Sunday, September 30, 2007

Palm Q1FY08 Details Posted Tomorrow

Palm will be posting their first quarter 2008 financials and hold a conference call tomorrow at 4:30pm ET, 1:30pm PT.

Details...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Palm Introduces the Centro


Palm has officially introduced the Centro smartphone. The following has been taken from the Palm press release mailed out earlier today.
"Designed for individuals and traditional mobile phone users looking for a better way to manage their professional and social lives, Palm, Inc. and Sprint today introduced the Palm(R) Centro(TM) smart device, at $99.99. With voice, text, IM, email, web, contact and calendar capabilities, a full-color touch screen and full keyboard, Centro brings Palm simplicity and organization to customers who want to stay connected with co-workers, friends and family. Centro will be exclusive through Sprint in the United States for 90 days and is available in onyx black or ruby red."

"With a fun, new compact design, Centro is the smallest and lightest Palm phone to date. Centro has a modern, stylish look that feels comfortable in the hand, pocket or evening purse."

"As the newest member of the Palm family, Centro is expected to attract new users to the smartphone category. According to IDC, the smartphone market is shifting to the mass market; U.S. smartphone shipments will grow from 13.8 million in 2007 to 74.4 million in 2011."















Analysis

The Centro is the new consumer oriented smartphone that Palm has been hinting about for a while now and shares some of the design elements of the recently announced Treo 500v for European wireless carrier Vodafone. To purchase the Centro smartphone for the advertised $99.99 you will need to commit to a new 2-year service agreement with Sprint. At this time, the retail pricing for the Centro without a service agreement for Sprint customers who are in between contract renewal periods is still unknown, however rumors circulating on the Internet in recent weeks pins the price of the Centro around $400.

The Centro is a standard Palm OS 5 based smartphone runing similar software as the Treo 680 and 755p. Since the Centro is a consumer oriented device, the popular mp3 player software Pocket Tunes has been upgraded to Pocket Tunes Deluxe. I also noticed that the Centro ships with VersaMail 4.0. At this time, it is not clear what has changed between this new version of VersaMail and version 3.5.x which has been shipping on the Treo 680, 700p, and 755p. (I also don't know if there will be be an upgrade made available for existing Treo customers.)

The Centro is slightly smaller and lighter than the Treo 755p. Centro's published dimensions are 4.22" (L) x 2.11" (W) x 0.73" (D) where as the 755p is 4.4" (L) x 2.3" (W) x 0.84 (D). The Centro weighs in at 4.2 ounces while the 755p comes it at 5.64 ounces.

Centro will be a Sprint exclusive for 90-days and is expected to go on sale in mid-October. It is possible that the Centro and the Treo 500v could go on sale on in the US and the UK on the same day. Palm will be shipping the Sprint edition Centro in two colors, onyx (black) and ruby (red). Not surprising, there has been no mention during today's announcement as to when a Verizon wireless Centro, or Treo 755p for that matter, will become available.

Palm and Sprint are expected to start taking Centro pre-orders from their respective websites starting tomorrow.

Read the full Palm press release...
Palm Centro website...

GadgetsOnTheGo has Palm Centro Pictures


Confirming what we've already suspected, GadgetsOnTheGo editor Jimmie Geddes has posted some pictures of the new Palm Centro taken from the Sprint website.

Palm and Sprint are expected to formally announce the Centro later today.

Keep reading at Gadgets On The Go...

Visit the Sprint MoreYous site...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Palm and Sprint Press Conference

Palm has sent out a notice of a joint press conference tomorrow, September 27, at the DigitalLife Conference taking place this week at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City.

While the press release mostly contains information about the when and how to attend the event via webcast, today's press release gives as a teaser with the line:

"The news will include a new Palm(R) smartphone for Sprint."

Tomorrow's event will likely be the formal announcement of the Palm Centro, the company's first non-Treo smartphone.

Read the full press release...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Verizon Treo 700-Series Updates Reposted

This past week Palm and Verizon have cleared the Verizon Treo 700p Maintenance Release 1.10 update. As you may recall, Palm took down all of the Treo 700-series updaters after customers discovered a bug that prevented customers from consistently connecting to Verizon's EVDO data network.

Palm recently posted on their support website:
The initial version of the Palm Treo 700p Updater 1.10, posted on July 12, 2007 incorrectly set a data connectivity parameter which may have produced an error when trying to connect to network data services.

These errors associated with this issue may include:

"Error 3000" errors when attempting to browse

"PPP Link Time Out error 0x1231" when attempting to connect to data

The Treo 700p Update 1.10 was modified to properly program the parameter which had been incorrectly set, and is reposted as either the:

VerizonTreo700pSDUpdate-rev1.zip.

- Or -

VerizonTreo700pDesktopUpdate-rev1.zip

For the full details on the update including upgrade directions and the download link, visit the Palm website.

The Treo 700w|wx update was reposted back on September 18th.

Verizon Treo 700p 1.10 update...
Verizon Treo 700w|wx 1.22 update...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Hidden Expedition: Titanic Available for Palm OS, Windows Mobile



















Astraware Brings Popular Big Fish Games Title To Mobile Devices

Hidden Expedition: Titanic Now Available For Palm OS and Windows Mobile Smartphones and PDAs

KEELE, England and SEATTLE - September 19, 2007 - Astraware and Big Fish GamesTM, Inc. are excited to announce the availability of the highly acclaimed Hidden Expedition: TitanicTM game for Palm OS and Windows Mobile smartphones and PDAs.

The legendary RMS Titanic, which sank in 1912, still houses a wealth of artifacts and treasures on- board. Hidden Expedition: Titanic offers players the opportunity to explore the wreckage of this once-majestic ship and collect antique artifacts for the Titanic Museum. The partnership between Astraware and Big Fish Games will allow consumers to enjoy Hidden Expedition: Titanic straight from their mobile devices.

"We're pleased to be working with Big Fish Games to bring some of their great titles to handhelds," said Astraware CEO, Howard Tomlinson. "A first in the new category of 'hidden object' games for handhelds, Hidden Expedition: Titanic is sure to be a hit with mobile device users."

Players hunt for hidden objects within the wreckage during 14 diving missions, ultimately leading to the final prize: The Crown Jewels. Based on the best-selling PC game, Hidden Expedition: Titanic for handhelds features the same stunning graphics and atmosphere of the original. Players have the choice of using the intuitive five-way control scheme or the stylus to find a variety of artifacts hidden within the sunken ship.

"Astraware has proven time and again to deliver only the highest quality games," added Paul Handelman, VP of Business Development for Big Fish Games. "We're proud to lead the introduction of hidden-object games to the handheld market with them. We're confident that this is only the tip of the iceberg for us, so to speak."

Hidden Expedition: Titanic is priced at $19.95 and is available for Palm OS devices with high-resolution screens running OS5 and above, and for Windows Mobile smartphones and PDAs running WM2003, 2003SE, 5 and 6. Download Hidden Expedition: Titanic from the Astraware Web site at: http://www.astraware.com/titanic

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Guest Appearance on the Computer Outlook Radio Talk Show

Alan Grassia to have a guest appearance on the Computer Outlook Radio Talk show.

Justin Nolan, the editor over at PDALive.com and co-host for John Iasiuolo's Computer Outlook Radio Talk Show, has asked me to appear on Wednesday's Palm handheld show. We're planning on talking about Palm's cancellation of the Foleo, "Palm OS II", and the future direction of Palm.

The Computer Outlook Radio Talk show airs in 35 markets. If yours isn't one of them (mine isn't either) you can listen to the show live via an audio stream (Windows Media Player, QuickTime/iTunes, Real Player) daily at 5pm PT.

For more details, the live audio stream, and podcast archive RSS feed, visit the Computer Outlook Radio Talk Show website.

DataViz Speaks About Foleo Cancellation


DataViz has posted a statement regarding the cancellation of the Foleo.

“Palm has been a valued partner of ours for over ten years and we have been involved with Foleo for over three of them. As such, we have put a great deal of effort into building a Linux-based Documents To Go for the Foleo project.

We see this Linux project as a necessary step in our journey and partnership with Palm. The decision to cancel the launch of Foleo is something that comes with the territory. It is a necessary bump in an otherwise great journey, and bodes well for Palm as it indicates they have tighter focus and better opportunities calling.”

- Dick Fontana, President & CEO, DataViz Inc.

Documents To Go was the first application that I purchased for my Palm IIIx device. I'm encouraged to hear that the relationship between Palm and DataViz is still intact. I'm looking forward to being able to use my Foleo with Documents To Go in the future since I already believe that Documents To Go is the best office suite for the Palm OS platform.

Read the full DataViz blog post...

[Via PalmInfoCenter]

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Rumor: "Foleo II" Will Use New Hardware

It has only been a short while since Palm CEO Ed Colligan announced on the Palm blog that the Foleo mobile companion was going to be canceled to allow Palm to focus on the development of "Palm OS II" which would be used to drive future solutions from his company.

As a result, beta testers of the Foleo I where asked to box their units up and send them home. (I should point out that I was not selected to be a beta tester.) An interesting post has shown up in the TreoCentral discussion forum. TreoCentral member Gameboy 70, who was a Foleo beta tester wrote:
"I just found out yesterday that I have to return my Foleo to Palm. The email stated that development of the current Foleo has ended, and that "A Foleo II will have different hardware," which was tantalizing. "A" Foleo II makes it sound hypothetical, while "will" sounds imminent. I originally thought Palm was going to take a few more months to augment the firmware and flash the existing units."

If this is true, I am encouraged by these developments. Many of the readers of Foleo Fanatics have already bought into the idea of the Foleo and the customer base it will support. This report of a new hardware design could signal that Palm could be making changes to the hardware that will allow Foleo II to return as an even more powerful device in the future.

One of the well publicized "issues" with the Foleo was that it couldn't play Flash video, like those used by YouTube, as well as Palm and their customers had hoped. (I know that this issue was software based.)

Could new hardware be part of the future plans for the Foleo? The demo unit that I was able to play with did seem to be production grade. The keyboard felt solid and the lid and hinges seemed sturdy. Could Palm be mulling over a faster processor? More memory perhaps? Or could they be looking at newer battery technology to provide even longer run time on a single charge? Only Palm knows for sure at this point. Regardless I am encouraged by the prospects of a refreshed hardware design that could allow the Foleo to do even more than the original demo units.

What are your thoughts on the prospects for a Foleo II? Let us know by clicking the Comments link below.

Read Gameboy70's post on TreoCentral...

[Thanks to the tipster who sent this in.]

Documents To Go v3.0010 for Windows Mobile Smartphone

DataViz has released Documents To Go Premium Edition 3.0010 for Windows Mobile 5 Smartphone and Windows Mobile 6 Standard Editions.

This new version of Documents To Go adds support for Microsoft Office 2007 XML files allowing customers to open, edit, and create Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents and email attachments on their smartphones. The "Zip and Send" feature, added with this release, will allow customers to compress and email the open document.
“This version addresses our top customer request for full Office 2007 file support for Word, Excel and PowerPoint,” said Danny Tu, Documents To Go Product Manager, DataViz, Inc. “After many months of hard work and effort we are proud to produce a solution that stays true to the new XML-based Office 2007 file structure by retaining all file formatting through the use of our very own InTact Technology.”
Documents To Go v3.0010 retails for $29.99 and is available for purchase directly from DataViz.com, other online mobile software retailers, and DataViz retail sales outlets.

Full Documents To Go details...
Read the full press release...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Palm Shareholders Approve Elevation Partners Investment



Palm has just posted a press release indicating that the company shareholders have voted to approve the $325MM investment in Palm by Elevation Partners.

"Palm, Inc., (Nasdaq:PALM) today announced that Palm stockholders have approved proposals that will permit Palm to conclude a $325 million investment by Elevation Partners, L.P., borrow up to $400 million in an associated debt financing, make a cash distribution of $9.00 per share to Palm stockholders, and make related adjustments to its equity plans."

"We appreciate our stockholders' strong support of these proposals and look forward to an era of renewed innovation and focused execution at Palm," said Ed Colligan, president and chief executive officer."

It will be interesting to see what becomes of this deal. Many Palm fans are hoping that this agreement will help put the company back on track with new and innovative products while avoiding the problems that plagued the recently canceled Foleo mobile companion.

Read the full Palm press release
...

Palm Euro Site Now Has Treo 500v Listed











Palm has updated their European website to include the new Treo 500v which was announced earlier this morning. Product specs and device photos can be viewed on the Treo 500v page.

Palm to Hold Annual Stockholder Meeting Today


Later today Palm will be hosting their annual stockholder meeting.

Palm, Inc. (Nasdaq:PALM) will hold its annual meeting of stockholders on Wednesday, Sept. 12, at 9 a.m. PDT at its headquarters, 950 W. Maude Ave., Sunnyvale, Calif. The record date for this meeting was set as Aug. 8, 2007. The agenda for the meeting is outlined in the company's proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Aug. 8, 2007.

During this meeting, I expect the vote for approving the Elevation Partners recapitalization deal. If approved, shareholders will receive a $9 dividend, Palm will receive about $325MM from Elevation, and Elevation will gain to seats on the Palm Board of Directors and two existing board members are expected to step down.

Read the full press release...

Palm Launches the Treo 500v on Vodafone

Earlier this morning, Palm officially launched the Treo 500v, previously named as "Gandolf" in Internet rumors, for European Vodafone customers. (Note: The European Palm website has not yet been updated, however, Palm has issued the following press release at 6am, Eastern Time in the United States.) The new Treo will become available for sale this October, meaning Palm's customers may still have to wait another 4-6 weeks.

The Palm press release reads:

"Palm Europe Ltd today announced the Palm(R) Treo(TM) 500v smartphone which combines multiple forms of communication and multimedia capabilities with high speed 3G/UMTS mobile internet access, allowing users access to popular websites such as MySpace, YouTube and eBay whilst on the move. The new Palm Treo 500v smartphone will initially be available exclusively to Vodafone customers from October.

The Palm Treo 500v smartphone runs on a Windows(R) Mobile(R) 6 standard platform and has a full keyboard, large screen, video streaming capability and a comprehensive multi-messaging functionality covering Instant Messaging, SMS, email and phone and personal information management software in a new design(1). The compact form factor is available in two colours: glacier white and charcoal grey."

The press release goes on to list some of the features of the Treo 500v, including:

  • All-in-one smartphone with messaging, email and web
  • Full keyboard for fast and easy typing
  • Automatic delivery of Hotmail/MSN, Yahoo!, and Gmail, email as it arrives
  • Large, high-resolution screen
  • Internet Explorer Mobile full-featured browser
  • Access to Google Maps and eBay
  • Vodafone live! for news, sports, and entertainment on the go
  • 3G/UMTS network
  • Planner with address book, calendar, to-do lists, and more
  • View Microsoft(R) Word, Excel(R), PowerPoint(R), and Adobe PDF files
  • Windows Media(R) Player Mobile for music and videos
  • 2.0 megapixel camera captures video too
  • 150MB of memory, expandable with microSD expansion card
  • Windows Mobile(R) 6 Standard software
  • Microsoft(R) Direct Push technology for delivery of Outlook(R) email
  • Bluetooth(R) wireless technology
  • Device available in two colours: glacier white and charcoal grey
Read the complete Treo 500v press release...

Monday, September 10, 2007

Rumor: Is this the Treo 500?

Earlier today Palm community websites went nuts with a leaked picture of what is probably the new device coming to Europe this Wednesday, the Treo 500.















The device specifications are still a bit sketchy, but if the rumors are true, this might be the first Palm device to run Windows Mobile Standard, which does not include touchscreen support. If the rumors continue to be true, there are likely to be two versions of this phone: a Windows Mobile/GSM device, and a Palm OS/EVDO device. It is not clear if there would be a Palm OS/GMS device here in the United States running on the AT&T network.

Regardless of what what is true about these rumors or not, the world will find out what is coming to Europe on September 12th.


[Thanks to Holvoetn for the tip.]

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Rumor: New Centro Details - Updated

(Updated 9/9/07 @ 4:15pm)

Palm InfoCenter has some new rumored details about the upcoming device rumored to be launching on October 14th on the Sprint network.

Kris Keilhack writes:

"Based on the preliminary specifications, strong software bundle, and rumored $99 price point, the Centro appears to be a far better value proposition than its pricier 755p sister device in the Sprint lineup. Even if the Centro lacks Documents To Go, PTunes Deluxe is a superb choice to be bundled the device, especially if Palm is targeting the media-savvy youth market with this release. Previously leaked photos have confirmed that the Centro uses the updated Phone app first seen on the Treo 680 and not included on the Treo 755p. Earlier reports also indicated that the Centro will have EVDO Rev. A but this has not yet been confirmed at this time."


If this is true, I'm glad to see Palm including a full version of Pocket Tunes (pTunes) Deluxe with this new device. It is something that I have been advocating for a while now. All indications are that the Centro is intended to be a consumer device and not one targeted for business customers. In this context, I support the move to remove Documents To Go from the preinstalled applications list. I do wonder if the Documents To Go Viewer application will be loaded on the device. The Documents To Go Viewer application was a special read-only viewer that appeared on the Treo 600 to allow customers to view Word and Excel attachments from inside VersaMail.

Read the full PIC article...

Update:

The website PhoneNews.com appears to be corroborating the information from the Palm InfoCenter article.

More details via PhoneNews.com
...

Saturday, September 8, 2007

The Inquirer Talks about Foleo

The Inquirer has a new article posted that talks about the Centro and the "not-Centro-smartphone" coming to Europe next week, and the fate of the Foleo Mobile Companion.

The Inquirer writes:

"The new product is not, contrary to much chatter on the web, the Centro, of which little is known other than what can be gleaned from the usual murky shots snapped by PDA-obsessed sites. Instead it’s a Treo that will be launched with partners Vodafone and Microsoft at a London press conference next Wednesday.

Unless the new Treo is something very special, however, it won’t stop the chatter on Palm-stalking blogs and websites where some of the big questions being asked include:

Will there be availability of product on auction and other sites?

Did the mewling of fanbois kill a good product?

and,

Could the Foleo rise phoenix-like from the ashes?"

Oh ya and Foleo Fanatics was mentioned in the article too.

Read New Treo loom as Foleo lives on in blogosphere...

[Thanks to the tipster who sent this in.]

Friday, September 7, 2007

Europe Gets Something Else on Sept. 12

In a message posted to the Palm company blog earlier today Palm has told us that Europe isn't getting the Centro on September 12 as I had originally speculated. Palm playfully says "It's not Centro" and to "check back later" for more details.

Read It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's not Centro...

Palm Announces Conference Call

Palm's end of Q1FY08 results conference call has been scheduled for October 1, 2007. As with previous conference calls, Palm's CEO Ed Colligan and CFO Andy Brown will be presenting the performance results of the quarter ending this month.

Full press release...

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Thank you

Yesterday's news that Palm has canceled the Foleo was, to say the least, a little bit surprising. As you know, the Foleo was very close to being completed and released.

I was reviewing the traffic logs for Foleo Fanatics this morning and discovered that September 4th was the single busiest day for the site. Thank you for your continued support. As I stated yesterday, I will continue to cover the news and provide analysis on the Palm community.

I would also like to thank all of the folks who emailed me and left comments here on Foleo Fanatics. I know many of us were looking forward to being able to use a Foleo, either as a companion to the Treo or as a stand alone computer, in the coming weeks.

For Palm, their immediate priorities should be to complete the work on "Palm OS II", complete the work on the first smart device (be it a Treo or Centro) that will run that operating system, test it, and deliver a stable product platform for their customers. As I stated in last week's 1SRC.com Editorial, Mobile Linux - The Key to Device Interoperability, it is important for Palm to have synergies between devices. The decision by Palm to move resources off the Foleo I project and on to a new Linux OS and smartphones is a signal that Palm understands their the current marketplace and is now executing a plan to realign their business with the market.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Palm Cancels the Foleo

In a Palm company blog post earlier today, CEO Ed Colligan announced to Palm's customers, partners, and developers that the Foleo mobile companion project was being canceled. Mr. Colligan writes:

"As many of you are aware, we are in the process of building our next generation software platform. We are very excited about how this is coming together. It has a modern flexible UI, instant performance, and an incredibly simple and elegant development environment. We are working hard on this platform and on the first smartphone that will take advantage of it.

In the course of the past several months, it has become clear that the right path for Palm is to offer a single, consistent user experience around this new platform design and a single focus for our platform development efforts. To that end, and after careful deliberation, I have decided to cancel the Foleo mobile companion product in its current configuration and focus all of our energies on delivering out next generation platform and the first smartphones that will bring this platform to market. We will, of course, continue to develop products in partnership with Microsoft on the Windows Mobile platform, but from our internal platform development perspective, we will focus on only one."

While this decision is hard to accept, especially here at Foleo Fanatics, I can understand Palm's decision to move forward and put all of the company's available resources into developing "Palm OS II" and the new smartphone hardware that it will run on.

Later this week, I plan on addressing this issue in my weekly 1SRC.com podcast. I will post more details as they become available.

Foleo Fanatics - Moving Forward

Foleo Fanatics was launched earlier this year to cover the Foleo Mobile Companion product and the smart devices that would have worked with it. Since the introduction of the Foleo this past May, Foleo Fanatics has enjoyed a fair amount of traffic from Palm enthusiasts around the world. Because of the community we have built around this site, I intend to continue to bring you the news and analysis from the Palm community, including the upcoming Centro smart device, "Palm OS II", and Palm's future developments around future plans for the "Foleo II" project.

I would like to thank all of my readers who have been visiting Foleo Fanatics over the last few months and look forward to continuing to provide you with your Palm community news.

Alan Grassia
Editor, Foleo Fanatics

Saturday, September 1, 2007

New Palm Smartphone Hits Europe on Sept 12th


Palm's European website is now featuring a teaser page to win 5 of Palm's latest smartphones. This could very likely be the device that Palm is calling the Centro. Noticeably absent from the name, at this point anyway, is the name "Treo."




Get the details here...




[Thanks to the tipster who emailed me the link.]