First off, thanks to Peter Rojas who penned a great missive about the new Palm Foleo project to the folks at Palm. They’ve developed this new Foleo direction, and well, it doesn’t seem to be the right one. Peter (his article is here over at Engadget by the way).
Well, here’s the neat part, they are listening!
This is obviously important in a number of ways. First of course, they don’t want to alienate the people that use their products, but secondly, they’re obviously aware at this point, that the chilly reception for the Foleo, may indicate that their direction may not be the right one to go.
I wrote a bit about the Foleo system’s release a while back. It does seem to provide a bit of additional utility to the Treo line, however, the main accomplishment is simply a bigger screen, more memory, and a full sized keyboard.
Peter notes that obviously the iPhone is the new target for the Palm group. This is so true it hurts, and a true bit of evoloution from that level seems to be the only thing that will put it head and shoulders above the iPhone (or simply put, the same features coupled with a better price point).
I only have one additional note to add to his work, which is; PLEASE PLEASE add a 5 Megapixel or better camera too! I’ve been looking and looking, but very few bother to do this. It seems that the Nokia N95 seems to be the only phone that can be wedged into the US market that has this capacity. Let’s face it, if it can take REAL pictures, the utility of this thing goes through the roof.
I also tend to agree with Peter on the “Open it up” comment he has. The true genius of the original Palm Pilot, was that anyone could make an application for it and make use of it. Hmmm, sound like anyone we know?
Let’s face it, unless you’re going to put a small picture of a recently bitten piece of fruit on your product (this means you Steve), you must make a system that is operable from the outside. Then again, you were the first to know that. The big thing is, all these people that want “Open hardware” I think tend to be a tad naive. Let’s face it, that’s how they make their money. Plus, as long as the materials are there to work with, with listed pin-outs on the plug, and plenty of interfacing protocols (Bluetooth, WiFi, and more), what does anyone that wants to fiddle with it have to really whine about, you can make anything interface within one of those levels.
I should note, I’ve been a Palm fan since the beginning. Here’s the list of Pilots I’ve owned, from 1997 to now: Palm Professional, Palm Vx, Palm Tungsten, Palm Zire 72. Currently, I’m not operating a PDA, and quite frankly I’m going nuts. I’ve been looking at everything (while chained to VerizonWireless (or unwilling to fork out the escape dollars)). The only decent solution seems to be the iPhone (which I tried with all my might to not like and failed). I’m leaning towards Blackberry, but quite frankly, it’s still not what I’m looking for.
The folks at Palm are impressing me for their willingness to listen (THANK YOU!). Now go blow the doors off everybody like we know you can, (I’ll be queued at the door waiting!)
Personally, the solution I’m looking for falls right along Peter’s lines.
I want a phone with Bluetooth.
I want to be able to listen to music, videos, and download new ones. For that matter, would it kill anyone to just toss in an AM/FM tuner? Sometimes the radio is nice, people! Was that a reference to something on the Zune that was done right?!
I want to take GOOD pictures (and occasional video).
I want to do email, simple office style documents, and keep my life organized (CRM, PDA, online and otherwise).
I want to play games, and surf the web, (what, you’re not on Facebook yet?!)
If you can make this, you win!!! I know that’ s kind of Duh, but, quite frankly, that’s what everyone is doing, make it possible in a form factor that is acceptable, and everyone will wait outside to get it (was that a few months ago and I missed it?).
Here’s a short list of the top competitors. I’m looking forward to what happens from here on out.