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  • Expecting a Disappointing Palm Announcement?

    Posted on January 7th, 2009 Shawn No comments

    Thursday, at CES, Palm will unveil something new.  From the rumormill, we hear it will be their next mobile operating system (code named: Nova) and new hardware, think Treo with a vertical sliding keyboard.  This will all happen about 24 hours from when I type this.

    As a longtime Palm fanboy, who recently transitioned to BlackBerry devices, I am hoping for the best.  Though looking back on the five years I used Palm (and PalmOne) devices, and what they had released over the years, I’m skeptical that they will blow our socks off.  I really hope they do, but am worried.

    The Treo 650 was groundbreaking (though not the first) in 2004 combining the ease-of-use of the Palm OS, the large development community, and mobile phones. The Treo 700p brought 3G speeds to the same device, but introduced so many problems that many users jumped ship.  The subsequent Treo 680 and 755p were too bulky compared to other devices on the market.  The 680 and 755p were also running the same OS that the Treo 650 and the Treo 600 from 2003 were running.  Although good, it was stale.

    Then the Foleo flop of 2007.  It was a sad day when I received a spam email from Ed Colligan (Palm CEO) stating that the “mobile companion” Foleo was scrapped just days before launch.  If marketed correctly, could have been a smash hit with the netbook (small notebook/laptop) market.  But, we’ve seen no sign of the Foleo since it’s cancellation.

    So, that left the end of 2007 with the introduction of the Centro, basically a Treo in a smaller casing.  It’s sold quite well likely due to it’s reasonable pricing.  Though still running the old OS from 2003.  As for other things Palm released in 2008, two Windows Mobile devices, Treo 800w and Treo Pro.  Both quite good hardware and software.  Though, that just makes Palm one of the many Windows Mobile hardware providers, like HTC, Samsung, Motorola, and more.
    But we still wait for the next generation of the Palm OS and a real successor to the Treo 650 lineup.  Thursday is the day.  That’s the day that all of us Palm fanboys hope for something that will absolutely dazzle us, both on the software and hardware.

    Let’s be realistic.  With the explosion of devices in the past two years, what new will Palm be able to come up with?  Let’s look at what is already in the marketplace:
    * Capacitive touchscreens (iPhone and BlackBerry Storm)
    * High (HIGH) resolution screens (Storm, Bold, iPhone, Xperia, etc)
    * Vertical sliders…well this one has not proven successful with anyone yet.
    * Great email (BlackBerry for BES, G1 for Gmail, Windows Mobile for Exchange). So, a device that could perfectly combine all email would be good.
    * Multimedia (iPhone)
    * GPS, WiFi, 3G (just about everyone)

    So Palm, dazzle us, please. I don’t know how you will, but I’m hoping you have something up your sleeve that will make millions of people jump from iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Android, Symbian, flip-phones, and the dead Palm OS to your next generation device. Make it happen.

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