View Poll Results: How much would you be willing to pay for a Foleo?

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  • $199

    33 27.97%
  • $299

    34 28.81%
  • $399

    34 28.81%
  • $499

    11 9.32%
  • $599

    6 5.08%
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Results 21 to 40 of 191
  1. #21  
    Quote Originally Posted by The_Chupacabra View Post
    I would not be so presumptious as to feel that somehow Ed Colligan is going to read this thread and immediately reprice the Foleo at say $399. However, if 500 people respond to this and 80% indicate that they would be interested in buying a Foleo for no more than $399, then perhaps such a datapoint would be helpful to Palm in deciding on future pricing strategies. You are obviously intelligent enough to realize that it is rather easy to find flaws in ANY simplistic poll. I would hope that you would appreciate though that even a simplistic poll can generate useful information.
    Pricing opinions about unreleased products, especially ones that have been used internally by their developers for 2 or more years, lack authority. Sony developed the Walkman despite their own customer surveys indicating zero demand for a portable cassette player. Some products are solutions looking for problems. Ten years ago I couldn't imagine needing a cell phone. Now I couldn't imagine life without one. Today, most people are nonplussed by the need for an instant-on, solid state laptop. I paid $999 for one 7 years ago (a Psion), and I've been looking for something to replace it ever since. Understanding instant-on is not the same as expecting it. Even after 4 years of life without the Psion, I still get a twinge of disgust whenever I see an hourglass.

    Once enough people have had enough direct contact with the Foleo to have informed opinions, pricing polls will have commercial relevance. In the meantime, if 500 respond, the meta-message to Palm will be that 500 people are interested in the Foleo, not that most of them think -- predictably -- that the price should be lower.

    Saying that you would buy a Foleo for $199, $299, $399, $499, or $599 is telling Palm yhat you ARE interested in their product, but that you have judged it as being "worth" that much to you. If many people feel the Foleo's selling price is more than what they feel it is "worth" to them, then Palm will have a problem and will obviously need to revise its pricing. Given the pricing of competing devices (other laptops) I'm worried that Palm may be shooting itself in the foot by "overpricing" the Foleo. If the Foleo is perceived by its target audience as being overpriced and underpowered, then any momentum Palm may have hoped for at launch may evaporate and in a chain reaction take with it the developer enthusiasm for the platform. Of course you could also argue that the target market is business users, so the feelings of Treocentral readers (likely not primarily business professionals) may be irrelevant. We won't know who is correct until the Foleo is finally on sale, though. If it tanks, then Palm guessed wrong. If it's successful, then Palm guessed right.
    What matters in business is how many people buy your product, not how many people don't buy, however vocal the latter may be. I continue to be totally uninterested in the iPhone, and there are millions of others like me. Some even spend hours on forums fuming with contempt over an inanimate object. I seriously doubt Steve Jobs or Apple shareholders care what we think. As always, money talks, BS walks.

    And yes, I would argue that TC readers aren't the Foleo's primary target market. Remember, Palm's stock went up after the Foleo announcement, not down, despite paroxisms of rage throughout the blogosphere. Motley Fool rated their stock as a "Buy" immediately after D5 (significantly, a conference venue for non-techies). I think the average Joe just saw the product, liked its small size and ostensible ease of use, and didn't preoccupy himself with scrutinizing the specs. For most of the D5 attendees, the Foleo represents half a week's salary, and they're not going to waste time with nickle-and-dime deliberations. They'll buy it or they won't.

    Unlike your example of CD sales prior to MP3 piracy, the Foleo does not exist in a vacuum, without competition. Palm is entering the LAPTOP market (no matter how vigorously they want to claim the Foleo is not a laptop). As such, Palm is competing with every other laptop manufacturer on the planet. Before MP3 piracy, consumersdid not have and easy way to acquire that product (music) unless they were willing to pay the price that was set (by record companies in collusion) for CDs. Palm does not enjoy the luxury of collusion with other laptop manufacturers and is trying in essence to sell their version of the same recordings at a higher price than the competition. You and I may both like the production values we "hear" in the Foleo, but after seeing how many tone deaf consumers claim that 128 K bits/s MP3 "sound as good as" CD versions of the same songs I have my doubts that the virtues of the Foleo will resonate with enough consumers to generate adequate sales at $600 to sustain the platform and the developer community. As always, that's in my not-so-humble opinion.
    Palm expects initial low sales because the computing landscape is filled with laptops. People are so used to carrying about a power brick, waiting 3 minutes for their laptop to boot, waiting for applications to launch and waiting for shutdown, that it will take some time before enough people see a lean alternative in operation before their standards change. Once people go to meeting or cafes where someone whips out a Foleo, sans charger, and starts computing immediately, their frame of expectation for a "laptop" will change. This is experiential, not intellectual.
    I'd be interested in hearing your "educated guess" at how much the Foleo costs Palm, all things (parts, production, R&D, shipping, advertising, etc.) considered. The parts spec seems to be from around 2005, but the build quality is reportedly high. My W.A.G. (wild assed guess) is $250-$300, so if correct, Palm should have a lot of leeway in its pricing. Thinking the market will bear an MSRP of $599 seems to be aggressively optimistic given the existence of cheap Acers, Dells, etc. I would be shocked if the Foleo's effective price isn't $399 within 4 months of its introduction.
    I would agree with you assement of the Foleo costs: $250-300. The high margins are what allows Palm the leeway to course correct if necessary. That's the main reason, I think, why Palm is limiting the Foleo to direct sales until November.
  2. Gerorne's Avatar
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    #22  
    I didn't know about Palm's stock going up because of the announcement. That's pretty cool to hear, and gives me more hope for a Foleo 2 coming out.
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  3. #23  
    I'm honestly leaning towards buying one anyway, but I'd say the ideal price for the Foleo would be 300 as is, 400 if they included a bunch of software bundled with it.
  4. Gerorne's Avatar
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    #24  
    They should package it with their Palm gum. That'd be a surprise that no one would have expected. =P
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  5. #25  
    Quote Originally Posted by Gameboy70 View Post
    A more illuminating question is whether or not you'll buy the Foleo at the stated price. If not, then you might as well say you'd only be willing to pay $1.

    I'm sure most iPhone adopers weren't "willing" to pay $599, but since the option to do otherwise doesn't exist in the real world, they somehow found themselves "able."
    Nice comparison. It does really come down to the decision: Do I really want this unit. If so, is $500 so much that it turns me off to the unit. No, not really. If it were $1000, I'd not buy one. Of course anyone would want the unit for as low a price as possible.

    The Iphone is a device that seems to be waaaaay overpriced, yet people don't seem to be complaining about paying the full fee for it.

    TKOS
  6. #26  
    Quote Originally Posted by Gameboy70 View Post
    And yes, I would argue that TC readers aren't the Foleo's primary target market. Remember, Palm's stock went up after the Foleo announcement, not down, despite paroxisms of rage throughout the blogosphere.
    Another good point. I think, in general, TC is a very poor group to draw market level conclusions from. When the Treo 700P MR was delayed, the released but tanking phone, it was like the world was coming to an end on the boards.

    However, my guess is that the average 700p owner could care less about a software update and likely hadn't the slightest clue it existed.

    TKOS
  7.    #27  
    Quote Originally Posted by Gameboy70 View Post
    Pricing opinions about unreleased products, especially ones that have been used internally by their developers for 2 or more years, lack authority. Sony developed the Walkman despite their own customer surveys indicating zero demand for a portable cassette player. Some products are solutions looking for problems. Ten years ago I couldn't imagine needing a cell phone. Now I couldn't imagine life without one. Today, most people are nonplussed by the need for an instant-on, solid state laptop. I paid $999 for one 7 years ago (a Psion), and I've been looking for something to replace it ever since. Understanding instant-on is not the same as expecting it. Even after 4 years of life without the Psion, I still get a twinge of disgust whenever I see an hourglass.


    The Gamboy doth protest too much, methinks.

    While I applaud your enthusiasm for the Foleo, do you think it has perhaps clouded your ability to critique it objectively? You have repeatedly suggested that the survey is not a useful prognosticator of the likelihood of acceptance of the Foleo. As I have said all along, it is a simplistic survey (of an admittedly atypical population) but I believe such a survey warrants attention for a number of reasons, including establishing a baseline of pricing thresholds for early adopters.

    You cite the Sony Walkman and the cellphones as examples of items that some felt seemingly had no raison d'etre, yet still managed to become huge successes. I believe comparing the Foleo to those devices is at best an illogical argument. The Walkman and cellphones were unique devices that provided services unavailable from any devices that preceded their arrival. The Foleo, on the other hand is a small Linux laptop that - in its current guise* - appears to offer essentially no new/unique features. As such, what is its differentiator that will drive the Foleo's acceptance?

    *I believe the wireless syncing paradigm might be enough of a feature to qualify as a differentiator if Palm has it finished + working properly from day 1.




    Quote Originally Posted by Gameboy70 View Post
    Once enough people have had enough direct contact with the Foleo to have informed opinions, pricing polls will have commercial relevance. In the meantime, if 500 respond, the meta-message to Palm will be that 500 people are interested in the Foleo, not that most of them think -- predictably -- that the price should be lower.

    As I said previously, Palm should look at the responses as saying something POSITIVE, i.e. everyone responding actually feels the Foleo is worth their money, only with the proviso that the price may - or may not - need to be adjusted. Unless the software has changed significantly, I believe the reviews (especially the reviews of you, wlmoore and my colleague) from the past month of demo sessions have eloquently and accurately described the pros and cons of the Foleo. While I believe that ideally each person should decide for themselves whether or not the Foleo is right for them only after trying it out in person, I expect that the typical potential customer's valuation of the Foleo is unlikely to change even after hands-on experience. Palm's problem is that the Foleo is being compared to regular laptops, and therefore its price appears to be way out of line given the Foleo's limited specs and limited/crippled software. Removing the silly restriction on downloading/sending email independent needs to be done ASAP if Palm hopes to sell Foleos to non-Treo 7xx(p/w) owners looking for a nice little laptop - a market exponentially larger than the niche of Treo 7xx(p/w) owners.



    Quote Originally Posted by Gameboy70 View Post
    What matters in business is how many people buy your product, not how many people don't buy, however vocal the latter may be. I continue to be totally uninterested in the iPhone, and there are millions of others like me. Some even spend hours on forums fuming with contempt over an inanimate object. I seriously doubt Steve Jobs or Apple shareholders care what we think. As always, money talks, BS walks.

    Yes, profits are what drive business. But Palm seems to inexplicably be making decisions that will negatively impact their bottom line. (Failing to support some of its own Treos, crippling the email software, failing to provide basic features on a $600 laptop, confused marketing of the Foleo, etc.) It's ironic that you mention the iPhone, since their development likely parallelled each other, right down to both being demoed at the All Things Digital conference by the creative icons driving each company. If Apple had produced the Foleo, do you think any of these problems would have occurred? There's no reason Palm should not be able to launch the Foleo as effectively as Apple launched the iPhone. I actually believe that if properly executed, the Foleo could become an even more revolutionary device than the iPhone. Unfortunately, Palm's (admittedly confused) message appears to have been lost on the tech media as well as on its traditional PDA/smartphone customers.

    Apple and Steve Jobs have no reason to care what customers think as long as Apple is selling as many iPhones as they hope/need to sell. But if/when these sales figures start slipping, I would expect Apple to suddenly become very receptive to the "needs" of its customers. As an example familiar to PalmOS users: how many years did Palm push the "Zen of Palm" (either simplicity or failure to innovate, depending on one's perspective) and tell customers that they didn't "need" more memory, color screens, expansion slots, multimedia, Wi-Fi, internal antennae, better PIM apps, built-in full-function email apps/Office-compatible apps, backup apps, file manager apps, etc.? Many of those features only eventually showed up on Palms after their presence on competing devices made Palms appear behind the times in comparison. Companies omit features for MANY reasons (philosophical, financial, technical, marketing/product stratification, caution, etc.) but it would seem wise for a company that will be competing with Windows laptops to pull out all the stops if it hopes to survive.




    Quote Originally Posted by Gameboy70 View Post
    And yes, I would argue that TC readers aren't the Foleo's primary target market. Remember, Palm's stock went up after the Foleo announcement, not down, despite paroxisms of rage throughout the blogosphere. Motley Fool rated their stock as a "Buy" immediately after D5 (significantly, a conference venue for non-techies). I think the average Joe just saw the product, liked its small size and ostensible ease of use, and didn't preoccupy himself with scrutinizing the specs. For most of the D5 attendees, the Foleo represents half a week's salary, and they're not going to waste time with nickle-and-dime deliberations. They'll buy it or they won't.

    I don't think it would be wise to read too much into to fluctuations of stock Palm's prices. If you were familiar with how easily Palm's stock prices have been manipulated over the years you would understand what I mean. Do a little research into this manipulation and you'll probably be shocked by what you discover. If I may play devil's advocate for a moment, I'd propose that neither "the average Joe" nor business users will ultimately be Palm's target market. It will be the same Treocentral types who have driven the sales of Treos for years. Business markets like conformity and that means Windows laptops. Period. A $600 Linux laptop that lacks adequate security, does not have complete compatibility with Microsoft Office and cannot even send/receive emails without assistance from a Treo (which needs an expensive data plan) does not seem ideally suited to be a business device. Do you REALLY believe your statement that "I think the average Joe just saw the product [at the All Things Digital conference], liked its small size and ostensible ease of use, and didn't preoccupy himself with scrutinizing the specs."? Why would "the average Joe" purchase a 2.5 pound non-Windows laptop that REQUIRES the purchase of a Treo 7xx(p/w) + data plan just so they can download/send email, can't view YouTube videos, can't play MP3 or video files independently, lacks the massive library of applications and games that Windows XP/Vista offers, etc., etc.? I would be interested to hear who you feel will be buying most of the Foleos sold: the average Joe, business users, or Treophile techies/Treocentral types.



    Quote Originally Posted by Gameboy70 View Post
    Palm expects initial low sales because the computing landscape is filled with laptops. People are so used to carrying about a power brick, waiting 3 minutes for their laptop to boot, waiting for applications to launch and waiting for shutdown, that it will take some time before enough people see a lean alternative in operation before their standards change. Once people go to meeting or cafes where someone whips out a Foleo, sans charger, and starts computing immediately, their frame of expectation for a "laptop" will change. This is experiential, not intellectual.I would agree with you assement of the Foleo costs: $250-300. The high margins are what allows Palm the leeway to course correct if necessary. That's the main reason, I think, why Palm is limiting the Foleo to direct sales until November.


    Palm saying they are expecting initial low sales sounds to me like an attempt to spin poor sales as being "all according to plan". Did Apple say they expected poor sales of the iPhone? Expecting the average Joe will see "instant on" in action and then immediately run down to the Palm store to buy a Foleo sounds like wishful thinking on your part. I hope that isn't the full extent of Palm's marketing campaign. As has been said before, the (lack of) strategy that worked with the original Palm Pilots (word of mouth sales and strong developer community due to easy programming of apps) isn't likely going to work with the Foleo. The Palm Pilot didn't really have much competition, while the Foleo is competing with every major laptop manufacturer on the planet. Palm's aces in the hole: instant on, PalmOS 5 compatibility layer to turn the Foleo into a big-screened PDA and syncing of data appear to be either missing in action or else are not enough to justify the current pricing structure given the device's other flaws and the presence of aggressively-priced, fully featured laptops.

    As always, in my opinion.
  8. Gerorne's Avatar
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    #28  
    My guess for who will be buying it. A mix of business users and treophiles/techies.

    Palm is marketing it toward business professionals and the techies will know about it. Unless resources are spent to market it to the "average joe", they won't even know about it except by word of mouth from the other two groups. The average joe group is just going to stick to Dell and Apple and whoever else.

    If they go to BestBuy and see it there, they'll just be a little confused that Palm is making a laptop. (Possibly at least knowing who Palm is because of the Treo line.) Even if they take the time to ask a sales associate, if that person doesn't really know what the Foleo is all about either, well.. they're not going to do a good job convincing someone else to buy it.
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  9. #29  
    Quote Originally Posted by Gerorne View Post
    My guess for who will be buying it. A mix of business users and treophiles/techies.

    Palm is marketing it toward business professionals and the techies will know about it. Unless resources are spent to market it to the "average joe", they won't even know about it except by word of mouth from the other two groups. The average joe group is just going to stick to Dell and Apple and whoever else.

    If they go to BestBuy and see it there, they'll just be a little confused that Palm is making a laptop. (Possibly at least knowing who Palm is because of the Treo line.) Even if they take the time to ask a sales associate, if that person doesn't really know what the Foleo is all about either, well.. they're not going to do a good job convincing someone else to buy it.
    Agreed, I think Palm needs to step up to the plate when it comes to advertising. They don't, and if they did it would make a huge difference when it comes to who buys it. It has potential, and if Palm doesn't showcase what it can do, and what it will do, then it will go by the waste side. To me, the biggest thing that it has going for it, without looking into its specs is its size and appearance. That alone is going to make it looked at and played with, now it just needs the rest inside to bring it home.
    Last edited by Bigchris; 07/29/2007 at 02:36 PM.
    Remember, this is my opinion ! We all have a right to our own.....

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  10. #30  
    I wish iFoleo was $399 but lets get real. There not dropping the price they already set before launch. That would be like saying we ****ed up and lets try to salvage what we can.

    When all is said and done people like me, those who want a simplified computer experience are going to shell there $649.00 for this. I pissed and moaned a lot about pricing on this board and my wife has certainly got an ear full of it too. But when I actually stopped and thought about what I am getting with foleo for price vs what I would have to pay for in an ultra portable laptop. Foleo won hands down. If, software runs what I think it will for Foleo you should be able to come away with 70% of what you do on your laptop in an ultra-portable laptop for at the most $800. Thats not bad considering the cheapest new sub 3.5 ib laptop new I saw cost $1300. And that doesn't include software.
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  11. #31  
    What about this one? It says some software IS included! 2 price points.

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....=1180743305275

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....=1181832214483

    I CAN for sure leave my main laptop at home with this, if not working on a website or photo/video editing.
    HP has officially ruined it's own platform and kicked webOS loyalists and early TouchPad adopters to the curb. You think after you drop it like a hot potato and mention it made no money and is costing you money, anyone else wants it??? Way to go HP!!

    And some people are fools to keep believing their hype. HP has shown they will throw webOS under the bus and people are still having faith in them??? News flash: if it's own company won't stand behind it, it's finished!
  12. #32  
    Quote Originally Posted by The Phone Diva View Post
    What about this one? It says some software IS included! 2 price points.

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....=1180743305275

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....=1181832214483

    I CAN for sure leave my main laptop at home with this, if not working on a website or photo/video editing.
    Very true!!!

    I heard battery life on samsung umpc was terrible though. Plus no keyboard or at least you have to buy a keyboard. so thats still investing more money. And that screen is still pretty small for my needs. But I still see your point

    What I compared to Foleo to was the Dell Lattitue 430. I did that because a lot of folks keep saying my laptop already does that(ie whatever function or app the foleo is doing).
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  13. #33  
    Quote Originally Posted by The Phone Diva View Post
    What about this one? It says some software IS included! 2 price points.

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....=1180743305275

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....=1181832214483

    I CAN for sure leave my main laptop at home with this, if not working on a website or photo/video editing.
    It lists the software that is included in the ad, and except for the OS, all of it sounds like that junk that companies pre-install on their PCs that is entirely useless. Except for Adobe, there's nothing useful in that list and if it included anything good, they'd list it. Besides that, while I do like Vista a lot, Vista on 800mhz sounds like a major mistake. The only difference in the two price points by the way, is that the more expensive one uses a 60GB drive, versus a 40 GB drive in the cheaper one. If you want to talk about Palm's Foleo being a ripoff, then how is an extra $300 just for 20 more gigs any better?

    Also, quite frankly, I can't see how anyone would ever recommend something with a keyboard like that for serious work. We get it, you don't like the Foleo, but honestly, how is this any better than the Foleo? 800mhz= extremely underpowered for any Windows system, its overpriced, and seems pretty unusable with the keyboard. You could run your desktop apps, but they'll absolutely crawl on that thing. Aren't these the main complaints the naysayers have against the Foleo?
    Last edited by jhoff80; 07/29/2007 at 09:23 PM.
  14. #34  
    There are a few small screen full laptops also for sale around $800 at BB. This has been my main problem with the Foleo's price, for just a bit more, you get the full experience and it's still small and light. It IS Windows though, LOL! Linux would probably be refreshing for some.

    I was also looking at a used 12" Powerbook, the one that had all the features. They're now going for $800 or under. I was even going to just upgrade the memory on the watered down one I have, and it would still beat out the Foleo in terms of what I can do with it and still go portable.

    IMO, Foleo needs to shave one to two hundred off. JMO though.
    HP has officially ruined it's own platform and kicked webOS loyalists and early TouchPad adopters to the curb. You think after you drop it like a hot potato and mention it made no money and is costing you money, anyone else wants it??? Way to go HP!!

    And some people are fools to keep believing their hype. HP has shown they will throw webOS under the bus and people are still having faith in them??? News flash: if it's own company won't stand behind it, it's finished!
  15. #35  
    Quote Originally Posted by jhoff80 View Post
    It lists the software that is included in the ad, and except for the OS, all of it sounds like that junk that companies pre-install on their PCs that is entirely useless. Except for Adobe, there's nothing useful in that list and if it included anything good, they'd list it. Besides that, while I do like Vista a lot, Vista on 800mhz sounds like a major mistake. The only difference in the two price points by the way, is that the more expensive one uses a 60GB drive, versus a 40 GB drive in the cheaper one. If you want to talk about Palm's Foleo being a ripoff, then how is an extra $300 just for 20 more gigs any better?
    The $1200 one also has bluetooth from what I saw. I'm not going to get this nor am I saying to buy it. I was just showing the other poster that there's some mobile PCs under $1300 out there, he MAY have been interested in looking at them.
    HP has officially ruined it's own platform and kicked webOS loyalists and early TouchPad adopters to the curb. You think after you drop it like a hot potato and mention it made no money and is costing you money, anyone else wants it??? Way to go HP!!

    And some people are fools to keep believing their hype. HP has shown they will throw webOS under the bus and people are still having faith in them??? News flash: if it's own company won't stand behind it, it's finished!
  16. #36  
    Yeah, I was just looking at a review of that Samsung, from what I've read, I wouldn't recommend anyone buy it actually:

    http://review.zdnet.com/laptops/sams...-32459191.html

    I'm still not sold on the Foleo, for $300 it'd be a nobrainer for me, and for $400 with a software bundle it'd be the same way. However, I still contend that other mobile PCs can't meet the Foleo in its combination of battery, size, usability, and build quality (from what I've seen, for example, the EEE PC seems to look a lot like a toy, whereas the Foleo looks more professional and everyone who has used it says it seems very durable in the preproduction models.)
  17. #37  
    However, I still contend that other mobile PCs can't meet the Foleo in its combination of battery, size, usability, and build quality.

    The 12" Powerbook can, except maybe the battery. I wish Apple hadn't discontinued that model. They kept the 15 and'17" only. The one I have has held up very well physically. Even though it's technically a full laptop, it's so small and durable, it can be used as a portable IMO.
    HP has officially ruined it's own platform and kicked webOS loyalists and early TouchPad adopters to the curb. You think after you drop it like a hot potato and mention it made no money and is costing you money, anyone else wants it??? Way to go HP!!

    And some people are fools to keep believing their hype. HP has shown they will throw webOS under the bus and people are still having faith in them??? News flash: if it's own company won't stand behind it, it's finished!
  18. #38  
    Quote Originally Posted by The_Chupacabra View Post
    While I applaud your enthusiasm for the Foleo, do you think it has perhaps clouded your ability to critique it objectively?
    I've chosen to spend my time discussing products I plan to get, not ones I have no intention of getting. That's why you won't see me on iPhone forums claiming that it's overpriced, or that it lacks my prefered list of features. Life's too short.

    I would emphasize my critiques of the Foleo if they were decisive ones -- i.e. if they potentially altered my decision to get a Foleo. Otherwise, I don't see the need so much sturm and drang over a mere product. I caught myself wasting time reiterating my objections to the lack of an onboard PIM. The complaint is still valid, but the situation is out of my control, so there's no point in rehashing it. I'll get mDayscape and move on to more important problems.

    The Foleo's price should be lower, but it's not. Since I have more control over my own finances than Palm's, I'm not going to devote valuable time tilting at windmills. Maybe if we were talking about Monsanto's crimes againt humanity, begging them against long odds to change their business practices, the time would be well spent. But arguing over the price of a discretionary purchase is purile.

    You have repeatedly suggested that the survey is not a useful prognosticator of the likelihood of acceptance of the Foleo. As I have said all along, it is a simplistic survey (of an admittedly atypical population) but I believe such a survey warrants attention for a number of reasons, including establishing a baseline of pricing thresholds for early adopters.
    I've suggested that businesses don't care what consumers proclaim as their threshold. They make projections, compare them against sales, analyze all factors (not just pricing) and make adjustments as needed.

    If I walk out into the street and ask 100 people at random how much they would be willing to pay for a Ferrari, the results might validate my bias against conspicuous consumption, but they would have no demographic value for the manufacturer or their bottom line.

    You cite the Sony Walkman and the cellphones as examples of items that some felt seemingly had no raison d'etre, yet still managed to become huge successes. I believe comparing the Foleo to those devices is at best an illogical argument. The Walkman and cellphones were unique devices that provided services unavailable from any devices that preceded their arrival.
    I mentioned the Walkman because Sony has explicitly told by customers that there was no need for it, and that they wouldn't buy it.

    Cell phones have been around for over 40 years, beginning as car-mounted models (huge status symbols in the Sixties and Seventies). Pagers were just becoming small enough to wear on belts (but still larger than StarTACs). Even back when I couldn't imagine needing a cell phone, they were already hip and trendy. The faster response times needed for freelancing compelled me to get a cell phone, against my will. With hands-on experience, my attitude changed.

    In a broader context, cell phone adoption happened because the industry spent billions of dollars building the infrastructure allowing the phones to work virtually anywhere, and because economies of scale commoditized the prices for consumer-level outreach. The cell phone was previously available; it just became more available, like the internet after Mosaic.

    The Foleo, on the other hand is a small Linux laptop that - in its current guise* - appears to offer essentially no new/unique features. As such, what is its differentiator that will drive the Foleo's acceptance?
    Its low (!) price relative to size (e.g. the Sony TX series at 4x the price), instant-on, integrated Bluetooth, quality construction and ease of use. A shopworn but valid parallel would be the Pilot succeeding where the Newton failed, with essentially no new or unique features.

    While I believe that ideally each person should decide for themselves whether or not the Foleo is right for them only after trying it out in person, I expect that the typical potential customer's valuation of the Foleo is unlikely to change even after hands-on experience.
    There's only one way to find out.

    Yes, profits are what drive business. But Palm seems to inexplicably be making decisions that will negatively impact their bottom line. (Failing to support some of its own Treos, crippling the email software, failing to provide basic features on a $600 laptop, confused marketing of the Foleo, etc.)
    "Apple seems to inexplicably . . . . [insert list of iPhone gripes]." People buy products for what they do, not what they don't do. If you're in the market for a product and can accept one set of feature tradeoffs over another, you'll buy that product and not the other. Markets are robust ecologies with solutions for many different needs, and they can handle imperfection.

    It's ironic that you mention the iPhone
    My apologies for mentioning the iPhone, a lighting rod for off-topic commentary.

    If Apple had produced the Foleo, do you think any of these problems would have occurred? There's no reason Palm should not be able to launch the Foleo as effectively as Apple launched the iPhone. I actually believe that if properly executed, the Foleo could become an even more revolutionary device than the iPhone.
    Let's reframe your question to underscore the validity of your insight. If Palm had produced the iPhone (with exactly the features it currently has and lacks), would it have been a blockbuster? More importantly, so what? I think most people would agree that the iPhone is more sizzle than steak, and I'm not cynical about that -- by any business yardstick, its a success. But until Jeff and Ed acquire Steve's Reality Distortion Field, the lessons to be learned from the iPhone project are limited, which is why I confined my iPhone reference to highlighting that people buy it for what it offers, not what it doesn't.

    Apple and Steve Jobs have no reason to care what customers think as long as Apple is selling as many iPhones as they hope/need to sell. But if/when these sales figures start slipping, I would expect Apple to suddenly become very receptive to the "needs" of its customers.
    True enough.

    As an example familiar to PalmOS users: how many years did Palm push the "Zen of Palm" (either simplicity or failure to innovate, depending on one's perspective) and tell customers that they didn't "need" more memory, color screens, expansion slots, multimedia, Wi-Fi, internal antennae, better PIM apps, built-in full-function email apps/Office-compatible apps, backup apps, file manager apps, etc.?
    I've always used Palm OS devices by choice, and have never been "told" what I did or didn't need by Palm. Most customers are grown-ups perfectly capable of making their own decisions.

    Companies omit features for MANY reasons (philosophical, financial, technical, marketing/product stratification, caution, etc.) but it would seem wise for a company that will be competing with Windows laptops to pull out all the stops if it hopes to survive.
    Yes, they do omit features for many reasons. Windows laptops omit instant-on, for instance, to run legacy apps if Microsoft hopes to have another quarter of high growth.

    I don't think it would be wise to read too much into to fluctuations of stock Palm's prices.
    I read the financial press that week, not just the technology press. Reading both in parallel paints quite a different picture of the Foleo's reception than sticking with the jejune rants of Mike Cane and Jeff Kirvin.

    If I may play devil's advocate for a moment, I'd propose that neither "the average Joe" nor business users will ultimately be Palm's target market. It will be the same Treocentral types who have driven the sales of Treos for years. Business markets like conformity and that means Windows laptops. Period.
    Even if I agreed with your monolithic image of business markets, I wouldn't conclude that sales of Foleos and laptops are mutually exclusive. For many executives, laptops have become their desktops, and the Foleo offers a quicker and less cumbersome alternative for handling email, web research and Office docs.

    A $600 Linux laptop that lacks adequate security, does not have complete compatibility with Microsoft Office . . .
    Care to elaborate?
    . . . and cannot even send/receive emails without assistance from a Treo (which needs an expensive data plan) does not seem ideally suited to be a business device.
    That was my reaction to RIM's offerings 7 years ago. So much for what I think . . .
    Do you REALLY believe your statement that "I think the average Joe just saw the product [at the All Things Digital conference], liked its small size and ostensible ease of use, and didn't preoccupy himself with scrutinizing the specs."?
    Evidently the answer is no . Suffice it to say, I choose my words carefully.
    Why would "the average Joe" purchase a 2.5 pound non-Windows laptop that REQUIRES the purchase of a Treo 7xx(p/w) + data plan just so they can download/send email, can't view YouTube videos, can't play MP3 or video files independently, lacks the massive library of applications and games that Windows XP/Vista offers, etc., etc.?
    I don't expect anyone whose phone isn't supported to buy it, unless email synching's not a priority, and web-based mail is sufficient. If watching YouTube videos and playing Windows games are priorities for one's mobile computing needs, the Foleo is the wrong tool for the job. And as I've mentioned before, some people do have jobs that require industry-specific software (e.g. AutoCAD) that simply require carrying a laptop all day, making the Foleo redundant. Those are all real use cases, but hardly as all-encompassing.
    I would be interested to hear who you feel will be buying most of the Foleos sold: the average Joe, business users, or Treophile techies/Treocentral types.
    Anyone for whom the bulk of the daily mobile computing is email, the web, documents and spreadsheets. Fortunately, I don't work in marketing, so I don't have to pigeonhole people based on their requirements.

    Palm saying they are expecting initial low sales sounds to me like an attempt to spin poor sales as being "all according to plan".
    Low sales are absolute, poor sales are relative. If I sell 100% of the (high-margin) steaks I offer, but 20% of my (low-margin) hamburgers, I would characterize that latter as poor sales, even if the hambugers outsold the steaks by a factor of three. A company manufactures the number of widgets it expects to sell. If their guess is right, they've had excellent sales. If they wind up with excess inventory, they have a problem. Dean Koontz isn't a failure just because his books sell far less than J.K. Rowling's.

    Did Apple say they expected poor sales of the iPhone?
    As an entertainment device (and, lest we forget, a cell phone), the iPhone has an inherently larger market than the Foleo. If Palm sold 50,000 Foleos in its first weekend, the Foleo would be pronounced a sleeper hit. If Apple sold 50,000 iPhones in its first weekend, it would have been a death knell to investors.

    Expecting the average Joe will see "instant on" in action and then immediately run down to the Palm store to buy a Foleo sounds like wishful thinking on your part.
    I'll leave your caricatured rendering of the more gradual scenario I portrayed without comment.

    As has been said before, the (lack of) strategy that worked with the original Palm Pilots (word of mouth sales and strong developer community due to easy programming of apps) isn't likely going to work with the Foleo. The Palm Pilot didn't really have much competition, while the Foleo is competing with every major laptop manufacturer on the planet.
    Laptop manufacturers have the same problem, in addition to having to render unto Ceasar a $50 licensing fee for Windows.

    Palm's aces in the hole: instant on, PalmOS 5 compatibility layer to turn the Foleo into a big-screened PDA and syncing of data appear to be either missing in action or else are not enough to justify the current pricing structure given the device's other flaws and the presence of aggressively-priced, fully featured laptops.
    My budget can sustain the current pricing structure, given my needs. YMMV.
  19. harps70's Avatar
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    #39  
    $599 AUD (US$508) so long as it delivers on what it promisses, includes PIM, games, etc out of the box, and works seamlessly with my BlackBerry!

    I know there has been plenty of discussion regarding the price of USD$499 being too much, but if you compare this price with what I paid for my TT or m505 its a cheap product. Again subject to the caveat that it does what I want it to do and includes programs which should be standard.
    Palm IIIx > m505 > Tungsten T > T5 > Red BlackBerry Pearl 8110 (only device work IT will allow!)
  20. #40  
    Quote Originally Posted by The Phone Diva View Post
    However, I still contend that other mobile PCs can't meet the Foleo in its combination of battery, size, usability, and build quality.

    The 12" Powerbook can, except maybe the battery. I wish Apple hadn't discontinued that model. They kept the 15 and'17" only. The one I have has held up very well physically. Even though it's technically a full laptop, it's so small and durable, it can be used as a portable IMO.
    Thanks Diva for your suggestions about other options. I actually checked them out. I still didn't see anything under 3 pounds that is priced in the same range as Foleo though. When I get around the $700-$800 price range. I think when all is said and done I will be able to get a Foleo and fully load it with all the software I want for no more than $800.00. Also consider that I am sure at some point though hacks and software updates programs such as open office and tabbed web-browsing will be available to me as well.

    I see your points though. If there is a sub-three pound, new laptop that gets 5 hours battery life while connect to wi-fi, with office, including outlook and one-note, for $800 or less I am there.
    JasonRM79

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