And then there were two

Discussion in 'Headline News' started by Steve, Jun 3, 2004.

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  1. Steve

    Steve Brighthand Founder

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  2. treo007

    treo007 Mobile Deity

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    What's ironic is that, although they've apparently been caught by HP, Palm's now in the catbird seat. As the market is rapidly moving to smartphones, it doesn't look like the MS camp has anything to challenge the Treo. I know they've got one planned, but the lack of a keyboard and/or keypad is really damning I think.

    You have to hand it to Hawkins...first the original Pilot, now the Treo.
     
  3. TheZodiac

    TheZodiac Mobile Evangelist

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    The BenQ P50 will challenge the treo and whatever new comer P1 has. Although its not here officially, it does sport the MS mobile OS a well as a keyboard - basically what the MS world as been waiting for. Personally, I cant stand MS on a mobile device :rolleyes: although, they are very tempting.. and they only way to get rid of temptation, is to give into it :D
     
  4. treo007

    treo007 Mobile Deity

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    Sounds good on paper but....

    1) PPC on a handheld is one thing (and not a good thing for me either), but I don't see a lot of users putting up with its quirks on something like a cell phone. A phone is just supposed to work when you need it. No memory lags, time capsules, dead batteries from little use, etc.

    2) Granted, this is total speculation as I haven't actually seen/used one in person, but the BenQ looks a little larger (and the Treo's large enough already). maybe to accomodate the PPC's standard VG area? Don't know, but I don't know that a PDA being held up to your head is going to be a big phone seller.

    3) How many carriers is BenQ going to get? Don't forget, the 600 is a second generation product. Handspring not only got to learn from its mistakes in the first model (a luxury BenQ doesn't have with its model), but they firmed up a lot of carrier relationships this time that they didn't have when the 180/270/300 debuted. At least in the U.S., Verizon is the only major carrier not offering the Treo (and that's right around the corner).

    Think of it this way: even if the BenQ is a great clone of the Treo, it's still just that, a clone. That means PalmOne has the jump on the competition. What they choose to do with that lead remains to be seen.
     
  5. gfunkmagic

    gfunkmagic Mobile Deity

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    Steve, I'm suprised you left out Motorola out of the equation? IMO, they have the potential of being the single largest MS lisencee in the future surpassing even HP if smartphone/pda-phone sales are as large as projected...

    In regards to other major OEMs left: the question should not be if but when will the next major OEM leave! I would wager that Toshiba is the next one out...or they will at least retreat from the NA market as Sony has done. I'm suprised you mentioned Dell as being a niche player but until they have a solid retail outlet, that does indeed makes sense. Then there are the minor WM lisencees like Asus, Fujitsu, Mitac etc that release devices...I wonder how long they will last as well...

    Also there are several thumbboard integrated devices running Wm including the Mpx, P50, Voq etc. All of them take different design takes with the P50 closest to the Treo. However I think the Mpx will probably be the most successful...
     
  6. imported_silverfinish

    imported_silverfinish Mobile Consultant

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    Did ViewSonic ever officially pull out of the PDA market? I know their V36 and V37 were not big successes. They literally gave the V37s away, bundled with an SDK. The V36 was highly anticipated after the successful V35. However, due to a very long delay in its release, the V36 didn't seem all that great when it finally got here. They were offering $100 dollar plus rebates to unload those. It's too bad. ViewSonic started out with a bang and a lot of good will with their name recognition and screen quality reputation. It seems dragging their feet has cost them. However, if I am not mistaken, I believe they are still in the PDA/phone combo business? Anyone have the scoop?
     
  7. dwx

    dwx Newbie

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    Hmmm, it seems a pit pointless to separate markets for PDAs with and without WLAN capabilities. I can believe that the sales of unconnected devices is flat, in fact I'm surprised that they aren't declining quickly. But why distiquish between PDAs like Samsung's i700 and an iPaq?

    I couldn't use a PC that didn't have a network connection for much anymore, why is it such a mystery that the same reliance on network access is effecting sales of PDAs as well?

    I guess there's need of a real distinction between Smartphones that are really phones and Smartphones that are PDAs with phones grafted on. For instance the difference between am MPx200 and a P900 or i700. It's pretty clear that the latter are the new general purpose PDAs of the future. I guess the touch screen input separates the classes, but spliting it up that way leaves thing like RIM devices in limbo...

    I can see a day not to far in the future that all PDAs have some sort of wide area data access. When that happens the field is back open to Motorola, Sony Ericsson, Nokia, RIM, Samsung, LG, and a host of other phone makers. As you've defined the market today, we're down to two major manufactures making the equivent of buggy whips for horse drawn carts. Who cares who wins THAT war, it's not really the mainstream market anymore.

    -dwx
     
  8. rsc1000

    rsc1000 Mobile Deity

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    The mac wasn't dreamt up in '74 - Jobs and Wozniak didn't vist Xerox (where they got the idea for the mac from Xerox's Alto) until 1980. No?
     
  9. ballistic

    ballistic Mobile Deity

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    Is the attrition caused by market forces within the PDA market, or the fact that the PDA is still evolving, trying to be too many different things, all within a single device? Hence the popularity of the ipod and smartphones with PIM/PDA functionality like the Treo 600?

    What's going to happen when portable video picks up steam?

    I think rumors of the PDA's death are greatly exaggerated. Declining PDA sales over the last few years don't necessarily indicate this. It could be several factors.

    I don't think smart phones are the answer either. How big of a screen do you want on your smart phone for multimedia & games? Hybrid devices do several things, but none of them exceptionally (jack of all trades, master of none). There will always be compromises with hybrids.

    IMHO, and if I had my wishes, the future of portable devices will be a combination of a few, key components that can be combined in various configurations for different requirements. The modular concept is much more malleable and has limited redundancy built in. It is not a jack of all trades and master of none, it has the potential do each and every task exceedingly well if executed properly.
    Modular Concept.

    1. Small tablet PDA (similar to Zodiac,VGA screen) with BT/WIFI connectivity. Used for PIM, handheld productivity apps, portable content (music, games, movies/videos). MiniHDD with dual storage/expansion slots. Connectivity to web over WIFI or via BT through #2.

    2. Small wireless phone with BT connectivity, 3G or greater bandwidth capabilities, location awareness (see #4 for examples). Limited PIM functionality that syncs with the tablet. It can grab & cache online content (email, webclips/RSS,etc) for sync with tablet if the tablet is off at the time. Can play music stored onto removable media from tablet's HDD. Small screen not optimized for content delivery, but suitable for newsfeeds,stocks, weather, text messaging, email, small photos & videos. 1MP or greater camera optional for quick snapshots, photo mail, video blogging, etc.

    3. BT headset for use with #1 & #2, voice dialing, voice to text, text to voice (reading incoming emails, memos, etc).

    4. BT GPS for use with #1, #1 & 2 combo. For navigation on tablet (with routing & traffic awareness through #2), location awareness for location specific content (say I like coffee,
    electronics & movies, when I travel near cafe/CC or BB/theater I can get notified of special sales going on, watch movie trailers, etc by opting-in). Use your imagination.

    5. BT Keyboard for use with #1, instant laptop replacement. I'm not a thumboard fan.

    Mix & match depending on what you need.

    The PDA as we know it today isn't dead. It will continue to evolve.
     
  10. ballistic

    ballistic Mobile Deity

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    One thing I forgot to mention.

    This is the most important factor IMHO, the key to success, building the killer device(s) and killer apps. Apple nailed it with the ipod/itunes combo. User interface and application integration are crucial. The GUI has to be simple and intuitive, applications all have to integrate together seamlessly (GPS, PIM, Web, Content all work together as one).

    Once the OS makers (MS & PalmSource) and software developers get this right, the OEM's will be buying up licenses again.
     
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