Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Questions About the HP-Palm Deal

Here are a few questions HP buying Palm that I have:
  1. When will I see Pre 2?!
  2. What is the future for WebOS?  
  3. Will WebOS find itself on other mobile devices like smartbooks and tablets?  If so, how soon?
  4. HP's slate has not been well received from the looks of things.  Can WebOS be the answer?
  5. How will HP position itself and WebOS against the rest of the field that is different from what Palm has already done and succeed?
While we've got many questions about the deal, the fact that HP bought Palm does say a lot about the mobile market in general. 
  • HP doesn't want to play second fiddles to WM7 or Android.  It certainly doesn't see Windows 7 as a viable platform for the tablet market given the iPad competition.
  • WebOS promises to offer more in terms of mobility for the tablet and other mobile devices.
  • HP doesn't want to be left out of the mobile war.  With Palm, it entered the market is a big way.  Catching up and, in some cases, surpassing players already in the arena.
  • iPad is a threat.  More specifically, Apple's mobile strategy is a threat.  Palm was dismissed by its competitors as a threat.  HTC, Dell, Lenovo, and others saw nothing of value that Palm can offer them.  HP was not even in the mobile market as a serious contender.  But with HP/Palm, now we've got something people need to pay attention to.
  • HTC seems happy with Microsoft's patent deals but really in bed with Android.  HTC doesn't see WM7 as a major game changer.  HP probably doesn't either.  
  • Dell, Lenovo, and others did not pick up Palm. Same reason as HTC.  Android is the future.
What HP needs to do:
  • Assure the millions of loyal Palm fans (or is it mere hundreds of thousands now) that it intends to go forth with innovations and investments in WebOS.
  • WebOS gets another chance to establish itself in the market.  This time, time and money isn't going to be an issue.
  • Investors need to be patient and not have lofty expectations.  Palm has a lot of issues to resolve but the resources of HP should help immensely.
  • Quickly bring to market products.  HP may need to go out and buy other mobile companies with products and services to complement WebOS.
  • It needs to streamline.  WebOS and nothing else.  No Android or WM7.  The Slate will run Windows 7 but quickly release another one with Tegra 2 for the tablet and possibly Snapdragon for the smartphone.  
  • Deal with everyone and anyone in the wireless services.  
  • Possibly even license WebOS.
What do you think?

More at Engadget, Business Insider, Reuters, HP Press Release

HP Now Owns Palm

Just minutes ago, news broke that HP has bought Palm for $1.2 billion.

Why HP? Well, we'll have to let the dust settle a bit before analyzing this deal. We need to know who goes and who stays and what everyone's new roles are in the merger.

The question is going to be whether Jon Rubinstein is going to stay. And if so, what role he will play. I've always like Palm and rooted for them when WebOS came out but time was not on their side. They had once chance to succeed with Sprint and that failed. By the time Palm brought the Pre over to Verizon Wireless, Droid and the surging Android platform had already established itself.

With HP, Palm and WebOS should have a bigger role to play. Not to mentioned a deep pocket parent company.

Best of luck to the new company.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Important Points About Gizmodo Police Raid

I am gonna cut through the clutter and get to the issue on this matter.

By now, you probably know about the police raid on Jason Chen's home. This is the same Jason Chen who, last week, broke the story of the prototype 4th generation iPhone on Gixmodo.

Let me be clear on the role of Jason as far as I am concerned: Jason is a journalist as it pertains to how California statutes view his role in providing news, rumors, and other bits of information on the Internet. Also, I believe a blogger can wear two hats, those of a journalist and that of, well, a blogger.

The case here is as follows. The police raided Mr. Chen's home on Friday and took some of his computer hardware. It was done with a search warrant signed by a judge. Is this legal? I will let you google and parse the plethora of posts on this matter with the same CA laws and federal Privacy Protection Act mentioned here and there.

Bottom line is that the laws see Jason and his Gizmodo buddies as journalists. So what did the San Mateo DA hope to accomplish? Fish for the ID of the person who sold Gizmodo the stolen (at this point, the prototype iPhone is considered stolen in the eyes of the law) iPhone?

If that is the case, the search and seizure isn't likely to hold up in court. Jason is a journalist and he is afforded protection at the state and federal level.

Now, if the DA believes Jason Chen and Gizmodo committed a crime by commissioning the theft or bought stolen good, then it gets more complicated. It is unclear even then that the authorities can go after Gizmodo. Nor are the Giz guys in the clear. It does look like they will need to lock horns in court. There is evidence that the DA's office is giving their case another look.

Of course, we don't know what kind of evidence the police have or who the target of their investigation is.

There you have it. I know, it is not satisfying. Everyone is chiming in and, yet, we know almost nothing in the criminal case. We only know a crime has been committed. We just don't know who did the crime.

More at Wired

Note: I am not an attorney. I am just putting together what I have read so far on this matter. Everything is a bit fuzzy at this time.

Another note: Gloating by Gizmodo aside, however uncool, we love rumors and leaks and Gizmodo got us what we wanted. Feeding the beast, yah?

-- Post From My iPad

Monday, April 26, 2010

Wireless Providers Still Protecting Turf (Or Not)

Verizon Wireless, with the acceptance of Android, had given me hopes that it has gone away from its protectionist ways and embrace a more consumer friendly attitude, and, likely, more profitable route in the future of wireless services.

Or have they? Today, it was learned that Google has decided against providing the Nexus One for the dominant CDMA network and has gone on to suggest that users should embrace HTC Incredible. On the surface, it seems to suggest that there is a rift between VW and Google. So Google has gone onto to suggest Incredible over Droid. Is that such a bad thing?

The Incredible, from the specs, is a minor improvement over Nexus One, and a vastly better mobile device than Motorla's Droid even with its physical keyboard. And frankly, I don't think the keyboard on the Droid is anything to write home about.

So, that doesn't exactly say that Google and VW are no longer playing nice. Need to say, Google trying to sell Nexus One on its website could be the sticking point here. VW is not willing to give away control of who sells the Nexus One or any other device while Google, though not necessary trying to gain control, is at the very least try to wrestle it away from the carriers.

It's something we should be interested in watching out for in the coming months. If you thought 2009 was a fun year for mobile, wait till the second half of 2010 when everybody bunch up their summer and autumn launches ahead of the Christmas shopping season. Not only will devices dominate, but wireless services like WiMax will be more widely available in the US while a limited LTE network from VW will come online.

Even so, look for the wireless providers, be it with their 4G or beefed up 3G networks, I don't think they're going to go quietly into the night.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Pre Versus Post Paid

AT&T had their earnings reported yesterday. Verizon was up today. For which camp you're in for a second. Both wireless providers, while reported good wireless revenues, there was talk about new prepaid and post-paid subscribers. Apparently, it's the post paid folks that the wireless providers want. It's what Wall Street wants.

Post-paid are worth more. They're the subscribers who sign long-term contacts. That means they're almost guarantee to provide longer term revenue. Plus, they tend to sign up for extra services like wireless Internet access (like iPhone and Android users force to accept wireless access as part of their service) or SMS.

Now, prepaid users pay up front but they can leave anything they want. No more to say about that. And more folks may opt for this type of service as the phones become cheaper. Even smart phones or mobile devices, I see people spending $300-400 on a mobile device if it means they're not locked into a 24-month long contract.

So as pool of what I call "free agents", people with no contracts, shrink, wireless providers are forced to look for new sources of revenue elsewhere. Sprint, At&T, and others are providing devices like the Kindle and Nook with 3G service as a source of revenue.

The industry is in for a huge change as devices become cheaper and Internet services get cheaper. Competition will heat up as the providers fight for our business as the pool of available subscribers gets smaller.

Note: it was anticipated that the post paid numbers from AT&T and Verizon Wireless would be bad. It means numbers from Sprint and T-Mobile aren't going to be encouraging for the wireless industry.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Icelandic Event & Mobile Tech Like Video Conferencing Becomes Important

We already know that Norway's Prime Minister is stranded in NYC governing from his iPad because he cannot fly to back to Oslo due to the volcanic ash covering most of northern Europe.

This really is a sobering experience. As I've mentioned in a previous post, even President Obama had to cancel his trip to attend the funeral processions for the late president and other Polish politicians killed in the plane crash last week.

On the technology front, this makes mobile tech all the more important. More than just political leaders not being able to travel, business executives are like grounded for obvious reasons. Goods that needed to be transported by air are probably still sitting in the belly of cargo planes.

Well, unless we develop transporter-like technology, there's nothing we can do about the cargos and packages. However, there is something we can do about executives who needs to return home for meetings or attend conferences.

Again, tech comes into play. Video conferencing will likely be greatly impacted by this. Players like Cisco, IBM, and HP will come out of this, likely, with new interested from customers who want video conferencing abilities to make sure business can continue as before on some level.

After September 11, 2001, the attack on NYC and the Pentagon had brought some interest in this regard but I haven't heard much since. Now, with almost ten years of technical advancement, I think the time is ripe for more video chatting and attendance by individuals, even groups, through video projection.

If you recall (likely not), CNN used an interesting technology to bring reporters off-site into their newsroom. As comical as the display was then, there is a higher level of applicable change video conferencing or projecting can provide.

Imagine if Prime Minister Jens Soltenberg ends up being stuck longer in the US and he was schedule to address his parliament. Obviously, video conferencing will step in as a good substitute. Better if a pseudo-hologram can be "beamed" in to provide the appearance that Soltenberg is in parliament, address his nation.

Obviously, the Prime Minister would use his iPad help him with his speech.

Mobile Focus Pattern This Week

iPad this. iPad that. Get used to it, folks. It's going to be about Apple, Apple, Apple, for the next few weeks, possibly months. For fans like myself, you can't get enough of it. But a certain minute level of fatigue is creeping in. For non-Apple fans or worse, that could be a good thing if avid fans such as myself feels it's too much.

But as a mobile warrior, you can't get enough of it. Whether you are in another mobile camp like Blackberry, Android, or the fledging Palm (note I didn't say WebOS), you want to stay focus on this because right now, Apple is defining what mobile is about. Through the iPhone 4.0 OS coming out or the just released iPad, Steve Jobs and his team has done a great job dictating where mobile is going and their competitors can only try to catch up and attempt to do better and hope that consumers will pay attention.

And truth be told, there are better mobile phones and devices out there than the iPhone, not so sure about the iPad though Dave the Mobile Warrior has been talking up the N900 and just bought a used one off eBay (personally, for a super-duper smart guy like him, it's a perfect device for him though I'm sure his first love is his iPad).

Also of note this week is that Verizon is making a lot of noise about LTE. I'm suspect a couple of things are happening. One, WiMax is about to go big in the US and Sprint is putting a lot of heat on its competitors. Also, VW could be readying their LTE launch, even if limited in coverage. A launch is a launch and a win is a win no matter how ugly it is.

This is also significant because wireless providers are in for a big shift in how they generate additional revenues from its customer base as more devices flood the market like the iPad that are not designed for voice but purely data consumption. Verizon and AT&T will have a lot at stake as they prepare to move to a faster network in 2010 and 2011.

-- Post From My iPad

Volcanic Ash From Iceland Shows How Small We Are

It's interesting how Iceland's volcano eruptions serve as a reminder of how small the Earth truly is and how, with our problems, we really are at the mercy of the planet we call home. Small but we are powerless against the awesomeness of nature.

Yet, once this is all over, we will continue on with life, for better or worse, as if nothing has changed. President Obama, leader of the free world and the United States of America, has cancelled his trip to attend Poland's late first couple's funeral.

A volcanic eruption has the power to force Air Force One from taking off.

Life will continue once the ash disperses. Flights across the Atlantic and Europe will fly again. But I hope we will take some time and realize while we have issues with one another, nature can quickly make all these problems insignificant and there would be nothing we can do that about.

-- Post From My iPad

Tweets About Apple & RIM

Sometimes, there just isn't a lot of time to write a whole post. I'm wordy. Tweets are different. But you are limited to 140 characters at a time. So, I've come up with a way to tweet thoughts that are I want to express in more than 140 characters.

Here are a couple of sets of tweets. One is about the purposeful leak about Apple "talking" with AMD about potentially using Intel's chief CPU rival's chips in Macs. The second set stemmed from comments I read about RIM CEO's thoughts on tablets.

Apple/AMD: Macs may compensate with GPU while using slower AMD chips since AMD GPU blows away Intel solutions. (part 1)
Apple/AMD: /w amd chips, 80% performance, 60% cost of Intel could signal Apple push into corporate biz (part 2)
Apple/AMD: Nvidia vid solution great on Mac but Nvidia & Apple are competing more in the mobile market. Why help rival? (part 3)
Apple/AMD: Macbook and low-end Macbook Pro can benefit with AMD chips in terms of pricing w/o big performance hit (part 4)
Apple/AMD: using AMD chips (or whiff of Apple talking to AMD) will keep Intel pricing honest, not take Cupertino biz for granted (part 5)

RIM: Ceding mobile market to Apple (maybe Android), only want to protect smartphone segment? Bad play, dudes. (Part 1)
RIM: BB still number 1 in the US and still growing strong internationally. Lots of potential. Innovative pace is incredible (Part 2)
RIM: May be learning wrong less with bad Storm sales. Sales of Android/iPhone contradicts RIM CEO’s claims. (Part 3)
RIM: May need to buy Palm to catch up. May need to be BOLD. (Part 4)
RIM: Blackberry plus Palm’s WebOS, if done right, could be a powerhouse. (Part 5)
RIM: Tablet with current Blackberry OS would suck. Don’t do it (Part 6)
RIM: Blackberry Tablet with WebOS would rock (Park 7)

-- Post From My iPad

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

How Borders & Barnes & Noble Can Survive eBooks

I'm working  up on a post about how big chain bookstores as well as much independent ones can survive in the world of eBooks.

A lot of it has to do with the fact that we are shopaholics and, more importantly, social creatures.

What do you personally think about traditional bookstores and the coming world of ebooks?  I think both can coexist.  After all, you can make espresso and tea at home but that hasn't put Starbucks or Coffee Bean out of business.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Techcrunch: Google Testing Voice to Make Calls

Techcrunch has confirmed that Google, who bought Gizmo5 some months back, is testing a desktop application to make calls.

If you are not familiar with Google Voice, here's a quick rundown. It is an innovative application that allows users to link their mobile number or any other one they choose and with one Google provides. With it you can make forward calls, send and receive SMS, and keep track of every communique sent and received.

The only thing we have not been able to do is to make calls with the Google Voice app.

That is, until now. Apparently, Google has a integrated Voice and Gizmo5, probably along with other apps like gmail & gtalk, for users to make calls.

I am trying to confirm with my sources in Google if they have some additional information on this. I do know this though. Be prepared for another round of signing up for being the lucky ones to try out this new service. Be prepared to beg, blackmail, or do unimaginable things for anyone who has invitations to give out.

Source: Techcrunch

Blogpress Via iPad

This is the first post i am making from the new Blogpress app that is optimized for the Ipad as well as the iPhone. Up until now, I was writing through the Blogger page through Safari.

What I am excited about is that we are only days since the launch with a vast majority of the developers still getting used to the iPad and added real estate on the screen.

Not only is this just the beginning, keep in mind that we are still using iPhone 3.2. We are hours away from being introduced to iPhone 4.0. Once Steve Jobs gives the okay to release It to the iPhone, iPod Toiuch, and iPad users, we are looking at our Apple mobile devices gaining new functions and capabilities.

Then imagine months after developers have had a chance to play with the new mobile OS, we will be treated to giant leap in mobile computing. As a consumer of of data, media, and apps, it doesn't get any better than this.

As Apple fans, it'll be interesting to see Apple's competitors begin their annual ritual of scrambling to catch up to the iDevices and what they can do. If the rumors of what Apple is arming iPhone 4.0 for the mobile war, it's gonna get really ugly for everyone else.

-- Post From My iPad

iPad: the future?

The iPad is the future. The future of what? That is the question isn't it?

I am beginning to use the new tablet-like device from Apple for more than just watching videos, surfing the web, and answering emails. In fact, I am typing this post up with the iPad. It hasn't been easy. The touch keyboard is going to to get some used to.

But more than the iPad, the whole new class of these slates or tablets will really change how we do things. But make no mistake, it's not going to replace my Macbook any time soon. But it will change us to be sure.

First, it will change how we consume media - music, videos, and written work (books, newspapers, magazines). Unlike the UMPC that Microsoft aspired to make popular a few years back, these crop of tablets have one thing that their fore bearers did not: longer battery life. If you read my blog here regularly (no, really, don't laugh), you know I think battery life is very important for mobile warriors. I watched six hours of video without having to worry about running out of juice.

Second, ubiquitous wireless Internet access. There are more wifi access now but more of these tablets will have 3G, and later WiMax & LTE, access. In three to four years, don't be surprised if s majority of these pads will be sold with wireless access.

Anyway, these are just a few quick observations that stemmed from the few hours I had to spend with the iPad. It's the future and while it's a bright future, it's fluid and yet to be defined.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

FIrst post From An iPad

This is the first Onxo post from an iPad.

This is better than I expected. More later.

The experience at the store is awesome!

Answering Questions

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

That Other Big Mobile Event This Weekend

This is a big weekend in mobile. Of course you know that. You can't miss it. That's right. T-Mobile has once again, and likely not for the last time, sold out of HD2 online.

Well, you not going to hear to end of it from the Windows Mobile folks and the fanboys who just can't shut up about how great T-Mobile is and how its upcoming 3G upgrade, HSPA+, is going to give WiMax a run for its money and leave vaporware, LTE, with no room to hide.

I'm here to provide relief.  There just happens to be another mobile even this weekend from a, I'm gonna be positive here...a mobile product with "potentials".  That's right.  I'm talking about the iPad.

After trying with the iPod and then again with the iPhone in the market, a little known company from Cupertino is hoping the third time is also a charm by trying change mobile computing again.

Unlike with the iPhone when Apple made folks wait hours, sometimes days, in line, the iPad was pre-ordered and rationed.  Still I expect lines in some of the more popular locations.  Yeah, I don't get what people in big cities and the lines they like to form.

So, if you're sick and tired of hearing about Windows Mobile 6.5, HD2, and T-Mobile, I'd turn my attention towards this iPad underdog and see if there is a Cinderella run in it.  After all, it is Final Four weekend.  And outside of CBS, no one is routing for Duke at all.

Note:  In all seriousness, expected to be inundated with iPad news.  I'll be leaving a bit early for my Apple Store and snapping pics of what I see to be interesting at my local launch (we're a small town) and some personal touches of my iPad at On Apple.

Friday, April 2, 2010

LTE - It's Gonna Be A Slow Build-Up

We're going see very little about it until late 2010 from Verizon and AT&T is still talking about HSPA 7.2, which is still MIA.

So, we will hear a lot about it. Mostly chest thumping by Verizon Wireless in the United States. Maybe a bit from AT&T when they realized they need to talk up their 4G plans as well.

However, given the amount of time that has taken for Clearwire, its main partner, Sprint, and others to get things going is clearly not a good sign as far as LTE goes. And still, Sprint has not managed to bring WiMax to many of the major markets, though they did assert a few like SF, LA, and Miami will be getting WiMax soon.

Meanwhile, I'm hoping my current provider, T-Mobile, will truly come through with HSPA+ which can provide up to 20mbps.

I recommend to my fellow mobile warriors that the stigma against the third and fourth place wireless providers, Sprint and T-Mobile respectively, should at the very least be put on hold and take another look at these two scrappy companies that came out of CTIA a couple of weeks ago swinging and hitting it out of the park while VW and AT&T thought it was enough to just talk.

As the saying goes, talk is cheap but these two number one and two providers are gonna find out that if they don't get going on faster wireless speeds, and stop talking about rationing wireless access, their words are gonna get an awful lot more expensive come 2011 and beyond.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Imagine Being Censored - The Frustration

I guess the biggest feeling I'll have is frustration should anything on the Internet be censored?  That's what the good citizenry of China, Iran, and other less than free societies are going through these days.

In China, there is the practice of self-censorship where the companies police themselves and citizens are encourage to watch one another. It's 2010 but I think if I were in any of these countries, it'll feel rather like 1984.

Now, I want to note the difference between the government from the people. I also want to note the circumstances. Whether you're reading this from the comfortable of a cafe on the streets of France or Italy, Starbucks in downtown Chicago, or from Barnes & Noble in West LA, we cannot possibly know how we react if our governments suddenly decree what we can or cannot know about the world.

I've spoken and debated to a few smart folks about this. I hope you don't see this as American arrogance. I'm just as average as you can go and as far as smarts go. But I tried to put myself in the shoes of someone in China or Iran. Knowing even just a fraction of what the world is about. And yet, there is a fortress built by the government.

The gatekeepers there tell us that we are safe within these walls. That order must be maintained. Safety from what? Order for who? Imagine the frustration of knowing that there is so much more beyond the walls of the fortress. That the purpose isn't to keep out a horde of disruptive social ideals but to keep the mass within the fortress from venturing out, seeking knowledge and, for better or worse, learning about the world.

It has been the long standing policy of the United States foreign policy towards China as one of engagement. China has come a long way since Deng Xiaoping but, suddenly, flushed with cash and growing economic and political might, Beijing has decide that it has gone far enough.

Hooray for Google for standing up to old guards in the Chinese Politburo, its many censor apparatuses, and against those who manned the towers of Great Firewall of China. Whether you think Google has done this for the sake of "doing no evil" (I can argue that Google hasn't been completely faithful to that mantra) or because its search business in China has hit a wall against incumbent Baidu, Google has started something that I hope many governments and foreign companies will follow and finish.

Note: I rather be talking about the iPad and its potential impact on mobile computing, Verizon and Google teaming up against minimal government interference, or LTE deployment, but censorship affects all of us no matter where we live.

iPad Makes It Into Prime Time (Modern Family on ABC)

Check out this video of the iPad in this espisode of Modern Family.

Pay close attention to the candles in the cake displayed on the iPad's screen.


Apple Should Prepare to Leave China (There Is Still Time To Execute Such A Plan)

At first glance, you might think that the title of this article is a clickbait considering that China is the second biggest economy in the w...