|Fri Dec 21, 2007 - 11:14 AM EST - By Annie Latham|
The Rally Elf let the Podfather in on a secret: Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer hates fruit.
The Podfather was a bit surprised, so the Rally Elf took him to Rudolph�s favorite hangout � that was very reminiscent of the bar scene in �Star Wars.� After exchanging the usual pleasantries, the Podfather cut to the chase and explained his mission. At first, Rudolph turned him down. While the smartphone wars may be a worthy cause, he said he was just waiting to pull off his Christmas Eve gig, collect his fee and be on his way.
The Podfather gave the Rally Elf a look and then gathered himself for one more try to bring Rudolph onboard.
�How much is Santa paying you? I�ll double it.�
That got Rudolph�s attention, but before he could respond, the Podfather hit home�
�Did I mention that the evil empires we�re battling are fruit?�
The hair stood up on the back of Rudolph�s neck and steam could be seen coming out of his ears.
�Why didn�t you say so? I HATE fruit!�
And that�s how Rudolph got recruited to help Palm battle the Apple iPhone and Research in Motion�s BlackBerry smartphones. Now you may be asking, did Rudolph run off right away and abandon Santa (like Bobby Petrino did to the Atlanta Falcons)?
Actually, that�s an interesting story too. Just before Rudolph shook hands with the Podfather to seal the deal, he got a call from Santa. Apparently, with the full moon waning but still providing plenty of light and his new GPS navigation system, Rudolph�s services are no longer needed.
To the Rally Monkey and Podfather�s surprise, Rudolph hung up the phone and did a backflip.
Now without further ado, Let�s Talk Treo!
Palm Announces Q2FY08 Earnings -- Posts a Loss After Revenue Slides
We were warned that it wasn�t going to be pretty� and it wasn�t.
On Tuesday, Palm announced that it swung to a loss in its fiscal second quarter as revenue fell and expenses rose. For the quarter that ended Nov. 30, Palm reported a loss of $9.6 million, or 9 cents a share, in contrast to a profit of $12.8 million, or 12 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. On an adjusted basis, the company reported a loss of $7.8 million, or 7 cents a share, in the latest quarter.
On the plus side, Palm said its smartphone revenue totaled $282.4 million in the period, and smartphone sell-through rose 11 percent year over year, to 686,000 units. Palm�s president and chief executive officer, Ed Colligan stated:
"We are transforming Palm to exploit the market opportunity and instilling operational rigor throughout the organization. We've taken actions to align our expenses to the current operating environment and are focusing on core initiatives that will have the greatest impact on achieving our long-term success."
That being said, Palm predicted a loss of 31 to 33 cents on revenue of $310 million to $320 million for the current quarter (Q3FY08). The company also forecasted an adjusted quarterly loss of 14 to 16 cents a share.
Sunny in Sunnyvale -- Highlights of the Quarter included:
Dieter Bohn posted a summary of what happened on Palm�s conference call.
�Financially speaking, Palm expects things to continue to be a little shaky, primarily due to slim margins on the (more popular than expected) Centro and parts shortages in the next quarter. More ominously, Palm also said that after this quarter they will no longer be providing earnings estimates. In essence, Colligan seemed to be signaling that Palm is going to have a pretty rough year. Although they do have some good devices on both Windows Mobile and PalmOS coming down the pike, the real excitement and innovation looks to be a full year away. In the meantime, buzzwords like "rethinking our OpEx" and "rightsize many of our activities" and "lower our break-even point" seemed to indicate that Palm is planning on some short term pain in order to achieve long term gain.�
�So while we'll still see evolutionary improvements on Treos and Centros in the coming year, the real breakthroughs are promised with the next version of the PalmOS. The good news: Colligan did mention (but came short of promising) WiFi and GPS as opportunities for short term evolutionary improvements to the Treo line. We assume that means the 800w should be arriving soon.
PalmInfocenter also did a write-up about the conference call that includes an audio clip and one of the slides that was used.
And over at PDA Street, in a write-up by James Alan Miller, he noted:
�Whatever happens long term, one thing is almost certain: Palm's fortunate won't improve anytime soon. Palm is stuck behind market leader RIM BlackBerry and surprise number two, Apple with the iPhone. Apple has quickly grabbed 27 percent share of the North American market in less than six months, reports Canalys. As a platform, the iPhone, one device, even beats Microsoft Windows Mobile OS, which, at number two, is available in numerous smartphones and has been around for years.
You can access the webcast at the investor section of Palm�s website.
Verizon Welcome the Treo 755p
The week started off with Palm and Verizon Wireless announcing the immediate availability of the Treo 755p in exclusive deep blue- green. Customers may purchase the Treo 755p online at www.verizonwireless.com, by calling 1-800-2 JOIN IN or by contacting their Verizon Wireless Business Sales Representative. The device will be in Verizon Wireless Communications Stores on Jan. 7. Some of its key features include:
The Palm Treo 755p from Verizon Wireless is available for $399.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate and new two-year customer agreement. Customers who purchase a qualified voice plan along with a data plan may be eligible for an additional $100 credit making the Treo 755p $299.99 for those customers.
First Impressions of the Treo 755p
Gadgets on the Go has received a Treo 755p review unit and Alan Grassia has already posted comments:
��let me start off by saying that new azure green is much better in person than it looks on the computer screen. Sitting on my desk, the new Treo looks like a dark grey or black. Early next year when the company I work for starts deploying them, I will have no hesitation deploying them to the executive team.�
Talkin� Treo 500
Ed Hardy at Brighthand noted that a version of the Treo 500v, Palm's first smartphone without a touchscreen that is available in Europe and Asia, will NOT be released in the United States. He quoted Palm's CEO Ed Colligan saying:
�It is a tri-band phone and there are no plans at this stage to make it a quad-band available in the U.S. We are taking it to other markets internationally, but it will not be available in the U.S.�
Note: Per a story posted at PalmInfocenter, Palm may soon be offering a unlocked version of the Treo 500v in Europe. Vodafone's exclusivity period will expire at the end of the year and reportedly Palm will offer the Treo 500 unlocked on its website.
Hall of Shame � The Palm Foleo
It�s been reported on several websites that Popular Mechanics has bestowed the title of �Worst Gadget of the Year� to the Palm Foleo. It�s number one with a bullet�
It beat out Apple TV (#2), LG Chocolate VX8550 (#3) and an expensive dinosaur toy called the Ugobe Pleo.
Something to Cheer About� CNET & The Centro
The good news is that CNET has named the Palm Centro the �Best starter smartphone.� The CNET editors gave it an �Excellent� ranking (7.0/10) and noted:
�If you can do without Wi-Fi and the bulky size of the Palm Treo, you just may want to look into the Palm Centro. With push e-mail, EV-DO support, and a bright red frame, there's certainly a bit to get excited about for first-time smartphone buyers. And at $99 with a two-year contract, it's a darn good bargain.�
Review: SPE Screen Protectors (3-Pack) for Palm Centro - By Jay Gross
Jay talked about how the Centro, with its touch screen, suffers from �Indiana Jones syndrome - constant exposure to hazard.� He looked at a simple and inexpensive solution: the Smartphone Experts Screen Protectors (3-Pack) for Palm Centro Disposable and replaceable, a screen protector is the first layer of defense against scrapes and scratches. He wrote:
�A screen protector provides a dispensable, cleanable surface when-not-if the Centro�s touch screen gets dirty�. �Smartphone Experts comes to the rescue, fending off the Gremlins in Charge of Screen Dings with an essential accessory for Palm�s Centro. This kit of three removable and repositionable screen protectors offers great protection for the Centro screen, plus hassle-free installation, and a non-glare surface.�
Review: SCOTTEVEST Evolution Jacket - By Jennifer Chappell
Jennifer had the chance to check out another fine garment from SCOTTEVEST -- the Evolution Jacket. In September, she reviewed the company's TEC Shirt. The Evolution is very lightweight and waterproof. Plus it has nooks and crannies for a multitude of gadgets.
�I really like the Evolution Jacket. It looks great, has style, has lots of very useful pockets, and is waterproof and lightweight. If you get too warm wearing it, you can take the sleeves off. There are so many pockets that I didn't even try to take pics of all of them or take pics of all my gadgets in all of them. That would have taken forever. But trust me, you can carry several phones, MP3 players, books, magazines, tools, gadget accessories, cameras, film, batteries, SD cards, money, water bottles, sunglasses, and even a small laptop. And you could have that stuff in your pockets and nobody would be the wiser unless you open your jacket and start pulling stuff from the pockets. It's almost like a little magic trick. SCOTTEVEST lets you carry all your gadgets in style.�
Review: Macally USB Power Wall & Car Adapter - By Andre Kibbe
Andre tried out Macally's USB Power Wall and Car Adapter, which is a �one-stop shop for mobile power.� The car adapter handles charging duties while on the road, and the wall adapter takes over indoors. It features interchangeable plugs for use here in the USA and abroad.
�The Macally adapter set is a bit much for those who don�t travel internationally. If you don�t need the extra plugs, many car adapters are sold separately at two-thirds of the price (such as Mobi Products� DoubleTalk, the TreoCentral Store�s highest-rated dual vehicle and travel charger for domestic use). But this is a very complete solution for business travelers, for whom acquiring adapters in a piecemeal fashion invites the risk of being caught without power, and access to the appropriate power source, at the worst possible time.�
Clue: Treo Software Roundup - By Jennifer Chappell
This time, Jennifer found a good number of programs to talk about (split between Palm OS and Windows Mobile). Some highlights include new products: Amazon Fruits, Astraware Casino CrazySoft Smart Educational Games, Cookiz, HandPass v2.0, RDM Remote Desktop, Best Crypto, IM for Skype and Mixx Mobile. As for updates, notable ones include: DVD Catalyst, FakeCall, mRing, Power Hero, DVD Catalyst, LSL Game Pack, PhatPad, and Pocket Mechanic Pro.
Mini-Review: Plantronics Voyager 855 Bluetooth Stereo Headphones
Over at our sister site, WMExperts, Dieter posted a quick video detailing his thoughts on the Plantronics Voyager 855 Bluetooth Stereo Headset ($99.95).
�The Voyager 855 is a neat little headset and fairly versatile with two snazzy features. The first is that it has a slide-out boom microphone that also let you answer and hang up on phone calls. The second is that it comes with a specialized earhook attached to a 2nd headphone - turning it from a regular Bluetooth headset into an A2DP Bluetooth headset.�
Review: Sound ID SM100 Bluetooth Headset
Kevin at Brighthand spent some time with the Sound ID SM100 Bluetooth headset that mixes some noise cancellation with an environmental mode to help users listen to outside sounds without removing the earpiece.
�The Sound ID SM100 Bluetooth headset is a comfortable device, but almost unusable from the interference you always hear in the background. No matter how good it feels in my ear, if I can�t enjoy it while making phone calls it's really hard to recommend. My suggestion to Sound ID is to sacrifice a bit of audio quality, and mask the noise in any way possible.�
Review: Palm 2 in 1 Stereo Headset Pro
Andrew at Treonauts tried out the Palm 2 in 1 Stereo Headset Pro which has two high performance earpieces with soft in-ear silicon tips to keep unwanted sound out and maximize comfort while minimizing �ear fatigue.� He described them as a �music chamber� in your ears.
�Although I don�t consider that the Palm 2 in 1 Stereo Headset Pro is an ideal replacement for a good Treo Bluetooth headset (such as my preferred Jawbone) for daily conversations it is nonetheless the perfect solution if like me you enjoy listening to music while on the go and want to ensure that you can still quickly and easily answer a call thanks to its built-in microphone.�
Review: Altec Lansing Orbit iM207 Speakers
Simon at Digital Lifestyles wrote about the Altec Lansing iM207 Orbit-MP3 for iPod and MP3 Players. 3 AAA batteries power it. He wrote:
�It�s well thought out, with a good, strong quality volume output - and oh so easy to use. Any time you need to be with, or need to share your music, it�s worth popping in the bag. The only downside to it is that we�ve only got one of them and often find ourselves needing to use it when it�s downstairs! Recommended for a last minute Christmas present � or for any nomadic music lover.�
Review: Slifter � Mobile Product Search Tool
Over at the Mobile Phone Blog, there is a review of Slifter, a mobile local product search tool that lets you get relevant local information while you are out-and-about shopping. There are a few different versions of the free product- a WAP version that you can access by typing slifter.com into your mobile browser or a J2ME version that you download to your phone.
�I did not try out the premium version but hope to one of these days. I'd certainly encourage you to try out the free version� As far as useful cellphone applications, Slifter ranks high on my list and I'm sure if you try it out, you'll like it too.�
News: Neuros fights DRM with Unlocked Media
Neuros Technology has created an �Unlocked� Media trademark to promote the concept of open standard DRM-free files that can be stored and played anywhere. They are addressing the limits on DRM content that lock consumers into specific devices or services and don�t let them take their content they purchased with them across platforms and devices.
Note: TreoCentral�s Harv Laser is working on a review of the new Neuros OSD, which is the successor to the Neuros MPEG4 Recorder 2 Plus. From what he�s seen so far, it is way more advanced than its predecessor.
News: Zipit Wi-Fi Device Adds Text Messaging
According to this report that was posted at MEDIAWEEK.com, a small South Carolina company, Zipit Wireless Inc. (www.zipitwireless.com), has come up with a gadget for texting only (It�s not a cell phone, thus no voice charges). The Zipit Wireless Messenger 2 device is the size of fat wallet and uses Wi-Fi hotspots to do free instant messaging with AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo Messenger and Windows Live Messenger. Zipit users who sign up for a text-messaging plan ($4.99 for up to 3,000 messages per month) will be able to contact cell-phone users, as well as communicate by instant message.
News: IntelliGolf Version 8.5 Ships for Windows Mobile 6.0-based Pocket PCs and Palm OS-based Handhelds
This week, IntelliGolf, Inc., leaders in �Sports Enhancing Software�, announced the shipment of its new IntelliGolf version 8.5 software for Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.0-based Pocket PCs and Palm OS-based handhelds. The IntelliGolf software replaces pencil and paper golf scoring, wagering, and statistics gathering on the golf course. It provides wireless access to 24,000 signature course scorecards. Version 8.5 adds support for Windows Mobile 6.0, embedded GPS, rotating/landscape-based screen displays (AT&T Tilt, HTC Ty Tn II, etc). Version 8.5 is also shipping for the latest Palm OS-based smartphones. Both operating system versions are immediately available from resellers listed at www.intelligolf.com.
News: Are You Ready for Some Football? Verizon is V-Casting Bowl Games
Verizon Wireless, the nation's leading wireless provider, and MediaFLO USA, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Inc., have teamed up to bring fans full-length coverage of 24 bowl games, kicking off with ESPN Mobile TV's telecast of the Poinsettia Bowl on December 20 and wrapping up with ESPN's GMAC Bowl on January 6. Coverage of the 2008 bowl games will be provided by ESPN Mobile TV, CBS Mobile and FOX Mobile through V CAST Mobile TV from Verizon Wireless, a service of MediaFLO USA.
Texting Your Holiday Greeting
Here�s an interesting story that I found over at PDA Street. For those users who do not subscribe to a monthly messaging bundle, here is how much it will cost to send each of your holiday greetings of 160 characters or less this year:
Not as elegant as a greeting card, but still it beats the price of a First Class stamp.
Holiday Version of �Get a Mac�
AdWeek did a write-up about the holiday version of Apple's "Get a Mac" campaign. The portly Jonathan Hodgman (PC) and scruffy, angular Justin Long (Mac) are transformed into the Heat and Snow Miser for the digital age, singing not about "A year without a Santa Clause," but computer purchasing choices in a rendition of "Santa Clause Is Coming to Town," led by Kris Kringle himself. Adweek noted, �The funny spot bears repeated viewings. It doesn't get much better than this.�
Oh yeah! I heard that Rudolph sketched out some ideas on a bar napkin and handed them to the Podfather, so you better watch out � in 2008.
That�s a wrap! Wishing you and yours the best this holiday season!
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