Friday, August 24, 2007

Open Letter Followup - Palm? Where are you?

Excerpt of my Email to Palm is at the bottom.

I read engadget randomly, as I do most other good sources of consciencious bloggers, technorati, wil wheaton, et al. The open letter to Palm struck a chord with my business heart. I've been a retail manager for decades, all to fund my 30+ years of college education, all of which resulted in my being employed by a major software company. Life is good. Anyway, back to the point, I remember how hard Palm kicked 'Burro' back in the day. Every communication company reacted, in fear, to the Palm threat. Suddenly, companies like HP and TI were coming out with handheld devices, most of which totally sucked dirt. I still have a Casio and an HP craptastic, whose batteries [almost impossible to find] are no longer holding a charge. You can't just put AAA cells in these things, unfortunately.

That brings me to my purpose for contacting Palm, because I'm sick of hardware lockouts, software lockouts, and companies that focus on fleecing the consumer. Why does every damn phone on the planet have a unique charger? RIM had the brains to just use a USB port. They rocked, and that's one of the selling points that caused me to choose their 7100t model over six other phones at HALF the 300.00 price. I didn't have to buy a super-special charger destined to fail in six months. In fact, the RIM phone came with a USB cable. Ta-da. Batteries, chargers, cases, earphones, and accessories would sell BETTER [read that again AT&FU, better!] if they were ISO standardized. There's no reason on Earth why all accessories can't be USB and/or Bluetooth, except one: Greed.

Speaking of uber-greed, T-mobile actually LOCKED the Bluetooth functionality so that the 7100 was practically useless for the stated purpose of purchase; I wanted a phone to interact with my Toshiba laptop. T-mobile stated that the phone HAD NO MODEM. Well, I went online and found the instructions for unlocking it and used the non-existant modem for over a year and half to go on the internet with my Laptop. The thing that finally pissed me off was watching my college buddies just lay down their Motorola phones and wirelessly go online via the phone with their laptops. I had to set up with cables, and it wasn't quick. I sold the RIM phone for a few bucks because the company couldn't sell me an UNLOCKED phone.

I've already paid, sight unseen, over 500.00 for an open hardware phone that isn't even guaranteed to work. I'd rather have to fix it, order parts, fix it agian, and then load the OS myself, in order to have a working phone, than go back to proprietary systems that are aimed at blocking the consumer from competitors.

You're talking to a businessman. I've owned a few companies myself in my time. My family has owned bowling alleys, diners, retail shops, and more. I worked in most of them at one time or another. I'm now planning for commercial ownership in 2008 as a part of my retirement. I'm no stranger to the need to make a profit.

There's one thing I am a stranger to though, the need to screw the customer. Somehow, over 30 years, I've managed to make a living without once ever cheating anyone, at all. I've given refunds that were undeserved just to maintain the peace with customers who were upset. It's better to give back a few bucks and salvage a customer. You don't make more money by saying 'No' to your clients. You make more money by saying one word: Yes.


I have an OpenMoko phone on order. I've just laid out over 500.00 just for the chance to actually play with an open source phone. I'm not alone. I eagerly await the chance to review it, and I've ordered SIM for it from the UK. [hate US telcos passionately, esp AT&FU.]

{Here's a side note, never let your company's icons become the death star equivalent. People have good reasons to hate that company.}

I used to want a Palm so bad that I'd scour used and pawn shops looking for them, but then the BB7100t came out and I bought it, to the tune of over 300.00. I never actually GOT a Palm, largely because of advertising, features, and software.

Here's another tidbit: Bloggers buy the stuff they review. We are both consumers and media, and we aren't paid to report, but rather we pay for the privilege to report. I have an ad-free site that I happily shell-out over 300 a year to maintain. Nobody owns me.

So what's the story Palm? Here's an opportunity for you to talk to bloggers directly. I'm actually mid-way through an advertising plan where I'm *paying* to increase eyeballs and improve readership. A killer article on Palm would sweep the 'nets.


No comments: