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  1.    #1  
    Does anybody know when the Visor Delux will be available in stores? I'd like to order one but I don't want to deal with all the problems I've been reading about here.
  2. #2  
    I thought it was supposed to be in Feb.
  3. #3  
    I asked Palm Gear HQ the same question yesterday, thought they would be a logical one to have one for sale since they are listing the modules as available soon. Their answer was that Handspring has no plans to sell Visors retail in the near future. They hinted that Visor may keep the sale of Visors exculisively for themselves allowing others to only sell modules and accesoories.
  4.    #4  
    If they don't sell them through retail outlets I'm going to pass on the Visor and go for the Palm. I doubt they'll stay in business long if they follow that plan. I'm surprised they've made it this far.
  5. #5  
    My guess is that the idea was to do direct sales first to get the company going and to work out any bugs. Too bad one of the bugs is their direct sales system.

    My other guess is that demad was MUCH GREATER than they expected, so they couldn't produce and deliver as expected. Now the grumbling and delays for orders has been bad for some folks, but imagine what the impact would be if it was for retail customers. Say a Office Depot or Walmart's order got screwed up. Can you say possible LONG term damage? Not to mention the angry customers looking all over the place for them.

    I'm guessing that Handspring is in damage control mode right now. .ie they've ramped up production, and are trying to get things better organized for when they start dealing with retailers. As much as folks here probably don't want to here it, those of us who are ordering direct are the "test case" for the most part. And in some ways its good and some ways its bad.

    Overall, I'm willing to bet Handspring will not only survive but once they get things under control they'll do well. With that in mind anyone know the stock symbol for Handspring?

    Tom

    Ordered 12/28 and waiting!
  6. #6  
    tom,

    i agree with you regarding the status Handspring is in...they can not afford to go retail if they could not meet the demand of their direct sales......these stores will definitely order in bulk...
    as for acidhorse, if you really like the visor...GO FOR IT....i ordered a graphite VDx on 12/30...they shipped 01/04...i received it today (standard shipping)...i am in NJ.....



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  7. #7  
    I'm not sure HandSpring will survive.

    80-90% of new products fail within the first year...the majority from tactical (not strategic) errors. Tactically...HandSpring is a mess.

    1. Poor customer service
    2. Poor handling of orders
    3. Long waits on the phone
    4. Have to e-mail Donna to get anything done
    5. Bad stylus
    6. Easily scratched screen
    7. Cracks by Springboard module cover after repeatedly removing cover
    8. Competitors with newer sexier products soon to be released.
    9. Non-upgradable OS?
    10. Show me the SpringBoards...
    11. Lower palm prices
    12. etc.......

    I'm not sure an IPO anytime soon would work very well for them....but...I must admit...they seem to be doing a bit better of late. I still have my Visor...but I'm still within the 30 day return period...so...I may yet send it back...???
  8. #8  
    I would think selling in retail stores will kill HS more than anything. For those of you who do not know, the only retail stores that sell a significant number of palm devices are those online retailers that sell them for a discount. (outpost and the related sell 2,000 or so a day). If you ask any person who knows anything about PDA's and happens to be a salesman at Best Buy or Office Depot etc. you'll find out that they do not sell a whole lot of palmOS devices. Why? Because they are priced at least $100-$150 more than online retailers. Furthermore, most people buy them and return them b/c they are not what they want. I know for a fact Circut City does not stock more than 5-6 at a time and many times they do not have any in the store when they advertise them in their Sunday Ad. Think about it, at best lets say that 100 or so of these devices sell total for the collection of stores that are similar to Best Buy and Circut City. Now restrict this to the prime selling time-the weekend in you average sized city. I would guess that on average each chain has about 50 stores or so nationally. So this rough guess equates to 5,000 units or so a week. Compare that to HS website where they are selling 1,000-5,000 or more a day!! To me it is more of a hassle than anything. I think HS was thinking about retail stores b/c they didn't think it would sell online. Most people buying palms at Best Buy would rather pay $250 for a Visor than $360 for a IIIx or $450 for a Vx. They wanted this to be their selling point. Instead, online sales overwhelmed them!! HS is here to stay. Especially since all palm innnovations seem to be coming directly out of Jeff and no one else. (For those of you who do not know, the palmV and palmIII where developed by Jeff before he left as well as the VII, what has palm come up with since then?? Nothing, other than color screens. That however has been coming for a while, just waiting for technology for making screens to catch up a bit).

    [This message has been edited by bolson (edited 01-13-2000).]
  9. #9  
    Well, it seems that up here in Canada the speciality stores that sell Palms seem to do very well with them. They devote a large amount of counter real estate to them. It may be because there aren't too many mail order places that have super cheap prices on the Palms, but I expect the Visor to do VERY well up here thru retail.

    The guys in the few stores I've been to when I was looking for WriteRights salivate when I tell them its for a Visor. They desperately want to be able to sell them -- customers have been asking for them too.


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    Eugene Hsieh
    Editor, VisorCentral FAQ
  10. sih
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    #10  
    In an unrelated email I received from Donna she said that they would be in "major retailers" by the end of the month..we'll see.

  11. #11  
    Having been in retail for a number of years, I would argue that the retail stores such as Office Depot, Staples, etc. are doing quite well with the palms.

    I know that at our Staples store they have an endcap and a counter with the Palms prominantly displayed.

    In the case of the counter, okay, they just throw them in with the other PDA's, so they're not losing much. However, there's no way they would give an endcap, one that is viewable from the entry to the store, to a product that is low volume and/or low profit.

    LarryD
  12. #12  
    The correct answer: Handspring NEEDS to get into retail.

    1. Retail outlets are less likely to carry accessories for devices that they do not stock. If TRG or Palm come out with expansion slots and they are retail, the developer community could follow suit to get more retail exposure.

    2. As the cost to own a PDA continues to dwindle (I am looking toward the sub $100 mark), current users of devices are going to value the ability to switch out a bad/defective unit within hours of their unit being dropped, washed, sat on, etc.. This could be as simple as the user purchasing a new unit or using extended service plans (such as Best Buys) and getting their units exchanged.

    3. The use for a PDA is becoming more and more diverse. Because of this, a more diverse customer (read: individuals who are not going to spend weeks researching their purchase like most current owners) will be purchasing these units -- probably with only the knowledge of the salesperson. If they are not retail, most likely these individuals will purchase other units.

    I feel these are the main reasons why Handspring needs to go retail. Granted, there are some valid reasons on why Handspring shouldn't go retail (due to not being able to fulfill the demand) But I feel that they are probably at a point where they are able to start building some inventory of their products (hense the much lower mean time of shipment arrivals) which will provide them a buffer. Also, I feel they are getting a better grasp on their internal business systems where they can probably withstand a higher demand.

    Let me know what you think ..

    Joe

  13. #13  
    It's a no-brainer they have to go retail, for pure volume reasons. But they need the background infrastructure behind it-finance, marketing, sales, support, logistics, contracts, packaging, bug elimination, database, systems, ordering etc. Being in business only ~4 (?) months, all this goes directly into equity.

    Scratching a multi-million dollar business out of the dust is a tough ride, let alone the marketing and sales push you are requested to provide when delivering to the retailers.

    It all sounds so easy, but it isn't. After having an email conversation with donna, I see their point.

    I guess they hit the retailers in February. First, because they have to as early as possible. Second, because since October this would be 5 months, which is approximately the time you need to 'install' a working retail business out of the scratch.

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