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  1.    #1  
    We've all seen a lot of suggestions lately regarding how to save Palm etc. The solution has always been the hardware. The webOS platform is absolutely amazing and is the best mobile OS I've ever used. I can say that confidently after having owned a Symbian, iPhone and Android device. The problem has always been the hardware. Carriers don't want to push the Pre/Pixi because of hardware issues... high return rates due to battery life, oreo effect, etc are very annoying for carriers. With that in mind, I propose realistic specs for an improved device (and a few other tips):

    1. 700-800 mhz CPU. Please don't use the 1 Ghz Snapdragon. The speed increases at 1 Ghz vs 700 Mhz aren't significant, but the battery drain will be quite noticeable and Palm has had enough problems with battery life already.

    2. 1850 mAh battery. Putting such a tiny battery in the Pre was an absolute joke. My Nokia E71 is half the thickness of the Pre but included a 1500 mAh battery. The solution to this problem is to simply have a thin, wide battery that takes up nearly the entire back-end of the phone, like Nokia has done. Plus, if Palm expects their users to be playing 3D games and multi-tasking, they have absolutely got to have a solid battery. An 1850 mAh battery is both realistic and powerful.

    3. NO 4G. Yes, I said it. Here's why: the 4G footprint is currently small enough that it won't appeal to enough of the masses to make it worthwhile selling point. Secondly, the chipset technology is still relatively young and it promises to be a battery guzzler. Wait on this, Palm. Don't be one of the first manufacturers out of the gate to subject yourself to the potential bugs and issues with 4G when you cannot afford to make a single mistake with this next device.

    4. Retain the hardware keyboard. Stick to your principles here, Palm. One of the reasons I switched to the Pre was because I was sick of the touchscreen on my iPhone which was not very accurate and also useless with gloves on, etc. It might not be a bad idea to include a built-in virtual keyboard for webOS so I can type without sliding open the phone.

    5. Increase screen size to at least 3.4-3.5", with resolution of 480x320. Do not go with AMOLED. This puts the screen on par with the iPhone, gives more web-browsing and gaming real-estate and also gives enough extra room on the screen for a virtual keyboard if you so decide. It is also a screen size that will allow you to retain form factor. Stick with your current screen technology... AMOLED is virtually unreadable in the daylight- don't buy into the hype.

    6. Improve build quality and stringent quality control. It's ok to spend a few extra bucks making the new device rock-solid. It has been proven time and time again that people will pay for quality and honestly, I doubt it will cost THAT much extra to go with a better manufacturing company.

    7. Make it sexy. Remember that people often don't make buying decisions based on logic- desire is much more powerful. The Pre and Pixi are sexy, make no mistake about it. Hell, my gf bought a Pixi solely because she thought "it was cute." Please ensure that the next-generation device isn't just powerful- it's sexy. People like sexy. Make them NEED it.

    8. Remember you've got friends out there still, Palm. There's not very many pundits out there who are saying the problem is webOS... it's the crappy hardware that results in a high rate of returns that discourages carriers. So use your friends at Engadget, cnet, G4, PC World, etc. Your product is webOS and everyone loves it. Get it on the right hardware and use your friends out there to promote it.

    9. Use a 4 week announcement-to-launch window and load the 4 week interval with relentless advertising. 4 weeks is enough time to allow a fever pitch to build based on initial announcement excitement of a hot new phone, followed by relentless advertising on TV, web, radio and print. Get the pre-release version in the hands of the gadget blogs before the launch date and get a glowing review... this will only further the internet hype-machine. 4 weeks is also not a long enough period of time to allow the hype to cool down, which was a critical error you made last time. Also, you probably still have enough cash on tap to support a concentrated 4 week advertising bonanza, which will likely be cheaper and more effective than a long, drawn-out campaign.

    10. Utilize "functionality based advertising." This should have been intuitive from the
    start, as Apple used this exact same method. You've just now started to take this marketing approach but you've left out some critical details. Show how we can "work and play"... show a user playing a 3D game, getting an email, flipping cards over to the email app, replying and then hopping right back into the game where he left off. Things like this get users really excited, because you just can't do that with any other device!

    11. Make critical improvements to webOS. Email multi-select and delete ability must be added. The UI must be GPU accelerated. Having serious bugs in applications as simple as the alarm clock is absolutely unacceptable. Improve the boot-up time. When it takes 2 minutes for a user to boot their brand new device, that instantly makes a bad impression. Ship the Facebook app stock. Look at the most popular Preware patches and roll those improvements into the OS... these are the features that users want and its a FREE resource!

    I hope this helps. Good luck and god speed, Palm... you'll need it.
    Last edited by livinofframen; 03/21/2010 at 04:35 PM.
  2.    #2  
    Oh and I almost forgot... Make the announcement as soon as it's feasible, because time is running out on your cash reserves.
  3. #3  
    Those features that you have posted look good, but planning/developing a new smartphone platform is something that starts at least a year in advance because of designing/manufacturing/testing procedures. What ever smartphone that Palm has planned for it's next launch is probably already set in stone.
  4. #4  
    As to the CPU, I'd rather the Cortex A9, even if it's a single-core 700mHz or so version, rather than the Snapdragon at all. The fact that it's an out-of-order CPU as opposed to the current ARM chips which are all in-order, means that it should handle multitasking a whole lot better. Of course, I don't think any of the chipset manufacturers are making a single core version anyway, which means that at a minimum you get dual-core at 720mHz. If Palm takes advantage of the chip's powersaving features (SmartReflex, for example) by default, then it shouldn't make too much of a difference to battery life compared to the Snapdragon, etc.

    But that'd require waiting till the end of the year before it's ready for mass production. Then again, if they release a Snapdragon based phone in the next few months, they'll just be upstaged with faster hardware at the end of the year, similar to how the Pre's OMAP3 was upstaged by Snapdragon shortly after its launch.

    As for making the announcement soon, the fact that the carriers have 500k unsold phones makes that pretty much impossible, and is why Palm is in such a precarious position. A new device makes it even harder to sell the Pres and Pixis already sitting on store shelves. If they don't start putting a dent in that large number, the carriers will have absolutely no interest in the new device.
  5. #5  
    my suggestion to the thread starter ...

    USE PARAGRAPHS
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by netwrkr9 View Post
    Those features that you have posted look good, but planning/developing a new smartphone platform is something that starts at least a year in advance because of designing/manufacturing/testing procedures. What ever smartphone that Palm has planned for it's next launch is probably already set in stone.
    Agreed, generally, although I don't know how possible it all is. Since I'm finding myself more and more in favor of an HTC acquisition (because I don't want to wait months and months to see how it all plays out), I bet HTC could solve the hardware problems almost overnight. I really don't think the Pre's problems (to the extent that they're not overblown; my launch-day Pre remains perfect, and so I haven't experienced the problems myself) are design-related, but rather due to manufacturing, and perhaps HTC could tighten things up pretty quickly.

    Also, on the very last point: if Palm were ready to enable the GPU for the GUI, we'd have it on the Pre (at least, if not also the Pixi). Fact is, while they're working on it, I'm not expecting to see it until webOS 2.0, and I think we're quite a ways from that. And, I don't think the GUI is so slow as is--I think it's pretty good in 1.4, frankly, and what's really needed the most is to fix the memory issues.
    Treo 600 > Treo 650 > HTC Mogul (*****!) > HTC Touch Pro (***** squared!) > PRE! > Epic
  7.    #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by wynand32 View Post
    Agreed, generally, although I don't know how possible it all is. Since I'm finding myself more and more in favor of an HTC acquisition (because I don't want to wait months and months to see how it all plays out), I bet HTC could solve the hardware problems almost overnight. I really don't think the Pre's problems (to the extent that they're not overblown; my launch-day Pre remains perfect, and so I haven't experienced the problems myself) are design-related, but rather due to manufacturing, and perhaps HTC could tighten things up pretty quickly.

    Also, on the very last point: if Palm were ready to enable the GPU for the GUI, we'd have it on the Pre (at least, if not also the Pixi). Fact is, while they're working on it, I'm not expecting to see it until webOS 2.0, and I think we're quite a ways from that. And, I don't think the GUI is so slow as is--I think it's pretty good in 1.4, frankly, and what's really needed the most is to fix the memory issues.
    I totally forgot about the memory leaks. Good call there. There's no doubt that HTC is one of the best companies when it comes to hardware, but remember that almost all their latest phones are touchscreen-only, which is a little incompatible with Palm's keyboard ideals and would require a bit of coding to add a VK.

    I just don't know what the issue with the GPU + UI is. To include the GPU and not utilize it to the max of it's abilities is ludicrous to me. I feel the UI in 1.4 is much, much laggier, even with the 600 mhz patch.
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by livinofframen View Post
    I just don't know what the issue with the GPU + UI is. To include the GPU and not utilize it to the max of it's abilities is ludicrous to me. I feel the UI in 1.4 is much, much laggier, even with the 600 mhz patch.
    The webOS GUI is basically a bunch of Web pages served up by a Web server and displayed using a WebKit browser. For exactly the same reason that current Web browsing on a PC isn't GPU accelerated, it's not on webOS. That's the other edge of the sword in Palm's decision to create a Web-based OS; it makes development easy and the UI scalable to many different screen sizes, etc., but performance necessarily takes a hit. It also explains the PDK, which is a way of allowing the creation of applications in C/C++ that can more directly utilize the hardware.

    Some of the technologies that Palm is considering to utilize the GPU are CSS Transforms and WebGL, which are two emerging technologies to enable the WebKit browser to utilize the GPU to speed up performance. Those aren't ready for production use, however, and it'll be awhile before they're ready. And, I'm sure that they'll require some serious application revisions to make use of their capabilities.
    Treo 600 > Treo 650 > HTC Mogul (*****!) > HTC Touch Pro (***** squared!) > PRE! > Epic
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by jhoff80 View Post
    As for making the announcement soon, the fact that the carriers have 500k unsold phones makes that pretty much impossible, and is why Palm is in such a precarious position. A new device makes it even harder to sell the Pres and Pixis already sitting on store shelves. If they don't start putting a dent in that large number, the carriers will have absolutely no interest in the new device.
    Normally I'd agree with you here, but it might be just as effective for Palm to release a higher-end, "hero" device that kick starts webOS sales. Then, existing inventory of Pre/Pixi units would be attractive as a way for people to buy into an invigorated webOS ecosystem at a much lower price point. I have no idea if any carrier would go along with that, but who knows...
    Treo 600 > Treo 650 > HTC Mogul (*****!) > HTC Touch Pro (***** squared!) > PRE! > Epic
  10.    #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by wynand32 View Post
    The webOS GUI is basically a bunch of Web pages served up by a Web server and displayed using a WebKit browser. For exactly the same reason that current Web browsing on a PC isn't GPU accelerated, it's not on webOS. That's the other edge of the sword in Palm's decision to create a Web-based OS; it makes development easy and the UI scalable to many different screen sizes, etc., but performance necessarily takes a hit. It also explains the PDK, which is a way of allowing the creation of applications in C/C++ that can more directly utilize the hardware.

    Some of the technologies that Palm is considering to utilize the GPU are CSS Transforms and WebGL, which are two emerging technologies to enable the WebKit browser to utilize the GPU to speed up performance. Those aren't ready for production use, however, and it'll be awhile before they're ready. And, I'm sure that they'll require some serious application revisions to make use of their capabilities.
    I believe the rendering of web pages on a desktop PC isn't GPU accelerated because of the massive CPU power reserve that is available. Doing CPU-based rendering of a web page is more than sufficient for a powerful desktop PC, but in the embedded environment, those clock cycles are precious. The GPU could certainly be used to assist with the underlying rendering that Webkit browser is doing.
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by wynand32 View Post
    Normally I'd agree with you here, but it might be just as effective for Palm to release a higher-end, "hero" device that kick starts webOS sales. Then, existing inventory of Pre/Pixi units would be attractive as a way for people to buy into an invigorated webOS ecosystem at a much lower price point. I have no idea if any carrier would go along with that, but who knows...
    Make the Pixi free, and drop the Pre to $50. They will sell then and people will pick up contracts. Just look at blackberries, the 8330 still sells even though the 9700 is around. Not everyone wants a high end phone, but they want to buy into the structure that a brand promises. Use the new high end phone to make people want that structure, and the Pre's and Pixi's will sell.

    I am pretty firm in my belief that Palm needs to new hardware to survive.

    Edit: also I totally agree on the use of the A9.
    Last edited by Complex Pants; 03/21/2010 at 04:49 PM.
    Master Pants, Lord of the Universe, Groupie of Blaize

    Need help with your webOS device? PM me for help!
  12. #12  
    Sprint: First and Only Wireless 4G from a National Carrier -- Sprint very soon will provide 4G service to a very large market, not making a 4G device would be suicide, especially with the Supersonic about to drop.
  13. #13  
    I agree. Even if you don't plan on the 4G being used commonly, give the phone the ability to use it, so it stays relevant in the future.
    Master Pants, Lord of the Universe, Groupie of Blaize

    Need help with your webOS device? PM me for help!
  14. #14  
    I would argue that not only is #11 the most critical of all of these improvements, but it is also the one Palm seems most incapable of putting into effect.

    It's not like they haven't had incentive or notice to make these changes prior to now. They simply have not been able to for whatever reason, and I doubt they will magically gain the manpower and/or capability to now.

    As for the rest...it's a tangle of contradictions. You want a device to be "sexy", yet you demand it have a large battery, hardware QWERTY, and a screen smaller than the Droid, Nexus One, and upcoming Windows 7 devices...and MUCH smaller than the Supersonic.

    Did I mention all of these devices will be more svelte and faster? I would love to see better Palm hardware, but sticking to principles that led you to a precipice makes no sense.

    Time to put lots of distance between the disastrous present hardware and their best shot for the future.
  15. slinky's Avatar
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    #15  
    1. Using a 480 x 320 screen means the next Palm edition is DEAD before it hits the shelf. The next iPhone and virtually every full screen phone will have a higher resolution and the difference will be very noticeable.

    2. All your suggestions won't solve the big problem - how to get rid of all the current Pres and fast AND not lose a TON of money burning cash.

    Here is the cure for Palm: An oil mogul who loves Web OS dies, leaves his money to his dog, who unfortunately dies before the mogul, and the will designates that his $500 million fortune should go to the Palm Corporation or to charity, if Palm is still an active corporation by the time of his death (prior to September 2010).
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by livinofframen View Post
    I believe the rendering of web pages on a desktop PC isn't GPU accelerated because of the massive CPU power reserve that is available. Doing CPU-based rendering of a web page is more than sufficient for a powerful desktop PC, but in the embedded environment, those clock cycles are precious. The GPU could certainly be used to assist with the underlying rendering that Webkit browser is doing.
    You're somewhat correct regarding PC's. However, I was answering why the GPU isn't currently being used in webOS, not that it shouldn't be used. The simple fact is that using the GPU in a Web browser--which is the entire webOS GUI--isn't yet built into WebKit to the point where Palm can implement it.

    And, as a side note, even given the powerful CPUs on PC's, browser developers (Firefox, Microsoft with IE 9, WebKit) are nevertheless adding GPU acceleration to the next generation of browsers. This is both to improve performance and to enable more capabilities.
    Last edited by wynand32; 03/21/2010 at 05:19 PM.
    Treo 600 > Treo 650 > HTC Mogul (*****!) > HTC Touch Pro (***** squared!) > PRE! > Epic
  17.    #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by mikah912 View Post
    I would argue that not only is #11 the most critical of all of these improvements, but it is also the one Palm seems most incapable of putting into effect.

    It's not like they haven't had incentive or notice to make these changes prior to now. They simply have not been able to for whatever reason, and I doubt they will magically gain the manpower and/or capability to now.

    As for the rest...it's a tangle of contradictions. You want a device to be "sexy", yet you demand it have a large battery, hardware QWERTY, and a screen smaller than the Droid, Nexus One, and upcoming Windows 7 devices...and MUCH smaller than the Supersonic.

    Did I mention all of these devices will be more svelte and faster? I would love to see better Palm hardware, but sticking to principles that led you to a precipice makes no sense.

    Time to put lots of distance between the disastrous present hardware and their best shot for the future.
    Tangle of contradictions? You must work for Palm, because it's that attitude that has gotten them where they are now. My E71 was VERY sexy and included a 1500 mAh battery. The original iPhone was quite sexy with a 1400 mAh battery onboard. The Nexus one is very sexy with a 1400 mAh. Hardly a contradiction to put a large battery on there and have it be sexy. The screen specs I have listed are exactly on par with the iPhone and an improvement over the current Pre and the iPhone does just fine.

    The only time I suggested Palm stick to their principles was with the hardware keyboard, which many, many people like and somehow, I doubt that was what led them to a precipice.
  18. #18  
    I have to disagree with you on points 1, 4, 5, and disagree to an extent on point 3

    1. 700-800 mhz CPU. Please don't use the 1 Ghz Snapdragon.

    I agree with no snapdragon, but only because I think they should be going after the newest hottest technology with their next phone.

    4. Retain the hardware keyboard.

    I think this is a matter of personal preference. I would love to see a touchscreen only webos device. I really do think physical keyboards are better, but even as an avid texter and emailer, I prefer the advantages of a touchslab style phone. Touchslabs are generally sleaker, more solid, skinnier phones. If palm can create a virtual keyboard with spell check as good as android or iphone, I wouldnt miss the physical keyboard one bit.

    5. Increase screen size to at least 3.4-3.5", with resolution of 480x320. Do not go with AMOLED.

    I have pretty extensive use with the droid, and the one thing about it that I really do envy is the screen. The resolution is absolutely beautiful. I agree that it is less readable in direct sunlight, but I would not consider it "unusable". The size of the droid/N1's screen is also worth being jealous of. The Pre's screen size isn't a dealbreaker by any means, but 3.7 would be great.

    3. NO 4G.

    I really don't know enough about the availability of sprints 4g service to say one way or the other, but I feel that if there is a big enough demand for a 4g phone in areas where the service is provided it couldn't hurt. If there is a way they could make a 3g/4g phone and have it available everywhere, for an affordable price, it could be a pretty great selling point. Even though I don't have 4g in my area, I would buy a 4g phone if it was available just because I like adopting the newest technology.
  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by Complex Pants View Post
    Make the Pixi free, and drop the Pre to $50. They will sell then and people will pick up contracts. Just look at blackberries, the 8330 still sells even though the 9700 is around. Not everyone wants a high end phone, but they want to buy into the structure that a brand promises. Use the new high end phone to make people want that structure, and the Pre's and Pixi's will sell.
    Problem is, that's already been/being done. In fact, you can get a Pre Plus on Amazon today for $30. And, Verizon has their BOGO offer. So, there's not much more price-dropping that can be done.

    The more I think about it, the more I think Palm needs to introduce a higher-end device to kickstart sales, and then pull through the current inventory to give bargain hunters a low-cost way to enter an invigorated webOS ecosystem. I'm starting to repeat myself and losing track of threads, though, so I'll stop there.
    Treo 600 > Treo 650 > HTC Mogul (*****!) > HTC Touch Pro (***** squared!) > PRE! > Epic
  20. mrkalel's Avatar
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    #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by blatherdrift View Post
    my suggestion to the thread starter ...

    USE PARAGRAPHS
    Why does he need too?... He numbered his points...seems fine and readable to me...
    Follow me on Twitter : MrKal_El
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