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  1. #181  
    Originally posted by paulhorne
    I don't understand who in their right mind would want an MP3 player on this thing. No other MP3 player can approach the perfection of the iPod, ...

    ...It will only be an inferior player that adds size and weight and drains the battery. Ugh.
    I disagree. Is the iPod super-great? Sure. But it's also $300+ and bulky enough that most people wouldn't carry it with them every where they go. Smartphones are about stuffing as much as you can into one, hopefully relatively small, device. They require compromising in terms of each feature not being "the best they can be" but by integrating it all together (seamlessly) you can reach a happy zen state.

    My wife has been somewhat interested in MP3 players lately. Part of me is interested in the iPod (since it's arguably the best), part of me is thinking of a PDA (PPC or Palm OS) since it could be used for stuff besides MP3s, part of me is thinking of something like the Verizon Kyocera 7135 since it would be one device for her to carry, and part of me is interested in this sort of thing:
    http://www.audioexchange.com/magstarmp3pl.html
    I'm sure sound quality isn't up to iPod standards, but according to one person I know who's used it it's pretty good.

    Getting back to the Treo...I think Handspring needs to make this a clear-cut winner for whatever market niche they're aiming for. They used to be aiming for the enterprise market, though I think that was just their "excuse" for why they were charging $500 for it. It sounds like they're still aiming for that market, but by making it smaller and including a camera, I'm not so sure (but again, it looks like they're looking to overprice it again, so that's probably why). As I posted in another thread (I don't think it was this one), there are already a couple of serious competitors either out now or coming soon:

    Color Danger Hiptop: 240x160 screen and roomier, more comfortable thumbboard. The B&W model could be had for free after rebates, so I expect the color model to sell for less than $200 after rebates.

    Nokia 3650: More phone-centric but the weird numeric keypad layout is designed to help text entry a bit. It has a slightly higher res screen than 160x160 (I keep forgetting what it is because it's a weird resolution), a decent quality built-in camera capable of recording video clips with audio, full PIM functionality syncable with MS Outlook, and Bluetooth. It can be had for free after rebates.

    The point I'm getting to is that if Handspring is seriously thinking of bringing this to market at over $300 after rebates it had either better be the ultimate data device (which, thanks to the now even smaller thumbboard, I don't believe it can) or they better stuff as much other gee-whiz features into it as possible.

    Scott
    Now THIS is the future of smartphones.
  2. #182  
    Originally posted by dulan
    Think about it... HS is caught in a VERY difficult place. Let's say you're Jeff or Donna -- given the state of the phone/PDA/hybrid markets what would your next product be? Keep in mind that the success of your next product WILL (not may) make or break you.
    Excellent question. I've been thinking about this very thing these last couple of days.

    Here's the funny thing...Handspring left the PDA market because of two factors:
    1) Wireless was the future.
    2) The PDA market was becoming overcrowded and they couldn't make decent profit margins there due to the competition.

    They figured by "conquering" the smartphone market with the ultimate PDA/phone, they could make significantly higher profit margins. But there was a big problem. People, by and large, didn't want to spend $500 on what the Treo offered. For one thing, while it was/is the best convergence device, it wasn't perfect (IMO, the thumbboard being too small was one of the bigger issues but I know a lot of you disagree). At $150 after rebates, I suspect it's selling quite well (and if it isn't, then something's seriously wrong). But at $150, I'll bet that Handspring isn't making much money.

    Fast forward to today. Everybody and their brother is making a smartphone now. The Treo 300 is still one of the best ones out, but the Danger Hiptop and Nokia 3650 (each coming from a different angle) are arguably doing things (different things) better and cheaper.

    So, to answer your question, what would I do if I was them? To things:

    1) I wouldn't shy away from the thumbboard. It's too small now, don't make it any smaller. Instead, make a smaller Nokia Communicator styled device like I mocked up a while ago here:
    http://hipnetic.com/geek/treo_new2.gif
    It would be a great phone and a great PDA all in one.

    2) Get back into the PDA market. Given the fact that Nokia's selling their 3650 for free after rebates, I have trouble believing that they'd be making less profits back on the PDA side of the fence, even with all of the competition. There's a lot of diversity in the Palm OS lineup, but I think that there are still some niches that Handspring could satisfy with very little development effort:
    a) Revive the Visor and Springboard by coming out with a model with ARM/OS5 and 320x320 w/silkscreen Graffiti or 320x480 with virtual Graffiti.
    b) Revive the Treo 90. Give it ARM/OS5, 320x320, and Bluetooth built-in. This would be a lot like the Sony TG50 except that it would have in its favor SDIO over Memorystick and a smaller size (the TG50's almost as long as their 320x480 NR/NX/NZ-series for some strange reason).

    Actually, I'm not sure if it's completely possible (I can't remember how wide/deep the Springboard slot is), but if it is possible, what I'd do is come out with a Treo 90-inspired device with a Springboard slot and SDIO slot (and of course, OS5/ARM, 320x320 w/thumbboard and separately a model with just 320x480).

    Scott
    Now THIS is the future of smartphones.
  3. #183  
    Originally posted by Scott R
    I disagree. Is the iPod super-great? Sure. But it's also $300+ and bulky enough that most people wouldn't carry it with them every where they go. Smartphones are about stuffing as much as you can into one, hopefully relatively small, device. They require compromising in terms of each feature not being "the best they can be" but by integrating it all together (seamlessly) you can reach a happy zen state.
    t
    I guess that's the difference -- I need a phone everywhere I go. It would be nice to have a PDA everywhere I go. I definitely don't need an MP3 player everywhere I go. I can't wait to see people in a business meeting suddenly whip out their phone and tune out.

    A camera is great, because even if the resolution isn't the best you never know when you'll discover a photo opp. A car accident, an old friend, a cute puppy... My phone, camera, and PDA are all things that I use for very short periods of time throughout the day... But I use my MP3 player for longer, pre-planned periods of time like walking, hiking, or working out. Thus, I don't care if it's a separate gadget.

    Also, since the Treo and iPod both have ongoing battery issues, I can't imagine a combined unit that has adequate battery life for both.

    Lastly, the 600 needs to have a FREAKIN KILLER look to it. Everyone I know has these new killer phones that look like they're from space -- shiny metal, video, etc. My Treo 300 looks like a TV remote control from the 70s. What the hell? Maybe they need to hire the Apple design team. I want people to ooh and ahh when they see the 600 like they do when they see the iPod or the iMac or the 17-inch laptop.

    (Good lord, I guess I care more about this than I thought. I can't stop talking. And I'm an editor!)
  4. #184  
    Originally posted by Scott R
    The point I'm getting to is that if Handspring is seriously thinking of bringing this to market at over $300 after rebates it had either better be the ultimate data device (which, thanks to the now even smaller thumbboard, I don't believe it can) or they better stuff as much other gee-whiz features into it as possible.
    I agree about the price point, but it's completely based on resolution. 160x160 is a sub $300 device. The quality of the screen has controlled the price of a whole lot of PalmOS devices. Nobody who values PalmOS 5 is going to buy a 160x160 device, and nobody who simply wants a gadgety smart-phone is going to pay beyond $100 w/ rebates.

    So..... 160x160, they're screwed, unless I can pick it up for less than $300, but I'd always hate it because it won't run any cool hirez software. What good is it if you can't run hirez software?

    My position on MP3 is that I want it. But that's because I want to ensure that the device has a stereo output which is software controllable. Otherwise, I could see them screwing up the audio like with the current devices, where it still only has the piezo beeper under software control.
  5. #185  
    Perhaps HS needs to add all that jazz (MP3, digital Cam and "other gee-whiz features,") to compete with other products entering the market, but please know that the so-called gee-whiz features will be mediocre at best (iPod can hold 2000 songs with superb quality; Nikon and such have digital cameras with phenomenally good qualities, etc.). And so, the Treo needs to be an excellent PDA/phone first, with mediocre gee-whiz features second.
    Oh: I am still wishing for a GSM (new) Treo in the US. Please
    m00se
    I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
    -Mark Twain
  6. #186  
    Here's what many of you are missing...

    It's been pointed out that by shrinking the screen size, the screen will look sharper and that even the "low" 160x160 will still look sharp (and that 320x320 could even be overkill). I don't necessarily disagree with that, but you do need to remember that the Treo 600 is still a Palm OS device. That means that the OS, standard fonts, buttons, etc. were all designed (originally) to be seen (and tapped on) at a certain ideal physical size.

    Folks, I owned a Samsung i300 before I bought my Treo 300. Samsung did a great job of making a narrow smartphone. I believe it was narrower than my Treo 300 and, while still big compared to modern-day phones, it felt good in the hand. What didn't feel good was trying to tap on tiny buttons and use Graffiti in the small input panel (I'm good at Graffiti and I can tell you that my error-rate drastically increased in no small part due to the smaller physical input area). Now, of course, Graffiti input isn't so much an issue with the Treo, but we still have to deal with tapping on buttons, positioning cursors on lines, etc. (no matter how well they integrated the d-pad into the OS with this new device).

    We also need to remember that some of the other devices I mentioned (e.g. - the Nokia 3650) have a higher res screen that is also small but has the advantage of:
    a) Not being a touch-screen, so you don't have to concern yourself with needing to tap on buttons, etc. The OS was designed to integrate completely with the d-pad and hard buttons.
    b) Even though the resolution is higher and the screen is smaller than the current 160x160 Treo screen, they in many instances have larger fonts which are more readable (at the cost, of course, of having less characters per line).

    So, would having a 160x160 screen be a deal killer for me? Not necessarily. It really depends on the entire package and, very importantly, the price. IOW, overall value. Handspring is giving me a smaller device with OS5/ARM (so it'll be faster and more multimedia capable). They're giving me a worse data device since the thumbboard will be smaller. And the big question will be, how much am I going to have to pay for this? If I can get it for free after rebates, I may still find this to be a better device than the Nokia 3650 or Danger Hiptop. But if I have to pay $300+, these other devices could be a better value overall, IMO.

    Scott
    Now THIS is the future of smartphones.
  7. #187  
    Originally posted by paulhorne
    I guess that's the difference -- I need a phone everywhere I go. It would be nice to have a PDA everywhere I go. I definitely don't need an MP3 player everywhere I go.
    ...
    A camera is great, because even if the resolution isn't the best you never know when you'll discover a photo opp. A car accident, an old friend, a cute puppy... My phone, camera, and PDA are all things that I use for very short periods of time throughout the day... But I use my MP3 player for longer, pre-planned periods of time like walking, hiking, or working out. Thus, I don't care if it's a separate gadget.
    Paul, these are excellent points that I actually thought of when I was writing my reply but I was already so long-winded that I didn't mention it. In terms of what types of functions would be ideal for integrating into a single device since you'd find yourself using it throughout the day...PDA, camera, phone. MP3 would be nice to bundle simply for the sake of bundling it, but it wouldn't be in the same category as the first three.

    Scott
    Now THIS is the future of smartphones.
  8. #188  
    Originally posted by m00se
    Perhaps HS needs to add all that jazz (MP3, digital Cam and "other gee-whiz features,") to compete with other products entering the market, but please know that the so-called gee-whiz features will be mediocre at best (iPod can hold 2000 songs with superb quality; Nikon and such have digital cameras with phenomenally good qualities, etc.). And so, the Treo needs to be an excellent PDA/phone first, with mediocre gee-whiz features second.
    m00se, I mostly agree (I do think that integrating a camera is a good idea). The problem is that Handspring doesn't. By shrinking the form factor, thumbboard, and screen, they've already declared that they care more about mass-market acceptance than they do about making the ultimate data device. The usability of entering data via the screen will suffer because it is physically smaller. The usability of entering data via the thumbboard will suffer because it is physically smaller, too.

    Scott
    Now THIS is the future of smartphones.
  9.    #189  
    Scott R -

    All I can say is, don't knock it till you've tried it (meaning, the new T600 thumbboard). I know you don't like the current Treo thumbboard, so it stands to reason that you wouldn't like one smaller, but - when I typed a couple of sentences on it, I was surprised as how quickly I took to the new keys. The overall DIMENSIONS might be smaller, but the user experience, in my opinion, when I tried it, didn't suffer. The domed keys are a major reason why - they were very easy to press and hit correctly.

    So - along with all the other items that people are in an uproar about (screen, size of the phone, weight, on and on) don't make a final conclusion until you TRY it. That's all I'd say.
  10.    #190  
    I've seen all the new screens - all the new Sonys, the W, the C, etc, and I would say that the 600 is not as nice as those. It can't be - it's smaller, no hi-res (from what I could tell). But I don't think that Handspring was trying to deliver a device that would compete with the C or W - (I know, we're splitting hairs here) - they want to compete with the new Nokia and Sony E camera phones. This is a very dicey subject - some would say that since it has a thumbboard, that it IS indeed trying to compete with the BlackBerry, and T|W and T|C, but after looking at it, and hearing the Handspring guy at the booth, my thinking is that they are really trying to expand the PHONE market by this device, rather than what we've all bought into on this forum - the smartphone market.
    Yes, it's a huge gamble. HAND is trying to walk a fine line btw selling a few hundred thousand old-style Treos and millions of new ones. Will the average soccer mom plunk down three or four hundred dollars for this? Doubtful. Will HAND sell more 600s overall than all Treos before? I would say yes, based on what I saw, and based on how many MORE people carry traditional phones than do smartphones. And we also have to remember that we, the palm phone geekozoids of the world, represent a very small portion of the overall market. You have to look at this from handspring's perspective, not our own.
    What would YOU do if it was YOUR company, and you had to deliver a product that would save the company? Would you try to compete with the Tungsten W, or would your target consumer be the guy who has a Zire 71 and a Nokia camera phone? Again, think of it from Jeff Hawkins' rational viewpoint, and not our rabid Treo-obsessed viewpoint. Which will ultimately sell more devices?
    There's no easy answer.
  11. #191  
    Originally posted by nrosser
    What would YOU do...
    I would hire Jay Z to rap the hook on a commercial with a blinged out Treo 600 dancing around with half naked women.

    That's what I would do.

    TheHandlessKing
    Latest moBlog shot:
  12. #192  
    ive emailed it off to the 2 people who emailed me. hope they get it up soon.

    in the mean time here's an email i recieved from a blackberry user who was testing the hitachi ppc who is from a major tech co: (theoretically a more objective analysis, he hadnt even looked at the treo 600 till i recommended it!). But this guy is intelligent, he's the one that hammered MS and hitachi for their poor usability.

    "Just a follow up: I was fairly impressed with that new treo. Fit nicely
    in my hand and the keyboard design was pretty effective. The little
    navigation button set felt like it would take some getting used to but I
    think it would be more useable than the track wheel on my blackberry.
    You'll notice that one could easily use the device without a stylus so the
    arguement microsoft had about the stylus being the replacement for the
    mouse doesn't hold much water. They should consider a similar interface on
    the "g2000" :-).
    Sent from a BlackBerry 6510"
  13. #193  
    ill never look @ my 300 the same way again. its so bulky looking now!

    Oh yeah i asked the hand guy (sales guy) about other carriers, unfortunately when the sprint rep was standing there with us . . . oops, so much for tact, it was really akward. after the rep assured sprint they were #1, he talked about europe release w/ orange. i got the feeling they will have otehrs carriers, but this one is specifically designed for sprint.

    there was an article a while back about orange dropping ms ppc phone. If they saw the treo i can understand why. The first ppc w/ a thumbboard was the hitachi (there's a pic of it on earlier, post someone thought it was the treo - yeah if you chop 2/3 of it off), it wont stand a chance against treo 600 - unless u like to talk w/ a book up to your ear.

    this same sales guy told me release date was late sept./early oct. definitely in time for Christmas.

    suggested retail price = $499, he said sprint could offer deals/rebates.

    This is A LOT of phone for $500.
  14. #194  
    1st this device is for enterprise users
    (saw some cool software demo's - one allows user to look at jobs in list format pulled from a customer database, then use the blazer browser to map directions to the house where service is needed. looked real cool).
    it has what they need.

    2nd 600 will appeal to mass audience.
    basically, now your buying a small computer: phone, pda, walkman (mp3), internet browser, camera, and email! Maybe the Sixo. throw in palm os5 w/ games if u want. does $500 sound too much?
    here's the kicker. i knew i would have to replace the treo 300 when i got it, but the 600 looks like it will last 2-4 years (technologically). If i had to select 1 phone to use over the next 5 years, there's no doubt, i'd choose the treo 600.

    I still can't get over the size. When hand said they were going phone centered, they meant it. i dont know how they fit everything in such a compact design (reminds me of story in "piloting palm" about hawkins cramming things into the palm pilot). if this was just a phone only it is a good size.

    in 1 1/2 - 2yrs when the 600 sells for $200-300 , it will sell like crazy.

    I think this device will be hand's salvation. Dream: hope Warren Buffet(t?) saw it @ D conference and chooses to invest (buy convertable bonds) in hand.

    look for incredible review when Mossberg finally demo's treo. they should be receiving their products to test/demo in 6-8wks i was told from sales rep.

    sorry i havent answered all Qs will try to asap.
  15. #195  
    no one will buy them when they use/see the sprint treo 600.

    nrosser,
    please verify the sketch when its posted to see if its how u remembered it. i knew in advance i would draw it so i tried to measure it using treo 300, and my fingers, etc.

    i cant remember the color design, but it was metallic gray/blue (w/ glossy coat) w/ sides having treo 300 silver.
  16. #196  
    Craig, did you send it to me? If so, I haven't gotten it yet. If not, check your PM.

    Scott
    Now THIS is the future of smartphones.
  17. #197  
    Curiously, some of the high-end hi-rezers are taking notice over at Cliesource. One thread lit up yesterday on the Treo 600: http://www.cliesource.com/forums/sho...ght=smartphone
  18. #198  
    sorry to keep posting, but keep remembering little detail, i may forget em by morning.

    the device is next to impossible to use w/ your left hand only (im left handed), i immediately noticed i couldnt turn the power on and off becuase the antenna(e) (dont remember how to spell) was in the way.
  19. #199  
    Originally posted by craigdts

    look for incredible review when Mossberg finally demo's treo. they should be receiving their products to test/demo in 6-8wks i was told from sales rep.
    That means we will have review units by than also. SCHWEET! Trust me, we will have a many thousand word review going over all the details in this device! We will not be beaten
    -Michael Ducker
    TreoCentral Staff
  20. #200  
    http://www.treocentral.com/content/Stories/229-1.htm

    says: "initial report says 133 mhz" -

    thats out of the mouth of the handspring marketing guy - if i had only looked at his name badge!?!?! argh. anyways thats as much fact as anything, dont think he would lie to me.

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