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10 years ago

Roger McNamee: We Love You to Death, But... [iPhone Smack Talk]

Roger McNamee: We Love You to Death, But... [iPhone Smack Talk]

by Dieter Bohn Fri, 06 Mar 2009 3:21 pm EST

[Update: Here's the video, and note the McNamee has a new, shorter and classier haircut.  Officially redeemed!]

[Update 2: More smacktalk! "Our product is just going to run rings around them on the web.  If you want to go the web, it's going to be a million time faster, well, not a million times, several times faster and that's a huge deal for most people."]

Before we go too far, we need to stipulate that Roger McNamee is still our hero. He's out there, exposing himself to the Swishers and Lacys of the world (no, not like that), hobnobbing at the TED Conference, and generally doing his best to get everybody on board with the Pre.  We love him to death.  Now, have you ever heard somebody say "I love him to death" without a "but" at the end?  Here it is:

Bloomberg [via our friends at TiPb, who are just beside themselves with snarky glee over all this] reports that yesterday McNamee dropped this little bomb during an interview:

You know the beautiful thing: June 29, 2009, is the two- year anniversary of the first shipment of the iPhone, [...] Not one of those people will still be using an iPhone a month later.

Uh, Roger, maybe you don't want to raise expectations that high, okay?  We know that Palm very much needs the Pre to be a smash hit in order to stay alive, but here's the deal: you want people to think that it is more successful than they anticipated, not less.  Suggesting that every iPhone user who bought on day one are going to switch to the Pre is therefore not wise.

Ok, we kid, there's a little more context to the quote -- McNamee was apparently focusing mainly on the early adopted, gotta-have-the-best-and-latest-stuff contingent of day 1 iPhone buyers:

Think about it -- If you bought the first iPhone, you bought it because you wanted the coolest product on the market [...] Your two-year contract has just expired. Look around. Tell me what they’re going to buy.

Fair enough and a good point, the Pre is definitely going to be the newest and hottest thing around when it finally gets released, but buddy, pal, compadre, hero -- could you please Elevate them expectation guns a little lower?

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10 years ago

Amazon Whispersync app for the Pre? - Part Two

Amazon Whispersync app for the Pre? - Part Two

by Jennifer Chappell Fri, 06 Mar 2009 10:36 am EST

We recently talked about the new Kindle 2 from Amazon and the fact that the Kindle 2 uses Whispersync technology. Whispersync automatically syncs Kindle 2 and the original Kindle, and will also sync with a range of mobile devices in the future.  We had no idea at the time what mobile devices would sync with the Kindle and its Whispersync.

Well, looks like the future has now started because today our pal Rene over at our sister site The iPhone Blog let us know that Amazon's Kindle App for iPhone and iPod touch is now live in the App Store:

"The Amazon Kindle for iPhone app is FREE (iTunes Link), but it looks like books need to be purchased from Amazon directly via PC or Mac and transferred over, or from the iPhone via Mobile Safari. Most e-books should run $9.99. Like with the Kindle device itself, you can sample first chapters for free, adjust text size and bookmark. You can’t annotate but you can view Kindle annotations."

In the app description, it says that Kindle for iPhone also includes Whispersync, allowing you to seamlessly switch back and forth between your Kindle device and Kindle for iPhone while keeping your bookmarks and reading location synchronized between devices. So you can easily pick up reading exactly where you left off on your Kindle or iPhone.

I bought a Kindle 2 last week and wrote up my initial thoughts on the device. I'm really enjoying it so far. I'm really hoping that the Palm will release a Kindle app for Palm smartphones and especially for the upcoming Palm Pre!

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10 years ago

Palm Pre Interactive Webcast: Dieter will be there!

Palm Pre Interactive Webcast: Dieter will be there!

by Jennifer Chappell Wed, 04 Mar 2009 6:17 pm EST

Palm and Sprint are sending out special invitations to an interactive Webinar featuring the Palm Pre.  Dieter has been invited, so he'll be there to get some more Pre goodness!

Sprint and Palm invite you to attend the first in a series of
interactive Webcasts featuring Palm Pre from Sprint.

Join Fared Adib, Vice President, Device Operations & Logistics for
Sprint, and Matt Crowley, Product Line Manager at Palm, as they
provide a demo of Palm Pre on the Sprint 3G Network. They will walk
you through why the partnership between Sprint and Palm offers an
extremely compelling new device -- Pre -- and will change the way
customers view and use their wireless device.

Participation is limited and those who are lucky enough to get an invite should RSVP.  The Webcast is this month, but that's all I'll say about it.  Have fun Boss!! ;-)

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10 years ago

Palm to Support Patent Reform

Palm to Support Patent Reform

by Dieter Bohn Tue, 03 Mar 2009 10:54 pm EST

Well, we're not entirely sure what to make of this, but Palm's Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Mary E. Doyle, has just put up a post at the Official Palm Blog entitled "Innovation in a Changing World."  The upshot?  Palm is backing the Patent Reform Act of 2009 along with the Coalition for Patent Fairness.  Palm's stated goal, from the post, is that:

[...] worthy inventions will be patented expeditiously and compensated fairly while at the same time pioneering innovators will have the freedom to invest in new products without the threat of opportunistic litigation and disproportionate damages awards.

Palm has certain been relatively coy about the ongoing question of whether or not they're going to face a patent dispute with Apple and what they'd do in such a situation.  The upshot is that they're confident in their patents and the advantage these patents give the company should litigation arise.  

Of course, the other partners in this coalition include Google, ROM, Dell, HP, Microsoft, and, yes, Apple.  So it's probably best not to take this as some sort of salvo in the potential patent pugilism except insofar as to say that Palm isn't really fond of the patent system as it currently stands and neither, apparently, is Apple.

 

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10 years ago

Palm Posts Preliminary Q3 FY09 Results: Hanging by a Thread?

Palm Posts Preliminary Q3 FY09 Results: Hanging by a Thread?

by Dieter Bohn Tue, 03 Mar 2009 5:58 pm EST

Well ahead of their scheduled March 19th quarterly conference call, Palm has just posted preliminary results for their 3rd Quarter of Fiscal Year 2009.  The numbers are grim enough and the posting early enough that one assumes that Palm is doing their best to separate the bad news from whenever the Palm Pre will launch (still on track for the 1st half of the year, according to the release).

Revenue for the quarter is expected to be between $85 and $90 million, just a bit less than their cash burn for the quarter of close to $100 million, with somewhere in the neighborhood of $220 million cash-on-hand by the end of the quarter.  In other words, things are awfully tight.

So tight, in fact, that Palm "intends to strengthen its working capital position" -- which is to say they're looking at ways to bring in some cash in a time when the economy makes that awfully difficult.  They may "remarket[...] a portion of the common shares underlying the Series C preferred stock."  Your guess as to what exactly that means is likely better than mine (full release is after the break).

Finally, if you were hoping for a gigantic revenue bump at the launch of the Palm Pre, think again.  Since Palm intends on offering free feature updates to the webOS, they will need to account for the income the Pre generates over a 2 year cycle (similar to how Apple accounts for the iPhone) instead of at the moment of sale.  They'll have more at http://investor.palm.com.

In short, Palm's March 19th call is going to be very interesting indeed.  Palm is stating very strongly that they're not going to run out of cash and one assumes that an acquisition is still most definitely off the table, but these numbers are as grim as I've ever seen from Palm.  They're spending about the same amount that they're taking in in revenue right now and while I'm no investor, analyst, or CFO-type, that doesn't sound good to me.

Full release after the break.

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10 years ago

Is Vodafone in Negotiations with Palm for Pre Release?

Is Vodafone in Negotiations with Palm for Pre Release?

by Jennifer Chappell Tue, 03 Mar 2009 4:56 pm EST

Brian posted last week about how the Palm Pre has been popping up on several of Palm's international web sites.  Update: And forum member Stefan had actually commented below Brian's article and let us know that the provider for the Netherlands would be Vodafone, referring to the tweakers.net article below. Sorry I missed Stefan's comment before now! I try to read all the comments but sometimes I miss some.

And Dieter saw a GSM version of the Palm Pre sporting a Vodafone SIM card at MWC 2009.

Recently, the Palm WebOS Blog reported learning via tweakers.net (Dutch site) that Vodafone finally admitted that they're in negotiation with Palm for release of the Pre.

According to Palm WebOS Blog, Ivo Philipsen a spokesperson of Now-Mobile and the exclusive Palm agent in Benelux, said that they're negotiating an exclusive deal with Vodafone for the first 3 months.

From the article:

It’s not clear at this stage where the negotiations are. Joost Galema, PR manager of Vodafone Netherlands, said that they are still considering whether they can agree a deal with Palm. T-mobile would not comment when Tweakers.net asked them if Palm is also in talks with other carriers, however, T-mobile’s spokesperson, Priscilla Tomasoa, did admit that Palm Pre would be a good handset for them to have following the success of iPhone and G1 with Android.

Evgeny of Palm WebOS Blog noted that an undisclosed Vodafone employee showed him some of the upcoming Vodafone cloud services, which look good.

I'm so ready for the Palm Pre to be released!  I wouldn't care if Vodafone got it first , just so we get it here soon!

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10 years ago

Palm One-Liners: Pre Details That Slipped Out

Palm One-Liners: Pre Details That Slipped Out

by Jason Robitaille Mon, 02 Mar 2009 11:03 am EST

Lately it seems as is Palm is built like a fortress, not letting any secret details slip. But every now and then Palm comes out to show the world the Pre in conventions, like they did at CES and MWC.  With all the demos and Q&A sessions, it's not surprising that occasionally a detail or two gets casually mentioned that probably wasn't supposed to be.  These are their stories.

First up is from a hand-on demo of the Pre from CES by Stuff.tv. At the 1:00 mark of the video, it can be clearly heard that the Pre's camera has "no autofocus, but it can directly upload to internet galleries".  The lack of autofocus has been moderately discussed, but no where could I find any other details on direct uploading to galleries.  When I asked Palm about it, they replied with a standard:

We'll have more details as we get closer to product availability.

The second incident comes from MWC when FAQ-Mac reported (via PrePoint) their adventures at the Palm booth.  In this instance, at the 1:50 mark of the video, the Palm rep can be heard clearly saying that the Pre has 256MB of RAM.  Surely Palm wouldn't weasel their way out of this one.  Here was Palm's response when contacted about it:

This not a confirmed spec.

Quite a muddy answer, not saying yes, not saying no. Palm really should think of running for office. Will we see these specs/features in the release of the Pre? Likely. Will Palm continue keeping quiet on the one-liner slips? Probably, though if these 2 slips are an indication, Palm may have a few surprises yet for us.

And for those who read this expecting Pre jokes, don't feel let down, here are some Chuck Norris jokes from the forums:

Fact: Chuck Norris can use voice and data at the same time using a CDMA Palm Pre on a GSM network.
Fact: Chuck Norris can store 32 GB of data on an 8 GB Palm Pre.
Fact: Chuck Norris can run PalmOS applications on a WebOS device.
Fact: Chuck Norris can use multitouch with one finger.
Fact: When Chuck Norris hangs up his Palm Pre, PEOPLE DIE!

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10 years ago

Palm Pre as Guest on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon?

Palm Pre as Guest on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon?

by Brian Hart Mon, 02 Mar 2009 10:06 am EST

 

Jimmy Fallon has his new Late Night show ("Late Night with Jimmy Fallon"), and he's bringing high-tech with him. Already using Facebook, myspace, Twitter, and flckr, Mr. Fallon is no stranger to technology and gadgetry. He promises a new show that will entertain while incorporating some of Fallon's passions: new gadgets, phones, and video games.

Gavin Purcell, a co-producer of the show, said that he and his team were trying to get the Palm Pre on the show. In an interview, Fallon said:

"I'm interested in tech, and I'm interested in gadgets. I want tech people to come on my show, whether it's Bill Gates or the guy who designed the new Palm Pre, to talk about new inventions."

If Palm wants to reach out to a youthful, energetic market and get some free PR at the same time, they would be foolish to pass up an opportunity to score a Late Night gig with techno-celeb Jimmy Fallon.

[wireless and mobile news]

10 years ago

Pre Spotted on Knight Rider?

Pre Spotted on Knight Rider?

by Jason Robitaille Sun, 01 Mar 2009 9:37 pm EST

Oh Knight Rider, why do you tease us so?  How many futuristic devices must you have to quench your hunger! First it was KITT, now it appears you've snagged an elusive Palm Pre.

That's right, the Pre has made it's TV debut.  On Wednesday's episode of Knight Rider (titled "Fly By Knight" for those wondering), the main character Michael Knight was spotted using a Palm Pre.

Sure, the angle of the camera wasn't the best for identification, but based off the various screencaps posted in this TreoCentral thread, it certainly has the curves, shape, slider, and keyboard of the Palm Pre. In fact, I can't think of any other device that would fit this specific sighting.  Certainly a good first step for Palm Pre public exposure.

Wanna see it for yourself? Check it out on YouTube. The Pre makes its debut at the 4:45 time mark.
 

Update: False alarm.  Palm responded to the Knight Rider screencaps on their twitter page declaring:

They're impostors.

Nothing to see here folk, move along, move along. Well, hopefully the Pre will get its TV debut soon
 

Special thanks to treoKing for the screencaps.

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10 years ago

Around SPE for 1 March, 2009

Around SPE for 1 March, 2009

by Dieter Bohn Sun, 01 Mar 2009 8:05 pm EST

In a sense, it was a calm after the Mobile World Congress storm this week, but we got together and recorded a massive hour-and-a-half-long Smartphone Experts Roundtable Podcast to discuss all the news from Windows Mobile 6.5 to the Ovi app Store to Apple's "absent presence" at the show.

If you didn't realize, SPE has four podcasts for your listening pleasure: the CrackBerry.com Podcast, the Phone Different Podcast (with the occasional iPhone LIVE! show), the PalmCast on both TreoCentral and PreCentral.net, and finally the WMExperts Podcast. The bold and daring may even want to try the (still in Beta, since it's based on the somewhat unreliable Yahoo Pipes feature) Smartphone Experts Combined Podcast Feed, which puts all four podcasts into a single feed -- also available in iTunes, if that's how you roll.

Now for the roundup of the week's news!

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