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Old 09-15-2005, 09:53 AM   #1
Bob Russell
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Thought: Next LifeDrive with 6gig IS possible

Wonderful news. It's rumor season again for new Palm Inc devices. The next Tungsten device sounds very likely, and there is even the possibility of a 6gig LifeDrive Mobile Manager already, thanks to the following slip reported by Brighthand "In June, the Spanish branch of Hitachi, the maker of the 4 GB microdrive in the LifeDrive, let slip that a future Palm device would have a 6 GB microdrive in it."

The prevailing theory is that the odds of a new LifeDrive soon is greatly decreased by the fact that higher capacity drives coming out from Hitachi very soon.

I believe the exact opposite... the higher capacity drives arriving soon are another reason the think that Palm will want to deliver the 6gig drive units.

Here's the reasoning. Palm has always been cautious and a bit slow in adopting new technologies, especially when they are expensive. They like to get bargains, both to reduce product costs for the consumer, but also so they can keep their profit margins high. The difference between 6 and 8-10gig is probably not going to make that great a difference in demand, so I think they would rather get bargain prices on older technology. It's the Palm way, and I happen to agree with it. I'd make the same choice.

As to whether a LifeDrive is coming in the Fall, I don't know. But if you buy my logic, then you don't have to let the 6gig drive leak dash your hopes.
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Old 09-15-2005, 10:31 AM   #2
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Hi, Bob. Thank you for pointing out the Brighthand story. Being the one who raised the story about the Hitachi slip last June (and also the one who was asked to shut up by Hitachi), I would feel more than vindicated if finally Palm ends up releasing a 6-GB LifeDrive.

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Old 09-15-2005, 11:16 AM   #3
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Maybe, maybe not. If you follow your logic Bob, why wouldn't they stay with the 4Gb drive, if cutting costs was a priority? I suppose it's cheaper than the 6Gb one. Second, wouldn't they anger existing LD users by releasing a significantly upgraded model just a few months after the original? Also, releasing an upgrade so soon might very well backfire. If people see that the LD is on a fast upgrade track, they might very well wait until the 8Gb (or whatever capacity) model is released in Spring. Finally, lack of capacity is not the LD's main problem. Stability is, however, and a ROM update is due before the end of the year.

At any rate, I'd rather see 4Gb of flash memory.
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Old 09-15-2005, 01:47 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Laurens
At any rate, I'd rather see 4Gb of flash memory.
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Old 09-15-2005, 08:29 PM   #5
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Interesting discussion. First I thought, "yeah, Bob has a point here!" - but then I read Laurens' response and I couldn't help it but agree with him. Still, Palm could bring out a new LD with the 6Gb hdd IF it also includes some other, even if only minor changes (battery capacity, screen quality, .. you name it). It would make more sense for Palm to work on this kind of upgrade than to bring out a completely new device.
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Old 09-15-2005, 09:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doctorow
Interesting discussion. First I thought, "yeah, Bob has a point here!" - but then I read Laurens' response and I couldn't help it but agree with him.
I guess I had better follow-up and explain myself a bit better!

I don't know if Palm plans to produce a LifeDrive so soon, but the topic I was addressing was simply whether or not the near availability of an 8 & 10gig drive would mean that a 6 gig model is unlikely from Palm. People have been arguing that it doesn't make sense to roll out a 6gig model if there are some 8/10gig drives coming soon. But I think it still makes sense for Palm to do a 6gig model.

My point is simply that the lower capacity model is likely to be a bargain relative to the premium on the newer high capacity drives so Palm is likely to look favorably on such a deal even if it's not the most recent drive technology, and that I think they have a history of waiting until the price/performance point is acceptable rather than jump on the newest technology just because it is available. Therefore, I think a 6gig model can't at all be ruled out. Especially with Albert's scoop from Hitachi itself!

As for the idea that it would also rule out a 4gig model if it's just a cost play, why not go all the way and eliminate storage on the device altogether? Of course that's not the point... it's not just about cost, it's about not paying the premium for the newest technology just because it's available. Especially when there's something that's a very close substitute that is a bargain.

I don't know what's going to happen, I'm just trying to clarify my logic. Having hopefully explained myself better, you can feel free to disagree with me now for all the right reasons instead of due to an incomplete explanation!
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Old 09-15-2005, 10:00 PM   #7
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Perhaps they will just phase out the 4gig models to replace them with 6gig offered for the same price, similar to how Apple did it with iPods in the past. I could imagine that.
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Old 09-16-2005, 03:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobR
My point is simply that the lower capacity model is likely to be a bargain relative to the premium on the newer high capacity drives so Palm is likely to look favorably on such a deal even if it's not the most recent drive technology, and that I think they have a history of waiting until the price/performance point is acceptable rather than jump on the newest technology just because it is available. Therefore, I think a 6gig model can't at all be ruled out. Especially with Albert's scoop from Hitachi itself!
Thanks for clarifying your point, Bob. I understand your point now and I must say I agree. Hopefully, Palm will focus on improved stability and performance and not try to compete on storage capacity to sell more devices.
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Old 09-16-2005, 12:04 PM   #9
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With ipod mini being discontinued, there should be excess capacity for these 1" drives, so it should not be surprising for prices to drop and that 6GB will cost as much as current 4GB drive, and putting in Lifedrive is pretty much a no-brainer since you don't have to rewrote anything save for fixing issues that are also in current Lifedrives.

Hitachi, Seagate and others probably are pitching these drives to everyone (mp3 players, PDA, smartphones, mini-computers, whatever OEMs) since it would take a lot to use the capacity that Apple has left on the table by discontinuing the Mini... it was something like a million or so a month...
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Old 09-16-2005, 12:11 PM   #10
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Really good news would be that Palm is dropping the hard drive altogether and replacing it with solid state memory. It is this blasted hard drive that drains the battery and in the end makes the LifeDrive so bulky and, for me, out of the question. Maybe Samsung, which I believe is making the memory storage for Apple, will drop the price enough for Palm to embrace it. Philippe Radley
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Old 12-25-2007, 05:48 PM   #11
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Please Information

I would like to know where I can buy this card to replace my harddrive for my lifedrive. Please send me an site where I can buy on. My Palm lifedrive has broken down.
Maurice Strauss
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Russell View Post
Wonderful news. It's rumor season again for new Palm Inc devices. The next Tungsten device sounds very likely, and there is even the possibility of a 6gig LifeDrive Mobile Manager already, thanks to the following slip reported by Brighthand "In June, the Spanish branch of Hitachi, the maker of the 4 GB microdrive in the LifeDrive, let slip that a future Palm device would have a 6 GB microdrive in it."

The prevailing theory is that the odds of a new LifeDrive soon is greatly decreased by the fact that higher capacity drives coming out from Hitachi very soon.

I believe the exact opposite... the higher capacity drives arriving soon are another reason the think that Palm will want to deliver the 6gig drive units.

Here's the reasoning. Palm has always been cautious and a bit slow in adopting new technologies, especially when they are expensive. They like to get bargains, both to reduce product costs for the consumer, but also so they can keep their profit margins high. The difference between 6 and 8-10gig is probably not going to make that great a difference in demand, so I think they would rather get bargain prices on older technology. It's the Palm way, and I happen to agree with it. I'd make the same choice.

As to whether a LifeDrive is coming in the Fall, I don't know. But if you buy my logic, then you don't have to let the 6gig drive leak dash your hopes.
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Old 12-27-2007, 12:51 AM   #12
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On Brighthand, a lot of people recommend usedpdaparts.com for Palm repairs. I haven't needed to use them myself, thankfully. That might be your best bet.
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Old 01-04-2008, 11:57 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Maurice Strauss View Post
I would like to know where I can buy this card to replace my harddrive for my lifedrive. Please send me an site where I can buy on. My Palm lifedrive has broken down.
http://usedpdaparts.com/Lifedrive.html

They offer a 4GB CF card preformatted with the Palm OS image installed for a drop in conversion.

Poke around on Brighthand.com here http://forum.brighthand.com/forumdisplay.php?f=1097 for information and user experiences with the conversion.

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