Comments on: Palm LifeDrive in Short Supply?

Palm LifeDrivePalmInfocenter has been receiving a number of reader reports that several Palm devices are increasingly out of stock in brick and mortar retailers nationwide. Of particular interest is the fact that the LifeDrive seems be in especially short supply of late. However, readers are also reporting that the TX and E2 are out of stock in some major retail outlets.

Palm's own webstore is currently listing the LifeDrive as unavailable, despite a page listing for "LifeDrive mobile managers" (note the plural) still being linked to from the main Palm Store front page.

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Is this the end?

Rhauer @ 1/16/2007 4:39:52 PM # Q
If this is the end I am going to stuck up on TX's. Although I would like a new state of the art PDA, with many more features, the TX is still a great handheld.

RE: Is this the end?
pmjoe @ 1/16/2007 6:16:11 PM # Q
Look for the Palm branded cupholders and stationery to show up eBay soon.

RE: Is this the end?
LiveFaith @ 1/16/2007 7:04:32 PM # Q
You mean Pa1mOne branded. They just now got all the little office and employee reward schlock updated to PalmOne from the little blue ball Palm. :-D

Pat Horne
RE: Is this the end?
LiveFaith @ 1/16/2007 7:14:22 PM # Q
Ya know, taking the LD, dumping the juice hogging fragillatin' HDD, cutting thickness down to 1/2" or less and putting all the TX guts with customary software upgrades in it would make an attractive $300 device. They could milk the golden goose for another 12 months without any real R&D (which they rarely use anyway it seems). Oh, and use the black buttons and the cool 5way nav that the original LD spy photo had on it.

A hacksaw and all the parts are already in the bin down at the warehouse. While your at it, call up Intel (or whoever it is now) and buy all their unused 624 procs for pennies on the buck to power it. They've probably got enough in mothballs to go in the 2,500 PDAs Palm could sell in 07'.

While your at it, just stick the cheesy MP3 hardware from the Z72 and the SD slot, into the Z22, mold it in camo, hot pink, white, RockyTop Orange, and Hello Kitty color schemes. Sell it for $99 as a iPod killer with a $10 off gift certificate for backstock SD cards and earbuds from the P1 store.

Wind it down while thickin' the plating on the execs golden chutes for 08'.

That's my forecast.

Pat Horne

RE: Is this the end?
pmjoe @ 1/16/2007 7:41:41 PM # Q
> You mean Pa1mOne branded. They just now got all the little
> office and employee reward schlock updated to PalmOne from
> the little blue ball Palm. :-D

Oh great, dueling Palm branded office junk in the eBay liquidation sale. Only Palm could spend more money keeping their logos more up to date than their OS.

RE: Is this the end?
Gekko @ 1/16/2007 7:49:57 PM # Q

This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end

RE: Is this the end?
joad @ 1/17/2007 2:33:09 AM # Q
Come on Gekko, Life Drive fire!!!

RE: Is this the end?
twrock @ 1/17/2007 8:12:54 PM # Q
Look for the Palm branded cupholders and stationery to show up eBay soon.

I've got an old Palm branded lip protector click case (like chapstick, but in a small can). I can't even remember where I got it from. Should I take it to the antiques roadshow? :-)

I'm still waiting for the mythical color HandEra.
Thinking about Vista? Think again:

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Why are these reports either significant or unexpected?

SeldomVisitor @ 1/16/2007 4:36:28 PM # Q
PALM has been saying for the longest time that they are transitioning to smartphones.

Why, then, is it somehow unexpected that non-smartphone PALM devices are becoming scarce?

Are some expecting PALM to announce NEW non-smartphone devices that somehow are going to floor The Consumer more than prior devices, thus being somehow worthwhile for PALM to produce and abandon their stated intent to get OUT of that sector?

Example from the last CC:

== "...But on your handheld side of your assumption, we have said continually
== that our year-over-year declines in handheld is going to be between 20% and
== 30%..."

And from the CC before that:

== "...Jonathan Goldberg - Deutsche Bank
== It is getting late in the call, but no one has asked yet. What
== is the outlook for PDAs, the handheld business, going forward? How
== do you model those declines?
== Edward T. Colligan
== We are pretty relentlessly focused on Smartphones here, so we
== clearly see that as the huge growth area opportunity of our business.
== We have modeled the handheld business to decline at a 20% to 30% kind
== of rate, consistently..."

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Buggy Whips are in Short Supply Too

Gekko @ 1/16/2007 4:47:26 PM # Q

Go figure.

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Not really new news

just_little_me @ 1/16/2007 5:01:55 PM # Q
Anyone who has spoken to stores about getting a LD will know that since well before Xmas it was listed as end-of-life. And even Palm staffers were telling people since before Xmas to get a TX with a 2GB card instead.

It was a POS anyway... (no, that doesn't stand for Palm OS!)


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jfme @ 1/16/2007 5:05:11 PM # Q
Are they replacing the micro-drive for a flash drive and put a phone radio on it??? :O

I was surprised how quick I was able to sell my LifeDrive.

RE: iTreoDrive?
LiveFaith @ 1/16/2007 7:08:34 PM # Q
Yeah, but they left the memory architecture the same for ole' times sake. Now when make calls on your TreoDrive, the other party cannot hear you speak for the first 40 seconds. Just a little nag that you'll get used to, and probably 1/2 remedy with a $19.99 third party app. Sounds about right.

Pat Horne
RE: iTreoDrive?
joad @ 1/17/2007 2:35:26 AM # Q
So would we need a 2.5mm-> 3.5mm kludgy audio adapter for that phone, or a 3.5mm-> 2.5mm one?

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It is obvious

icesalmon @ 1/16/2007 7:01:32 PM # Q
Palm might abandon non connected PDA in the future, but not now. That means new replacements for Lifedrive, TX, TE2 and Z22 are coming. It is obvious, isn't it?
RE: It is obvious
Rhauer @ 1/16/2007 7:06:09 PM # Q
Is it??? I hope so.

RE: It is obvious
LiveFaith @ 1/16/2007 7:10:54 PM # Q
It is fur sure. A CC rep told me the other day that the new Z33 was to be in stock soon. It will be shaped nearly identical to a Treo 680, but no expansion, cell, or camera, but include the MP3 player, come in four colors, and another in a Hello Kitty theme.

Pat Horne
RE: It is obvious
pmjoe @ 1/16/2007 7:33:57 PM # Q
> Palm might abandon non connected PDA in the future, but not now.
> That means new replacements for Lifedrive, TX, TE2 and Z22 are coming.
> It is obvious, isn't it?

Obvious? To me, it sounds like a company that is going out of business.

RE: It is obvious
hgoldner @ 1/16/2007 10:30:44 PM # Q
If you listened to Ed Colligan's interview from last November, it was clear that Palm was not abandoning the stand-alone PDA market. Colligan pointed out that there were more PDA's out there than toothbrushes.


RE: It is obvious
joad @ 1/17/2007 2:37:45 AM # Q
...he also said something about not being afraid of the iPhone, and some other stuff too. As long as they still sell replacement screens and batteries you should be able to have access to a functional PalmOS PDA for a while.

RE: It is obvious
hgoldner @ 1/17/2007 10:31:22 AM # Q
His comment about not being afraid of the iphone was taken out of context. What he said was that it was a difficult market and many other manufacturers had encountered difficulty when first entering the cellular telephone hardware market.

Specifically he 'wished Apple good luck' and welcomed their entrance into the fray.

There was a thread in response to an earlier post on PIC about this interview, and one of the comments provides a link to the entire interview, which lasts less than an hour. For the Palm devotee, it's an interesting listen to.


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RE: It is obvious

philpalm @ 1/16/2007 9:35:12 PM # Q
Palm won't be stuck with any inventory and tell the dealers that they won't ever be stuck with inventory due to promotions that will prevent that. Sure ocassionally I will find belkin accessories for palm devices(at discount 99cents stores) but find a pda palm that was refurbished but never a brand new palm will be abandoned and sold at discount....

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LifeDrive EOL'd

edeab220 @ 1/17/2007 6:18:59 AM # Q
According to what I just read from Palm, the LifeDrive has been declared EOL (end of life) on January 15. Just FYI ;-).

Senior Editor, Webmaster, and host of podcast at
RE: LifeDrive EOL'd
hkklife @ 1/17/2007 9:38:11 AM # Q
Do you have a link or any further details from where Palm stated the EOL status?

Not doubting you, just wondering...

Does anyone know when the next media event/show might possibly be where Palm could announce a new handheld?

Palm's not always stuck to the traditional Spring/Fall release patterns, especially in the last year or so in regards to new Treos.

The 700w launched in January 2006. The i705 came out in January of 2002. Then the T|T2, which was just a refreshed T|T, came out in the middle of the summer, July of 2003 I believe.

I could actually see Palm redoing their whole release cycle and doing "non-core" products (ie PDAs or TNGT) in the winter or early fall, then smartphones in early summer or late fall (like the 680).

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

RE: LifeDrive EOL'd
mikecane @ 1/17/2007 10:24:16 AM # Q
Read where?

RE: LifeDrive EOL'd
SeldomVisitor @ 1/17/2007 12:39:05 PM # Q
Well, if you mosey on over to and try anything w.r.t. the LifeDrive you end up in handhelds instead.

And if you say "Buy now" a completely blank web page comes up.

Is there any doubt?


In other news, I personally think the 700P, 700W, and 700WX are EOL, too.

Watch them earnings calls and PR-fluffs!

RE: LifeDrive EOL'd
edeab220 @ 1/17/2007 5:57:29 PM # Q
Here you go:

Senior Editor, Webmaster, and host of podcast at

RE: LifeDrive EOL'd
SeldomVisitor @ 1/17/2007 6:44:13 PM # Q
Wow - thanks - that's real information =I= certainly never saw before!

RE: LifeDrive EOL'd
SeldomVisitor @ 1/17/2007 6:46:07 PM # Q
Oh goodness...substitute other numbers for 495...giggle.

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What about the secret product

Konstantin @ 1/17/2007 10:26:54 AM # Q
There was something about the secret product a while back. Was it declassified already?

RE: What about the secret product
mikecane @ 1/17/2007 10:34:36 AM # Q
The Third Business?

Nothing yet.

When is Palm's anniversary?

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Ha! Ha! Ha! I Got Mine, Jack!

mikecane @ 1/17/2007 10:36:00 AM # Q
RE: Ha! Ha! Ha! I Got Mine, Jack!
mikecane @ 1/17/2007 3:11:33 PM # Q
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Stores are virtually hiding PDAs

DevPOV @ 1/17/2007 11:45:58 AM # Q
In my area, Best Buy has PDAs in the least busy area of the store - and you can even see dust on the demo units. Circuit City is somewhat better with PDAs in a more accessible area, however, they are pretty much limited to a couple high-end HP Pocket PCs and the TX. CompUSA has them out but it's obvious they are just clearing them out as the accessories for them look like a bargain-bin in it's seemingly random choices of stock. A CompUSA Business Rep told me that PDA sales are low-flat and dropping every quarter.

The Treos, on the other hand, are on the phone shelves at all the stores. However, every clerk I spoke to said that even those are selling slower. They said other phones (smart or otherwise) seem more sexy and taking sales away from Palm.

RE: Stores are virtually hiding PDAs
SeldomVisitor @ 1/17/2007 12:42:36 PM # Q
> ...They said other phones (smart or otherwise) seem more sexy
> and taking sales away from Palm.

That has been obvious since the Q was released. Even PALM management acknowledged it...repeatedly, e.g.:

== "...This was the result of slower-than-expected retail sell-through
== to consumers as lower-priced competing products were introduced
== to the marketplace..."


== "...Obviously as we went into the fiscal year, we anticipated additional
== competition. One of the things we had anticipated is that those competitors
== would actually grow the market. What we have seen is they really have not
== grown the market as much as we had anticipated..."

and more recently:

== "...I think what we saw there at the end of last quarter was probably
== more related to the competitive onslaught that was happening at the time
== and our ability relative to the different carriers promoting various
== solutions..."

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It's Toast...

Puck @ 1/17/2007 2:24:29 PM # Q
I called Palm to order my new Lifedrive - the dialogue:

"Palm, this is Mike"

"Hi - I was trying to order a Lifedrive on your web site and all I could get was a blank screen when I tried to order."

"That's 'cause we're out of 'em. That's probably why you got a blank screen."

"Oh. Any idea when you'll get more?"

"Hopefully soon."

(Pause). "When should I check back with you?"

"I'd say just pull up the web site every few days and check."

"OK - thanks"

Clearly the Lifedrive is gone. More importantly, I'm amazed at how fundamentally pathetic Palm's efforts are to manage this. No effort to put intelligent messaging on the site to advise the units are out of stock (or the line is being terminated), and no meaningful response from their salespeople. I'd at least expect a half-hearted attempt to ask if another model was of interest, and that leads me to believe that the Tx and other handhelds are soon to follow.

Welcome to PalmPhones! I wonder how long they will last...


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