MediaFile

Palm Chief promises “hits” for HP

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Six months after Hewlett-Packard announced it was buying smartphone pionners Palm  for $1 billion, technology watchers are still waiting to see just what emerges from the high-profile marriage.

Palm chief Jon Rubinstein still isn’t tipping his hand on any details around smartphones and tablets that are due next year from the new HP unit. But he certainly made no effort to manage expectations on Tuesday at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco.

“It’s absolutely a hits business…We have several products that will clearly be hits when they come out,” said Rubinstein, who predicted “tremendous growth” in devices based on webOS, the Palm platform that HP acquired when it bought the company this year for roughly $1 billion.

“At the same time next year you’ll see us be in a very different position,” he said, saying there is still plenty of room in the fast-growing market for mobile connected devices

Rubinstein is of course famous as the man who developed Apple’s first iPod. But he started his career some 30 years ago, right out of college, at HP. Rubinstein acknowledged that by landing at Palm after leaving Apple, he is definitely off Steve Jobs’ Christmas list.

Video: Motorola’s Cliq in action

Check out Motorola’s new phone, the Cliq. Reuters reporter Sinead Carew scored a demo after Motorola debuted the phone in San Francisco.

Apple cuts off Palm Pre sync (again)

It should probably come as no surprise, but Apple has again cut off iTunes syncing privileges for Palm’s Pre, the latest dig in their tit-for-tat over Palm’s smartphone. Apple’s newest version of iTunes, launched yesterday, disables the sync.

In July, Palm updated its webOS software to allow Pre users to sync the handset with iTunes, Apple’s ubiquitous media management software, where millions of people store their music and videos–after Apple had disabled such functionality in an earlier iTunes update.

At the time, Palm also complained to the USB Implementers Forum — which helps support and promote the USB interface –  about the sync cutoff.

Analysts question T-Mobile’s choice of myTouch over Hero

 Some analysts worry that T-Mobile USA may have missed a trick by opting for a new Android device, myTouch 3G, which is mostly the same as HTC’s first one, the G, except for its slimmer shape and lack of a physical keyboard.

According to T-Mobile USA Chief Technology Officer Cole Brodman, the No. 4 U.S. carrier currently has no plans to sell Hero, another HTC phone that runs Google’s Android but has an updated user interface that looks similar in some ways to Palm Pre.

From today until July 28, T-Mobile USA customers can order the myTouch online with the potential to have their phones deliverd before its national launch stores on Aug. 5. Brodman says myTouch, with its nifty travel case, personalizable covers and T-Mobile recommendations for hot applictions, will appeal to a broader audience than G1. The idea is that myTouch’s sleek shape and Android’s straightforward user interface will encourage T-Mobile customers who had never bought a smartphone before to now consider this one.

iPhone 3GS sales kick off

Hollywood has its blockbuster openings, and Baseball has Opening day: the gadget world has cellphone debut days — in particular iPhone launch days.

While the latest iPhone 3GS has not drawn the crowds that flocked to previous Apple phone debuts, a handful of shoppers were lining up a couple of AT&T stores in New York before dawn today.

AT&T employees at this store near Grand Central said that pre-orders would be satisfied at 7 A.M. and those walking in off of the street would get theirs at 8 A.M. if supplies last.

Braving stormy weather for iPhone: well, sorta

Braving a downpour at Apple’s New York flagship store in midtown, three college students were already lined up waiting to be first to nab the new iPhone 3GS when it goes on sale on Friday.******Oddly enough, none of the trio planned to buy an IPhone: two already had the iPhone 3G, and the other was saving up for a Palm Pre. Hunkered under broad umbrellas graciously supplied by Apple, they were holding a place for another buddy, Sidney Sanmartine — who was still at work. He owned the original iPhone from 2007, and is eligible for the lower priced upgrade.******”It’s more evolutionary than revolutionary,” said Matt Dodd, 18. “But for the kid who’s getting it, it’s a big deal — he’s going from 2G to 3G.”******Perhaps by 7 a.m. Friday, the line will look as long (and dry) as it did about a year ago when the iPhone 3G debuted. Until then, Keith Hobin, the lone rain-soaked student/shopper left when his two buddies took a break, seems pretty upbeat. (Only 15 hours to go…)******

RIM tops iPhone with consumers in Q1

In a rivalry that should only grow more heated in the months to come, Research in Motion’s BlackBerry Curve moved past Apple’s iPhone in the first quarter to become the best-selling consumer smartphone in the U.S., research group NPD said on Monday.

RIM had three of the top five best-selling consumer smartphones in the period, with the Storm at No. 3 and the Pearl at No. 4, NPD said. T-Mobile’s G1 ranked No. 5.

NPD credited a “buy-one-get-one” promotion by Verizon Wireless for the Curve’s push past the iPhone.

Apple App Store hits the big 1,000,000,000

One billion makes for a catchy and memorable milestone. The world’s population passed the 1 billion mark in 1804. McDonald’s sold its 1 billionth hamburger in 1963. The 1billionth PC shipped in 2002.

Apple’s App Store hit that mark today, in just nine months, with much fanfare.

Granted, downloading a small program to your iPhone or iPod Touch is an entirely different sort of commerce than selling a burger or a PC, but Apple’s app universe has managed to acquire a remarkable amount of cultural currency in a short amount of time.  As evidence, look at the controversy over the “Baby Shaker” app, which Apple quickly removed and apologized for on Thursday (the company’s statement said in part “this application was deeply offensive and should not have been approved for distribution on the App Store”).

Palm Pre at CTIA: Look, don’t touch

At a show where reporters have cellphones and other devices thrust into their hands around every corner, Palm took a novel approach: treat its hot, unreleased handset like Forbidden Fruit.

Palm showed off its upcoming Pre smartphone at the CTIA annual wireless showcase in Las Vegas. The company was still very, very coy about its launch date for the device except to say that it will appear on Sprint’s shelves before July 1.

It was also very careful about letting reporters play with the device to the extent that the product demonstrator, Tina, would not let it fully out of her hands. Reporters were allowed to play with the keyboard — as long as the demonstrator was able to keep her hands on the phone. One reporter asked if she could feel the weight of the phone in her hand, but TIna again kept her hands on part of the phone.

Palm teases Pre with Jimmy Fallon

Call it a case of doing more with less. Or maybe, how Palm advertises a product without, you know, paying for advertising.

Thats what happened last night with a de facto infomercial for Palm’s as-yet unreleased iPhone rival, the Pre, on Jimmy Fallon’s late night talk show. The five-minute segment between Fallon and Engadget Editor-in-chief Joshua Topolsky (and subsequent distribution of the video around the web), is the kind of marketing that Palm — whose market capitalization is easily 1/70th of iPhone maker Apple — probably couldn’t afford as typical commercials.

You have to give some credit to the marketing minds at Palm. For all their missteps — the Folio comes to mind — they have managed to score viral hits that create buzz for their limited line of mobile phones.