PC Expo 2002
Last Updated Sat Jun 29, 2002 - 8:22 PM EDT - By
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This year PC Expo was surprisingly small - only about half of the available floor space is in use (see images on photo page). Most companies have smaller booths than they normally do. In fact, we have never seen PC Expo this small before.
With Handspring not even attending the show, there is very little news from the Handspring camp. The only announcement so far is that they are making the Treo 90 and Treo 270 available in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia starting this week. Both products are available through IT retail outlets as well as mobile phone stores. Customers are encouraged to check with local retailers for specific pricing and availability.
We met with Brian Jaquet from Handspring last night, and he gave us some short video demonstrations of the Treo 270 and Treo 90. You can view these clips below. We were unable to get any new exciting information from Brian.
A couple of items of interest from the show floor:
Kyocera is getting a lot of attention at the show for their 7135 CDMA smartphone. This unit has a clam shape design with a 16-bit color screen on one side, and the graffiti area, buttons, and a numeric phone pad on the other side.
The phone has an SD Slot (with SDIO capability), and a built in MP3 player. Also bundled with the phone is a media player that shows images (.jpg, .bmp, .tif, .png) and video (.mov, .avi, .aud, .and .wmf). The operating system is Palm Os 4.1.
The 7135 can take advantage of the CDMA 1x network (if offered by the carrier), for data speeds of up to 153 Kbps. Other neat features include voice-activated dialing, a separate LCD for caller ID information, and the ability to act as a modem for a computer. According the spec sheet the Kyocera offers talk time of up to 3.2 hours, and a standby time of up to 123 hours very similar to the Treos specifications.
We will take a closer look at the unit tomorrow, and see how it compares with the Treo 270. A lot more information and a video report will be available tomorrow afternoon.
In an interesting discussion with a VoiceStream representative, they made it clear that the standard GPRS pricing would apply to the Treo when used on their GPRS network - $20 for 5 megabytes of transfer per month, and $5 per additional megabyte. We think his price scheme is ridiculous - at this price point very few Treo enthusiasts can afford to check their mail and use Blazer regularly without breaking the bank.
No "unlimited" usage plan is currently considered, but we think pressure from Verizons recent addition of an unlimited access plan to their Express Network may cause VoiceStream to change their mind (although Verizon charges a hefty $100 a month). Another interesting point is that Black Berry offers unlimited e-mail on their new GRPS phone/pda, but only offers one megabyte of other data with the monthly plan. According to the VoiceStream rep, Reasearch in Motion (the makers of the Black Berry), made a special with VoiceStream and implemented technology to separate data traffic from all other traffic. Maybe Handspring can do something similar with TreoMail?
Sony launches new PDA
Sony launched their latest Clie multimedia Palm device. It seems like they keep popping out new devices every other month or so. The PEG-T665C is an ultra thin PDA with a 66 MHz processor, 16 MB Ram, 320x320 High Resolution TFT display, built-in MP3 playback, and a memory slot. It is not surprising that many takes a second look at Sonys devices when upgrading.
While not happening at PC Expo, Scott Gruby from Notify Mail today released a new product called TreoModem that allows you to use your Treo as a wireless modem. It will work connecting the Treo to a laptop via IR or serial. TreoModem is shareware and costs $15.00.
Landware announced a HotSync recharging USB cable that fits all the Treo models. With the cable you can both synchronize and recharge a Treo, therefore eliminating the need to carry an AC adapter or travel kit when you are on the road. The cable retails for $19.95, and is available from Landwares website. Seidio also offers a similar recharging solution.
Chapura is demonstrating their new KeyContacts software, which allows Microsoft Outlook to access virtually all of their detailed contact information through their Palm OS based handhelds and keep this information organized the same way in both places. Microsoft Outlook customers using KeyContacts instead of the Palm OS Address Book application will be able to synchronize 40 additional contacts fields, multiple categories per contact, and an unlimited number of folders. Unfortunately, at this point KeyContacts does not yet offer any integration with Treos phone capabilities, but we were told future plans include better Treo integration. KeyContacts sells for $24.95.
Samsung is not showing their new CDMA Bluechip smartphone at the show, but we should expect to see it at Comdex this fall, if not earlier.
David Nagel, the President and CEO PalmSource (Palms Software division), held a sparsely attended keynote Wednesday morning where he announced several relationships that further solidify its leadership in the enterprise.
PalmSource and Insignia Solutions announced that they are working together to create a standard Java interface to run on the Palm OS platform. Insignia's Mobile Foundation for Palm OS will provide more powerful Java capabilities for developers and customers in the consumer, wireless and enterprise markets. PalmSource also announced that it is working with ACCESS Systems America to bring a new, secure proxyless browser to Palm OS 5, and with SafeNet to make an evaluation version of SoftRemotePDA Virtual Private Network (VPN) client for Palm OS available to licensees. These solutions will make it easier for IT managers to deploy Palm Powered products within corporations.
Updated: View photos from PC Expo; video reports are available below.
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