has many weaknesses. The succes is mainly because it has "Nokia" written on it, I think. And Handspring will have a hard time competing with them, and surely be dead if they concentrate just on wireless PDAs. At least they'll loose what tehy started to built in europe, because:
- wireless data prices are much higher
-almost no cell phone user knows the name Handspring here, and people in general know much less about PDAs than in the US

I can only hope that Handspring doesn't make such a stupid descision. Otherwise it would be a very sad day and I too could only say: RIP, it was nice to have had you with us for some months, Handspring.


RE: Bye, bye Handspring
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 9:01:56 AM #
Most of what you say is true... about other smartphones. Wait until you actually see a Treo and most of your complaints will disappear.

The Treo is smaller than many handhelds that don't have built in wireless For example, the m505 is 4.5" x 3.1" x 0.5". The Treo is 4.3" x 2.7" x 0.7. Asside from being slightly thicker, the Treo is shorter and much less wide than a m505. Here's another way to look at it. Get out a deck of cards and look at it. The Treo is smaller than that.

As part of the design process, Jeff Hawkins and his team used the Treo as their mobile phone in public many, many times. No-one saw that they were anything other than mobile phones.

Think of it as a super-slim PDA that just happens to have a mobile phone built into it.

RE: Bye, bye Handspring
jonecool @ 1/16/2002 9:29:38 AM #
It appears that you work for the company or at least has seen a TREO in person.

Can you tell us if there will be an expansion option for (i.e. Springboard adapter/sled option) the TREO? I think this would ease many of our concerns about the Visor line being dropped.

If not, is this even possible with the TREO?

RE: Bye, bye Handspring
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 10:24:56 AM #
No expansion available in the currently announced Treo devices.

RE: Bye, bye Handspring
MobileMitch @ 1/16/2002 10:27:09 AM #
IMHO I think the treo will be just fine without a springboard plan. What will hurt it I think is not having room for a SD card.

As appealing as the treo is to me, I could never go back to just 8 (or even 16) megs. I am hooked on all that extra space the SD card gives me.

RE: Bye, bye Handspring
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 11:35:21 AM #
I'll bet the SD slot will come in a later version of the TREO.

RE: Bye, bye Handspring
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 11:44:09 AM #
We should say only is the current Treo sells; otherwise HS will be out of cash to be in existence.

RE: Bye, bye Handspring
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 11:45:35 AM #
I am betting that expansion expansions (SD or MMC) will be included in future generations fo the Treo as well.

BTW A cell phone in one hand a palm in the other is no solution at all. I am sick and tired of fumbnling my PDA with one hand trying to look for a number and having the phone in the other.

RE: Bye, bye Handspring
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 11:50:36 AM #
Future? 1, 2, 3 years later? If the current Treo does not sell as they expect. HS will be out of cash in 1 year. Ya, we can always say future models .......

RE: Bye, bye Handspring
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 3:57:06 PM #
It's heavy nadf bulky, or has a way to small screen.

Have you actually played with one? I have, and it is neither heavy nor bulky.

RE: Bye, bye Handspring
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 9:43:53 PM #
Hmmm... a phone and PDA in one...

So how am I supposed to jot down some information while the person at the other end is reciting it to me? The phone's up to my ear right?

Oh wait, there's the "Star Trek Communicator" (speaker phone) mode right? What if the information is private? What if it's a noisy environment?

A separate headset? Is there a jack for one? If so, carrying the headset/wire around will be a drag. Maybe it could be a bluetooth headset?

Honestly, I don't know how a combined phone/pda is really going to be better than two separate devices.

Mobile phone companies...

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 6:38:47 AM #
Well, good luck to Handspring as the mobile phone companies will destroy them. It's obvious their business model didn't work out as most people don't want to pay more than $100 for a black & white PDA and $300 tops for a color PDA unless it's a Sony.

So high margins it is.
By only entering the mobile and wireless arena, they will be pummeled by Nokia, Ericsson, and Motorola. If GSM is the best they can offer, they're in deep doo doo.

Most people DO NOT want a phone that is larger than what they have. ONLY the geeks or the gadget freaks want phones that look like PDAs.

Well, good luck and I'm sure the armchair marketing "geniuses" here will claim that everyone wants a PDA-phone. Well, that's why you work a day job in the backroom as opposed to running the marketing for Nokia.

RE: Mobile phone companies...
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 7:28:47 AM #
NO ..... they'll say that only Handspring got the Vison of Wireless PDA, that's why they give up on any PDA without a phone.

I think I said this long time ago, Handspring is going to drop the whole visor and springboard all together, and those handspring zombies are like "no no no, Sony will go out of PDA business next year (2002)" and "Sony S-series can't use those new MS modules that's why Visor/springboard rules!" isn't that ironic ? In the 16th day of Jan 2002 we hear the news of Handspring dropping the visor line.

RE: Mobile phone companies...
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 9:48:23 AM #
> Most people DO NOT want a phone that is larger than what they have.
> ONLY the geeks or the gadget freaks want phones that look like PDAs.

As I said above, Hawkins and the design team used the Treo in public many times and no-one noticed that it was anything other than a mobile phone.

Have you seen the Nokia "Brick"? Its really called the Communicator and its HUGE. Its also the number one selling handheld in Europe now at $799.
Here's a pic (
Once the Europeans get a look at the Treo, which is half the cost and a quarter the size, they are going to snap them up. If the Brick is the best the European mobile phone companies can do, this is going to be no contest.

RE: Mobile phone companies...
Scott @ 1/16/2002 10:03:28 AM #
I like the looks of the Treo, but I also have many criticisms of it. Jeff has stated in the past about how he used to walk around the office writing on a wooden block back when he was designing the PalmPilot. I just don't think he completely "gets it" when it comes to smartphones, however. There is no hard numeric keypad. This will make the device difficult to use one-handedly. It also lacks voice dialing (a feature which could make up for the lack of a hard keypad). The price is too high. It lacks always-on. In fact, he can't even convince Voicestream to spring for offering ISP coverage for the users, so you have to have your own ISP! Finally, it's GSM, the worst wireless coverage in the US.

Their decision to sell in Europe first is a smart move, though. GSM coverage is great. And, apparently, if people are buying Nokia communicators over there in droves, the price may not be an issue there. In fact, he might be best served by moving his entire company to Europe and not bother selling it in the US at all.

If he can get the price down by the time the color screen is ready and GSM expands by then (it will be expanding thanks to Cingular and AT&T's move to GSM - but I don't think that will happen till next year), he may be OK.


RE: Mobile phone companies...
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 10:27:16 AM #
"There is no hard numeric keypad. This will make the device difficult to use one-handedly"

There is a numeric keypad overlayed on the Treo's keypad. Is very easy to use for one hand dialing. This is not available on the grafitti version of course.

RE: Mobile phone companies...
Scott @ 1/16/2002 10:46:50 AM #
I'm aware of this. However, I'm skeptical of how easy it will be to tap these small keys one-handedly. I'm also skeptical of how easy it will be to do this without looking as most people are accustomed to doing on their current cell phones.

RE: Mobile phone companies...
mtg101 @ 1/16/2002 11:40:30 AM #

One hand dialing:
The Treo has been designed for one handed use. Just because it doesn't have the standard 9-key keypad on it doesn't prevent this.

Most phones calls are not made by typing in someone's phone number. You call someone by selecting their name in a list and then pressing 'call' or some similar button. The Treo uses the jogdial to allow you to do this with one hand.

Voice Dialing:
Have you ever used this? All the current versions are pathetic. You need to set it up in a sound-proofed room and then use it in a sound proofed room. Of no use in a public place.

Always On:
The release version of the Treo will be GSM only. However in the summer we'll get a software upgrade to GPRS, which is always on.

It will be subsidised. All phones sold on GSM networks are subsidised by the operator. When you buy the device you are tied into a monthly contract for a certain length of time. For example you may get 200 euros of the list price when you sign up for a year's contract.


Diga ao Falante pelos Mortos

RE: Mobile phone companies...
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 11:50:15 AM #
Well Scott I have played with both the Treo and Treo g. teh keys are very easy to press with one..Just as easy as any Ericsson phone. The Always on email will be available in a few months with a simple upgrade. GS< is a lot more versatile than CDMA phones. I can bring my phone to timbuktu and use it..can you do that with your Timbuktu USA doesn't count.

Russels law
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 1:16:18 PM #
You wrote:
Voice Dialing:
Have you ever used this?
All the current versions are pathetic.
You need to set it up in a sound-proofed room and then use it in a sound proofed room. Of no use in a public place....


Dear Russel!
I use a Ericsson T39 mobile phone and voice dialling basically only to dial my numbers. Neither has the phone to be set-up in a sound-proof room nor does it need a quite surrounding when calling. Strangely – even in the noisiest places the Ericsson T39 can separate two friend of mine without failing once in a hundred times
For example: he can separate Peeeeter and Peter and the numbers are dialled absolutely accurate.
If you would have tried only once what you claim is not working – you would know otherwise.

Without any intention of harassing or flaming you: That very point only which can be confirmed by anyone seeing a local cellphone dealer today, put some shades on the rest of you posting as well.

Sorry – but THATS a fact

Boris v Luhovoy

RE: Mobile phone companies...
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 1:45:03 PM #
Voice dialing works?? My my my ... will wonders never cease. I have some friends who use a
Samsung phone and the voice dialling feature. It took a min. of 3 attempts in a relatively quiet
office to get it to dial the right number. In a noisy area, ie restuarant, up to 10-15 attempts
before they give up in disgust and manually input the number.

Not to flame or harrass Boris, but that is a fact as well. I can show you 10 different people for
whom voice dialing does not work. Between them, they use 3 different handsets and each and
every one of them say that the feature is worthless. Does this mean that Boris and his T39 is
an isolated working example? NO! It just means that YMMV with the feature. Should anyone
point towards a cell phone dealer and say, "But it works there! You and your friends just don't
know how to use the feature." The main purpose of the cell phone dealer is to make money.
If they demo ANY feature in the store, it is in their best interest to show that it works one the
first attempt. Otherwise, the feature seems to take more effort than it saves. And of course,
they are hoping that the feature helps make the sale.

Should someone think I'm defending Russell, no. I am not defending Russell. I don't know Russell.
I am only giving another example of voice dialing.

RE: Mobile phone companies...
fleegle @ 1/16/2002 1:47:55 PM #
I agree with Boris. I have used voice dialing in very noisy environments, i.e. a crowded train (BART) and at a noisy stadium. It worked for my Nokia 8290. I didn't even have to yell into it at those times.

I now have a Motorola v.60c (with voice dialing). I used it at a noisy indoor arena with barking dogs all around. I was at the AKC National Championships in Denver. Again, I used the voice dialing with no yelling into it.

I won't say that it works great everytime, but it does work very well. At the times that it did not work was mostly in a quiet room. I think it was due mostly to the way I pronounced the names rather than noisy environments.

RE: Mobile phone companies...
peter167 @ 1/16/2002 2:43:54 PM #
The only thing I agreed is that cellphones are at a discount when you sign a two-year contract.

But... IT is already $399 when you signed a two-year contract! How much will that be without a contract?

Is Handspring going to sell these Treos to enterprises? If so, where are their partners? Currently, there are not many enterprises purchasing their Visors.

Is Handspring going to sell these Treos to consumers, just like some of us? If so, please reduce your price to around $249 because Samsung's one is only $299, and it's color. Of course, Samsung's one is not GSM, but it does not make a heck of a difference in North America. Always-on e-mail and Internet access on GPRS will not be avaiable across the cities until the end of the year.

RE: Mobile phone companies...
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 2:54:51 PM #
>> Is Handspring going to sell these Treos to consumers, just like some of us? If so, please reduce your price to around $249 because Samsung's one is only $299, and it's color. <<

Actually, the SprintPCS web site lists $499 for the color Samsung I300. Maybe if you got a great corporate contract with Sprint you could get it for $200 off, but most can not.

RE: Mobile phone companies...
peter167 @ 1/16/2002 4:16:19 PM #
Is Samsung's I300 selling $499 with or without a contract?

RE: Mobile phone companies...
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 6:55:04 PM #
You wrote:

I have some friends who use a
Samsung phone and the voice dialling feature. Does not work...


you always get in life what you pay for - The Samsung is comparable cheap stuff - get the real thing like a Ericsson T39 and you see what nowadays technic can do. You cannot compare a Beetle with a 747 longtail - can you?

RE: Mobile phone companies...
mtg101 @ 1/17/2002 4:12:20 AM #
Voice Dialing:

I have used voice dialing, specifically on an Ericsson R380s.

OK - so a sound proofed room may have been a little excessive, but you certinaly couldn't set up voice dialing by a road, or in a restaurant. Same went for activating it, no chance in a bar or something.

It did work some of the time, but not as reliably as setting up speed dials and using those. So I tended to use the speed dialing rather than hoping voice-rec would work. The only time I'd use voice-rec was when on hands-free. However, after saying 'Phillip' 3 times progressivly louder and people around me were starting to look at me as though I was mad... I would have to get the phone out and use speed dial instead.

Maybe things have got better since the R380s. But I certainly didn't have a good experience with it.


Diga ao Falante pelos Mortos

Voice dialling work
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 7:33:24 AM #
you wrote: ..However, after saying 'Phillip' 3 times progressivly louder and people around me were starting to look at me as though I was mad...

The background voice or how loud you speak when voice dialling is, and I have experienced this several times, is of minor concern, but the name has to be pronounced the same / as similar as possible as recorded. Therefore the phone can distinguish between a "Peeeeter" and a hard spoken "Peter!"
After a six-pack (depends on size & brand) your pronunciation starts to shift and your voice gets louder (but not neccessarily more accurate) – that is also the case after several Gin Tonic. Thats indeed a general bar & restaurant specific problem.
I stand firm by my claim - in german langage the voice dialling with nowadays technology is simply working - under virtually all enviroments.

Boris von Luhovoy
publishing editor
Palmtop-Pro Magazin

RE: Mobile phone companies...
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 8:24:19 AM #
I have only got experience of voice dialing on my Siemens S35i but I can honestly say that it works every time. I have never had to repeat myself whatever the ambient noise levels.
Probably the trick is to record your initial sample in a quiet place and try to speak normally. It's also worth listening to it played back so you know you got it right.
Then don't shout just because you are in a noisy environment, it's not necessary.

RE: Mobile phone companies...
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 1:07:26 PM #
you wrote:

you always get in life what you pay for - The Samsung is comparable cheap
stuff - get the real thing like a Ericsson T39 and you see what nowadays
technic can do. You cannot compare a Beetle with a 747 longtail - can you?


Gee ... and you skip the part where I mention 10 other people that use 3
different handsets and it doesn't work for them either. Unless you assume
that 3 different handsets just means 3 different Samsungs of the same
model. Oh ... and I see your justification too, Samsung phone is to
an Ericsson T39 as a Beetle is to a 747 longtail. A phone compared to
a phone and a car compared to a jumbo jet. Right ... that made sense ...
Thanks for playing. Come back when you can find a something constructive
as opposed to just playing a 'Brand X phone is the best and anything else
just sucks' card.

And for those that were curious about the price of a new phone without
service and activation, just go and ask any dealer for the price of a new
phone without activation. They will look at you funny and all, but they
should be able to tell you. Otherwise, take a look at the price of the
newest phone you are interested in and add this range to the price:
$200 to 2x in-store price. The phones are not cheap. The operator sells
them at a loss WITH service in hopes that it can recoup that loss off a
1 yr contract. As an example, before 'The Matrix' and Nokia's 8800 series
phones were released, my 2100 series phone died. I went into the store
to see what they could do and came out with a phone number as the
store couldn't offer what I wanted (another 2100 series phone as I still
had 2 extra battery packs and a desktop charger). The 800 number
didn't have any of the 2100s, and offered me a 6100 series phone. The
catch? I had to sign a new 1 yr contract to get the discounted price.
Otherwise, I would have to pay $599 to buy the same phone and stick
to the calling plan I had which they had discontinued 6 months ago.

Handspring 1, armchair critics 0
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/11/2002 3:25:23 PM #
After a few months of hindsight, all the messages
about how Handspring would disappear after moving
from the Visor to the Treo look a bit silly.
They are doing well with the Treo and have
a palm-only version (Treo 90) as well as several models with
GSM phones, a CDMA version coming (with Sprint),
and other new models pending. I think the geeks in the
crowd underestimated the extent to which the mass
consumer market would move on something that had
a decent cell phone and a PalmOS device and a keyboard
at half the price of the Nokia brick and at 5-1/4
ounces in weight, smaller than many existing cellphones.

Maybe some of these are the same people that predicted
that Windows would never sell when UNIX was so readily
available? Or at least have the same attitude?
I dunno, but it seems like an OK parallel.

Springboard is dead

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 7:33:18 AM #
I guess if anyone is making a Springboard, it's time to kill that project.

RE: Springboard is dead
JeepBastard @ 1/16/2002 8:24:31 AM #
I got a big bulky springboard modem, what do you think I can get for it?


This is only market-speak.

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 9:10:31 AM #
The way I interpret the comment about stopping Visor's and only selling communicators is not that bad. Another way to say the same thing, by my interpretation is, "Eventually all of our organizers are going to have wireless communication built-in. When that happens, what is now known as the Visor will not be sold anymore, and we will call our organizers communicators instead."

RE: This is only market-speak.
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 10:33:44 AM #
your glass is half-full, "visor will be upgraded." :) dubinsky took the half-empty approach: "visor will be discontinued". unfortunately she's the handspring ceo and, as far as i know, you're not... :P so that's whats giving everyone the heebiejeebies.

RE: This is only market-speak.
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 10:36:52 AM #
actually i take that reply back, i didn't listen to the call but at least from ed's article you could be right. sorry. doh!

RE: This is only market-speak.
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 11:43:22 AM #
If Dubinsky's comment means that all their products will have Bluetooth or something like it, that's okay. But if it means they will all be cell phones, that's a big problem - many of us don't want the smaller screen and extra cost that a cellphone/PDA implies. Hey, my current cellphone was free with a $30 + 60 mins/month plan, and my Prism can now be bought for $200. I don't want to shell out the bucks for a Treo + calling plan, so HS now has no product for me. I doubt I'm alone.

RE: This is only market-speak.
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/16/2002 9:02:57 PM #
Will someone please evaluate my comments about Handspring; I am not an expert on the PDA/Smart Phone industry:
1. I like the HS Treo specifications, but I will not buy one because I do not wish to be forced into changing my ISP carrier, business cards, letter stationery, and have to contact all my customers and associates that I am using a different cellular telephone number.

2. I did not buy the H.S. VisorPhone springboard for my Visor Delux for the same reasons.

Isn't HS harming it's chances for survival and success buy "forcing" the consummer to conform to its marketing strategy and accommodations rather than making products that are convenient for us to use?
Why should I chang my carrier just to use HS products! They should have offered my options.

My Visor "died" and even though I liked my Visor, I think it is time to change companies. I am evaluating the HANDERA 300. It looks very good!

Goodbye HS

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 9:16:05 AM #
I just placed an order for the Clie T615 this morning!

RE: Goodbye HS
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 10:08:26 AM #
/emote Hands you a cookie.

RE: Goodbye HS
TDS @ 1/17/2002 12:03:35 AM #
Gosh, didn't you hear? Sony just discontinued the T615 and replaced it with the T616. The new version has tint control! I wonder what they wil announce next week...

RE: Goodbye HS
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 11:26:08 AM #
SONY at least give you a new one, but HS give you a ****.

RE: Goodbye HS
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 11:28:22 AM #
"Sony just discontinued the T615 and replaced it with the T616. "

LoL .... you are funny ..... now go back to your imaginery world.

RE: Goodbye HS
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 3:24:21 PM #
Tint control? Maybe they could include a brightness control. You could turn it up, and become smarter.

Good luck then

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 9:37:25 AM #
I wish them the best of luck. hopefully the Treo won't be such a terrible product that the VisorPhone was, and Handspring will keep on living.

Reminds me that I should do a writeup about that SMS bug in the VP I found that they refused to acknowledge. So little time...

RE: Good luck then
pjflynn @ 1/16/2002 9:55:06 AM #
What SMS bug? I have no problems with my VP.

RE: Good luck then
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 10:23:15 AM #
If a VP receives an SMS from a Nokia phone that has split the message into multiple messages (a feature of several of the latest phones here in Scandnavia), the VP software crashes and locks up the Visor (at least that's what happened to mine, and the bug was reproducable). A soft reset fixes the crash, but the messages are nowhere to be found. If you turn off the phone and remove the SIM card you should be asked about the messages on the card when you insert it again and turn the phone on, but the messages will only give an error saying "message cannot be decoded" (it's been a while since I saw it, and I've returned my VP).

Good luck I have a Nokia so I could actually read what people where trying to tell me.

i luv my visorphone!
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/13/2002 8:08:52 PM #
okay, okay... I'm a gadget freak! I LOVE my visorphone and my back-up module. I can't believe Handspring is getting rid of the springboard! What idiots! It's the one thing that separates them from the rest of the pda's - the ability to expand!

Bad Idea

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 11:30:09 AM #
I would summarize Donna's comments as follows...

...Well basically, all of you nice people who supported us as a company are screwed. Sorry, but thats life!"

I would suggest that all HS users Email HS and let them know how displeased you are if in fact these comments are true.


Kiss the Prism II Goodbye

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 11:48:16 AM #
So much for that.

RE: Kiss the Prism II Goodbye
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 11:55:36 AM #
I am willing to bet...and and I know that people willsay that I am out on a limb...that Handspring will release new Visor models this year.

RE: Kiss the Prism II Goodbye
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 11:58:47 AM #
Do you feel that limb breaking yet?

RE: Kiss the Prism II Goodbye
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 12:11:58 PM #
Well, HS will be happy if they have enough money to market and sell Treo! New visor? Keep hoping.....

Handspring is wise to quit!!

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 11:46:58 AM #
In face of competition from a gaint like Sony, I think Handspring made a wise move to the communication sector.

Sony has already put out enough handhelds that if Handspring wants to compete they will likely drain most of their resources just trying to compete with one of Sony's handhelds.

Palm Inc. has better make some decisions soon. With Handspring already a leg up in the communication market and Sony's emerging dominance in the PDA organizer/entertainment market, Palm's hardware division may find it hard just to find scraps.

RE: Handspring is wise to quit!!
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 12:03:46 PM #
What will happen if Sony decides to go into the communicator market (which I think they would given that it is the future)? Sony has merged its handset division with Ericsson, what will stop them from developing a communicator? What abt Nokia, what abt Motorola? It's true that the current Nokia communicator is bulky and expensive, that is because there is no real competition yet. How expensive was Visor when it was first released? We all saw how prices fell for Palm devices ... Frankly speaking, you have to come out with something innovative, something people wants, I am not talking abt a few power users, I am talking abt the mass market. Nokia, Sony, Ericsson, Motorola, they have a few business lines while HS only has Treo now!

Dump those eggs...

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 11:40:50 AM #
One thing's for sure: Handspring is definitely looking to put all its eggs in one basket. On one hand, it looks quite dangerous--going up against the Nokias and Ericcsons of the the world. But if you're a company that is still PREDICTING a move toward profitability, you might not be able to justify a very diverse product line. What's more, Hawkins clearly seems to believe he's got a "magic" device in development. If TREO is everything they claim it is, it will be far superior to the Nokia Communicator and any PPC smartphone. Hawkins worked his magic before--footnote: see Pilot 1000/5000/Professional and Palm V--but he's also seen his magic fail miserably--footnote: see Visor Edge.

I don't have a definitive opinion as to what will happen with Handspring, except to say that it'll be interesting to watch. I hope they succeed.

If I had predicted *this*?

mikecane @ 1/16/2002 1:07:32 PM #
Everyone climbed all over me when I predicted that Handspring would dump the Springboard. Well, HS went one better than my prediction and are dumping the entire Visor line! If I had stated that, I would have been hung in effigy (not that I'm not amyway!).

And as for hard drives in PDAs...
mikecane @ 1/16/2002 1:10:22 PM #
RE: If I had predicted *this*?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 3:51:58 PM #
Sayonara Sony?

"The weight of these actions on Sony's part can only lead to an awful yet inevitable conclusion: The Clié
is most likely destined to be abandoned by Sony here in the US."
(c) Copyright 2001 by Mike Cane.

RE: If I had predicted *this*?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 4:23:03 PM #
Really, you should sign your posts, so everyone will know you for the pathetic stalker that you are. Don't you want to have some credit too?

RE: If I had predicted *this*?
mikecane @ 1/17/2002 9:47:39 AM #
Oh, leave him alone. He has nothing better to do with his poor life.


I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 12:54:24 PM #
Boy this sucks! I was actually waiting to see the next generation of visor. Hi resolution screen, more memory (try 64mb guys!), audio capabilities. Now it seems as though they are abandoning the entire market that created them. DUH!

For Sale: Visor Prism with memory card.


Donna just lynched a dozen small companies....

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 2:24:13 PM #
This is quite a shocking announcement for Handspring to make. Donna effectively just killed several smaller companies whose sole products are springboards. How would you feel if you were CEO of XYZ corporation that derives 80% of their revenue from springboard accessories that you manufacture? Handspring basically just handed you your own head.

Having seen and used a Treo in person, I can tell you that it is a good phone and (IMHO) will do well in the market, regardless of the fact that it is on GSM. Look at VoiceStream - they're signing up customers left and right on GSM *without* having a phone as cool as the Treo. And according to the stats I've seen, GSM networks actually have the largest percentage of global cellular customers. While I would have preferred CDMA initially, I personally don't think Handspring is making any mistakes at all.

The VisorPhone interface is very intuitive and well done - and that's what they've used on the Treo (with some enhancements). I actually love my Samsung I300 as far as size and functionality, but I hate the interface. You can tell they slapped together something pretty quickly in that department. I actually tried to use a Prism+AirPrime for a while so that I could have the best of both worlds ... but the size was just too difficult to manage.

The Treo will do well, but it's unfortunate to see Handspring turning their backs on so many other small companies that made Springboards ... the thing that made Handspring a better choice than Palm. Guess it goes to show you that when it comes to the bottom line ($$$) there really is no loyalty in business these days.

RE: Donna just lynched a dozen small companies....
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 2:47:52 PM #
More than a dozen, I'm afraid. Much more. The "vertical market" (industry-specific products you never hear about in the consumer-oriented venues) was just starting to get cranked-up to support the Springboard format.

I would expect this rumored statement to be retracted, if it was true in the first place. Given the amount of time it takes to get hardware product into the pipeline, you don't evangelize a format and then pull the rug out two years later... and then expect to have any credibility in getting third-party support for future product offerings.

If true, then kiss Handspring (or at least Dubinsky) goodbye, because this screws a large number of folks who will never trust them again. It even puts Palm OS at risk as potentially too unstable to support with custom hardware products.

RE: Donna just lynched a dozen small companies....
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 2:51:40 PM #
I don't understand why Dubinsky felt the need to say anything about this at all. What was the point? In a couple of quick sentences she whacked off 20 to 30 percent of the demand for the Visor and in return she got... what?

Most smart people could figure out that if the Treo did well the Visor was doomed. Why did she have to announce this BEFORE the Treo started doing well or was even in stores?

Its like telling your girlfriend that if things go well with the cute girl you just saw for the first time across the bar, you're going to dump her. It doesn't take a genius to figure out what's going to happen next.

Its another tragic case of premature annunciation.

RE: Donna just lynched a dozen small companies....
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 3:37:31 PM #
>> More than a dozen, I'm afraid. Much more. The "vertical market" (industry-specific products you never hear about in the consumer-oriented venues) was just starting to get cranked-up to support the Springboard format. <<

You're absolutely correct. At Comdex this year, I saw a ton of vertical-market stuff. Fortunately, most of those companies also had non-springboard versions ... but this will definitely piss a few companies off!

And then there's companies like the guys who make MemPlug. I would imagine that he just soiled his underwear. Donna basically blew up their entire company, because (unless I'm missing something) all they sell is springboard modules!

RE: Donna just lynched a dozen small companies....
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 5:25:19 PM #
Or she might have lynched her career. I don't know if HS is publically traded, or if there is a board of directors, but I wouldn't be surprised to see either a retraction, or the announcement of a new CEO in the near future.

RE: Donna just lynched a dozen small companies....
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 5:48:46 PM #
Handspring is traded publicly (NASDAQ symbol: HAND). They took a 15% hit today, but I suspect that was on the general revenue news and the non-delivery problems with the Treo.

I would tend to agree that the board of directors is going to be firmly unhappy, and may very well have her head on a platter. You don't tell everyone in the world that you have plans to abandon a product when you have tens of thousands of unsold units sitting in warehouses (Pro and Neo) from a new-release ramp-up. Stupid, just incredibly stupid.

RE: Donna just lynched a dozen small companies....
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 7:13:30 PM #
r she might have lynched her career. I don't know if HS is publically traded, or if there is a board of directors, but I wouldn't be surprised to see either a retraction, or the announcement of a new CEO in the near future.

Handspring is publicly traded, so this is the real deal. Public companies work VERY hard on their earnings announcements, and CEOs never make off-hand comments on the conference calls. Their answers to questions (if there even is a Q&A) are usually well-planned in advance. Failure to do otherwise is much more than an end-of-game issue, it gets you in trouble with the SEC.

She knew what she was saying - QED.

RE: Donna just lynched a dozen small companies....
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 7:57:34 PM #
Don't blame Donna. The writing has been on the wall for Springboard ever since Palm (successfully) implemented the SD card. Springboard was a great idea, but it failed because it did not achieve broad acceptance.

Handspring is forced to stop selling Visors.

peter167 @ 1/16/2002 2:51:53 PM #
It is 99% true that Handspring is forced to stop selling Visors not because of any strategic reasons. It is just simply because these guys will not have enough cash turn around for manufacturing Treos if they still continue to make the Visors.

They have only around $115 mil cash. And they anticipated Treo will be a big hit so that they will manufacture many units to meet demand. These $115 mil cash is used for building B/W and Color Treos.

Without any accidents or incidents, Handspring will go bankrupt or totally under the umbrella of Qualcomm before the end of the year. Qualcomm may try to use another $20 mil to acquire the rest of the company, or may not.

Handspring's corporate executives have no ideas of which customers is Treo goin to target. No enteprise partners right now and priced too high for consumers. These CEOs have no experience on selling and marketing a product. All they learnt in the past year is like what MS generally does - ask and pay a bunch of media jerks to hype your device and the product will sell. Indeed, PPCs sales are in the dark hole or somewhere out of the universe. If Compaq or MS relies their revenue primarly on PPCs, they go out of business last year.

It is sad Handspring's CEOs to follow suit of what the PPCs manufacturers just did. However, Handspring's revenue totally relies on their products. They do not have free cash to hype, unlike MS or Compaq.

RE: Handspring is forced to stop selling Visors.
Foo Fighter @ 1/16/2002 3:19:34 PM #
I'm not quite sure what you mean PocketPC sales are increasing, not decreasing.

RE: Handspring is forced to stop selling Visors.
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 3:23:10 PM #
The PPC sales numbers are so small, how can you tell? ;-) Seriously, the PPC has held at about 10% -- 20% of the handheld market for years and PPC 2002 haven't shown any signs of changing this. If this isn't true, please provide proof. I'd like to see some hard sales figures, not that there's a general impression that PPC is doing well or you saw lots of them sold at your local Staples.


I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 3:04:27 PM #
I will love to see SBoard on Palm with additional SD card slot..that'll be a perfect combination. palm might as well merge with Hspring since sony will take over soon.

peter167 @ 1/16/2002 3:06:50 PM #
I have no idea why Palm should merge with Handspring because Handspring has no competitive advantages over Palm right now. If Handspring stops and will stop selling Visors, that is a positive for Palm because end users will begin to stop buying Visors even they are on sale. It is because the end users know their Visors will be orphans soon. No expansion, no support and no accessories.

Palm can get all those low end sales, especially when the m10x to be discontinued. Sony commits the same mistake because all the new accessories will not work on the Sony S series. It is much more negative than having 16MB of RAM.

Midknyte @ 1/16/2002 6:24:18 PM #
"I will love to see SBoard on Palm with additional SD card slot..."

Well, I would not. The existance of the SB Connector requires the PDA to be an oversized for the sake of it.


You can keep dreaming
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 10:58:06 PM #
Palm already have SD slots

HS burns Springboard Manufacturers

brianlane @ 1/16/2002 3:31:59 PM #
First off, I am lead programmer for Shine Micro, maker of the SM2496 module for the Handspring Visor. Our company has a strong interest in what happens to the Visor and the Springboard interface.

We are in beta test with the SM2496 right now, and if these statements are true then it looks like we will have to do a redesign. It really irritates me that HS would move away from Springboard devices after so many people have invested time and effort into developing modules to expand and enhance their Visor products.

Brian Lane

Lead Programmer, Shine Micro

RE: HS burns Springboard Manufacturers
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 9:41:11 AM #
Thats what people get when they support clone palm devices.

Why don't you make SD pheriperals instead? or cases for palms.


RE: HS burns Springboard Manufacturers
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 4:01:42 PM #
I checked it out, your device still has potential though. How much would it cost.

If it would be SD MP3 player that supports VFS. I want to get one.

Why the announcement?

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 3:57:27 PM #
I can't figure out why handspring would announce this. They have effectively obsoleted their entire inventory. What are they going to do with their warehouses full of neos, prisms, and pros? I go to fry's and there are still deluxes piled up everywhere. They're not going anywhere after this. Why not announce a price cut, clear the inventory and THEN announce a product's obsolence. This current strategy places them atop piles of unsellable inventory.

RE: Why the announcement?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 10:05:19 PM #
I totally agree its more than a bit stupid to effectively officially announce Visors are going to end. As so much bad press about it, will put some people off buying an existing Visor machine. But surely all existing PalmOs based machines will effectively become (and certainly be seen by many as) obsolete once the new Arm based PalmOs5 machines come on the market. All I thought Handspring were saying (in respect to this point), is that their existing product line of Visors are going to end, but they didn't want to go into to much detail about their future machine plans.

And I believe the Treo has a lot good going for it. (The Nokia 9210 is an expensive brick with far less software, but even it's selling well).

Sony end various Clie products left, right and center, yet this is seen by many as progress by Sony.

p.s. (By the way, if anyone hasn't yet heard the web cast, but wants to?, the thing about dropping Visors is said at (I think it was?) almost exactly 30 minutes into web cast).

Comments are True

brianlane @ 1/16/2002 4:26:11 PM #
I just listened to the conference call audio available from Yahoo, and the statements are true. And when she was asked to clarify when they would be phased out her response was that they are "Transitioning out of the organizer business, but not today". She wouldn't comment on any future products and said that there was "No time frame, but not today."

I don't find that very reassuring. It looks to me like they just destroyed the entire Visor and Springboard market in one fell swoop. Noone is going to want to invest their money (and time in my case) in a product line that is obviously near its end, or is going to be perceived that way by the consumers.

Brian Lane
Lead Programmer
Shine Micro

Lead Programmer, Shine Micro

RE: Comments are True
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 5:03:57 PM #
Hi, Brian. I was really sorry to have to break the news to Mark.

This seriously undermines Palm OS in the customized expansion hardware market. Palm skipped over PCMCIA and went straight to MMC/SM, which is simply not realistic for small manufacturers to support as an expansion format. Even the HandEra 330 with its CF slot isn't much help; CF is beyond the tooling ability of most small operations and really doesn't offer enough real estate for anything fancy.

It's a sad day, and there are going to be a lot of long faces at Palm Source. If this was yesterday, I could at least get a partial refund of my conference fee, because my crystal ball is saying that Palm OS was seriously hurt by this "non-announcement". I can only be but so patient; my gut says I really need to spend the time and money retooling for PPC.

...mike musick

RE: Sad to see Springboard go
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 12:36:24 AM #
Springboard is a good form factor for the vertical market, especially ref. the electricals specs. Thus you can put some heavy-duty capabilities into a modeule that can snap invisbile into a Visor than to put it on ugly sleds that snap onto backside of Palms.

But of course if Dubinsky et al cannot manage to sell effectively into the vertical markets the point is moot.

RE: Comments are True
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 2:21:03 AM #
The vertical-market issue is a serious one. The advantage of Springboards is (was?) that you could get the plastics pre-tooled from a handful of vendors. Developing other expansion media - including CF - means a huge investment in tooling for custom cosmetics to fit your board. If you were doing something mass-market and had a gazillion bucks to fund the ramp-up and distribution, CF (or SD) is fine, but if you're trying to service a niche market that might see 1000 units, you'd better have some "universal" components to wrap your board in.

Like someone said above, the vertical market was just getting going for Springboards. Now every system integrator wanting to do something that's in a specialty market or enterprise-specific has just been told to take a hike.

Maybe somebody with less lofty gross revenue goals (TRG?) can purchase the Visor tooling? Well, I can dream, can't I?

RE: Comments are True
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 2:35:16 AM #
Oh - I forgot to mention...

The problem with "sleds" is that you take the serial port. In most instrumentation solutions or other industrial custom portable computing situations, you need your custom interface AND the serial port. Springboards (when done right) allowed your custom piece without blowing the interconnect.

HandEra still has a good product

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 4:12:09 PM #
I just bought a HandEra 330 (, after considering a Visor, one of the new Palm models and some of the WinCE devices. I didn't think the springboard "standard" was very viable, and I didn't like the bulkiness of the add-ons. The newest Palm models are not much of an improvement over my current PDA. The WinCE devices, well, I just winced when they kept crashing on me (nevermind the battery life and interopablity issues as well).

The HandEra 330 is hands down the best, you get a CompactFlash slot, and a MMC/SD slot. I can add 64MB of memory to this thing, and still have room to plug in my GPS, 802.11 wireless NIC, cell modem, or landline modem (all based off of the miniature PCMCIA standard that CompactFlash uses) all while using the built-in microphone to record things. Plus I can use equipment that was originally designed to work with the Palm III line of products. I'm going to purchase the Lithium battery pack and charger, which will eliminate the need for the 4 AAAs it currently uses. I'm in PDA heaven...

And no, I dont work for them...

RE: HandEra still has a good product
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 4:38:56 PM #
Dont forget the HandEra 330 screen is double the resolution of any greyscale Palm or Visor currently on the market. The HandEra 330 also has a "soft silkscreen", where the graffiti area can actually be minimized to free up screen real-estate.

RE: HandEra still has a good product
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 5:05:19 PM #
The 330 is a neat PDA, but are they going to be able to compete with Sony and Palm? Unfortunately since they are not a publically traded company nobody knows if they are making money or near bankrupt.

I like to support the little guy, but from the looks of the big companies situations I'd hate to think the shape the little company is in.

Anyone have any 'inside' info on that?

RE: HandEra still has a good product
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 5:32:25 PM #
I agree. I think you'd be hard pressed to find a better deal than the Handera 330 for $199 at Sam's Club (although they may be out now). The ability to use the CF's speed and variety of devices - driven in part by PPC's use of the CF slot - along with a SD is nice. The "Hi-Res" screen does look sharp but it unimpressive when placed next to a color Sony screen. The collapsable grafitti area is a great idea - why doesn't everyone use it? Especially when you consider than screen size is trending down in these new "commincator" type devcies. However - don't be fooled - most applications can't make use of the extra screen space and it turns out just being empty...
I'm a Handera owner - and use many older perphierals - and nothing out there right now is compelling me to upgrade...maybe next year....

HandEra's always been very fiscally responsible.
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 5:41:22 PM #
The best way to keep from going bankrupt is to not make loans in the first place - And you realize that 'Going public' in stock is basically selling a chunk of your company to the market, right?

TRG was doing things right back when they were making memory modules for the PPPersonal.

They were here before Handspring, before Sony, before any of these johnny-come-latelies.

And they seem to understand a lot of things that other companies don't get - examples:

* Hey! I don't WANT to buy all-new peripherals! (Fine! We work with the Palm III - Longest selling PDA in the Pilot line)

* I don't want to get roped into some idiotic propriatory peripherals. (Fine! We'll use Compact Flash - It's an exsisting standard! You can plug them into an adaptor and use them with your laptop.)

* I want improvements that actually IMPROVE the Pilot.(OK - Skip the battery-slaughtering and/or indecipherable color screens, up the speaker power(What good is an alarm you can't hear?), more usable screen area(What good is having more pixels in the same space? Are you going to use a microfiche reader to read the screen?), etc, etc.)

* Hey! TWO expansion slots! (So I can use more memory AND a peripheral!)

* I want a rechargable PDA /BUT/ I don't want to be forced to carry a charger (Or one of those ridiculously-expensive air-battery charging packs)around! (Sure! Rechargable Li-Ion pack, coming up. A standard power plug in the side you can use with any cheap-ass $12 wall wart, OR you can just use batteries! Your choice!)

They don't have to spend fortunes on advertising - And they're very rarely anybody's FIRST pda. If you already know what you want, and you've looked around, they don't HAVE to advertise - You'll hear about 'em.

RE: HandEra still has a good product
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 7:09:14 PM #
I totally agree... there is only one company that has made any real advancements in the Palm (or Palm equiv) market... HandEra.

I've had my 330 for several months now and was a previous Palm IIIx user (with TRG's 8x2 MB expansion). I am completely happy with it.

I can only hope that HandEra will remain a front-runner and continue to provide real innovations (unlike Palm).

Sony is a very close 2nd on my list. If they added virtual graffiti and STANDARD expansion slots... they too would have a model worth looking at (IMHO). Sorry bashers, but color is not at the top of my list... well, at least not yet (I hope HandEra produces one).

RE: HandEra still has a good product
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/12/2002 9:02:56 PM #
HandEra 330's suck big floppy donkey penis. The TRGPro's were cool, but the 330 is too huge and ugly for me.

What is up with the PDA companies?

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 5:23:43 PM #
All of the low end PDA's are being discontinued, left and right. Too bad these are the ONLY ones I want. I don't want a PocketPC, or a color screen, or a cell-phone-pda. I want a simply Palm IIIx or a Handspring Visor.

Oh well. They don't want my money, they can't have it.

RE: What is up with the PDA companies?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 6:48:03 PM #
They don't want your money, because they can't make enough (any) money on the low end product.

Handspring is going the right direction. There's no way (and no reason) to compete with Sony on what's become a very pricepoint-driven market (the low end).

Handspring's only chance to survive is to focus on making money, and that means margins, and that, in this arena, means more expensive product.

RE: What is up with the PDA companies?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 8:38:01 AM #
There are companies in the far east gearing up to produce seriously cheap palm clones. I'm guessing that in a few months you'll get something like a Visor deluxe (maybe not PalmOS) from companies like Oregon Scientific or Franklin.
There is no way Handspring, Palm or Sony can compete with this because they are market leaders, and everyone wants to see innovation from them not more low-end models. So they must each find their own niche. Handspring is doing this with communicators, Sony with multimedia and god only knows what Palm are doing!
Technology marches on and these companies go with it, but there will always be a market for 'cheap-as-chips' organizers and plenty of companies willing to make them.

RE: What is up with the PDA companies?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/20/2002 8:19:23 PM #
Palm's "Niche" if you could call it that, probably the thing they keep talking about. Wireless. Hah! If that would really work.

Spingboards a joke/ The Treo is Handprings only hope

Islander @ 1/16/2002 5:54:49 PM #
Springboards have not caught on. They never will.
Even most people who have VISORS never use them for anything other than memory. Spingboards sold the kind of person who hangs here, but you are a minority.
THEY ARE JUST TOO BIG FOR SIMPLE MEMORY. You cannot do a slim model with a springboard properly. The "Edge" with a spingboard is just lame, the reason why it has not sold well. Give it the tiny alternatives for memory expansion (sd) and it would work. Handspring is second to Palm for 1 reason. They were a cheaper alterative to Palm. Sony is coming on strong in this space. If they stayed there Sony would crush it out of existence.

PEOPLE, even if Handspring stuck to non connected devices they would have abandoned your beloved springboards.

I say take advantage of this blunder, (I agree the early anouncement will hurt visor sales during the transition.) If you keep your device you will get your spingboards at a reasonable price for the first time ever. (I do feel for beta spingboard dude, bummer for you.)If you upgrade you can make an educated decision knowing the Visor line is dying. They did you a favor.

Let me tell you about the Treo. It is so much better than current phone/PDA combos it aint funny. I've seen it, I've fondled it in my own hands. I saw it a comdex. EVERYONE who tries it LOVES it. I have YET to see a negative post by someone who has actually handled it.
That is why EVERY reviewer is fawning over it.
Soon enough they will release one with an SD slot, and cdma. It will be even sweeter.

Bottom line-
It just works.
It will be a monster.

This is NOT going to get any better for long!

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 6:15:06 PM #
Handspring surely will have great success with the handspring treo line. But it wont be for long. Whats after that? As I said before, you have more limits to smartphones because it needs to maintain a small size, good batt. life, etc. They surely can't add the spring board! You can only do so much with a handheld. Less with a smartphone. Besides, whats after that? Another Treo with a sd slot? I cannot think of many ways to upgrade in the future. Kyocera seems to be having problems creating a new low cost device WORTH the upgrade. It's hard to have a vaild explaination but I'm trying to say this is a dumb idea. KEEP THE VISORS. They have their own sense of style, and the spring board does NOT suck at all. This should not have happened...
PDANature - - Hourly refreshed pda news, reviews, commentarys, software, software update notices, features, etc.

RE: This is NOT going to get any better for long!
Islander @ 1/16/2002 6:37:13 PM #
You say:
"Another Treo with a sd slot? I cannot think of many ways to upgrade in the future."

Come on now. What makes people upgrade PDAs now. Memory, Speed, Screen rez, Color.

Does one upgrade from a visor Plat to Neo so that he can now use a springboard? No, you could use your springboard with a Platinum. This upgrade give you greater speed, and memory.

An upgrade to a next gen Treo will do the same for treo users.

Sooner than we think?

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 7:11:29 PM #
Go to the transcript of the HS conference call at Fast forward to 44:00, where they talk about future revenue expectations. The CFO? states by around 45:05 that the organizer production will begin to ramp down by March, as they ramp up Treo production. This is a lot sooner than I expected. How do you all interpret that clip from the conference call?

Why springboards suck anyway

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 7:20:39 PM #
Have you looked at the prices on them? The technology is awesome but the third party vendors who make them let their greed run away with them. The prices are outrageous!

Personally I'd like to see Handspring stay in the PDA industry. I was looking forward to upgrading from my Palm V to a Handspring but now I might wait until they discontinue the product lines and sell them cheap through third parties on eBay.

High N' Dry

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 10:10:18 PM #
High and dry Leavin' you High N' dry. I can't believe that I was considering going to the TREO. Maybe PDA companies should act more like Sony. Its sad that MS, with lots of money, could screw up such a good idea. What a waste. I hope they pay.

RE: High N' Dry
Coyote67 @ 1/17/2002 3:28:07 AM #
Ok, I'm confused. You regret thinking of going to Treo, the product that will be focused on for now on. You mention sony who drops support for their handhelds one by one, and then you blame Microsoft for all of this. I am very confused.

When you have a Clie shoved up your mouth, you can only talk in vowels.
RE: High N' Dry
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 11:15:13 AM #
"You regret thinking of going to Treo, the product that will be focused on for now on. You mention sony who drops support for their handhelds one by one,"

hmm..... maybe because Handspring dropped the whole product line suddenly, that why he "regret thinking of going to Treo". who know when they'll drop the whole Treo line :)

And for sony, they never did drop support for any of their handheld, if your PDA is in trouble you can call them up and ask them to fix it any time any day you want. it's funny that ppl can accept that fact that handspring dropped a whole product line, and can't accept the fact that "some" MS modules can't work with some low end Clie models ... LoL ....

Coyote67 you can keep saying handspring will keep supporting springboard modules, but it'll be a matter of time before they stop selling Visors and announce that springboard is dropped too. Can't you see the trend ?? Viros with sprinboard dropped, Treo with no springboard lives on.

RE: High N' Dry
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/20/2002 8:23:54 PM #
If something goes wrong, blame MicroSoft. Typical.

forget HS

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 10:21:37 PM #
I can't believe what I'm reading. These guys are just killing off their customer base. The conspiracist in me thinks that someone on Microsoft's team is helping HS make these decisions. I don't think HS has a chance. time to ebay my prism (and springboard modules) and go get a clie. I'm just too pissed off at HS to even consider buying something they produce. So after HS dies, we have Palm and Sony left. Palm is splitting into hardware and software. the hardware side will also die. so now we are left with a Palm OS company and Sony making the hand helds. Pretty soon, Palm/Sony won't be able to keep up with the Pocket PC camp. MS is good at this game, look at what happened to Apple.

- just some pointless ramblings

RE: forget HS
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/9/2002 3:39:07 PM #
That little comment was not fair. Apple is doing quite well for itself. Everyone talks about their market share, but they only look at the software market. As far as hardware, Apple holds their own.

It is already evident that the PDA situation is not unlike the Apple/PC situation. The Palm OS devices being the simpler, more integrated devices like the Mac, and the Pocket PC devices being the strewn-together bloated bricks that only microsoft could love.

Nobody reads, nobody understands...

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 10:53:18 PM #
Mr. Hawkins gave a great speach at Comdex. He explained what Handspring knew through a survey: that people want: 1) to communicate, 2) read email,
3) organize; in that order. So here is where the Treo comes.

Ms. Dubinsky said : "We are a company that is transitioning out of the organizer business and into the communicator business," Dubinsky said. "At some point, we will have transitioned out of the organizer business." This doesn´t mean that they won´t make gadgets that are able to have organizing capabilities.

If you like it, these gadgets will be connected but their primarily function will be TALKING, then RECEIVING/SENDING EMAIL, then WEB SURFING, finally ORGANIZING.

This is what phone makers are trying to do, while succesful they are not perfect products, the Treo is getting near that perfection.

You have to realize (although you don´t like it) that Handspring is going directly to the big market, and not to a bunch of techno freaks like us.

Finally something about the Springboard. It was thought almost four (yes 4 years ago, in 1998).
Technology was bigger, it did great and it´s still does. It set a path. This is a great achievement in electronics.

Again maybe those geeks don´t like some bulky modules but THEY WORK. (And there are not so many substitutes or soon to be...) Stop underestimating the intelligence of inventors, enterprises and consumers.

The Visor line is the SECOND PDA seller in the market. It sold more than all the "Wow!" PPC together...

RE: Nobody reads, nobody understands...
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 11:10:43 AM #
"Finally something about the Springboard. It was thought almost four (yes 4 years ago, in 1998).
Technology was bigger, it did great and it´s still does. It set a path. This is a great achievement in electronics. "

Great achievement in electronics !? ...... you can say Walkman is a great achievement in electronics, or maybe even Gameboy achievement in electronics, but springboard !? don't make me laugh .....

RE: Nobody reads, nobody understands...
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 12:01:05 PM #
Again: "Nobody reads, nobody understands..."

I was talking about EXPANSION... The Springboard was just the beggining...

Flippity floo!

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 11:18:42 PM #
Change sucks. Innovation stinks. Why doesn't anyone support my 8 tracks and paper punch cards anymore?! Now when I go to Best Buy they tell me those things are obsolete! Where are all the Commodore 64 games? I go to CompUSA and they tell me "they're discontinued!" What! It still works! Progress sucks. We should go back to using pens and paper organizers instead of this geewhiz handheld stuff that gets obsolete every 2 months, I tell ya.

RE: Flippity floo!
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 7:32:20 AM #
Over here, in Europe, I managed to find a small shop that still sells pencils! I bought two boxes immediately. That should get me through another decade... Maybe I should get the whole inventory and start exporting them to the States..?

Seriously, this treo thing is very expensive, even with a contract. Most of us here, including myself, already have a contract and a phone. One of the reasons why phone sales are dropping like mad is this "replacement market". I got my phone almost for free and now they want me to pay a small fortune for my next one? Forget it.
My current phone supports bluetooth. All I need is a pda that is able to use my phone to send and receive mail.

Personally, I think that any company that is not making any profit and never has should think twice before stepping into a market with players like nokia around. The big guys can afford to spend a lot of cash to get/keep market share.


As a Newton developer and loyalist, I feel your pain.

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 11:00:22 PM #
Repeat after me:

No electronic hi-tech product lasts "forever".

The closest to lasting forever is software. If you choose to build on a closed software platform, do not cry when the owner of the platform packs up and goes away.

The closest today are ISA bus, VME bus and S-100, and that is in order of popularity/exinction/that you can still get parts.

In the case of a handheld with a data bus, you can choose springboard or PCMCIA. (there may be some other I don't know of, but these are 'mass market' versions) If you pick springboard, you have, err, well one vendor. If you picked a Compaq, you have a standard interface. And if compaq goes away, picking PCMCIA means you can upsize to a laptop, etc la.

Not to mention with a Compaq/Laptop solution you can even choose to dump windows and run BSD or one of the many different linux versions.

But both of these assume that the need to portablly gather data is worth the extra expense.

I just obtained a handspring and have a visorphone on order. Is it big? Yes. My last cell phone was a 3 watt bag phone, so this is an improvement. When the phone dies/lost/no longer aviable, I'll pick something else. I've opted to move my remote data entry to a web the phone is the 'data entry of last resort' system, and I'm rather sure the 'web access on phone' is here to stay, like the VME bus.

RE: As a Newton developer and loyalist, I feel your pain.
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 11:06:03 AM #
FYI Newton uses PCMCIA Card, not some closed hardware like springboard, in fact Newton can even use some IEEE 802.11 cards on the market.

isn't that interesting, a platform that was dead 5 years ago has more functions and more expandable than a platform that's not dead yet.

visors end

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 5:10:44 AM #
Thats bull ****,i just invested in the product and their going to end it. They just lost this cutomer and many 1000's others. They will be out of business soon with that move. Bill Cash mad customer

Co-op of Springboard Module Manufacturers

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 10:10:49 AM #

I work for a company that derives a majority of its revenue from making a springboard module and I can tell you that we were not pleased that Donna decided to announce this in such a haphazard fashion.

It reminds me of that CEO at Palm who pre-announced a new version of the Palm which instantly froze all existing sales. And then the new product was late, so they totally missed their quarterly numbers. What an idiot. This is the problem with public companies. If they don't grow fast enough, the investors are not happy. So, management takes big risks which more often than not, don't pay off.

I believe their is a viable market, albeit not as large as the consumer market, for the Visor product line. In the vertical industries, like bar code scanners, magnetic card readers, smart card readers, contactless smart card readers, and many others. In fact, Symbol technology licensed the Springboard slot from Handspring for their line of ruggedized PDAs.

There is some value in the product line, just not enough to sustain a publically traded company that needs to grow at 50% a year.

Perhaps a collation of Module Manufacturers should license the design from Handspring and pay them a royalty. The collation would support manufacturer but not high paided CEOs (like Donna) and Handspring would get a royalty stream which would please their investors (high margin, drops right to the bottom line, etc.).

Of course, Symbol might buy the product line and kill it so that only their ruggedized version would be available.

Only time will tell.

OS 5 + Qualcomm = No More Visors

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 10:38:48 AM #
Now that I've had a chance to sleep on it... think about it - OS 5 is completely changing the hardware component of the platform. So Hawkins, Dubinsky, et al, were faced with a gut-wrenching decision - find a partner and market (i.e., Qualcomm) to leverage a new strategy if not new market in an attempt to recover engineering investment, or wipe the slate clean and pour millions into a new platform design.

The Springboard, as much as I like the concept for smaller manufacturers of custom product, never did get true mass-market acceptance. When you're making product that has to see 500K unit sales for break-even, you bias strategy towards satisfying the larger market.

Bottom line - Handspring PDA's were going to be toast anyway with Palm OS 5. This announcement is actually doing the community a small favor by not becoming "news" at Palm Source, either by Handspring not being there or an outright announcement that they won't be supporting OS 5.

Still depressing - ah, heck, I lost half a dozen product development opportunities yesterday - but becoming increasingly understandable.

...mike musick

RE: OS 5 + Qualcomm = No More Visors
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 11:10:13 AM #
How does OS 5 change or influence the hardware?

RE: OS 5 + Qualcomm = No More Visors
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 11:46:26 AM #
> How does OS 5 change or influence the hardware?

The main point of OS 5 is to drop the Motorola Dragonball processor and move to way better ARM-based processors.

TREO called a ''DUD''!

mikecane @ 1/17/2002 12:46:49 PM #
RE: TREO called a ''DUD''!
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 12:59:58 PM #
SSSHHhhhh......... Handspring supporters want to live in their virtual reality of Treo will save the company and dropping Visor / Springboard is a good thing .

Goodbye, Handspring

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 1:58:10 PM #
"Handspring will quit making organizers..." With that much, I agree. I don't want "just an organizer," which is why I purchased my first PalmOS unit only recently. Prior to purchasing my Visor Prism I owned 2 WinCE units, because they were the best (for me) pocket computers at that time. PalmOS handhelds and third-party software have made advances; for instance WordSmith is currently superior to Pocket Word. But, I don't want a combination phone/pager/PDA either. Many other posters have previously stated many good reasons why this combination is a bad idea.

What I want is a pocket computer, able to take over as many tasks from my notebook and desktop computers as possible. Not the "less is more/PC companion" vision, I'm looking for better displays, more internal memory, more powerful processors, improved third-party software, removable expansion memory, etc. Wireless connectivity is a must, but data access (Internet, e-mail, and fax) is very different from voice capability!

One reason many people purchase Visors is the Springboard slot. I prefer the size and weight of the M505, but decided there would be more useful "stuff" released that would fit the Springboard slot. The Springboard form factor is unwieldy when you're trying to make handhelds smaller and lighter, but the answer is to adopt "something" that's smaller, not to eliminate expansion!

The Treo has no SD, MMC, CF Card, or other memory expansion. Dumb, dumb, dumb! It’s obsolete before it’s released! They could bump the internal memory up to 32 or 64K, but there goes the battery life. It didn’t take long for me to fill up the Visor’s 8 megs. Fortunately, a Matchbook Drive CF Card adapter along with great VFS software from Kopsis Engineering means I'll never run out of expansion room.

It’s ironic - Handspring doesn’t want to sell “just organizers,” but the limitations built into the Treo relegate it to just that: “an organizer with built-in phone.” It's not a powerful pocket computer since there’s limited storage for programs and documents. Another thing, how do you hold the Treo to your ear and talk, when you’re discussing and looking at a document stored on the Treo?

When Handspring announced free VisorPhones with activation, I visited my local GSM provider (VoiceStream). There is no data-only plan, you pay by the minute for access plus your ISP charges, and VoiceStream isn’t competitive with other carriers on voice. Sprint plans cost about .01 per minute including long distance, and Cricket offers unlimited local-area calling for $32.95 a month. This means the Treo is aimed at ONLY those individuals and companies who can afford very costly per-minute charges. My OmniSky plan costs a dollar a day for unlimited CDPD coverage, which isn’t as widespread but is affordable.

If Handspring believes the Treo is their future, I'm afraid Handspring will disappear into the same Black Hole that’s about to devour K-Mart.

RE: Goodbye, Handspring
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 11:55:14 PM #
get a clie

RE: Goodbye, Handspring
TDS @ 1/18/2002 12:54:53 AM #
Just a comment on the above post. It is not fair to compare Cricket with most other Cell Phone service providers. They are terribly limited phones, and you can't ever take them out of their calling area. I don't know of anyone but home users that can use them. Corporate & Business users need something with more potential.

To the second poster "get a clie" - Remember that sony is targeting home users and is marketing an "Entertainment Device" - Many of us need a real handheld and not a glorified remote control.

(Watch now as poor Doug is attacked by a pack of Rabid Clie Owners...He bravely fends them off with a Prism in one hand, and a stowaway in the other...)

RE: Goodbye, Handspring
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/18/2002 12:34:18 PM #
(Watch now as poor Doug is attacked by a pack of Rabid Clie Owners...He bravely fends them off with a Prism in one hand, and a stowaway in the other...)

LoL first some one shove a Clie in his mouth to speak in vowel, now someone uses a Prism to fends enemy !? what's happening here ... it's funny how creative people can be.

RE: Goodbye, Handspring
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/20/2002 8:30:43 PM #
VStream does have a data-plan. Its called Istream. Its GPRS and is available network wide.

What Jeff hawkins said...

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 4:34:09 PM #
Published on CNET/ on November 13, 2001!

While Handspring is clearly focused on wireless, Hawkins offered no timetable for when the company might exit the traditional handheld business.

"The PDA as we know it will become the middle and low end of the market," he said. However, he added that the company might still be selling handhelds 15 years from now. "Hewlett-Packard still sells calculators," he noted.

RE: What Jeff hawkins said...
mikecane @ 1/17/2002 4:54:27 PM #
That post is from me. At a public library, I forgot to log in. %$#@.


ed2092001 @ 1/18/2002 8:17:45 AM #
I don't get it. Anyone and everyone who owns a handspring product will most likely own a VISOR of some sort. Now the company is letting all of us VISOR owners that our VISOR will be obsolete in the near future.
Perhaps this will be the same situation for their stock.

Outside the US

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/18/2002 9:37:49 AM #
Many of the people commenting here seem to be from the us. I'm from ireland, and the one thing i can say is that people who have lived with wireless communications in the us don't understand the world market. In ireland we have a penetration ratio of over 70%. This means nearly everyone has a mobile phone. Every single person i know, excuding children under the age of 10 and old people over 70 has a phone. The execptions are very sparse. Coverage here has been virtually 100% for the last 5 years or so, you just dont loose coverage here at all. I never thought of this as a big deal it seemed the way it should be until my uncle from america was amazed at me recieving many phone calles while were were atop a mountain. Romeing also works perfectally. I can literally go almost anywhere in the world with any cheep phone and i will have a connection, no hassle. The whole world uses GSM except america (who are also one of the only countries yet to convert to the metric system... what the hell does 5/8 of an inch look like come on). SMS (sending 160 character messages) is amazingly popular in europe, in ireland alone with it's 4 million people there was colse on 500 million text messages ent over the christmas period, this shows what a potential market for this type of text communcation there is. All of these messages were sent using a numerical keypad. From what i've heard on this site the us is still a child wirelessly, the market if fragmented and you only have bill-pay systems. The majority of people i know recieve no bill, we buy top up units for out phones in shops or online. When we buy a phone it works straight from the box, it's even charged. Phones are truly a commodity yo can buy them in a corner shop. All phones sold now have wap, which sucks. The treo will have a deacent web browser. It will have the support of the palm application base (wich also include many internet enabled apps). It will be the same size as a phone. When you seem concerned as to why handspring are thinking of sending the first shipments of treo's to europ it's because the market is huge and the infra structure is there to support it. is $400 much for a phone, well no many teenagers ahve very expensive phones in the $300 range, So $400 isnt expensive for the set of features the treo offers.

The plain fact is the treo works as a communicator, it could do with an sd slot but hey. I cant for the life of me see why anyone would buy any other handheld (apart from the handera 330 which is an exectelentally engeneered device) The sonly line is a joke with no style (sony's products are flashy but few have style. . . i can only think of the mzr90, that has style) I lament the dropping of the springboard but it was too big and too small to compete with sd cards/cf cards/memory stick. Althought it did produce some apsoloutly brilliant products. Jeff hawkins is right when he supposes the palmtop is dead. It is the only reason i'd buy an palmtop now is to read books on, and id' buy a handera - wide screen. But if i can do that on my treo... One thing i would like to see is the saveing of wireless content. This would be a godsend. Btw wireless prices are dropping fast in ireland in a few years a net connection call will be the same price as landline. :) Can't wait for a treo

RE: Outside the US
mikecane @ 1/18/2002 11:06:10 AM #
This is why HS will be out with it in Europe (OK, the other side of the Pond, don't mean to insult Ireland by implying it is European!) in a big way: the phone nets over there are incredible. Tourists in NYC are amazed when they can't get a signal for their mobiles.

RE: Outside the US
dh @ 2/12/2002 2:43:36 PM #
Living in Europe let's take a look at the treo:
- GSM 900/1800: that's old stuff. why didn't they get a decent triband GSM chipset?
- GPRS: nice
- Bluetooth: no, just IrDA (ugh).
and all that for how much? $400? better get a small bluetooth enabled GPRS phone and a bluetooth module for my prism (both for less than $400) --- and it will also work with the bluetooth headset and my bluetooth enabled laptop...

Clarification from Jeff Hawkins

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/18/2002 10:19:47 PM #
Sent on 1/18/02 to all Handspring Developers via their Developers Email List.

Dear Handspring Developer,

There has been some confusion over Handspring's commitment to the organizer business as a result of comments we made in our recent conference call with financial analysts. We are sorry for any confusion we may have caused. I am writing to clarify our position.

Handspring remains committed to producing and supporting our organizer products. We believe that there will be a market for organizers for some time to come. What we intended in our earnings call is that because of our strong belief in the value of wireless communications, we are putting more and more of our development resources into our communicator products. This is true. We are very excited about the Treo communicator and are investing heavily in future communicator products.

The Visor product line has been an incredible success and the Springboard expansion slot supports many great solutions thanks to you. As the Visor product line matures we are consolidating the line into a few key products, Visor Pro, Visor Neo and Visor Edge. Going forward we will continue to support Springboard developers. We will continue to manufacture and sell Visor products as long as there is sufficient demand and we are able to build them. It is natural that as demand dictates we may reduce the number of SKUs and the geographies and channels in which they are available.

Again, I hope this clarifies any confusion we may have caused. Thank you for your support of Handspring in the past and I look forward to continuing to work with you in the future.

Jeff Hawkins

RE: Clarification from Jeff Hawkins
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/19/2002 8:00:17 AM #
Looks like the Color Prism is gone as are the Deluxe and Platinum units. Basically all the 16Mhz processors are gone with just the 33Mhz units left.


I.M. Anonymous @ 1/21/2002 8:35:14 AM #
Whoever let this one out of the bag at Handspring should be sacked! Stateside people may not be aware that Psion (UK) said almost exactly the same thing a few months ago - you try buying a psion in the high street retailers now! Secondhand prices have plummeted, software development has just ground to a halt.
This could quite easily kill handspring stone dead. The ONE THING that handspring have done since the start was to keep the same connector (unlike Palm) and the same Springboard Slot, meaning you could upgrade your Visor and keep all your addons - which frequently cost more than the Visor !
They must be STUPID BEYOND BELIEF to let this information leek out. Don't they know that palmtop owners get fanatical about their machines, that we want to feel secure in the future use of them, that we can buy add ons, get them repaired, continue to use our favourite applications?
I have no problem with the communicator concept (I have a Visorphone module), but for heavens sake KEEP THE SPRINGBOARD YOU IDIOTS!

not much hope for treo

I.M. Anonymous @ 2/27/2002 10:10:17 PM #
i have little hope for treo and handspring with this service contract model. now do i have a service contract for my web host, my cell phone, my Tivo, my land line phone, DSL, my new napster...etc.

forget about it, i want an organizer not another bill. this is a 180 from the open source life style. you can't really say the organizer is going to replace the cell phone when the cell phone gets so small and the pda is useless with a smaller screen.

next we're going to get a publishers clearing house web services sticker book-order two subscriptions and get eight for free?



I.M. Anonymous @ 4/9/2002 6:17:36 PM #
i just bought my 2 nd 300 dollor visor, not good news,
give me some better news.

This sucks since I just got a Visor

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/4/2002 11:56:23 PM #
Sure the Treo is a great device. But it is only good because it is the first mainstream device to take steps toward CDMA and 3G. Pretty soon, when all pda/phone devices make advancements and drop prices, there won't be anything special about the Treo, especially without a springboard. So how does Handspring, being such a small company with tight recourses plan to compete with Nokia and Qlcm? With the visor dead and the Treo in the dumps, Handspring won't have enough money to develope a new product, forcing them to liquidate. It's sad to see Handspring go. In a way, I see it as the end of an era. The springboard expansion slot was a great idea, and so was the simplicity of the Visor. I look forward to the day when people will see an all-in-one "super device" with Bluetooth, 3G, Color, Voice, Data, SD, lightweight, elegance, and ease of use all in one. One thing is for sure, Handspring won't be the one to make it.


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