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  1. #201  
    And beware of creative marketing statements. If a vendor says 128M RAM, it may actually be 64M dynamic RAM (fast enough for the CPU to access, but looses data if the power is off) and 64M Flash RAM (too slow for the CPU to access, but retains data if the power if off).

    The OS does the caching to keep dynamic RAM and Flash RAM in sync.
    Palm Pilot-->Handspring Visor-->Treo 300-->Treo 600-->Treo 650-->Treo 700p+E62-->Treo700p+Curve (8300)-->Curve (8330)
  2. #202  
    Quote Originally Posted by Malatesta View Post
    You're confusing ROM and RAM (and incidentally, that's exactly how WM2003 devices and earlier did behave! If your battery died, you lost everything--instant hard-reset. Hence the change in architecture in WM5)

    ROM is where we store stuff, RAM is where it is run. The former survives a soft-reset (and a portion of that is factory written to survive a hard-reset); the latter is is temporary memory that does not survive a soft-reset.

    Correct in that sense, having a ton of ROM is fine (although with 6gb + micro-SDHC cards, I think a lot of OEMs would rather pass that cost on to you, if you want it).

    But there is a downside to having too much RAM, which is what we are focusing on. From Mike Calligaro of the WM Team Blog (and dated, we can bump up his numbers now to 128 RAM/256 ROM):
    (link)
    Mal, while what you say is mostly true, a few things are a bit misleading.

    Let's keep in mind what RAM and ROM mean:
    RAM=Random Access Memory
    ROM=Read Only Memory

    So the RAM can be written and read from, while ROM is only readable. There are several different types of RAM, though, which is where things get confusing. There's RAM like what we have in our desktop computers, which is extremely fast, but loses data without power. This is where programs are loaded while they are running, and when Windows Mobile complains about running out of Memory, that's what it's talking about. Too many programs running at once will fill that up quickly. Yes, it takes power to keep that kind of memory going, and increasing RAM will likely shorten battery life (although we don't know how much).

    Flash RAM can also be written to, but it's mostly used as storage as while its read times are stellar (random read times are faster than Hard Drives, while consecutive read times are slightly slower) write time is horribly slow. The upside is that they don't use power to store data. It's also extraordinarily cheap at the moment.

    ROM in phones is usually just the protected area of the (flash) memory that keeps your factory default data and programs for when you need to do a hard reset.

    What I can't understand is why we can't have more flash RAM in our devices. There's no reason not to include it. 1GB USB drives sell at Walgreens and Radio Shack for $15, so it's not the price. Flash RAM does not use power to store its data so there's no decrease in battery life. Why not put a gig on our Treos? Give us some internal space to store music, spreadsheets, databases, programs, videos, whatever!

    It's great that SD cards are so cheap that we can affordably put 4gb cards in there, but that just reinforces the question of why we don't get more than 64 or 128 mb of memory in the first place!


    Edit: I read that link that you provided, Mal....while he dumbs down the ideas for the masses relatively well, he completely misuses several acronyms, including the RAM/ROM deal. To quote the first commenter:

    Quote Originally Posted by Sebastien Mouren
    ROM is a falacious marketing term for Flash RAM like NAND & NOR. And even if they often are opposed, RAM & ROM terms qualify electronic devices at different and incomparable levels.
    Last edited by CountBuggula; 11/13/2007 at 04:28 PM.
    Visor Edge + VisorPhone -> Samsung i300 -> Treo 300 -> Treo 600 -> Treo 700p -> Treo 755
  3. #203  
    Quote Originally Posted by CountBuggula View Post
    Edit: I read that link that you provided, Mal....while he dumbs down the ideas for the masses relatively well, he completely misuses several acronyms, including the RAM/ROM deal. To quote the first commenter:
    FlashRAM, Persistent Storage, NVRAM, rewritable ROM, NOR, NAND, blah, blah, blah...

    You're all saying the same thing. The point is that we should have more on-board storage in these smartphones and not have to rely as much on SD cards.

    64MB of real RAM is good (32MB is not enough...as Treo 700w users found out).

    128-256MB of FlashRAM (ROM or Storage for the marketing guys) is OKAY, but we should have MORE, because by the time the operating system is stored on the device, that storage is reduced by at least 64MB or more.
    --Inspector Gadget

    "Go Go Gadget Pre!!"
    Palm Pre on Sprint

    Palm V--> Palm IIIc--> Visor Prism--> Visor Phone--> Treo 270--> Treo 600--> Treo 650-->
    Treo 700wx--> HTC Touch Diamond--> Palm Pre & HTC EVO 4G.
  4. #204  
    Quote Originally Posted by Insp_Gadget View Post
    FlashRAM, Persistent Storage, NVRAM, rewritable ROM, NOR, NAND, blah, blah, blah...

    You're all saying the same thing. The point is that we should have more on-board storage in these smartphones and not have to rely as much on SD cards.

    64MB of real RAM is good (32MB is not enough...as Treo 700w users found out).

    128-256MB of FlashRAM (ROM or Storage for the marketing guys) is OKAY, but we should have MORE, because by the time the operating system is stored on the device, that storage is reduced by at least 64MB or more.
    Actually we are not talking about the same thing!

    Storage memory is one and the RAM to run it is another.

    What I am saying: Storage memory can be anything with no side effects; but the more RAM you put in to run those program in as temporary memory, the more battery drainage there is.

    On top of the fact that having 1gb of RAM will not make the device run any better than if you had 40mb of available RAM. There will be no difference out side of battery drainage.

    BTW, the common tech vernacular does make the ROM/RAM distinction and that is what I will continue to use :
    with the standard 64 megs of RAM and a whopping 256 megs of flash ROM.
    (link)
    ...and includes 128MB RAM and 256MB ROM.
    (link)
    64 MB of RAM, 128 MB of ROM
    (link)

    Now, why don't they put more ROM (i.e. available storage) in these devices and instead make us use some type of SD card?

    Answer: because it saves them money

    Why put in 1gb of storage memory at a higher cost than 256mb when you can pass that expense on to the customer as an option to purchase later? In other words, not everyone will actually use 1gb of storage--it is not a necessity. But if you do want that, then go purchase a SD card of some sort and expand away.

    Is that an ideal solution? No. I too would rather have 1gb or more of internal storage, but I doubt we will see that anytime soon ( though Asus has done it for a PDA I believe). But for a lot of these OEMs it is about cutting corners. Look at HTC and the Mogul memory-issue or the general poor level of camera's in HTC and Palm devices. You go with what is cheap in bulk and does not cut into your bottom line.

    But I still do not see any rational argument for more than 128mb of RAM, even after the 64mb for the OS. How many people here currently run out of program memory (not storage) on the 700wx? Or the new Sprint Touch?
    Last edited by Malatesta; 11/13/2007 at 05:26 PM.

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  5. #205  
    Quote Originally Posted by Malatesta View Post
    Actually we are not talking about the same thing!
    I understand all of what you say. My point was that the explanations for the RAM versus ROM symantics given by various posters all say the same thing.

    As for the cost of extra integrated flash memory, I personally don't think it would cost that much. So what if the phone costs a few dollars more to have a gig of Flash. I'd rather have it than not. I've loaded plenty of applications to SD card that don't behave as well as they do on internal memory. Having more would certainly be welcome.
    --Inspector Gadget

    "Go Go Gadget Pre!!"
    Palm Pre on Sprint

    Palm V--> Palm IIIc--> Visor Prism--> Visor Phone--> Treo 270--> Treo 600--> Treo 650-->
    Treo 700wx--> HTC Touch Diamond--> Palm Pre & HTC EVO 4G.
  6. #206  
    Quote Originally Posted by Insp_Gadget View Post
    As for the cost of extra integrated flash memory, I personally don't think it would cost that much. So what if the phone costs a few dollars more to have a gig of Flash. I'd rather have it than not. I've loaded plenty of applications to SD card that don't behave as well as they do on internal memory. Having more would certainly be welcome.
    I would think that buying certain chips in bulk are cheaper than others and that these OEMs shoot for a specific price point for devices, while maximizing their profit margin--especially since they could use them in all their devices (Or maybe the carriers ask for that price point? I'm not sure how Sprint would feel if Palm or HTC came along with their new, updated device and told Sprint you need to sell it for $800, when Sprint maybe wanted a $500 smartphone on par with their other devices).

    So while I think the OEMs would have no issue passing the cost on to you or I, the carriers who ultimately are buying these devices and re-selling them might, as well as other constraints. Any of these companies could make a $1k "ultimate phone" but I'm figuring there is a barrier in the market for such a device, at least for carrier re-selling. (To harp on an old gripe of mine: if we could buy directly from Palm or HTC, I'm sure we would have way more variety and price ranges for devices, but the carriers tend to create an artifical market which you and I have to pick from. On CDMA especially, we are at the carriers whim.)

    Plus, like I mentioned, they most definitely see this "internal storage issue" as something that the customer can augment on their own. The current trend is 128/256 and I would expect all the OEMs to follow that for practical reasons.

    Don't get me wrong, I think your points are quite valid and I agree with you, but I don't think the OEMs and carriers see it like that (plus how the SD cards behave is partially due to the OS; WM is certainly more finicky on this issue than POS from my experience).

    Simply reading jrinehart's last post, I get the strong impression (which jives with my intuition) that Sprint calls the shots on specs and features. You and I are just hapless bystanders :
    Quote Originally Posted by jrinehart View Post
    320x320: Yes
    Wifi: ATM no
    More RAM? Yes, 256mb
    Faster Processor? ATM, Yes 400mhz
    Thinner? Yes, half way between the Touch and 755p

    Lots of things are still speculation on the 800 and there is still time for several key components to change but Sprint has asked for the above and so far they are getting most of what they ask for.
    Or maybe that's just happenstance in his wording, we'll probably never know.

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    #207  
    I dream of a you build it treo...like laptops or cars.
    you click from the drop down menu and choose your hardware and software config you want it to come with
    M505 -> M515 -> Kyo6035 -> Kyo 7135 -> Treo 600 ->Treo 650 -> Treo 700P -> Treo 700 WX -> Samsung Saga VZW
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    #208  
    I've been watching this thread, which has had over 30,000 views. I don't know if I missed something along the way: Howiecam's original post said the 800w is to come to Verizon. However, along the way someone said that they know for sure Sprint is to get it. So are we looking at a simultaneous release? I'm not about to switch to Sprint, not even for an 800w. Its to do with customer service, for which VZW is well known for. Consumer Reports has ranked it the best overall based on feedback from 42,921 readers. The magazine said: "The 20-city Ratings (available to subscribers) also show the major carriers that generally ended up at the bottom for service, according to our readers. Those include AT&T (formerly Cingular) and Sprint. Nextel, a frequent bottom dweller in earlier surveys, merged with Sprint in 2005."

    I'm willing to wait all of next year if needed, to get a WM6 Professional phone like the 800w or anything as good as it. GPS, WiFi, EV-DO Rev. A, etc etc. It would be super if the new Touch Cruise came to Verizon, but its only being released in GSM right now. Verizon is likely to get HTC's Iris which is WM6 Standard, and not Professional. Its screen size is likely less than 2.5" based on the photos released, see phonescoop.com. That website gives a link to the FCC website showing beautiful photos of the Iris. Looks gorgeous. Kind of a blackberry in appearance. WM6 Standard just won't do. I'm too used to Palm's touch screen; besides Epocrates, a medical program, won't run on WM6Standard.

    Roger
  9. #209  
    Yeah, it'll be for Sprint and Verizon (since both have the 700wx).

    Who will get it first? Tough call.

    Verizon got the 700w first, but Sprint got the better version later on. Verizon has also been quite laggy on releases lately, trailing on just about every device (hello 6800!? lol).

    I think Sprint will get it first, just my hunch (I'm still hearing "Q1" for Sprint with no such details for Verizon.). As far as Sprint and customer service--it's all hit and miss. I've never had an issue and to be honest, if you can snag a Treo 800w on SERO (assuming it's still around), the money saved on free sms, picture mail, unlimited date, etc. should offset any potential issues

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  10. #210  
    Quote Originally Posted by Malatesta View Post
    I would think that buying certain chips in bulk are cheaper than others and that these OEMs shoot for a specific price point for devices, while maximizing their profit margin--especially since they could use them in all their devices (Or maybe the carriers ask for that price point? I'm not sure how Sprint would feel if Palm or HTC came along with their new, updated device and told Sprint you need to sell it for $800, when Sprint maybe wanted a $500 smartphone on par with their other devices).

    So while I think the OEMs would have no issue passing the cost on to you or I, the carriers who ultimately are buying these devices and re-selling them might, as well as other constraints. Any of these companies could make a $1k "ultimate phone" but I'm figuring there is a barrier in the market for such a device, at least for carrier re-selling. (To harp on an old gripe of mine: if we could buy directly from Palm or HTC, I'm sure we would have way more variety and price ranges for devices, but the carriers tend to create an artifical market which you and I have to pick from. On CDMA especially, we are at the carriers whim.)

    Plus, like I mentioned, they most definitely see this "internal storage issue" as something that the customer can augment on their own. The current trend is 128/256 and I would expect all the OEMs to follow that for practical reasons.

    Don't get me wrong, I think your points are quite valid and I agree with you, but I don't think the OEMs and carriers see it like that (plus how the SD cards behave is partially due to the OS; WM is certainly more finicky on this issue than POS from my experience).

    Simply reading jrinehart's last post, I get the strong impression (which jives with my intuition) that Sprint calls the shots on specs and features. You and I are just hapless bystanders :

    Or maybe that's just happenstance in his wording, we'll probably never know.
    I understand your argument here, I just don't think it's valid in this circumstance. When we consider that a customer can take a 1 gb flash drive home for $15 from a retail store that has all manner of overhead costs, we can see that the actual flash memory is insanely cheap. At the most, we're talking about the difference between $5 and $10 for the OEM, and I have a gut feeling it's closer to the $1-$2 range (if even that).

    So yes, we hear all sorts of excuses why there's not more storage in our phones, but none of them hold any weight in today's market. The best we can agree with is that the carriers request it that way, but that's still not a good reason.

    Unless we want to get into the conspiracy theory that they deliberately sell devices with crap storage just to boost the market in removable storage media. Which is entirely possible.
    Visor Edge + VisorPhone -> Samsung i300 -> Treo 300 -> Treo 600 -> Treo 700p -> Treo 755
  11. #211  
    Quote Originally Posted by CountBuggula View Post
    I understand your argument here, I just don't think it's valid in this circumstance. When we consider that a customer can take a 1 gb flash drive home for $15 from a retail store that has all manner of overhead costs, we can see that the actual flash memory is insanely cheap. At the most, we're talking about the difference between $5 and $10 for the OEM, and I have a gut feeling it's closer to the $1-$2 range (if even that).
    But I think it's slightly different when you mass produce these devices. HTC makes deals with whomever supplies memory. Right now I'm betting 256mb flash RAM (that are made for our phones, not just any flash) are probably readily available at very low-cost, versus 1gb (or any other size) which probably cost more and are not as readily available on the market.

    True, we are only probably talking about $1-5 a device probably, but yeah...those are the kind of numbers that OEMs look to reduce when maximizing profits. It seems silly to you or I, but when you are making hundreds of thousands of devices, it adds up. HTC sold 800,000 GSM Touch phones alone this year. Cutting $3 off per phone is a difference of $2.4 million.

    So I think when they aim for a price point but want to get the most bang for the buck...

    Like I said, that might not be the only issue, but I guarantee little things like this do make their bottom line.

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  12. #212  
    Why couldn't we order a custom design smartphone from palm and buy directly from the company as countbuggula mentioned?

    Naturally you would expect the price to be much higher than the mass produced "average" treo, but that would be ok.

    I think there are definitely those here who would be willing to pay more for a device which had everything they want. It would be very similar to dell. Order the type of smartphone you want on the palm site online, then palm quotes you the cost of manufacturing. If the price is acceptable, hit submit. Buy the sim cards from whatever wireless company you desire - palm could tell you which would most likely support your choice of device on that site.

    Palm could potentially make a lot of money doing this. They might also regain their user base.

    Their current rate of progress is comparable to watching a glacier race down a mountain. They need something to make their prospects interesting again.
  13. #213  
    Quote Originally Posted by Malatesta View Post
    Yeah, it'll be for Sprint and Verizon (since both have the 700wx).

    Who will get it first? Tough call.

    Verizon got the 700w first, but Sprint got the better version later on. Verizon has also been quite laggy on releases lately, trailing on just about every device (hello 6800!? lol).

    I think Sprint will get it first, just my hunch (I'm still hearing "Q1" for Sprint with no such details for Verizon.). As far as Sprint and customer service--it's all hit and miss. I've never had an issue and to be honest, if you can snag a Treo 800w on SERO (assuming it's still around), the money saved on free sms, picture mail, unlimited date, etc. should offset any potential issues
    Verizon has only seemed to be late in the Smartphone market lately. They still keep pushing candy kiddy chocolate jukebox like phones weekly.
    at&t iPhone3G
  14. #214  
    Quote Originally Posted by Malatesta View Post
    But I think it's slightly different when you mass produce these devices. HTC makes deals with whomever supplies memory. Right now I'm betting 256mb flash RAM (that are made for our phones, not just any flash) are probably readily available at very low-cost, versus 1gb (or any other size) which probably cost more and are not as readily available on the market.

    True, we are only probably talking about $1-5 a device probably, but yeah...those are the kind of numbers that OEMs look to reduce when maximizing profits. It seems silly to you or I, but when you are making hundreds of thousands of devices, it adds up. HTC sold 800,000 GSM Touch phones alone this year. Cutting $3 off per phone is a difference of $2.4 million.

    So I think when they aim for a price point but want to get the most bang for the buck...

    Like I said, that might not be the only issue, but I guarantee little things like this do make their bottom line.
    Then they're obviously not considering the marketing potential that having huge on-board storage has. Spend $2 more per phone, sell 5,000 more phones.

    But that assumes they're actually interested in improving their phones in the first place. I start to wonder if they're even capable of it.
    Visor Edge + VisorPhone -> Samsung i300 -> Treo 300 -> Treo 600 -> Treo 700p -> Treo 755
  15. #215  
    Quote Originally Posted by KStewart View Post
    Verizon has only seemed to be late in the Smartphone market lately. They still keep pushing candy kiddy chocolate jukebox like phones weekly.
    Sad but true. My VZW contract is up next month and I would love to jump ship and go to Sprint with the 800w due to their unreasonable modular pricing scheme. By modular I of course mean they rip you a new one for absolutely every single thing they offer. I just cant stand being nickel and dimed to death. Hopefully SERO is still around by the time this phone comes out.
  16. #216  
    Quote Originally Posted by bluesk1d View Post
    Sad but true. My VZW contract is up next month and I would love to jump ship and go to Sprint with the 800w due to their unreasonable modular pricing scheme. By modular I of course mean they rip you a new one for absolutely every single thing they offer. I just cant stand being nickel and dimed to death. Hopefully SERO is still around by the time this phone comes out.
    Sero should be around. If the coverage is good definitely come to Sprint. Verizon is made up of 3 cellular companies and with its complications with liscensing for towers, inconsistant network technologies that they are still in progress to upgrade with older network Parts might be the reason for the nickel and diming. Sprint built their all fiber optic digital network from the ground up and at least own the rights to their end of the network and maybe cutting out all that red tape and ruff competition allows them to offer us good pricing...by my opinion.
    at&t iPhone3G
  17. #217  
    Plus new Sprint plans include free nationwide roaming...on Verizon's network. Coverage is now a non-issue.
    Visor Edge + VisorPhone -> Samsung i300 -> Treo 300 -> Treo 600 -> Treo 700p -> Treo 755
  18. #218  
    Quote Originally Posted by logmein View Post
    Why couldn't we order a custom design smartphone from palm and buy directly from the company as countbuggula mentioned?

    Naturally you would expect the price to be much higher than the mass produced "average" treo, but that would be ok.
    Yup, that would be awesome. Apply the Dell model to feature/smartphones.

    This is what I think: it'll probably will happen, but not for another couple of years.

    Smartphones are still a small (but quickly growing) minority of the phone industry. I just don't think the manufacturing infrastructure is there...yet. As they become more profitable, widespread and stable I'm sure the industry will apply that model (and probably on GSM first). Right now, it's all about mass-produced at the lowest cost to re-sell at maximum value to carriers.

    Although here is something I don't know: FCC approval

    How strict are they are when it comes to modifying hardware for phones and approval/re-approval? I would think for something as simple as RAM/ROM, it wouldn't be an issue, but what if it were Wifi or your choice of BT radios (1.2, 2.0, 2.1, etc.)--does the FCC require re-approval? What about the carriers? I dunno.
    Quote Originally Posted by CountBuggula View Post
    Then they're obviously not considering the marketing potential that having huge on-board storage has. Spend $2 more per phone, sell 5,000 more phones.

    But that assumes they're actually interested in improving their phones in the first place. I start to wonder if they're even capable of it.
    Indeed. It's a very odd system. Quite anti-free market since the carriers often flood the market with their choice of subsidized phones, so popularity of a device is based on a fixed system. True, on GSM you can buy anything unlocked, but even that is (a) a bit of a hassle (b) more expensive (c) a small group of people.

    I think this is what Mossberg was saying in his last column about Soviet Ministries and carriers.

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    #219  
    Quote Originally Posted by pump142 View Post
    I dream of a you build it treo...like laptops or cars.
    you click from the drop down menu and choose your hardware and software config you want it to come with
    Because there is no interchangable parts. Chips are soldered to the board, so if someone wants a 1GB version, it has to be a different board. To make interchangable parts to work on the same boards, that means it has to use connecters, which is larger than soldering footprint. That means larger phone.
    Palm V -> Treo 600 (lost) -> Treo 650 -> Centro -> Pre -> Photon
  20. #220  
    Quote Originally Posted by ksom View Post
    Because there is no interchangable parts. Chips are soldered to the board, so if someone wants a 1GB version, it has to be a different board. To make interchangable parts to work on the same boards, that means it has to use connecters, which is larger than soldering footprint. That means larger phone.
    Agreed. A phone's size and price are hugely dependent on its non-modular nature. They are not PCs where you can simply slap in a faster Intel CPU and some larger DIMMs. To reach that level of standardization, the popularity would have to increase to that of the computer market.

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