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  1.    #1  
    I was reading Mike Cane’s 2002 predictions at PalmInfocenter, and thought it might be interesting to share our views on what lies ahead in the coming year for PDAs.

    Here are my predictions:

    PalmOS:

    2002 will be a recovery year for Palm. It will struggle throughout the first quarter, but will make a strong rebound by Q2 carried on the wings of new innovative devices (such as the i705), and improved functionality. Further, Palm will settle on one device to occupy the low and mid-range segment of the market. No more M100/105/125. Just one unit. The high-end will see the most makeover, with the M505 being replaced by a high resolution device that will compete against the Sony Clie 600/615C. All of these devices will sell @ $399. Palm will also bite the bullet and produce a multimedia capable device, finally.

    The transition to OS 5 will not be quite as smooth as Palm users may have wanted, but it will be successful. The next generation OS will draw a wave of new developers (not just Palm developers) to the new platform. Look for incredible new applications (and Games) to rock your world!

    Palm will begin developing and licensing operating systems for a wide array of devices (other than PDAs) ranging from MP3 players to digital cameras to Set Top boxes.

    Scenario B: If Palm doesn’t recover financially from last years missteps and Carl Yankowski’s rudderless leadership, the company will be acquired by Sony or Apple (most likely Sony).

    Sony mops the floor with PocketPC

    After releasing a throng of the innovative multimedia rich PDAs, at much lower prices, PocketPCs marketshare (in the consumer space) will slowly be eaten away by Sony. A robust new line of Clies introduced in the spring, will reinvigorate the Palm platform and continue to draw power users, and would be defectors, away from PocketPC.

    Handspring goes bankrupt:

    The Treo will sell fairly well among PDA enthusiasts, but is not the high volume mover than Hawkins had hoped. The company will continue to bleed red ink, and struggle to become profitable, but ultimately fails. This combined with the flop of Springboard, begins to erode confidence in the handheld maker. By Q4 of 2002, or Q1 of 2003, Handspring finally gives up the ghost. Handspring either goes bankrupt, or is acquired by a mobile phone maker such as Samsung or Nokia, for its intellectual property. Hawkins goes back to Palm to head the hardware division.

    Scenario B: Handspring, despite its cash problems and lackluster products, receives a heavy infusion of cash from another entity. In which case, the company floats along, but with a new focus.

    PocketPC:

    2002 will be a year of decline for PocketPC, thanks in part to the high price of PPC handhelds, which seems to be spiraling out of control. And by the mediocre spending habits of consumers and business during the souring economy. Consumer electronics retailers such as Best Buy and Circuit City will begin dropping some models from their inventory as lower priced (and more popular) color PalmOS devices occupy the shelves. PocketPC will fall further and further into niche status, and will become strictly a corporate appliance.

    Casio leaves the field

    With an array of innovative devices from new licensees such as Toshiba and NEC, Casio will be squeezed out. By Q4, Casio will cease production of PPC devices, and leave the PDA space altogether.

    IPaq continues to whoop ***!

    Despite all the new cool PPC gadgets hitting the market, the iPaq will continue to be the leader among PocketPCs, followed closely by the Jornada. Toshiba and NEC will grab the number 3 spot in relative proximity.

    Cell phones, the dark horse

    Cell phones will begin to give PDAs a run for their money in 2002. By adding color displays, multimedia rich features, and wireless web access, IM, and email on the go, cell phones will get the jump on PDAs and become the mobile device of choice among consumers. PDAs will slowly fall into niche status, but will continue to grow at a healthy rate
    Last edited by foo fighter; 12/28/2001 at 10:43 AM.
  2. #2  
    Originally posted by foo fighter
    Cell phones will begin to give PDAs a run for their money in 2002. By adding color displays, multimedia rich features, and wireless web access, IM, and email on the go, cell phones will get the jump on PDAs and become the mobile device of choice among consumers. PDAs will slowly fall into niche status, but will continue to grow at a healthy rate
    If you say this, then why are you bashing the Treo/Handsping? (he says, fairly sure he'd say it anyway if he hadn't won...)

    IMO, if they had managed to drop the Treo's price point by 50 or 100 bucks, Handspring's market share would shoot through the roof...

    My Prediction for this year

    Last year I was saying: "It's an organizer, sure, but it also does this and this..." which left people thinking "Hey, that's some organizer, but I don't really need an organizer"

    This year I'll say "It's a phone, sure, but it also does this and this..." and folks will think "Hey, I need a phone, too bad it costs so damn much..."

    I also agree that Sony needs to take aim not at other palm devices, but at Pocket PCs, for joe high end, they've got them whomped in price, size, battery life, ease of use, etc... I'd like to see an ad campaign that pounds...
  3. #3  
    the company will be acquired by Sony or Apple (most likely Sony).
    That would be great. What would be interesting is if Apple acquired it...they'd then own BeOS, which was the OS that Apple was considering adopting before Jobs came in with his NextStep. Apple could do great things with BeOS (at least in the handheld realm).

    Otherwise, if Sony acquired it, I'd hope that they'd continue development on Be. (as you can see, I personally find the assets of Be to be more valuable that Palm).

    The company will continue to bleed red ink, and struggle to become profitable, but ultimately fails.
    Quite likely, though they'd probably be acquired long before that.

    2002 will be a year of decline for PocketPC, thanks in part to the high price of PPC handhelds, which seems to be spiraling out of control.
    Possibly...I think the PPC market is there and established, as is the Palm market. I don't really see them pushing at each other.

    Cell phones will begin to give PDAs a run for their money in 2002. By adding color displays, multimedia rich features, and wireless web access, IM, and email on the go, cell phones will get the jump on PDAs and become the mobile device of choice among consumers.
    I don't see that. I am still not a big fan of the integrated device. It seems clumsy.

    To be honest, I think the handheld industry has levelled off. It's now a commodity and there is little else that truly needs to be added to the devices other than always-on wireless access, which, for the most part, is entirely dependant on our fractured provider network in this country.

    I haven't put any new software on my PDA in the past 8 months. It does everything I need it to do. New devices simply aren't that compelling to me.

    You forgot to throw out the big prediction:

    The iPod 2 hits the market
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  4.    #4  
    Originally posted by dietrichbohn
    If you say this, then why are you bashing the Treo/Handsping? (he says, fairly sure he'd say it anyway if he hadn't won...)
    I'm not bashing the Treo at all. I just don't believe it will be a runaway success. It will attract gadget lovers and PDA enthusiasts, but it won't strike a cord with mainstream consumers. For combo PDA/cell phones, Nokia is the one to watch. Their upcoming products are amazing. And judging from poor sales, and the general disinterest in PalmOS handhelds, it looks like consumers are increasingly less interested in PDAs.

    IMO, if they had managed to drop the Treo's price point by 50 or 100 bucks, Handspring's market share would shoot through the roof...
    That's possible, but I still don't believe that Treo has what consumers want. And it lacks the style and sex appeal of cell phones from Nokia and Motorola. Also keep in mind that Sony is going to enter this sector as well.

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