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  1.    #1  
    I am starting a new thread that may more appropriately summarize the mounting evidence of Apple Computer expanding its presence in the handheld market while everyone is saying it is dead.

    I have continually posted the happenings that Apple Computer is involved with in the realm of handheld and wireless technology. Those bits of technology news that it SEEMS only I am aware of are scattered throughout TreoCentral but for some reason, I seem to think the majority of them would most appropriately fit HERE should you want to read any.

    Most people are not aware of many of these such happenings and that is one reason why I feel compelled to bring them up here. Another purpose for doing this is to attempt to bring this information to light in the eyes of PalmOne and PalmSource. They do not seem very aware of the industry and the competition, market trends and consumer desires so I feel that I should make an attempt to inform them (well, I remain optimistic in the possibility of them reading this anyway).

    Really quick, I would like to interject into my own post with a question. Why do you think the handheld industry is dying?

    I'll tell you the reason. There is an extreme lack of inovation from companies like PalmOne and PalmSource.

    The heat is on you PalmOne and PalmSource. What are you going to do?



    Here is another bit of evidence in regards to Apple's wireless moves:

    Patent 6,867,738 covers a "recessed aperture-coupled patch antenna with multiple dielectrics for wireless applications.

    "The present invention provides an aperture-fed patch antenna assembly that is recessed into a conductive surface of an external shell of an electronic device. In one embodiment, an antenna feed attached to a removable core of the electronic device may be removed from the external shell without requiring a manual disconnecting of the antenna feed from a wireless radio modem in the electronic device. The patch antenna assembly includes a shim having an aperture therein and positioned between a primary dielectric and a printed circuit board to create a secondary dielectric between the primary dielectric and the printed circuit board. In one embodiment, the primary dielectric is ceramic and the shim is plastic."

    Thomas Birnbaum, Stephen Fenwick, Arthur Astrin, and Ricardo Mariano are listed as the inventors. The pantent was filed December 3, 2002 and awarded March 15, 2005.
  2. #2  
    first take: wireless syncing for iPod.

    the tone of your post makes it seem like a its a bad thing that Apple would make some moves in this area, yet at the same time you chastise Palm for not doing anything. personally, i wouldn't mind if Apple got back in. I've been loyal to Palm since the Palm III days and to tell the truth, my Treo 650 ain't that much different from those days, just add color, res, memory, and net access. There are user interface problems that I noticed and complained about around that time (must be nearly 7-8 years ago now) and they are still in the 650. Before Palm, I was a Newton user and for all the problems with that platform it was still more advanced than today's Palm (minus color and the phone).

    If you look at what an outstanding job Apple has done with "just an MP3 player" with the iPod, I wouldn't mind seeing similar innovation in the area.

    But all that aside, the patent in question is probably related to the rumored wireless iPod.
    Last edited by collin; 05/05/2005 at 12:11 AM.
  3. #3  
    Apple may eventually decide to get into the smartphone market, but they haven't given any strong indications that that will be anytime soon. They would certainly have to come up with a number of things that are way down the road. Their biggest obstacle would be creating an OS that worked with Mac and Windows alike (no small task) along with a solid and robust desktop interface (iCal, etc. are really lacking in this department). But, the bigger problem I see is that the cell phone experience is often a function of the service provider (Sprint, Cingular, etc.). As a result, I don't see Apple getting into the market any time soon when they have little control over the end user experience. If a service provider had some terrific new technology and offered Apple an exclusive deal to create a phone to work with the unique technology, then Apple may get into the cell phone game sooner rather than later.

    Eventually, Apple may be forced to compete as the integration between cell phones, mp3 players, etc. begins to blurr the lines and impact ipod sales, but I don't see them jumping into the smart phone market for at least a few years.
  4. #4  
    Ah, yes, another variation on the "Treo Killer" and "Death of Palm" threads. I'll just ask one question:

    How many true SmartPhones have Apple, HP, BenQ, Toshiba, Sony, et al combined sold?

    How many has PalmOne sold?

    OK, that's 2 questions, but I'm willing to bet the answer to number 2 is greater than the answer to number 1. Want more? OK:

    How many non Palm smart phones have actually been released for sale (not just announced) world wide since the Treo 600 went on sale? How many have been announced, then delayed or canceled?

    Again, I bet the answer to number 2 is greater than number 1.

    For all it's problems, Palm seems to be doing quite well in the Smartphone arena, in both sales and technology. And by the time Apple, BenQ, and whomever else have something better than the 650 actually FOR SALE at retail, Palm will have had time to continue improving and updating the Treo. Do you really think Palm is incapable of adding a hard drive, or 2 GB of Flash ROM, to the Treo, if the market demands it? Is the technology to add a 2 MP camera to a Treo so difficult that Palm is the only company that can't manage it?

    I don't think so. I think that Palm is carefully considering all the variables involved: the target market, size and weight, price, and profit margin. Ipods aren't cheap. Image the cost of an i-pod with a cellular phone and a camera built in. Would you have bought a Treo with 2 GB a storage, a 2 MP camera, and wi-fi, if it cost $1200? I certainly wouldn't have. Would any cellular provide even carry it? I doubt it.

    Apple likes high profit margin devices that lock buyers into proprietary solutions. Want to use i-tunes? Buy an ipod. Get an Ipod for your birthday? Guess you'll have to use i-tunes. I'm not sure that attitude is going to fly with cellular providers, who want the profit in their pockets, not Apple's. And let's not overlook the fact that all of the cellular providers appear to be working on their own music download programs. They're not going to want to invite Apple's nose into their tent. Sure, Apple can always sell a GSM phone direct, without going through the providers, but that eliminates any rebates on the phone for signing a contract. And it locks them out of the Verizon and Sprint systems.

    As the price and size of these components come down, Palm seems to be pretty well positioned to take advantage of them, if the demand is there. Based on what we've seen (more accurately, haven't seen) from the PPC folks, building a good smartphone is going to be a lot tougher for Apple than adding a better camera and more memory is going to be for Palm.
    Bob Meyer
    I'm out of my mind. But feel free to leave a message.
  5.    #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by collin
    the tone of your post makes it seem like a its a bad thing that Apple would make some moves in this area, yet at the same time you chastise Palm for not doing anything.
    I just want to see competition. You have to believe PalmOne has taken notice of the iPod and realizes how it has hurt the sales of their handheld PDAs. I mean jeez, the iPod not only does what it is famously known for really well, but, it also acts as a PDA in that it has an address book, calendar, notes and all that other stuff built right in. In addition, you can offload your photos to it right from a camera and even use it as your desktop's home directory or just shuttle files back and forth from work to home.

    If PalmOne releases the LifeDrive, you better believe Apple will inturn notice and react.
  6.    #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by Katway
    Apple may eventually decide to get into the smartphone market, but they haven't given any strong indications that that will be anytime soon. They would certainly have to come up with a number of things that are way down the road. Their biggest obstacle would be creating an OS that worked with Mac and Windows alike (no small task)
    It doesn’t seem very likely that Apple would create an OS to create demand for a platform that they will not make money on when that hardware is sold. Apple is essentially a software company that makes their money on hardware – they use their great software to sell the hardware. Who would buy Mac hardware without that great software?
  7.    #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by meyerweb
    Based on what we've seen (more accurately, haven't seen) from the PPC folks, building a good smartphone is going to be a lot tougher for Apple than adding a better camera and more memory is going to be for Palm.
    Apple already has a good solution for communication devices in place. Look at iChat AV (along with the AOL folks). You can walk around with any Bluetooth headset and talk with up to 10 people at once (and listen to music) - IN STEREO (Apple uses Bluetooth 2). Can you do that with a Treo? Heck, you can even use a video cam for video phone technology with up to 3 people. Then you have 3rd party solutions like Skype with its all encompassing global outreach). Well, all encompassing if you don't count the incompatability with Palm devices.
  8. spiVeyx's Avatar
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    #8  
    I wouldn't be surprised if Apple made an attempt to enter the handheld market, but I would be VERLY surprised if they released a smartphone for many of the reasons already mentioned here.

    How have I come to this conclusion? The new PIM apps in Tiger sync VERY poorly with Palm. A majority of the Address Book fields are not support, one is limited to the number of iCal's he/she can sync to a Palm, but if you've got an iPod all your Address book and iCal information syncs flawlessly.

    Just one more reason why I think Apple may make an attempt to enter the handheld market.

    ...I loved my Newton...
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by archie
    Apple already has a good solution for communication devices in place. Look at iChat AV (along with the AOL folks). You can walk around with any Bluetooth headset and talk with up to 10 people at once (and listen to music) - IN STEREO (Apple uses Bluetooth 2). Can you do that with a Treo? Heck, you can even use a video cam for video phone technology with up to 3 people. Then you have 3rd party solutions like Skype with its all encompassing global outreach). Well, all encompassing if you don't count the incompatability with Palm devices.
    Tiger's iChat AV has some significant system requirements, requiring a dual-1GHz G4 or any G5 CPU to host a multi-party video conference. How practical is this for a Treo? How does this compete with a Treo cell phone when the solution is not portable (apples to oranges)?
  10.    #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by Katway
    Tiger's iChat AV has some significant system requirements, requiring a dual-1GHz G4 or any G5 CPU to host a multi-party video conference. How practical is this for a Treo? How does this compete with a Treo cell phone when the solution is not portable (apples to oranges)?
    Yes, you are correct in that. But I just mentioned that as a plus, an "in addition to" my main point. That being Apple's current ability to give us full-duplex communication... up to 10 people at that... IN STEREO!

    Still, with the new contract that Apple just entered into with Alphamosaic, it seems more possible to accomplish this off the desktop now.

    Broadcom, who owns Alphamosaic, says this new VCO2 chip that they will apparently be making for Apple will use very small amounts of battery power and can display video on 3.5 inch color LCDs and capture 8 megapixel images, making it ideal for realtime applications like audio stuff or even watching TV, or making videos or playing videos or even taking studio-quality photos.

    Plus it can be integrated with cell phone chips from Broadcom.

    Please note I am not infering anything definitive here. I am just stating what I know about Apple's business ventures and this new venture with Broadcom is real.
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by archie
    I just want to see competition. You have to believe PalmOne has taken notice of the iPod and realizes how it has hurt the sales of their handheld PDAs. I mean jeez, the iPod not only does what it is famously known for really well, but, it also acts as a PDA in that it has an address book, calendar, notes and all that other stuff built right in. In addition, you can offload your photos to it right from a camera and even use it as your desktop's home directory or just shuttle files back and forth from work to home.

    If PalmOne releases the LifeDrive, you better believe Apple will inturn notice and react.
    Archie, though the iPod synchronizes with the address book, calendar and notes, what are the limitations? For example, does it sync both the home and work address, or is it limited to one like the Palm? Does it sync event locations from the calendar, or does it exclude those like the Palm? I know it's a great music player. However, there is one more problem. If it only had the ability to do allow data input directly, then it would truly be a real PDA. I would buy it just for that purpose. Though, I would keep my Treo 650 for the keyboard and the wireless connectivity.
    David
  12. #12  
    there is already an ipod phone coming out. It's a joint project with motorolla
  13. #13  
    Word on the street is that the ipod phone is being delayed because there is no carrier willing to include it in their lineup. At issue is whether Apple and Motorola will leave room for carriers to benefit from the ipod phone. The carriers are trying to get a share of the music market. They want to charge between $2 and $3 a song, but iTunes only charges .99 cents for a song. There's not a whole lot of profit to share, since Apple only makes about 4 cents per song after paying for the licensing, etc. So, the carriers view an ipod phone as competition.
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by archie
    Apple already has a good solution for communication devices in place. Look at iChat AV (along with the AOL folks). You can walk around with any Bluetooth headset and talk with up to 10 people at once (and listen to music) - IN STEREO (Apple uses Bluetooth 2). Can you do that with a Treo? Heck, you can even use a video cam for video phone technology with up to 3 people. Then you have 3rd party solutions like Skype with its all encompassing global outreach). Well, all encompassing if you don't count the incompatability with Palm devices.
    No, I can't do that with a Palm. OTOH, you can't make a phone call with iChat, can you? Skype is wonderful, in theory, if you happen to be near a free WiFi hotspot. My Treo can access the cellular network almost anywhere.

    I stand behind my comments. There's a heck of a difference between making an iPod and making a cell phone, bluetooth or no.
    Bob Meyer
    I'm out of my mind. But feel free to leave a message.
  15.    #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by defii
    Archie, though the iPod synchronizes with the address book, calendar and notes, what are the limitations? For example, does it sync both the home and work address, or is it limited to one like the Palm?
    Those limitations are not there.


    Quote Originally Posted by defii
    Does it sync event locations from the calendar, or does it exclude those like the Palm?
    Hmmm... I don't think it does yet.


    Quote Originally Posted by defii
    I know it's a great music player. However, there is one more problem. If it only had the ability to do allow data input directly, then it would truly be a real PDA. I would buy it just for that purpose. Though, I would keep my Treo 650 for the keyboard and the wireless connectivity.
    Currently, Apple's handheld has limited data input; the clicker and then the direct input/digitizing of voice recording and photo imports from cameras. No thumb typing.

    However; Apple has just received a patent for a new kind of handheld that is described as having a touch sensitive screen. It's quite possible this device could be using Mac OS X.

    That would give it multiple input capabilities:

    Touchscreen tapping and gestures
    Revolutionary new 2-finger screen scrolling
    Inkwell
    Speech recognition
    Sudden Motion Sensor for screen orientation tilting (and the protection of the possibly included HD) also great for gaming controls – as demoed on recent Powerbooks
  16.    #16  
    Bonjour now available for the Mac, Windows and Linux. WiMax is now ready and we know Apple likes to be the first with wireless technologies (ie: Airport and 802.11b, 802.11g, Bluetooth and of course most recently, Bluetooth 2.0). Tiger is out in the market place and it gives us consumers access to XGrid technology.

    Ahhh, the Grid. Meanwhile, Palm is focused on thinking the individual machine is the all important device.
  17.    #17  
    I've mentioned this before but just wanted to reiterate how Apple needs to establish the iPod as an anchor – a neccesity of sorts.

    This is evidenced by the work Apple has been doing with Intel on the CE-ATA Specification.

    Ummm... the CE stands for Consumer Electronics and commonly refers to handheld electronic devices. ATA defines physical, electrical, transport, and command protocols. These protocals apply to the internal attachment of storage devices as defined in the ATA reference.
  18.    #18  
    I wanted to add more evidence to the possibility of Apple releasing new portable hardware in the near future (consisting of iPods and whatever else).

    Now that Apple's move to Intel processor's in their Mac line is official, we have to sit back and wait 2 years while the transition is complete. I gurantee you can expect some cool new stuff coming from these guys that does not rely on a big and powerful processor. Reasoning: they won't be expecting any revenue from the Mac line because everyone will be waiting to purchase the new upcoming hardware and this will adversely effect hardware sales. They need to sell other hardware to make up for it.

    Handhelds! That is what they will be selling for the next 2 years.
  19. spiVeyx's Avatar
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    #19  
    I hope you're right archie, but I, for one, have lost all hope. I was really hoping SJ was going to annoince a new handheld platform yesterday...

    I guess I'll sit back and see what the future holds for Apple.

    Does anybody want to make any predictions on when Apple might release a handheld/PDA-like device?
  20. #20  
    I have been really disappointed in Palm's lack of innovation. I recently upgraded by Visorphone for a Treo 650 LoL. The basic functionality of the device hasn't improved much over the past 3-4 years - in fact the VP is more straightforward, uses grafiti (which I like), and is more stable with other apps.Meanwhile the BT on the 650o is not nearly comprehensive enough and there is no WiFi. The only really gain is in the screen.

    I do like my 650. It's just that I can't help feel Palm is missing a major opportunity to do what Apple has done with OSX and the iPod and really innovate.
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