Yesterday Palm introduced the Foleo Smartphone companion. It is a 10 inch simplified notebook with full QWERTY keyboard running on Linux.
Palm bets on the simplicity with the Foleo and added important things like instant on to the device. The price is $599. In the beginning you get a $100 rebate bringing the price down to $499.
Foleo has wi-fi, which makes it also a web pad like the Nokia N800.
I think the major problem with the Foleo is that it is not sexy and not cool. The Foleo will find its customers, who like Palm or appreciate the no frills design.If you are into hot gadgets or are an exec who wants to show off the Foleo will not do it. You need the HTC Shift or the Flybook V5.
The HTC Shift is ultra-cool with its cool split design, 7 inch screen, 30GB HDD and tri-band HSDPA and Wi-Fi connectivity. The HTC Shift runs Windows Vista. The HTC Shift will ship in the 2nd half of 2007. It will cost a lot more than the Foleo.
The Flybook V5 has a 8.9 inch twistable screen, 60GB HDD, 2GB RAM and runs also Windows Vista. It is also hyper connected with HSDPA, EDGE, GPRS, GSM and Wi-Fi. The Flybook sells for $2,649 and ships in June from Dynamism.
Palm's CEO Ed Colligan compares the Foleo with the Wii and how it competes with the more powerful PS3 and is successful doing this. I do not see that comparison holding true.
The Wii introduced something new that the PS3 does not have. This new thing makes the Wii hot and sexy. The Foleo does nothing new, it just does it simple and and supposedly easy.
See the interview that WSJ led with Ed Colligan yesterday at the D: All Things Digital conference below.
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