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  1. sam1am's Avatar
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       #1  
    I have theory that the Palm Pre will be WiMax capable. Granted, normally a phone company will reveal that kind of info when they announce the phone, but there may be reasons why they did not. At least two that I can think of:

    - Sprint is not ready to get all official about WiMax rollouts
    - Palm knew the phone would generate enough buzz already. Maybe they figure they can leave WiMax as icing on the cake.

    Additionally, I used to have a contact who was pretty high up on the food chain at Palm. In February 2006 I learned from him that they were working on a WiMax phone and that they would be releasing it by the end of 2007 - along with Sprint rolling out their WiMax network. Obviously this never happened, as Sprint didn't have their ducks in a row in time. But I know the rumor was legit because I got majorly chewed out by posting about it on my blog - my contact came very close to being fingered when Palm launched an internal investigation to find the source of the leak.

    So the fact is Palm has had WiMax on their radar since before early 2006. They were slated to be the phone launch partner for WiMax way back then - so why not now? The Pre is Palm's last chance to save their dying business, so there is no better time than the present to launch with WiMax and start taking back some market share.

    The Pre is the revolutionary device that was MADE for high speed data/WiMax - hell it's even shipping with "Web OS." There is no device out there that needs WiMax more than this. If they had a device ready for WiMax in 2006 and now the network is about ready for the phone in 2009, would it make sense NOT to ship with WiMax capabilities?

    Additionally, Sprints new advertising is heavily promoting their 4G network. Even going to the Pre's page on their site: Sprint: Meet the Palm Pre will say "bringing you the first 4g network from a national carrier." They say the same things in their commercials and then show the Pre for a few seconds right at the end.

    A commenter on the "will you switch to sprint?" blog post claimed that a Sprint employee told them the Pre would have WiMax. It's not much, but it's something.

    One last thing I want to point out is that AT&T is nervous - they're all in a hurry to roll out their 7.2Mbps HSDPA for some reason (I've used it and it's awesome) - even though nobody is really complaining about their network speed. Could it be because WiMax is so close and they can feel it? On the other hand, how is Sprint planning on keeping up?

    The Pre would have to support both EVDO Rev. A AND WiMax - it has been advertised up to this point as Rev. A capable. Plus, until the WiMax network is completely rolled out, you wouldn't want Pre users stuck without something relatively fast. But every 3G phone out there comes with 2G fallback, so why wouldn't a 4G phone come with 3G/2G fallback?

    I'm not saying I'm convinced that the Pre will have WiMax, I'm just saying there's a chance and even a little bit of reason to suggest it.

    What do you guys think?
  2. bignoze's Avatar
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    #2  
    gen 2 brah
  3. sam1am's Avatar
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       #3  


    Watch it. The 4G network is "ON" the palm pre at the very end...

    Just sayin...
  4. #4  
    I think that since this is your 1st post, I would say, It doesn't hold much water. I would even go so far as to say, that if I wrote a post like yours that it wouldn't hold much water either. I would also say that this has been talked about in another thread that is active as of today
    http://forums.precentral.net/palm-pr...what-odds.html
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  5. #5  
    /note Thread link fixed.
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  6. sam1am's Avatar
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       #6  
    Are you specifically questioning my knowledge about Palm's WiMax ambitions or my post in general?
  7. #7  
    Possibility? Yeah, always possible until the thing is finally released.
    Likely? I would say snowball's chance in hell, but it would be a game-changer for the final announcement.
  8. #8  
    Wow, this is fairly illuminating. We should merge this in with the other thread about 4G on the Pre.
    Personally, I don't know enough about the technologies involved to understand how feasible this is given that the Pre already has CDMA, GPS, Wifi, and Bluetooth radios. Does WiMax need a separate radio, or is it an extension of CDMA like EVDO? That is the major question in my mind. If it can be built into the existing CDMA radio as simply another mode, then it kind of makes sense. If it needs a separate radio, then I am a lot more skeptical.

    Basically, I think it comes down to cost. I have a hard time believing that Palm would invest in a technology that is only going to benefit a few users at the outset. They have so much else to do with this phone, it's just hard for me to believe. But maybe that part was already done, and all they had to do was integrate their existing CDMA radio with pre-existing 4G capability. Or maybe Sprint put in a lot of engineering effort. Who knows? But it doesn't feel like it could have been a priority for Palm. It's just not going to be a major selling point for another year or so.
  9. sam1am's Avatar
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       #9  
    I was thinking that maybe the hardware would be included but that the software would be locked to Rev. A. But that doesn't make much sense since they will want something to entice people to upgrade to version 2.0 and there's no reason NOT to tell people about it right off the bat when at least some people could be using it.
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by sam1am View Post
    Are you specifically questioning my knowledge about Palm's WiMax ambitions or my post in general?
    more specifically the post itself... It's very ambitious, and we don't know much about you, or your sources.
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  11. #11  
    I personally believe 4G is not a title sprint is debuting for WiMax.

    I think its an add campaign to flower up the "Now Network", and make it look like on sprint you have an easier way of knowing everything you need to know in the world than any other phone company. Through what they consider a more effective user experience. <-- That's 4G to them.
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  12. sam1am's Avatar
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       #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by jbg7474 View Post
    Wow, this is fairly illuminating. We should merge this in with the other thread about 4G on the Pre.
    Personally, I don't know enough about the technologies involved to understand how feasible this is given that the Pre already has CDMA, GPS, Wifi, and Bluetooth radios. Does WiMax need a separate radio, or is it an extension of CDMA like EVDO? That is the major question in my mind. If it can be built into the existing CDMA radio as simply another mode, then it kind of makes sense. If it needs a separate radio, then I am a lot more skeptical.

    Basically, I think it comes down to cost. I have a hard time believing that Palm would invest in a technology that is only going to benefit a few users at the outset. They have so much else to do with this phone, it's just hard for me to believe. But maybe that part was already done, and all they had to do was integrate their existing CDMA radio with pre-existing 4G capability. Or maybe Sprint put in a lot of engineering effort. Who knows? But it doesn't feel like it could have been a priority for Palm. It's just not going to be a major selling point for another year or so.
    Most other phones use chips that integrate all the Radios, so it would probably be the same with a WiMax chip. Also, Palm has already invested a lot in WiMax which will be available to 35 million people probably before Palm releases version 2.0. Even if my market doesn't have it yet, I would buy a Pre knowing it was capable and that I had 3G to tide me over...
  13. sam1am's Avatar
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       #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by zionixi View Post
    I personally believe 4G is not a title sprint is debuting for WiMax.

    I think its an add campaign to flower up the "Now Network", and make it look like on sprint you have an easier way of knowing everything you need to know in the world than any other phone company. Through what they consider a more effective user experience. <-- That's 4G to them.
    I don't know about that. Pretty much everyone says WiMax = 4G. To say they are launching the first 4G network from a national carrier, and then to say that means some abstract idea about user experience instead of network speeds is a pretty far jump.

    In fact, I'd call it downright misleading.
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by zionixi View Post
    I personally believe 4G is not a title sprint is debuting for WiMax.

    I think its an add campaign to flower up the "Now Network", and make it look like on sprint you have an easier way of knowing everything you need to know in the world than any other phone company. Through what they consider a more effective user experience. <-- That's 4G to them.
    Where did you get that idea? They are calling it 4G so that they can say they beat Verizon (and AT&T) to the punch. In other words, WiMax and LTE are both 4G technologies. They are also using 4G because there is a lot of momentum behind the "3G" nomenclature courtesy of the iPhone 3G.

    When Sprint says 4G, they are absolutely talking about WiMax. No question.
  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by jbg7474 View Post
    Where did you get that idea? They are calling it 4G so that they can say they beat Verizon (and AT&T) to the punch. In other words, WiMax and LTE are both 4G technologies. They are also using 4G because there is a lot of momentum behind the "3G" nomenclature courtesy of the iPhone 3G.

    When Sprint says 4G, they are absolutely talking about WiMax. No question.
    Then why aren't they bragging about there new speed? All they're talking about is all these different applications telling you whats going on in real time? That's not speed. That's user experience.
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  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by sam1am View Post
    Most other phones use chips that integrate all the Radios, so it would probably be the same with a WiMax chip. Also, Palm has already invested a lot in WiMax which will be available to 35 million people probably before Palm releases version 2.0. Even if my market doesn't have it yet, I would buy a Pre knowing it was capable and that I had 3G to tide me over...
    So that's just it--if you are right and Palm has already invested a lot of effort into WiMax and has the technology ready to go, then it makes sense to do it, and hell, if it's there, you might as well sell it as such. Keeping it secret until launch makes some sense because the announcement of it would be a pretty huge boost, possibly even enough to overshadow the next iPhone in June.

    Still, I'm skeptical. Every capability requires effort. Their WiMax effort would had to have been VERY mature. If WiMax operates on a different frequency then you have yet another EMI challenge. It all boils down to where are you going to put your resources, and I maintain that unless it was incredibly simple and nearly cost-free to put on the Pre, it's pretty much not going to be there.

    There is sort of a hybrid option available: maybe the hardware can do it but they don't have all the bugs worked out in the software. So maybe future software releases would be able to enable it.

    I don't know--there is a veil of secrecy that doesn't totally add up with all the concrete information that we have currently. I'll grant you that. So I think they're going to surprise us with something. I think it's more likely to be software than hardware, though.
  17. #17  
    I hope this clears this up once and for all that the Pre is NOT 4G capable. If you don't believe me, you might want to hit this person up on Twitter. She is the 4G wimax expert for Sprint:

    svinge (svinge) on Twitter

    And here is her post about it:

    Sprint says it expects to offer tri mode 4G/3G/WiFi phone in 2010 #4G
    10:38 PM Apr 17th from TwitterBerry
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by jbg7474 View Post
    I think it's more likely to be software than hardware, though.
    As do I. There are only two reasons I really see for the "no touch" policy at press demos: (1) It wasn't quite done when they were showing it off, so the controlled environment made for a *generally* more positive press experience, and (2) there's something special they've been keeping under wraps - more than likely it was software. We've already seen that Palm is capable of keeping stuff secret (who saw the Pre coming?) and even moving quickly in response to customer demands (Classic Palm OS emulation with Motion Apps), so maybe, just maybe, there's something they've been holding back, but I'm not holding my breath.

    If the Pre launches in May, I'll be pleasantly surprised. If the Pre launches with some fantastic surprise that Palm managed to keep secret, I'll be pleasantly surprised. If neither happens and the Pre launches in late June with pretty much the same software and hardware we've been seeing since January, I'll be happy to finally get my paws on the darned thing. But not disappointed. I hope.
    "'Form follows function' that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union."
    Frank Lloyd Wright
  19. #19  
    The Sprint commercials talking about the 4G network and then showing the Pre made no sense to me. Why link the two when consumers will only be disappointed when they find out the Pre isn't 4G capable? Maybe we'll all be surprised. Here's hoping. I've been figuring there will be some 11th hour surprise, but of much more modest proportion. If it's WiMax, I'm moving.
  20. #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by zionixi View Post
    Then why aren't they bragging about there new speed? All they're talking about is all these different applications telling you whats going on in real time? That's not speed. That's user experience.
    Well, that's a question for the marketers. When they invoke "4G" with no other information tied to it, they assume they're speaking to people who know what that means: ludicrous speed (at least compared to current cell phone data networks).

    I agree that they are certainly touting the "Now Network" as a user experience, as if to say that you too could find yourself in any one of these statistics at any time. But then at the end they show both 3G and 4G, saying that they're bringing the first ever 4G network from a national carrier, or something like that. So they put 3G and 4G next to each other. Everyone knows what 3G is (again, see iPhone 3G): faster data. 4G must then be more of the same, no? In my mind, they seem to mention both of these as enablers of the Now Network. But I'm an engineer, which means I'm prone to misinterpreting marketing materials.
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