Palm's "new" Treo: cheap but boring
Die-hard Palm fans are slavering over the new Treo that CEO Ed Colligan, who's in New York for the DigitalLife confab, is due to announce tomorrow. What this new Treo will look like is anybody's guess. The rumors point to two different models, says Engadget: The Treo 680 - a low-end, ultracheap version of the smartphone - or else a new version of the already-released Treo 750.
Mobilewhack is putting its money on the 680, though it's disappointed with low-end features like the digital camera, which only has VGA resolution. RIM's BlackBerry Pearl, by contrast, has a 1.3-megapixel camera built in. That said, the Treo 680 could be cheap: Analysts think it will sell for $199, says EverythingTreo. That will help Palm better compete with RIM's Pearl and Nokia's new E62.
Pardon The Browser for a second while we rant: How does a slightly cheaper version of an existing phone count as a new product? Palm is expert at this sleight of hand, having rolled out versions of the Treo that run a different operating system, work on a different carrier's network, use an upgraded network technology, or just have slightly more memory. Try to distinguish the 750 from the 700. It's not easy. Sure, Palm would argue that they reached form-factor perfection with the Treo 600, but is that an excuse for not continuing to innovate?
Palm, take a lesson from Apple. Steve Jobs killed the extremely successful iPod Mini to make way for the even more successful iPod Nano. When you promise a new product, give the market something genuinely new. We're bored with the familiar candy-bar Treo. How about a slider? A flip phone? A spinner? There hasn't been a genuine surprise out of the company since Palm bought Handspring - and that's a shame.
I agree with the article. There is a true, solid fan base out there for Palm products because they are useful, pratical, and functional. But the design of the actual hardware design is falling behind when it is compared to others such as Nokia, Motorola, and RIM. If Palm don't get going on creating devices that are not only exciting to use, but eye catching, they are going to push away their loyal users to the other manufacturers. Palm used to be the standard for PDAs and smartphones, and I think it is time again for Palm to rethink their strategy and make a product that is exciting and challenge the industry standard.
I agree with the article. Palm's quality and innovation are sub standard compared with there competitors. I made the change to Motorola and I'm very happy with my choice.
I love Palm. Using a Palm is a lot like having a small battery-powered computer that fits in the palm of your hand (hence, the name) but which is equivalent to a desktop computer from ten years ago. Hot-syncing is amazing - because you don't need to pay for a wireless plan. It's great that they are cheap to buy - and Palm OS is super-simple, so you don't need to waste time to master a new OS in order to use it. Slider? Flip-phone? Spinner? I'm just not interested. But then, I'm the kind of guy who would prefer a Nintendo Wii to an XBox 360 (i.e. Nintendo Wii is cheaper and easier to use.)
"We're bored with the familiar candy-bar Treo. How about a slider? A flip phone? A spinner? There hasn't been a genuine surprise out of the company since Palm bought Handspring"
and why should PALM completely change its design because THE BROWSER is bored with it? Its design is what separtates it, and it is a very good one. What PALM has to do make their current design thinner and cheaper, and it will out sell all the others. (i'm hoping a thin version is their announcement, but i doubt it.)
why have multiple failing products when they could have a few very successful ones? (candy bar smartphones are the best sellers)
Then what's so new about the current new generation of Nano? other than a few more color choices and bigger storage capacity.
If fact, one can argue that the general form factor of the apple ipods have not changed much since day one. The same old general click wheel, the same old small screen(granted that they upgraded from mono to color), and the same old candy bar design. How about a speaker, a FM radio, bluebooth, wifi?
The truth is that sometimes less is more, which is a concept that you don't seem to understand.
Zzzzzzz... funny how the authors jump on the "bash-Palm" bandwagon so easily. If in the same breath you're comparing the camera on Palm and RIM products, you're probably one of those people who buy smartphones/PDA just so you can play MP3s and take pictures (and dazzle your technologically-challenged friends with new toys).
I do agree however the Palm Treo is just being recycled, and the OS is stagnant, but Palm's trying to increase market share by appealing to the masses. That in itself is a 'new product' (offering). Innovation? No... marketing, yes.
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