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Talkin' Treo

Fri Mar 31, 2006 - 2:48 PM EST - By Annie Latham

Week ending 31 March 2006

The Big Story of the Week – Everyone’s Talkin’ Palm’s 10th
It seemed like Palm was everywhere this week. On Wednesday, Ed Colligan
Palm’s president and CEO presided over the NASDAQ stock market opening bell to celebrate the company's 10th. He also appeared on CNBC’s “Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo" where he talked about mobile computing, what made Palm successful (open standards, form factor, integration), and Palm’s history.

Loads of technology-oriented websites took a trip down Palm memory lane this week.

CNET has a videocast where Rafe Needleman and Bonnie Cha talk with Harry Fuller about the past, present and iffy future of Palm PDAs.

eWeek wrote about “10 years of testing Palm.”

PC Magazine’s Michael Miller provided his thoughts in his blog.

And if you haven’t seen it yet, Palm has an anniversary interview that can be streamed or downloaded as an MP3.

TreoCentral has covered Palm’s 10th all week. Don’t forget that we are holding a “Hooked on Palm” short essay contest. The Grand Prize Winner will have the choice between a vintage Palm Pilot 1000 – and this one’s a true rare collectible, because it’s still in its original shrink-wrap packaging or a brand new Palm LifeDrive mobile manager. Read more about it here.. Deadline to enter is April 5.

Looking ahead, it’s pretty clear that entertainment will play a big role in future of mobile computing...

Mobile Music Download Market Explodes
Per a story by Mike Slocome at Digital Lifestyles, global revenue from music downloaded onto mobile phones went through the roof last year, with pundits predicting that the only way is up for the next five years.

ABI Research's "Mobile Music Services" surveyed world markets for downloads of full music tracks, ringtones and ringback tones and revealed that the market for full track music downloads to mobile devices had ballooned by an astonishing 2,000% in the twelve months to the end of 2005. Other findings include:

  • Full-track music downloads to mobile devices was twenty times larger at the close of 2005 than at the close of 2004
  • Over-the-air full-track music downloads, a promising area of growth, generated $251 million in revenue in 2005, up from $12.4 million in 2004
  • Revenues are expected to skyrocket to $9.3 billion by 2011

    Treonauts Offers Treo vs. iPod Shipment Analysis
    Andrew at Treonauts has done an interesting comparison on the ship rates of Treos vs. iPods.
    “Treo smartphone sales since the launch of the Treo 600 in October 2003 have on average actually been some 40% higher than the iPod over the similar period since its launch in November 2001. Another thing to keep in mind is that while the iPod has been on the market for 17 quarters the Treo has only had 9.

    Assuming that sales of the Treo will continue to grow at a rate of 110% over the coming three quarters we should see cumulative units doubling from the current 2.8 million figure to over 5.6 million by the end of this year.”
    mPod - inspiring MP3 player for your Treo.
    Want iPod-like functionality on your Treo? MotionApps of San Francisco has the solution. This week they announced mPod, a software program that has a full screen, fully interactive navigational wheel, a mini wheel for quick action and compact use, and a playlist creation feature. Look for our review in early April.

    mPod is currently available as a free download Beta version and allows for a 15-day fully functional testing period.

    MBlox Unveils Single Price Downloads
    Here’s an interesting story that appeared in Wireless Week. According to Susan Rush, wireless customers will soon be saying goodbye to data charges related to music downloads, at least if mBlox has anything to say about it. The company, along with New-Visions, is unveiling an off-deck music download service that side-steps operator data charges. MBlox's new off-deck charging model provides another avenue for music labels and artists to go directly to the consumer rather than through the operator's "walled-garden," providing consumers with opportunity to download the tracks they want to hear, the company said in a prepared statement.

    The off-deck service will initially be available to Vodafone customers.

    What Happens in Vegas…Won’t Stay in Vegas
    Next week in Las Vegas, CTIA WIRELESS 2006, billed as the largest wireless show in the world, will be taking place. CTIA, the international association for the wireless telecommunications industry (literally Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association) is bringing together all industries within the communications ecosystem and all those affected by wireless technology for three intense days. There will be nearly 1,000 exhibitors (including Palm), and 35,000 attendees. The future of smartphones and mobile entertainment will certainly be big topics. We plan on keeping an eye on things and providing a report in next week’s Talkin’ Treo.

    Elsewhere in the World of Palm

    Another Take on the Treo 700w
    James Turner over at Network Computing has written a follow-up to his first look review at the Treo 700w. He states:
    The Treo 700w holds a lot of promise, but it has lots of “early adopter” headaches. And glitches that are acceptable in a PDA are showstoppers in a phone. Having to reboot a PDA is a nuisance; not being able to receive an important phone call is a deal killer. Palm needs to fix the problems and offer a firmware upgrade quickly, or the phone will become just another nice idea that was poorly executed.
    BoxWave Introduces Desktop Cradle for the Palm Treo 700w
    BoxWave is now shipping the Desktop Cradle for the Palm Treo 700w.It comes with everything you need to synchronize and charge your device. BoxWave also just announced they are shipping a ballpoint pen called the Styra that serves as a multi-function stylus for the 700w. It fits perfectly into the Treo’s built-in stylus holder.

    Sybase iAnywhere Unveils AvantGo Windows Mobile Smartphone Beta
    This week, iAnywhere, a subsidiary of Sybase, Inc., announced that the popular AvantGo mobile Internet service is now available, in Beta, for Windows Mobile-based smartphones. Treo 700w users now have access to mobile content (news, weather, sports) from over a thousand websites --optimized for reading on the Treo screen.

    PayPal’s Mobile Payments
    Last week, PayPal, eBay’s online payment service, quietly announced a service that will let consumers make purchases or money transfers using simple text messaging via mobile phones. PayPal Mobile’s “Text To Buy” feature was a surprise to many, according to this write-up.

    Advertising Solution Announced for Podcasting Community
    Pod2Mobile announced a new suite of advertising solutions for the growing podcast community. Brad Zutaut, co-founder of Pod2Mobile, states:
    “We believe we are doing for podcasting what Google’s AdSense did for online advertising."
    The Pod2Mobile’s solution extends podcasters' reach to wireless phones while creating an opportunity for Madison Avenue to reach fickle audiences directly in their pocket.

    Tracking Inventory and Order Fulfillment on Your Treo
    This week, Socket Communications, an innovative provider of mobile productivity products such as barcode scanners, and 3G Touch Solutions, a provider of corporate information systems solutions, announced they have teamed together to provide a order placement and fulfillment solution that runs on a Treo 650. Kelleher Corporation, a manufacturer and distributor of lumber and moulding products, has implemented this solution and as a result, they have been able to increase their order processing and fulfillment efficiency tenfold.

    Recent TreoCentral Reviews

    Arkon CM910 Vehicle Mount Kit - By Xious Sonenberg

    “The Arkon CM910 is a fantastic and inexpensive car mount solution. It is very well engineered and solidly constructed which makes it a bargain at twice the price. It holds a Treo so securely that evil ninjas would have to struggle to snatch it away without notice.”

    Reviews from Elsewhere in the Treo Community

    Ringo Mobile – Kevin Muller over at Treo Mobile has written about Electric Pocket’s popular ringtone manager.

    “The 700w does a decent job of offering users customization options for ringtones. Ringo Mobile expands on these options and excels in two areas the 700w is lacking – custom group and SMS ringtones.”

    Yahoo! Music Engine – Andrew at Treonauts has a nice write-up on the Yahoo! Music Engine (AKA YME).

    “Overall the Yahoo! Music Engine (YME) and the Music Unlimited To Go service work well and offer terrific value for money but there is naturally room for improvement.”

    Butler – TreoBits took a look at this product that has been describes as “The Essential Tool for the Treo 650.”

    “All things considered, Butler is a very useful application that brings together several useful functions. Workarounds exist for most of these; Butler streamlines them, however, and makes the Treo experience that much better. Would I buy the program? Consider it done.

    >> Something to Ponder

    Once again, a wearable computer is showing its face online. A company called Eurotech has created a mobile computer that you wear on your wrist for industrial and specialty applications. The specification states that it weighs 200g, which I’m guessing is grams. That’s 7 ounces. The Treo, in comparison, weighs 6.3 ounces.

    Sounds like an interesting concept, however I seriously doubt you’ll see Jeff Hawkins wearing a prototype of this kind of device anytime soon.

    That’s a wrap!

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