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  1. #21  
    Quote Originally Posted by pre-fan View Post
    You do have a point there.
    After they hire jason, maybe they will hire me... ;-)
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  2. #22  
    Quote Originally Posted by bluewanders View Post
    I thing your graphic is pretty off... you placed everything the Pre does entirely inside Android and then made the circle for android at least another time larger? Black Berry and Iphone the same?
    Are you saying you believe the 'fat middle' is about phone capability or about target market? Your comment seems oriented toward 'everything the Pre does.' The graphic is intended to show the 'fat middle' market the Pre was intended to capture. Therefore yes, the Android target market is everything the Pre market is, and more. The iPhone and Blackberry markets overlap each other and most of the Pre's.

    In reality, the Pre circle should be about the size of a pencil eraser to be appropriately scaled to their relative market, and fully subsumed by both the Blackberry and iPhone markets.
  3. #23  
    i'll take a Palm definition of "the fat middle" from this
    Palm said it wanted to go after the "fat middle" of the market between the business-centric BlackBerry and the media-centric iPhone.

    "We think it's perfectly balanced," said Palm CEO Ed Colligan during the handset's unveiling. "It's not just for work, it's not just for play. ... We think it's the one phone you can use for your entire life." Palm's Comeback Starts With Pre, WebOS -- Palm Smartphone -- InformationWeek
    “We’re really targeting busy people on the go. We’re hopeful the design will appeal to a lot of people.” An Interview With Palm CEO Ed Colligan -- Seeking Alpha
    from this the clear indication to me as that the goal was to create a phone that appeals both to business centric blackberry users and media centric iphone users. that is both business and personal phone.

    taking that further then i think you have to look at what business centric blackberry users use their phones for and what iphone media centric users use their phone for. (All the while knowing that iphone has grown in it's acceptance in the business space even having a dedicated section on it's site Apple - iPhone - iPhone in Business) i think you can make an educated guess as to what sort of people and what market Palm was trying to go after.

    i think to generalize the blackberry users like the email, the enterprise stuff, the business software, and enterprise focused stuff like exchange, and i'm sure other stuff it people could comment on)

    i think to generalize about iphone mediacentric users you'd have to take note of the fact that the iphone was directly built on the success of the ipod, itunes music and video downloads, and added social stuff, the "play", social networking. gaming, and apps to do all kinds of things including business. Not to mention the things apple is pushing recently are media centric stuff:720p video camera, upgraded digital camera with flash, front facing camera. Before that it was video editing.

    Taking all that into account i think you have to ask did palm do enough to steal customers from those two or provide a viable alternative to people that want one or all of those things? That is debatable. I think the market has shown a resounding no as an answer so far. I can't intelligently comment on everything but i don't think Palm has been stellar in the music or video player space, when compared to an ipod or ipod touch. personally i still use my ipod over my pre 100% of the time now. They struggle to get apps. took a long time to get the social ones like facebook. It's struggled to get the business centric apps because businesses just aren't making their apps for webos. Stuff like Oracle and Cisco apps. I know the palmcast has criticized the email app especially when compared to the android gmail app. Honestly i don't do I.T. so i have no clue how palm pre compares to blackberry in the non gmail emailing space but it is my understanding it lags a bit.

    But if the point is to hit both business and media, work and play, to appeal to lots of people. i'm not sure they did enough. I don't think it was a bad idea. That's the majority of consumers there. Apple's business effort show they clearly are tyring to add busniness consumers and blackberries media efforts at least show a token effort to get the mediacentric consumer. i just don't think Palm executed well enough to do that. The question now is is HP doing a better job with business centric stuff with media centric stuff, with the work and play.
    Last edited by blackmagic01; 07/30/2010 at 06:42 PM.
  4. stockh's Avatar
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       #24  
    Quote Originally Posted by bluewanders View Post

    To the op... if you dont know what aiming for the fat middle means... how can you ask us if they have the cajones to step outside that... or try to persuade us that it was an utter failure?
    I don't think anyone needs persuading that Palms aiming for the fat middle has failed. I believe the market has spoken convincingly enough, so much that Palm would not have survived if it were not for HP.

    Regarding the "fat middle" I believe Palm under estimated "android" and how fast it was able to establish all "spectrums" of the smartphone market.

    Palm when it was released last year sat at the top of the heap, fast forward today and it's considered a "starter" smartphone. Sure it has the homebrew community but I doubt Palm was aiming for this market.

    My point of the thread is I'm hoping HP/Palm steps outside this "narrow focus" of capturing a certain segment of the smartphone market.
  5. #25  
    Quote Originally Posted by stockh View Post
    My point of the thread is I'm hoping HP/Palm steps outside this "narrow focus" of capturing a certain segment of the smartphone market.
    my question to you though would be why would you consider blackberry and iphone users, business and media centric "narrow". That seems clearly the bulk of current smartphone consumers and potential smartphone consumers not a "narrow" slice of customers. In fact it doesn't seem to me they went after "a certain segment", singular, but went after, generally, the two, largest segments of the smartphone market; business and consumer. That seems immensly smart to me and right in line with what iphone, android and blackberry are all hoping to capture.

    Why would a company aim for a smaller market, the fringes, unless their intent is to be a luxury or niche product like say, exotic supercars or something? Like i don't think Ford's problem is that they aimed at the bulk of consumers, it's that Toyota Camry's and Honda Accords provided a more appealing product. So its up to ford to up it's game. But i wouldn't say well just go make supercars like the Gt-40 or $100,000 luxury sedans cause most people can't buy that.

    i'm just a bit confused as to where you think they should focus.
    Last edited by blackmagic01; 07/30/2010 at 07:00 PM.
  6. stockh's Avatar
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       #26  
    Quote Originally Posted by blackmagic01 View Post
    my question to you though would be why would you consider blackberry and iphone users, business and media centric "narrow". That seems clearly the bulk of current smartphone consumers and potential smartphone consumers not a "narrow" slice of customers. In fact it doesn't seem to me they went after "a certain segment", singular, but went after, generally, the two, largest segments of the smartphone market; business and consumer. That seems immensly smart to me and right in line with what iphone, android and blackberry are all hoping to capture.

    Why would a company aim for a smaller market, the fringes, unless their intent is to be a luxury or niche product like say, exotic supercars or something?

    i'm just a bit confused as to where you think they should focus.
    Ok,lets assume Palm was shooting for the this so called business/consumer market or "fat middle." This would clearly leave them in direct competition with RIM, Apple, Android.
    Do you honestly believe this would work without absolutely no office app support? How about the PIM apps? What would make a user choose webOS over RIM?
    How about consumer market,
    Multitasking is cool but can it carry the whole webOS platform? did Palm think users would forgive the lag? poor hardware?
    Did Palm think the smartphone market would be static while Palm plays catchup?

    I honestly feel Palm though they could capture a certain "segment" and based on the handsets (palm/pixi) was aiming for,

    1. previous palm users that would buy anything palm related,
    2. the "anything but iphone" market
    3. to some extent women.

    Apparently Palm's bean counters thought this "segment" was large enough to hold them over while they slowly tweaked and enhance the webOS platform.

    As far as where they should focus, I do believe they need to create buzz with an "HTC EVO" over the top handset. This will at least get people talking again about webOS. Once they can prove they can hang with the big boys, they can then concentrate on branching out to the "other" (fat middle) handsets.
  7. lxAMNxl's Avatar
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    #27  
    Well, now that BlackBerry is getting into the media centric segment starting with OS 6.0, what will happen to WebOS if 2.0 doesn't deliver?
  8. #28  
    Offering a straw-man argument is invalid and offers a false choice.
  9. #29  
    Quote Originally Posted by lxAMNxl View Post
    Well, now that BlackBerry is getting into the media centric segment starting with OS 6.0, what will happen to WebOS if 2.0 doesn't deliver?
    Blackberry started after the feature phone market arguably with the Pearl/curve and the media phone market with the Storm. Of course, they're not as good at it as some folks (iPhone, Android, WebOS), but they have managed to cling to a sizable chunk of the market - and they can't all be in it just for the email.
  10. #30  
    Fat middle... When I here that term, I think of mainstream consumer. Let's roll back the clock a few years to the era before the iPhone. Smartphones as a category were the sole province of enterprise and self-important wannabes. Outside of those groups, the only people who would even consider such a purchase were the tech elites, tinkerers, and odd ducks.

    Enter the iPhone.

    It was not just a paradigm shift in technology, but in the market that was targeted. One of the reasons detractors thought the iPhone would fail is because it had pretensions of being a smartphone that was aimed at the fat middle: the mainstream consumer. These were not the traditional smartphone consumers. Apple took a niche product category and exploded it into the mainstream, consumer market.

    This was nothing new for Apple. They did it for MP3 players before that, and with personal computers before that. Yes, Windows was an OS for a product that was made for business, not pleasure. Apple pioneered and/or mainstreamed the GUI, the mouse, the All-in-One, and other advances that made the International Business Machine a more personal computer. To this day, Windows based PCs are still viewed by a large number of people as a work tool that is a bit daunting for casual use.

    Macs were never considered business tools. They were always aimed at the discriminating consumer. In other words, Apple's MO is to take items that have had only a limited, niche appeal, and bring them to the masses. Computing for the rest of us. The iPad is just another in a long line of examples. The only people who cared about tablets were vertical industries. Now, Apple has successfully given mainstream consumers a reason to care.

    Fast-forward to the introduction of the Pre. By that time, the fat middle had already declared for the iPhone. I contend that Palm never had any chance at the fat middle. They were more interested in the iPhone hater. They tried to become the anti-iPhone. There simply were not enough mainstream consumers who wanted an iPhone but hated Apple enough to buy an alternative. Palm wanted so badly to be the anti-Apple product, they stole access to iTunes and thought all the rebels would rally behind them.

    Well, the sad truth is that the mainstream doesn't hate anyone. They don't follow the industry enough to hate anyone. They only care about their own narrow self interest, which is the way it ought to be. Whoever makes a product that appeals to them the most at the moment, is the company they will reward with their business. Most of the garbage we debate about here has no meaning to the fat middle. Here's a tip: If you build a product that appeals to forum posters or tech elites or enterprise IT personnel, you have probably missed the fat middle by a large margin.

    The only way HP can target the fat middle is to stop caring about what IT professionals want, and forget about scoring points on discussion boards, and turn a deaf ear to what the tech pundits have to say. For HP, in terms of smartphones and tablets, their customer is the IT department head of large business. Now, they have to go after an entirely different customer: the end user: the fat middle. They are not set up to do that. Apple, on the other hand, only serves the end user. They have been giving the finger to IT, the tech press, and the geek elite for ages. That is the real lesson HP needs to learn if they are serious about reaching the mainstream. Good luck with that.
  11. #31  
    Good post, although your BI (before iPhone) description was a bit off the mark.
    Quote Originally Posted by dandbj13 View Post
    Fat middle... When I here that term, I think of mainstream consumer. Let's roll back the clock a few years to the era before the iPhone. Smartphones as a category were the sole province of enterprise and self-important wannabes. Outside of those groups, the only people who would even consider such a purchase were the tech elites, tinkerers, and odd ducks.
    2000-2003 was the era dominated by the people you describe. By 2003, the Treo 600 was in the marketplace, and it got picked up by a lot bigger market than 'the tech elites, tinkerers,and odd ducks.' A 5 minute browse of TreoCentral will make that clear to you.

    But otherwise you're right. Palm may have wanted to target the 'fat middle' with the Pre, but they had no idea how to do so. Apple, on the other hand, is probably the most capable company at taking technology and packaging it desirably, wrapping it in an ecosystem that make it easy for even the most technophobic market to want one, and supporting it with 'no-brainer' warranties.

    Neither Palm nor HP have ever done anything remotely like this.
  12. #32  
    Quote Originally Posted by stockh View Post
    Ok,lets assume Palm was shooting for the this so called business/consumer market or "fat middle." This would clearly leave them in direct competition with RIM, Apple, Android.
    Do you honestly believe this would work without absolutely no office app support? How about the PIM apps? What would make a user choose webOS over RIM?
    How about consumer market,
    Multitasking is cool but can it carry the whole webOS platform? did Palm think users would forgive the lag? poor hardware?
    Did Palm think the smartphone market would be static while Palm plays catchup?
    you're asking the wrong person. Ask palm that. ask rubenstien why they'd release only one product with several issues. did they think most people would go, "oh i'll wait years for certain features." who knows. regardless That's a product and execution issue. It's not an issue with aiming at the wrong market. and the argument in the original post is they erred in going after the market they did. i just totally disagree. What you ask about is what should have been in the phone. But the problem then is the phone was substandard in appealing either market or them combined. They are gonna compete with rim, apple, and android regardless cause they are all smartphones. it's like releasing a soda and trying not to compete with Coke. Won't ever ever ever happen.

    Quote Originally Posted by stockh View Post
    I honestly feel Palm though they could capture a certain "segment" and based on the handsets (palm/pixi) was aiming for,

    1. previous palm users that would buy anything palm related,
    2. the "anything but iphone" market
    3. to some extent women.
    i don't remotely think they were going after that small a category, aside from women that is. i just think palm was run by poor businessmen making poor decisions and probably lacked the funding to do it right especially after making mistakes. but i still contend if you want to be in the smart phone space the market they went after is the only one and the bulk of smartphone consumers.
    Last edited by blackmagic01; 08/02/2010 at 03:55 PM.
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