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Old 05-09-2005, 06:14 AM   #1
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PalmOne planning to create new category of mobile devices

According to this press release at PalmOne's website, they're planning a new type of mobile device called a "mobile manager", which apparently is intended to be used by the type of person who likes "digital everything".
Quote:
Mobile managers are designed for customers who are eager to take full advantage of the trend toward "digital everything" -- from documents and email to music, images and video, as standalone files or in organized folders
Apparently, they're planning on announcing the first device in this category later this month.
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Old 05-09-2005, 06:31 AM   #2
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That is interesting. What do you do if you fail to keep your leadership in one segment? You simply create a new one! PalmOne lost it with PDAs and smartphones; now we have the "mobile manager" device, for which, surprise surprise, PalmOne has a 100% market share. Sorry my sarcasm but I think this is a pathetic move. As if differentiating between PDA and smartphone isn't enough, we really don't need PalmOne introducing a third type of device!
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Old 05-09-2005, 07:48 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morpheus
That is interesting. What do you do if you fail to keep your leadership in one segment? You simply create a new one! PalmOne lost it with PDAs and smartphones; now we have the "mobile manager" device, for which, surprise surprise, PalmOne has a 100% market share. Sorry my sarcasm but I think this is a pathetic move. As if differentiating between PDA and smartphone isn't enough, we really don't need PalmOne introducing a third type of device!
I think PalmOne is merely going with market trends in handheld convergence. Jupiter Research and other research firms are predicting a "trifurcation" in PDAs with 3 forks. From Entelligence:The Future of PDAs:

Quote:
The personal digital assistant (PDA) marketplace has increasingly trifurcated in terms of functionality and that’s likely to continue. We see the three functionality forks as follows: basic PDA functionality; basic PDA functionality with media centricity; and basic PDA functionality together with media centricity and wireless features. JupiterResearch believes that trifurcation in the market, combined with very different price points, precludes convergence on a single device or form factor. Business users will lean toward wireless-enabled devices, high-end consumers will focus on color and media-centric devices, while price-sensitive consumers will be well served by basic PDA functionality.
It's pretty easy to see PalmOne hitting all three of these forks with the Mobile Manager line, Tungsten/Zire lines, and Treo line in their press release:

Quote:
-- Mobile managers are designed for customers who are eager to take full advantage of the trend toward "digital everything" -- from documents and email to music, images and video, as standalone files or in organized folders;

-- Handhelds attract customers whose first and foremost interest is in basic organization tools, such as calendar and contacts. These customers often incorporate additional applications and add music and images to their handhelds, but their central purchase driver is organization. palmOne's Zire(TM) branded handheld computers serve consumers, and Tungsten branded handhelds serve mobile professionals in this customer set; and

-- Smartphones attract customers whose primary interest is in a single converged device that is an outstanding phone that also delivers excellent email access and organization. The Treo(TM) smartphone from palmOne serves this customer set.
I do find this a bit interesting, as the Zodiac combined "work and play" about 18 months ago (and the Clie line to some degree):

Quote:
"We'll bring to market a new type of product that simplifies our lives and makes work and play more productive and more fun," said Murray. "Stay tuned."
I hope PalmOne isn't trying to take "credit" for this "new" device category just because they put their own marketing spin on this market trend.

Brian





[quote]
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Old 05-09-2005, 07:53 AM   #4
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I can understand all the skepticism about PalmOne after the embarrassing lack of impressive devices recently, other than the Treo650 which seems to consistently get good reviews despite its hefty price tag.

But I'm still optimistic and think this is an exciting development. File management was a weakness in Palm devices, and it sounds like they want to strengthen that. They are acknowledging that they want to continue to serve the high end customer (me!) with a whole new line, which is spectacular news because I was concerned that they were going to slide into just doing smartphones and budget models. Not only are they going to continue Tungsten business line pdas, but will have this new line which will suppport users of DocsToGo
Quote:
The introduction of a new category reflects usage patterns palmOne has tracked over time, especially among customers for its premium products. Customers of palmOne's high-end Tungsten(TM) T3 handheld computer, for example, show a strong affinity for taking full advantage of the included DataViz(R) Documents To Go(R) software, which puts Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents at their fingertips. Customers also have asked palmOne to provide them with convenient ways to carry, file and manage rich digital content, such as music and video.
We may not find a whole lot of innovation from them yet, but this is still great news as far as I'm concerned.

I think continuing to produce the more powerful pdas is also a good idea for Palm because it lets them perfect some of the newer technologies in the easier-to-implement pda category before they put it in smartphones.

And best of all, if they are going after these sorts of customers like the Word/Excel/Powerpoint users, aren't we all the more likely to see a clamshell device with a keyboard? I'm hoping...

The month of May is going to be very, very interesting with PalmOne's product announcements and Microsoft's Windows Mobile 2005 release!
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Old 05-09-2005, 08:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobR
File management was a weakness in Palm devices, and it sounds like they want to strengthen that.
There is no such thing as "files" on a PalmOS handheld device (well, not until the T5 anyway).

All PalmOS devices are basically little SQL query engines. Each "file" is simply a row in a database. You look up the list of files by doing a query, you access records by doing a query. You check which applications "own" which databases and records by doing a query. You delete files by doing a query. Its all a little mobile database, basically. There is no "filesystem" on a PalmOS handheld (not in Flash, ROM, or RAM.. but VFS is another issue entirely).

Now with devices using expansion we have VFS, which is as close to a filesystem as they can get, while still retaining the record/resource function that is required by these devices. Some applications can read and use real "files", but they still go through the VFS layer (as a stream resource), such as mp3, ogg, Microsoft Office documents, images, and so on.

Now with the T5, the device can deal with "real" files. This is a first for them. It should be interesting to see how this works out for their market.
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Old 05-09-2005, 04:45 PM   #6
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Yes, except you don't use SQL, and there's no real relational capability nor extensibility normally found in true databases. All those capabilities exist in Cobalt in limited form, but not Garnet.
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Old 05-09-2005, 04:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ballistic
I hope PalmOne isn't trying to take "credit" for this "new" device category just because they put their own marketing spin on this market trend.
That is just how I feel about it. PalmOne is describing "mobile managers" as a "new category" of mobile computing products. Even better, PalmOne is describing the mobile manager offerings as complementary to its existing smartphone and basic organiser products (we don't want to canibalize our own markets, do we?).
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Old 05-09-2005, 06:13 PM   #8
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That's what Joel from Gizmodo has to say:

Like other hardware vendors out there looking for a problem for which to sell a solution—we’re looking at you, Nokia—the ‘manage your lifestyle’ crap just sounds like the same thing we’ve been hearing for the last few years. That said, we’ll give them a chance—maybe they’ve got some fancy, streamlined interface that’s going to change the way we manage our multimedia.
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Old 05-09-2005, 07:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Traecer Prime
Yes, except you don't use SQL, and there's no real relational capability nor extensibility normally found in true databases.
You're making the very-common mistake of confusing a DBMS with an RDBMS. It does implement an SQL-like interface under the hood (read the SDK for details on this).

It isn't "relational" (at the core OS level) from an ANSI SQL perspective, but then again neither are a lot of commercial DBMS applications. Many applications provide their own {R}DBMS to augment the faculties already provided by PalmOS directly.

But OS2, OS3, OS4, and OS5 are most-definately using a very "structured query language" under the hood to read, write and manipulate records.
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Old 05-09-2005, 09:54 PM   #10
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Some other press coverage.

Some of the other press items on the announcement are here:
http://www.macobserver.com/article/2005/05/09.7.shtml
http://news.zdnet.co.uk/hardware/eme...9197772,00.htm
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/ZDM/story?id=740765
http://www.wirelessweek.com/article/CA600317.html
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...050900468.html
http://infotech.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1104401.cms
http://www.computerworld.com/mobilet...101625,00.html

One of those articles even sees the LifeDrive as a market play against iPod. I think they need a content distribution system or at least management software and synching mechanisms to compete there, but I suppose it's possible.

And of course there are always a few odd comments from the media (not unlike some of the silly things occassionally written by yours truly), like this one from WebProNews...
Quote:
The Lifedrive will contain the Garnet OS instead of its own traditional OS.
Oh my! Didn't he notice that Garnet is the same PalmOS version 5 that's been powering all the latest models?
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