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  1.    #1  
    I know it's popular to bash Palm, and certainly things have not been super positive for them the last couple years, but I am truly optimistic about the new OS and what is coming in the near future (admittedly 6-9 months is practically an eternity in the phone business).

    1. This is the first time since, probably, the Pilot days that Hawkins and his team have had control of both the hardware and the operating system. After Hawkins and company left 3Com, they could develop hardware, but were licensing the OS. The same was true after Palm and Handspring merged, Palm had spun off PalmSource before the merger. Of course, Hawkins et al had limited ability to modify and update the OS when they did not own it.

    2. I'm also very upbeat about the people Palm has been bringing on board. By all accounts, Palm has been brining people into the fold with a strong history of exceptional user interfaces. What might come out of a team with Hawkins/Palm's record of usability and functionality and these new people's record for "cool" interfaces?

    3. While the wait has been frustrating, what Palm has been putting out has actually been pretty good. By all accounts, the new WM phone is very good and the Centro has to be considered an unqualified success. From a form factor standpoint, the Centro is just about perfect, in my opinion. Given Palm has been putting out some solid, successful products with one hand tied behind its back, I can't wait to see what they come up with when they build something from the ground up.

    Palm does need to hit a homerun and, like everyone else, I'm tired of waiting. Still, I do think all the pieces are in place for Palm to hit that homerun.


  2. #2  
    Yeah, hanh? I understand your positive enthusiasm and wishful thinking. While it has shortcomings, the 800w is a decent device, i'll give ya that. I think there may be other devices out there like the bold which may trump it, but as palm offerings go, the 800w is a good direction.

    As far as nova goes, I am keeping my expectations very low. They created a very similar type of hype with its so-called "next greatest thing" fooleo absurdity, and we got a sideshow instead of the revolution they promised after all that anticipation. It was nothing more than a recycled laptop stripped of its memory, power and media capabilities.

    I would like to think that won't happen again, but you just never know with this company.

    Hopefully, palm can create a new experience on its nova os, but historically they have shown themselves to be quite lacking in their ability to shock and awe and show off creativity.

    You hope they break this tendency, but you just never know with these guys. I share a degree of anticipation but I'm not really holding my breath.
    Last edited by logmein; 07/26/2008 at 03:05 PM.
  3. #3  
    I hope you're right in your optimism.

    But, not one single shred of evidence exists that Palm even has a viable product. Trusting forward looking statements of the execs with irons in the fire is not evidence. I'll spare everyone a lengthy list of examples why.

    No demo shown. No youtube leaks. No screenshots. No highly needed developer relationships that we know of. (Probably none left after the Foldeo debacle). Nothing.

    Yes, Palm is supposedly making this closed for it's own hardware. But, it's not Apple we're talking @ folks. Palm does not have the internal horsepower to crank out all the supporting apps needed around Nova. As anemic as the iPhone software library is in it's current iteration, Palm's best effort would pale in comparison. Palm needs the developer community and a more open approach. This is one of the main reasons that the Palm economy became what it was. We are still clinging to the remnants of it.

    Ed C said they've been at work on this for four years now. Ever since the insane Palmsource split. Certainly they were not as focused and energetic in the beginning as they would be now. Nevertheless, they desperately need to generate some excitement and assurances here. The taste of Cobalt, and ALP will be quite strong in the industry insiders mouths. The outsiders are going to need some sheer hype to make them choose Nova over the ever-crowded smartfone OS field.

    Palm has provided not even "anonymous" leaks here. Nothing. Only meaningless promises of "breakthrough" devices. All this has the feel of a gigantic vaporware party. Unless direction in this company has taken a quiet but radical transformation, I would not hold my breath for even one carrier-approved device.

    My ragged Treo 680 and I both hope against hope that I'm wrong still.
    Last edited by LiveFaith; 08/04/2008 at 01:49 AM.
    Patrick Horne
  4. #4  
    I am optimistic but am also mystified by the lack of signs of anything major under development.

    Palm is the only company that really cares about usability, even if they haven't been able to execute on technology. For this it's very important that they stick around.
    Palm Vx > Treo 650 > Centro > G1 > Pre > BlackBerry 9700
  5. efudd's Avatar
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    I hope they deliver but don't trust them to....
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by efudd View Post
    I hope they deliver but don't trust them to....
    No, nor do I. The last innovative product from Palm was the 600. It has been all down hill since then. The product line is now so fragmented that no one can enumerate the features of any offering. Those products that have a decent margin have no volume. They lose money on every Centro they give away. The 800w with a Palm OS in 2009 would be far too little way too late.

    After waiting for a 650 replacement for two years, I bought an iPhone, I am now on my second one and there is still no replacement for the 650. One loses hope.

    Nice people no longer laugh at Palm. The joke has gone stale. It is all too sad.

    Perry, where are you?
    Up the next election, my citizens; always the next election.
  7. #7  
    The horror...
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by sivan View Post
    I am optimistic but am also mystified by the lack of signs of anything major under development.

    Palm is the only company that really cares about usability, even if they haven't been able to execute on technology. For this it's very important that they stick around.
    And HTC does not care about usability?

    Come on... personally, I'd like to see HTC do a "treo" type phone (keyboard on front) and sell it on Sprint. Based on what HTC has done with their other offerings over the last year, I have no doubt that HTC could build a better treo software and hardware wise.

    Until then, don't reach for my treo or you might take back a burnt nub.

    I'll not write palm off just yet, but things are complicated for them... then again, apple had similar problems many blue moons ago (until Microsoft bailed them out) and they got Steve back at the management helm. Palm needs strong management.

    I'd say that palm did not create anything worthwhile since the Palm V. The treo line is an extension of another company they purchased (Handspring, if I remember correctly).
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  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by theog View Post
    The treo line is an extension of another company they purchased (Handspring, if I remember correctly).
    And Handspring was formed by executives who left Palm.
    Full circle.

    Good Luck
    iPhone 4S
    Former Treo & Storm Owner
    Cigar Lover
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by theog View Post
    ...........I'd say that palm did not create anything worthwhile since the Palm V. The treo line is an extension of another company they purchased (Handspring, if I remember correctly).

    Then again. I did like my Palm Vx with the Omnisky sled.
    Up the next election, my citizens; always the next election.
  11. #11  
    I too am optimism. Besides, it looks like the Iphone 3G with AT&T may turn out to be a dog! Then again, AT&T stinks, read the following:


    Apple, AT&T mum on iPhone 3G issues By CNET News staff, CNET
    Mon Aug 11, 7:00 AM ET

    Note: CNET News' Tom Krazit and Marguerite Reardon co-wrote this article.

    After his third iPhone 3G continued to cut him off in the middle of his conversations, Ryan Shaw had seen enough.

    "The phone was a disappointment from the standpoint that it couldn't maintain a consistent connection with the 3G network...All the other features were fantastic," said Shaw, a sales professional living in a Cleveland suburb. But those other features weren't enough to prevent him from returning to Verizon and the BlackBerry after deciding the hassle just wasn't worth it.

    Widespread complaints about the iPhone 3G's reception have spread across the Internet in the month since Apple and AT&T released the successor to the original iPhone. The companies insist that nothing is wrong, but the complaints have been mounting through e-mails, water-cooler discussions, and message boards on Apple's own Web site: iPhone 3G users are having trouble connecting, and staying connected, to the 3G networks in their areas.

    Users say the iPhone 3G will switch between 3G networks and EDGE networks even when the device is sitting still. They'll lose reception in the middle of a call while traveling through a 3G-rich environment. Friends with other 3G phones on AT&T's network are not reporting similar problems. And the issues don't appear to be confined to AT&T's network: iPhone 3G users in other countries report similar problems with their new phones.

    As you can imagine, this doesn't sit well with many who eagerly bought the iPhone 3G to take advantage of 3G networks, which Apple promises are "twice as fast" as the EDGE networks in its advertising material. "Frankly, if I knew it was going to be like this, I wouldn't have paid the extra $10 a month," said iPhone 3G owner David Howard of Provo, Utah.

    Repeated attempts over the past week to get Apple and AT&T to even acknowledge the uproar--if not the issues specifically--proved pointless. Apple didn't even attempt to answer the questions, deferring inquiries to AT&T, which declared that there were absolutely no widespread problems with the iPhone 3G on its network.

    "What we're seeing is that the iPhone 3G is performing very well," said Mark Siegel, a spokesman for AT&T. "I'm not denying that people are having problems. But we have to deal with these on a case-by-case basis."

    It's always difficult to determine the scope of an issue posted on Internet message boards--whether or not a loud minority is blowing up a relatively minor problem into something more. But this time, lots of different people are crowding the Internet to vent their frustrations and search for answers to the reception issues, and they are finding a lot of sympathizers.

    Without detailed testing, it's also difficult to say for sure what is causing the dropped calls or limited access to the network. Most likely, the cause of the problem is not solely an AT&T network issue nor is it an Apple device issue: It's a combination of both.

    The network
    AT&T's 3G network is not ubiquitous. Currently, AT&T offers 3G service in only 300 major metropolitan areas. It expects to get to 350 metro areas by the end of the year. By contrast, AT&T's 2.5G EDGE network, which is what the first-generation iPhone uses, is deployed throughout AT&T's entire nationwide footprint.

    For iPhone 3G users this means they should be able to get 3G coverage in the areas marked by AT&T's coverage map. Many of the problems, however, are being reported in just those places. Some residents of San Francisco, Chicago, and New York--among the first destinations for AT&T's 3G network technology--report spotty 3G availability on their iPhone 3Gs, but excellent EDGE performance.

    That suggests either a hand-off issue or a capacity issue. The hand-off between the two networks is supposed to be seamless: 3G calls should automatically switch to EDGE when the 3G signal gets too weak. But the iPhone 3G seems to be hanging when it switches from the 3G network to the EDGE network, dropping service altogether in some cases. Apple technicians who examined Shaw's phone found that 36 percent of his calls had been dropped.

    Ideally, a wireless operator would want to minimize the number of handoffs it's forced to do. For AT&T this means having a wider 3G footprint. Just because an area of the country is marked in blue on AT&T's Web site, indicating that it's covered by a 3G signal, apparently doesn't mean that area is receiving a strong signal.

    "My belief is that because AT&T's network is not built out to every cell site, people are getting frustrated because they're finding places where the 3G signal isn't available or is weak," said Andrew Seybold, an independent industry analyst.

    AT&T's Siegel said the company is working to expand the portion of its 3G network that runs on the 850MHz band, which allows signals to spread farther and penetrate walls more easily than signals on the 1900MHz band, the other main frequency used by AT&T's 3G network. Still, he said, "that doesn't mean you can't get a good experience on 1900MHz."

    But network coverage isn't the only possible cause of all these problems. Users of other mobile phones on AT&T's 3G network are not reporting the same kinds of issues, and iPhone 3G users in the U.K. and Australia, among other places, are reporting similar issues.

    Some users who have exchanged their iPhone 3Gs for new units report stronger reception with the new phones, while others, like Shaw, weren't so lucky. Doug Clements of Sacramento, who started a mammoth thread on Apple's site regarding the reception issues, reported success after restoring his iPhone 3G and obtaining a new SIM card from AT&T.

    That means we have to consider whether there are problems with the iPhone 3G itself. Apple's silence on the issue makes it difficult to determine whether a software or hardware bug is to blame.

    The iPhone
    Given the number of bugs reported in the iPhone 2.0 software released, and the quick firmware update issued last week, it's possible that a software problem is responsible for some of the issues. If true, that would actually be good news for iPhone 3G owners, since Apple would be able to correct the issue in a subsequent update.

    But at this stage, while it's easy to theorize, it's almost impossible to know for sure what might be causing the problems from Apple's side. Hardware issues are certainly a possibility, because a device is really only as good as the parts used to build it. And how those parts are assembled and integrated is crucial to ensuring optimal performance.

    One of the most important components of any cell phone is the antenna. The iPhone 3G supports several different cellular radio technologies and antennae in a single device: the 3G UMTS/HSDPA technology that uses three major frequencies (850MHz, 1900MHz, 2100MHz) 2G and 2.5G GSM/EDGE technology that uses four frequencies (850MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, and 1900MHz), as well as other radios for things like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Assisted-GPS.

    In short, that's a lot of radio frequency technologies to pack into a little device. Even though lots of modern mobile phones come with similar technologies, it's certainly not easy, says Seybold. In fact, he believes that Apple's decision to use a plastic back on the new iPhone 3G instead of a metal back, as the previous generation, is a good indication that Apple needed a different material to accommodate all the radios.

    "These are complicated devices supporting several different radio technologies," he said. "Typically the more you pack into a phone the tougher it is to build a really good one."

    Indeed, it's possible that the components themselves could be perfectly fine, but the way in which they've been assembled could cause interference inside the device.

    Just as important as how the components of the device are integrated is how well that device communicates to the network. While the iPhone 3G was built to a set of standard specifications, and AT&T has also built its network to support those same specifications, there are still nuances between devices and networks that need to be worked out to make sure that they work well together.

    This is the main reason that carriers, such as Verizon Wireless, say they have such strict testing requirements for devices used on their networks.

    "Sometimes customers may want to pin a problem on the device," said David McCarley, executive director of service performance and device evaluation for Verizon Wireless. "Or they want to pin it on the operator. But really it doesn't matter how well they work separately. They need to work together."

    The fallout
    It's fairly safe to say that Apple is not going to look back on July 2008 as one of its finer months. Despite selling more than 1 million iPhone 3Gs since July 11, the company has taken a few hits on the customer service front with its inability to get its MobileMe service running properly for weeks as well as its determined silence regarding the iPhone 3G networking issues.

    Monday marks the 30-day anniversary of the iPhone 3G's launch, which is also the deadline to cancel a new AT&T subscription without incurring the early termination fee. Most iPhone 3G owners are happy with the device itself; they just want to use it in the fast lane.

    "I think the biggest disappointment was the service of both AT&T and Apple. I expected a lot more from both organizations," Shaw said. "They should admit that there is an issue and that they are working through it."

    Please let us know if you are still having problems with the reception of your iPhone 3G, and whether or not your handset was fixed after intervention from Apple, AT&T, or both.
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