Week ending 10 March 2006
This has been a very active week in the world of Treo. While there was quite a bit of buzz coming from CeBIT in Hannover, Germany (everything from Microsofts revealing its much-anticipated Origami Project to BenQs new smartphone), the Treo World was doing what it does bestmaking a product thats shipping today (Treo 650 and Treo 700w), even better (and smarter) with the introduction of some great applications and add-on products. Lets Talk Treo.
This Festival will be Treo-Casted
Silicon Valley (San Jose) has their own version of the Sundance Film Festivalcalled Cinequestthat has risen to become one of the top 10 film festivals in the world. It should be no surprise that a film festival based in Silicon Valley is leveraging technology to bring films to you -- via your PC and your handheld. Thanks to Open Media Network and Intel, the world of independent films is now available to people who arent able to attend in person. Cinequest runs from March 1 to 12. Cinequestonline.org is open 24/7.
RBC Survey Questions Desire for Mobile TV and Music in the US
According to a survey conducted by RBC Capital Markets, Americans may not be as enamored by the idea of watching TV and listening to music on their cell phones as mobile carriers had hoped. About 75 percent of roughly 1,000 people polled said they had no interest in watching TV on their cell phones. And about 70 percent said they didn't see themselves using their cell phones for musical entertainment.
Ken Wirt, the senior vice president of product development and marketing at Palm had a slightly different take on it. He communicated to the attendees for the RBC Capital Markets M-Evolution Conference that in the research Palm conducted, people were interested in smartphone benefits, such as email and Web access and multimedia features, but have been put off by the size of the handsets and the price.
And Linda Barrabee, a senior analyst at The Yankee Group, said "I think it's really hard for most people to imagine what the experience of mobile TV would even be," she said. "Right now, most people are using phones that aren't even 3G (third generation) compatible. I think they'll have to see how it can really work and fit into their lives before they can really judge whether they want it."
Its pretty clear that smartphones will follow the path of early adopters and business users and then gradually cross over into the mainstream. Palm is in a good position to compete in this space. Nokia, HP and a host of others are poised to jump in and that should make things quite interesting.
Thats the End? The BlackBerry Saga is Over (Hopefully)
By now, the word of the settlement between Research In Motion (RIM), the maker of BlackBerry, and NTP, the patent holding company (for $612.5 billion), is old news. This week, the buzz was about the significance of it.
In The New York Times, Forrester Research analyst, Ellen Dailey, stated, The patent case was a whole bunch of noise. Right now RIM is in danger of relegating itself to becoming a niche e-mail player.
Ken Wirt, the senior vice president of product development and marketing at Palm told the RBC Capital Markets M-Evolution Conference audience that the whole patent issue had IT managers scrambling to line up backup solutions. He said that 53% of companies that had standardized on BlackBerry were actively evaluating the Treo as a replacement. He indicated that because the Treo was an open platform and would work with whatever server the company was going to use three years from now, that it was being viewed as a viable alternative.
Heres BusinessWeeks take on the settlement.
Morgan Keegan Downgrades Palm
On Monday, after the RIMM settlement, Morgan Keegan downgraded Palm to market perform from outperform, citing the handheld computing company's stock valuation.
Per the short article in BusinessWeek, analyst Tavis McCourt said that Palm's shares have gained 32% year to date, and they now accurately reflect the company's likely growth outlook. He also said that his limited retail store checks pointed to strong demand for the Treo 700w and steady demand for the Treo 650 at US carriers.
Palm Announces Conference Call Details for Q3 FY06 Financial Results
Palm is announcing its third quarter FY06 results on Thursday, March 23, at 4 p.m. Eastern (1 p.m. Pacific), followed by a conference call for the public at 5 p.m. Eastern (2 p.m. Pacific). The conference call will be hosted by Ed Colligan, president and chief executive officer; Andy Brown, chief financial officer; and Sandy O'Halloran, senior director of Investor Relations. A slide presentation will be available 10 minutes prior to the start of the conference call from Palm's Investor Relations website.
Elsewhere in the World of Treo (Palm & Windows Mobile)...
Smartphones Become Smarter With Garmins® GPS Navigation and Bluetooths® Wireless Hands-Free Calling
Garmin just announced an automotive navigation system that delivers Garmins voice-prompted, turn-by-turn directions using Bluetooth wireless technology on Windows Mobile and Treo 650 Smartphones. Garmin Mobile 20 provides both data connectivity as well as hands-free capability and is packaged with the GPS 20SM, a new mobile phone mount with a built-in, highly sensitive GPS receiver and Bluetooth-enabled speaker and microphone. Garmin Mobile 20 will also be the first Garmin product to use the Garmin Online wireless data services that includes real-time traffic, gas prices, safety cameras, weather information, and other location relevant content. Garmin Mobile 20 was announced at CeBIT, Europes premier electronics trade show in Hannover, Germany, from March 9-15, 2006.
Read the complete announcement .
Mobile Stream Releases USB Modem for the Treo 650
Mobile Stream announced the release of their USB Modem for Treo applications that allows Treo 650 smartphones to be used as a USB GPRS modem for a desktop computer. GPRS wireless modem provides data and voice in a USB adapter. It lets you use e-mail, access the Internet and make phone calls directly from your PC without any telephone line. According to Mobile Stream, up to this point, this was something all the other cell phones could do except the Treo 650.
StreamerNet Introduces Live Streaming Technologies for Smartphones
This week, StreamerNet Corporation demonstrated how its mobile-wireless audio and video streaming technology enables owners of Windows® Mobile devices, such as the Treo 700w and other smartphones, to view live audio and video streaming events straight from a remote camera to the handheld. In addition to remote viewing, StreamerNet technology enables the user to receive and watch video email on the handheld device. StreamerNet is driving a shift in the point-to-point streaming at a moments notice market by providing individuals and organizations with easy-to-use, affordable solutions. Read the complete announcement here.
Traverse Networks Announces CallConnect Available for Treo Users
This week, Traverse Networks, an innovator of mobility solutions for enterprise voice systems, announced that its CallConnect with Visual Voicemail software is now compatible with Treo handheld mobile devices. CallConnect enables Treo users to further extend the functionality of their mobile handheld devices enabling control over corporate voice communications systems in a way, acting as a powerful "remote control" for the user's desk phone.
BoxWave Announces Availability of Armor Case For Treo 700w
BoxWave is now shipping the Armor Case for the Palm Treo 700w. It is a form-fitting, aluminum metal case that is designed to protect your device from everyday wear and tear.
BoxWave also announced a new Mobile Mounting Kit that provides everything that you need to mount your mobile device in the car. It includes a universal cradle, a swivel windshield suction mounting pedestal, and a set of vent mounting clips. The Mobile Mounting Kit holds most mobile devices as the arms of the cradle extend approximately 2 inches to 3.4 inches in width. These expanding wings set it apart from most other car mounting kits.
Electric Pockets Ringo Mobile Now Available for Treo 700w
Electric Pockets popular Ringo Mobile ringtone manager is now available for users of the Treo 700w smartphone devices based on Windows Mobile 5.0.
According to the announcement, Ringo has been the best-selling ringtone manager for Treo smartphones based on the Palm OSand more recently devices based on Pocket PC Phone Edition. Ringo has received acclaim for the ease with which users can customize their phones with personal ringtones and SMS tones. Ringo Mobile now brings these features to the Treo 700w.
Blue Nomad Issues Casting Call
We just got word that Blue Nomad, developers of a comprehensive suite of award-winning backup and restore software for the Palm OS, has been busy developing a new wireless service for the Treo. They are looking to widen their Beta to 200 testers. Testers should have a Treo and ideally an unlimited data plan. They can be located anywhere in the world (i.e. not specific to U.S.). They should also be willing to not discuss it with anybody but other testers (there is a message board for the Beta). Interested testers who agree to the above should send an email to [email protected].
Notice for DataViz Customers
DataViz has just announced a FREE update to Documents To Go Premium Edition 8 with new PDF-related features. This update includes support for security-enabled PDF files, specifically RC4 encrypted and password-protected PDF files. Documents To Go Premium Edition 8 customers can download this FREE update to version 8.003 by visiting www.dataviz.com where they can log in to access their free update.
Must Have Treo Freeware Applications
From Ryan over at PalmInfocenter: He has written about ten great freeware applications that he considers must haves for Treo users. One that looks interesting is called LED Off. Besides turning off that annoying pulsating green LED on your Treo, it also allows you to set the LED to stay on when you get new voicemail, email or SMS messages. Another one to check out is SharkMSG, which prompts you to send a SMS in response to a call that you ignore. That way, you can decline a call with a friendly text message. Check out the rest of his list.
Use Your Treo as a Recording Device with PAR Pro
Mytreo.net has a review of Toysofts PAR Pro, a full featured audio recording solution for the Palm OS. PAR, short for Personal Audio Recorder, allows you to record audio at several different quality levels, with up to 16bit, 44100 HZ Stereo sound (though these settings are not recommended for use on a Treo). Also included is the ability to take separate files and append them in order to create a larger "master" file - a perfect feature for someone who is looking to create a podcast.
Here are links to two reviews that appeared on TreoCentral earlier this week:
ThinkOutside Stowaway Bluetooth Keyboard
Jabra BT150 Headset
Thats a wrap for this week!