I just saw this bad news on a PreCentral. It was an email from a Palm spokesperson regarding the availability (or rather unavailability) of Palm Pre or any WebOS devices in Australia. Although the reply is to Jason from Auto Lingography in Australia, it also reveal that Palm Pre or any WebOS device will not be available in Singapore (or rather, the entire Asia Pacific region) anytime soon.

At this moment in time, we do not yet have any plans to launch the Palm Pre or any of our new WebOS products in Asia Pacific. Our focus right now is to establish a strong presence in North America and Europe. However, we do not discount the possibility of offering this new range of products at a later date.
It is therefore not a rumor that Palm has significantly reduced its presence in the region to one of operational support to our existing customers requiring our in-warranty services and technical support for our sold products.

This is a pretty sad news to all the Palm Fans out there. We thought that the recent launch of the 3G version Palm Pre in Germany means that Palm Pre might be coming to Singapore soonish? But I guess we are wrong. Palm is going to focus on North America and Europe for the time being. It might be a good strategy for the Palm in the short term but they will definitely need to make their product available in more countries in order to get a bigger market share. iPhone is doing very well and Android is slowly picking up pace. Palm need to get more users and developers onboard the WebOS platform. They already lost PalmOS. I hope they don’t make any big mistakes and lose WebOS too.
I wonder if anyone in Singapore is going to buy a Palm Pre from Germany.

I couldn’t agree more with engadget when they say it’s time for Palm to make some drastic changes.

Indeed, Palm is going down the drain. I still remember Palm as the leading handheld computing company in the world. But it has lost the market share to Window Mobile device. The specification of the latest Treo680 and Palm TX isn’t quite impressive as compared to the Window Mobile counterparts. Although I do feel that PDA and smartphones should be kept simple, there is also a need to be cutting edge. Give us some impressive features that will make us all say “Wow”.

The folks at Engadget really nailed the problem. They make a detail analysis of things that need be done for palm to be back on track. While I do not agree with all the points made, I do feel that most of them are quite useful.

I agree with all the points made about the hardware. Seriously, Treo is lagging behind. Most smartphones come with WIFI and are thin and stylish looking.

Software wise, I don’t think multitasking is important. Yes, it is good to have, but not a killer feature. The existing UI is good, but perhaps need some updating to keep up to date. Instead of a complete overhaul of the OS, I think updating is good enough. Even the iPhone interface is somewhat similar to PalmOS. This shows that the UI is on the right track. Never, I say again, Never go the same way that Windows Mobile is going. The UI is horrible.

On top of that, Palm also need to include more bundled software. A better web-browser, a better email reader and media player. The Doc-To-Go office applications is good so keep bundling them with new Palm devices.

Other stuff like being being open to customers about the development and more support for developers are good suggestions. I truly believe that it is important to win back developers to write applications for Palm. Give them more support and access to source code to help them write more application for Palm platform.

But one thing I disagree has got to be on Foleo. I do feel that Foleo can be a successful product. But the first version will be problematic. Allow this product line to grow. I feel that there is a market for it.

I think everyone is surprised when Ed Colligan replied to the open letter published in Engadget. That is the first step to making a comeback. I’m glad that Palm is listening. Ed said that he forwarded the entire executive staff. Lets us all hope that the list of suggestions is in good hands. We are looking forward to the day when Palm make a come back. To the good old days when Palm release cutting edge products like Palm Pilot, Palm III, Palm IIIc, Palm V, Palm m505, Treo 600, Palm TT, Palm T3 and Palm TX.

For the past few years, Jeff Hawkins was mentioning that he is working on a “secret weapon”. And yesterday, Palm finally released the long awaited secret weapon, Foleo.

In case you didn’t already know, I’m a fan of Palm. I started using Palm III in year 2000. It was a second hand set that I bought from my sister’s friend. Ever since then, I feel in love with Palm. I bought a Palm T3 when I started working and I upgraded to TX as soon as it hit the market. I’m still using TX now, although abit under-utilized.

Anyway, back to Foleo. Its a whole new product direction by Palm. They feel that the future of mobile computing will be small devices in the pocket which stores all the datas and a large screen device to managed it.

I guess the best thing about Foleo is its instant on/off. When you are on the go, there is no time for you to wait for the laptop to bootup. You want to type an email fast and move off quickly once you are done.

The battery life is great. 5 hours! It runs on Linux. Light weight with a 10 inch screen. I hope there will be lots of applications for it.

Still not exactly sure about the full specs. This is what I manage to get from the web.

Primary Capabilities and Attributes of the Foleo Mobile Companion
— One-button access to full-screen email
— Instant on, instant off
— Rapid access to various applications
— 10-inch screen and full-size keyboard
— Web search and browsing via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi
— Editors for Word, Excel and PowerPoint, plus a PDF viewer
— Compact, stylish design that fits on an airline tray table
— Lightweight at 2.5 pounds
— Fast, simple and intuitive navigation
— 5-hour battery life
— Linux OS for easy application development

What is the processor speed? How much disk space does it has? Is it using Non-Volatile File System (NVFS) like other palm devices? There are so many questions unanswered.

It should be out in the market soon. Going to cost USD$499.

I’m not sure if this is going to pull Palm out of the danger zone. I like the idea behind it. In fact, I’ve been thinking of something similar to this. But I don’t think I’ll buy it. It has to go together with a Treo to make full use of its capabilities . I love my K800i’s camera so much that I won’t give it up for any phone with less than 3.2megapix camera. But I believe that this is the way mobile computing should go. Its sad that the folks at SPUG aren’t supportive towards it.

Will Foleo be the next PalmPilot or Treo? I hope it will.

Went for RT today. My 2nd session. Supposed to be the 4th, but 31 Dec and 2 Jan are public holidays.

Well, as usual, we are suppose to surrender any laptop, PDA, thumbdrive or camera (inclusive of handphone with camera) at the guard room before entering the army camp. The most commonly surrendered item is the camera phone. Nowadays almost everyone got a phone with a camera.

I had my hand phone and PDA with me. So I went over the guard room, fill in a small piece of paper and pass the restricted items to the guard commander.

The guard commander looked at my PDA and pause for awhile. Then he looked at me and ask “What is this huh?”

*Slap forehead* It’s a bomb detonator lah.