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  1. #1
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    And after the Samsung SPH-i550...

    Okay, the Samsung SPH i550 hasn't even been officially announced yet and I already have a wish list for additional features. It sounds like it will be a great smartphone but here are a couple of additional items on my list:

    1) Palm OS 6/Cobalt -- why not get the latest and greatest operating system, especially since it will support multi-tasking, incorporate a better PIM and add a bunch of neat features for smartphones (see http://palminfocenter.com/view_story.asp?ID=6530 and http://palminfocenter.com/view_story.asp?ID=6542)

    2) Built-in noise cancellation -- there are now quite a few aftermarket phone headsets that add noise-cancellation (for example, the Jabra EarWave Boom http://www.jabra.com/products/Datash..._Datasheet.pdf)
    and from personal experience, I can say that they work. Why not add noise-cancellation to the microphone in the phone itself.

    3) Bluetooth -- I think a lot of us want this.

    4) 1xEV-DO and/or 1xEV-DV support -- 1xEV-DO is being released on the Verizon network now while 1xEV-DV should be released on the Sprint network in another year or so. Without getting into another pissing match with a certain someone over which of the two is technically superior, either technology is better than the current 1xRTT.

    It's a credit to what the Samsung SPH-i550 appears to be that my list is so short.

    Well rave, when can we expect to see the above.


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    Re: And after the Samsung SPH-i550...

    Troll mode on (like in parent post):
    Originally posted by William

    Well rave, when can we expect to see the above.

    [/B]
    After you get a clue ?

    P.S. Sorry for contributing to the trolling, but there are tons of posts FUBARed users already, mmmkay ?

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    Re: Re: And after the Samsung SPH-i550...

    Originally posted by Yup71
    Troll mode on (like in parent post):


    After you get a clue ?
    I guess that means my ideal smartphone was released today.


    No need for the childish trolling.

  4. #4
    boe
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    Strange Post

    I do find it odd that OS6 - released to developers in December of 2003 and the general public in February of this year won't be on a phone that is probably not going to hit the market until January 2004.

    I also find it a little odd that this phone won't have bluetooth.

    I am very happy about the improvements over the i500 although the wait is less than ideal. I like the external display. I like the customizable ringers. I like the memory save even after the batteries are dead. I like the possibility of voice dial by number. I have no use for the camera. There aren't any other features that caught my attention, but feel free to list any that have caught yours.
    Last edited by boe; 03-30-2004 at 12:50 AM.
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    Re: And after the Samsung SPH-i550...

    Originally posted by William
    4) 1xEV-DO and/or 1xEV-DV support -- 1xEV-DO is being released on the Verizon network now while 1xEV-DV should be released on the Sprint network in another year or so.
    I don't think there is really any chance of us seeing Sprint deploy 1xEV-DV anytime soon. No doubt that that is what Sprint will eventually upgrade to but as far as it being within the next year or so, I think that is very unlikely.
    Last edited by Marty; 03-30-2004 at 03:36 AM.

  6. #6
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    you guys have to understand how long it takes a phone to get to the market from R and D, conception, to birth to bug fixes. this phone was planned well over a year ago most likely and OS6 (or the other 'features' you want) was not out at the time to be readily available to vendors. im sure there is an OS 7 in the works as we speak...

    lets give these phones a chance to shine before we start to bash them..

    just think, most of the public does not even know this phone exists yet, so dont take the info you have seen and heard here for granted... feel special you are in the know! ;o

  7. #7
    boe
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    Originally posted by Marctronixx
    you guys have to understand how long it takes a phone to get to the market from R and D, conception, to birth to bug fixes. this phone was planned well over a year ago most likely and OS6 (or the other 'features' you want) was not out at the time to be readily available to vendors. im sure there is an OS 7 in the works as we speak...

    lets give these phones a chance to shine before we start to bash them..

    just think, most of the public does not even know this phone exists yet, so dont take the info you have seen and heard here for granted... feel special you are in the know! ;o
    I feel lucky that this forum exists and people such as Rave are willing to share what info they can. I'm happy about many of the new features for the i550. I don't blame the engineers, rather I blame the Execs - half of it may be Sprint Execs and the other half Samsung. They detail the SOW and the engineers fulfill it. If an exec said tomorrow that they wanted bluetooth on the i550 by December, I have no doubt they would either implement it on the phone or include a bluetooth SDIO module to fullfill that requirement by December.

    While it is not an apples to apples comparison, I've been in the process of planning a clients newer OS rollout when they've changed their mind and wanted the newest OS when it comes out a month later. It didn't take me a year to change over to a different OS. I realize I don't have to get fcc approval so I'd pad any SOW to meet their requirements but if the execs at Samsung and Sprint said today that they wanted an OS6 phone with Bluetooth by December, I sincerely believe it could be done.
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    Re: Re: And after the Samsung SPH-i550...

    Originally posted by Marty
    I don't think there is really any chance of us seeing Sprint deploy 1xEV-DV anytime soon. No doubt that that is what Sprint will eventually upgrade to but as far as it being within the next year or so, I think that is very unlikely.
    For the record, I agree. I personally don't expect Sprint to offer 1xEV-DV before early 2006; maybe late 2005 but that's wishful thinking. But as long as I'm building my perfect smartphone...

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    Originally posted by boe
    I feel lucky that this forum exists and people such as Rave are willing to share what info they can. I'm happy about many of the new features for the i550. I don't blame the engineers, rather I blame the Execs - half of it may be Sprint Execs and the other half Samsung. They detail the SOW and the engineers fulfill it. If an exec said tomorrow that they wanted bluetooth on the i550 by December, I have no doubt they would either implement it on the phone or include a bluetooth SDIO module to fullfill that requirement by December.

    While it is not an apples to apples comparison, I've been in the process of planning a clients newer OS rollout when they've changed their mind and wanted the newest OS when it comes out a month later. It didn't take me a year to change over to a different OS. I realize I don't have to get fcc approval so I'd pad any SOW to meet their requirements but if the execs at Samsung and Sprint said today that they wanted an OS6 phone with Bluetooth by December, I sincerely believe it could be done.
    boe, not only does it sound like you and I are in the same business, but we are also expressing the same grip. Maybe an even better example would be built-in noise cancellation.

    There are several microsphones that offer noise-cancellation these days. It is a proven technology that's been out for some time now. I honestly don't understand why it cannot be built-in to a cell phone these days: there is the need, the cost is minimal, the packaging (i.e. chip count and space) is small and the energy requirements are almost negligible. Yet, no one does it.

    And a similar thing with bluetooth. It's been out for a while, people say they want and could use it, it's relatively easy to implement but still bluetooth smartphones are rare, to say the least.

    I agree that all this takes a lot of testing. But I don't think that is the root of the problem. I believe like Convergence said in another thread, most cell phones are sold through the carrier and the carrier's sales are based on the service (i.e. plans) they sell and not on the phones. Thus, the carrier's have little incentive to really push their hardware manufacturers for the "latest and greatest". And without that push from the carriers, who still sell the lion's share of cell phones -- the cell phone manufacturer's have relatively little incentive to innovate for the customer.

    Note that I am not saying that their is no pressure on the manufacturer to provide the latest and greatest; their definitely is some. But since most people just want a cell phone that they can make voice calls with (and is "sexy" and maybe has "cool ringtones"), that's where the manufacturers put their limited resources.

    Let's face it, we smartphone users are (still) the bleeding-edge minority.

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by boe
    ... I don't blame the engineers, rather I blame the Execs - half of it may be Sprint Execs and the other half Samsung. They detail the SOW and the engineers fulfill it. If an exec said tomorrow that they wanted bluetooth on the i550 by December, I have no doubt they would either implement it on the phone or include a bluetooth SDIO module to fullfill that requirement by December.
    I've been lurking around these parts for some time, but you managed to smoke me out of my rabbit hole for the first time in a while.

    Let me preface what I'm about to say by qualifying my opinion. I'm a Product Manager for a line of technology products (what they are is unimportant), and as such, it is my responsibility to distill user feedback and market dynamics into a plan that the engineers deliver. I know that someimtes it's easier to paint us with a broad brush as a bunch of out-of-touch "execs", but it is actually our job to be in touch with what users want. This is not because we are altruistic, but because it is our job to maximize the profit and revenue associated with our product lines (...imagine that!)

    I hear similar disbelieving rants from users of my products on a regular basis. Things like "Oh, why can't you support the latest revision of this OS, utility or script... all it would take is a couple hours for a developer to implement the feature like so." Let me make one thing clear: What may seem trivial to you, is often not trivial within the scope of a major project. We don't have the luxury of making changes half way or even one eighth of the way through development, because doing so jeopardizes quality and release schedules. From years of experience, the only sure way to plan a major project and deliver a given set of requirements on time and with high quality, is to set requirements early and keep engineering on track. Adding/changing features during development adds risk, and although simple changes are something you and I would be able to deal with while tinkering around with a hobby in the garage, we aren't playing around with millions of dollars of someone else's money; our livelihoods don't depend on us getting it right the first time; and we don't answer to thousands of end users who are mighty unhappy when the product has bugs or doesn't work as advertised.

    There are probably many forces at work between Sprint and Samsung that contribute to the perceived slowness to adopt feature X or feature Y, but impying that "execs" conspire to screw the engineers and/or end users is a bit naive. Now, I would venture to say that cell phone product management is complicated somewhat by the relationship between Sprint and Samsung. From Samsung's point of view, they have two sets of end-users: End users of their phones (you and me) and Sprint itself... so there is likely some baggage and inefficiencies that go along with it. Then again, I'm just an armchair quarterback, so I won't profess to have the solution to perceived slowness to get features to market.

    While it is not an apples to apples comparison, I've been in the process of planning a clients newer OS rollout when they've changed their mind and wanted the newest OS when it comes out a month later. It didn't take me a year to change over to a different OS. I realize I don't have to get fcc approval so I'd pad any SOW to meet their requirements but if the execs at Samsung and Sprint said today that they wanted an OS6 phone with Bluetooth by December, I sincerely believe it could be done.
    I hope you see that comparing your client's OS rollout to a move from Palm OS5 to OS6 for a custom built bleeding-edge pdaphone is very far away from an "apples to apples" comparison. If you were the product manager for the i550 and truly weighed the risks and rewards of switching OS part way through, knowing what was on the line, what would you do?

    --Gordo

  11. #11
    boe
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    Broad Strokes

    Gordo-

    I have been an exec for several years myself and yes, my clients (end users) do number in the thousands. I have risked my career on multi-million dollar roll outs over the years (hardly a garage hobby). I have been asked to make what would seem like impossible deadlines. Do you really believe that the i550 even with the dated OS and 2 years of development is going to be without bugs? I assure you that several bugs will be posted within the first two weeks this phone is available. And I also assure you that these can be dealt with patches. I'm also pretty sure that patches could be made available just as easily for OS6 as OS5. (FYI, the I500 still has bugs as does the Treo 600 and a significant number of other pda and non phones from other manufacturers)

    I do agree that what motivates most execs is profits. However, I also believe that assuming that clients don't understand planned obsolesce can be short term thinking and may have a negative impact on a company. What really ticks me off is when a CEO has me implement a solution even after I inform them that it is a short term solution and my team will have to redo the work within a few months.

    If Samsung is sure that no other phone company will release an OS6 phone with bluetooth shortly than they can get away with releasing the i550. If however a competitor releases one at the same time the i550 is released, I assure you that Samsung will be forced to release the next model ahead of schedule and that will have a negative impact on Sprint and Samsung. It is the game Intel plays all the time. They have 4 models of processors that haven’t been released yet ready to go. As soon as AMD releases a newer processor, Intel begins production and releases one that competes within weeks. Did you think this was just a coincidence? I'm not saying the next model is ready to go right now, but I am willing to bet the OS6 model will be ready at nearly the same time as the OS5 model as Samsung has different teams working on each unit. As more vendors such as Motorola, LG, Nokia etc. join the PDA phone market, Samsung may have to rethink their assumption that they are the only kid on the block.

    "but it is actually our job to be in touch with what users want." I believe if you asked anyone on this forum if they'd prefer OS5 or OS6 they would say OS6. As for Bluetooth, strangely enough, Mercedes, BMW, Acura and others have it integrated on their cars. They must just have some whacky market research people that are completely oblivious to profits or clients wants. They should stick with the "you can have a car in any color you want as long as it is black" attitude that has completely thwarted foreign car manufacturers from gaining a foothold in the U.S.
    Last edited by boe; 03-30-2004 at 11:46 AM.
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    Gordo, thanks for commenting. You make a good many excellent points. In fact, I'm not (and I don't think boe is, but he can very ably speak for himself) disagreeing with you. My point is that with smartphones, the "starting point" with technology used too often seems to be what is available now than what will be available when released. Perhaps better than explaining it would be to use an example.

    I started planning Windows 2000 Active Directory deployments and migrations in late 1998. The reason was that I had customers that either wanted or needed Active Directory as soon as it came out. So with every development pack or product spec available (many not generally available to the public), I tried to integrate that feature into the plans of my clients who needed or wanted it. Thus, when Active Directory was released with Windows 2000, I had clients I was able to put on Windows 2000 within months of release.

    Don't get me wrong, I had clients -- indeed, most of my clients -- that had no immediate use for Windows 2000; those I did not migrate and/or I deployed Windows NT (or even Novell) for them. But for the ones that wanted it, and some of them were relatively large organizations, I was set to go immediately when it was introduced.

    In the same way, technical details (and even early developer kits) for Palm OS 6 have been available for sometime now. Except for the reason I state in my earlier post above -- that PDA smartphones are such a relatively small market that there is no big push to release the "latest and greatest" -- I cannot think of a reason not to release a Palm OS 6-based smartphone sooner.

    Take the example of the Kyocera 7135. I love mine but I am constrained to admit that from the day it was first announced -- which was about a year before it was first introduced -- there was "better" technology available: Palm OS 5 as opposed to Palm OS 4.1. To be honest, sonsidering all the delay, I see no reason why Kyocera could not have planned for the 7135 to be based on Palm OS 5 from day one.

    Yes, there is greater risk. For example, OS specs can change while in alpha (or even beta) release. But some of us are wiling to take the risk. That's why we have smartphones in the firstplace: almost be definition, we are the "Early Adopters" in the marketplace.

    That's my grip.

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    Re: Broad Strokes

    Originally posted by boe
    Gordo-

    I have been an exec for several years myself and yes, my clients (end users) do number in the thousands. I have risked my career on multi-million dollar roll outs over the years (hardly a garage hobby). I have been asked to make what would seem like impossible deadlines.
    Ok, your qualifications are duly noted.


    Do you really believe that the i550 even with the dated OS and 2 years of development is going to be without bugs?
    If you read my argument carefully, you'll find that I did not imply the product would be without bugs as a result of NOT making mid-project scope changes.


    I assure you that several bugs will be posted within the first two weeks this phone is available. And I also assure you that these can be dealt with patches. I'm also pretty sure that patches could be made available just as easily for OS6 as OS5. (FYI, the I500 still has bugs as does the Treo 600 and a significant number of other pda and non phones from other manufacturers)
    Point well taken, but the chances of project failure increase with the number and severity of mid-project scope changes. Changing the underlying OS of a pdaphone is certainly a critical and farsweeping decision. Though many variables fall outside the realm of what a product manager can affect, choices like standardizing on an OS at the outset of development is a no brainer really. But here's the more important point: If, as product manager, you feel the urge to make major changes to the scope of the project part way through development, then you must have missed the mark in the first place by not properly considering the needs of your prospective user base, or failing to properly evaluate competitive threats, etc... i.e. You are an ineffective product manager! I'm not sure whether Samsung/Sprint has fallen down here, but you seem to believe they have. Only time will tell.

    What really ticks me off is when a CEO has me implement a solution even after I inform them that it is a short term solution and my team will have to redo the work within a few months.
    I deal with this stuff all the time, and it can be very annoying, but in a public company the CEO is boss, and what keeps the CEO up at night is the propect of not making the next the next quarter of earnings to keep Wall Street happy. So, if anyone, blame investors for demanding that quarterly earnings rise in a logarithmic fashion.


    If Samsung is sure that no other phone company will release an OS6 phone with bluetooth shortly than they can get away with releasing the i550. If however a competitor releases one at the same time the i550 is released, I assure you that Samsung will be forced to release the next model ahead of schedule and that will have a negative impact on Sprint and Samsung. It is the game Intel plays all the time.
    Interesting analogy, though I think the Sprint/Samsung situation is a bit different from the CPU wars. Sprint has had a virtual monopoly over users until recently with the number portability changes. If Verizon had a cool phone with all the features users wanted, it wasn't easy for users to switch over, because their phone number would change -- causing more headaches than it cured. This means that even though Verizon has the phone I want, I won't switch and therefore Sprint can still profit from yesterday's technology. As noted, the rules of the game have changed, so you may very well be correct in assuming that more direct competition is going to hurt companies who deliver anything less than the latest technologies.

    I'm not saying the next model is ready to go right now, but I am willing to bet the OS6 model will be ready at nearly the same time as the OS5 model as Samsung has different teams working on each unit. As more vendors such as Motorola, LG, Nokia etc. join the PDA phone market, Samsung may have to rethink their assumption that they are the only kid on the block.
    Yes, competitive pressures are significant, but I'd venture a guess and say that when pdaphones hit mass market appeal, it's going to be features that woo users, not OS revision levels per se. I'm not going to profess to know much of anything about OS6, but unless there are specific features that allow it to meet the needs of users better, then as product manager, I might very well decide to stick with a known quantity in OS4/5. Simply switching to a newer OS for the sake of it may work well in techie/geek circles, but it's not going to have the same impact on mainstream users who are more turned on by clear benefits such as bluetooth support, wireless syncs or built-in cameras. As far as I know, these *could* be implemented in an OS4/5 device.
    --Gordo

  14. #14
    boe
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    Much Better

    Gordo - a much more detailed response ! I don't believe we are in agreement but I understand your view point better. I believe the market for these phones isn't going to be a kid in high school but the business demand that created the PDA market in the first place.

    I agree that changing the scope of work mid way adversely effect a release date. I submit that even though no firm dates were ever released by Samsung or Sprint on when the I550 would be available it has more than likely not met the schedule anyways. What I do believe is that any executive who is worth their salt should be ready to adapt to new situations. I believe that Samsung must have been beta testing OS6 for a while and should have just concentrated their effort on that front. I don't believe that the market would be too excited if nVidia released a new gaming video card coming out in December that only supports directx 8 when directx 9 is already available. (not a perfect analogy but it serves the purpose)

    Please answer this - if Samsung and Sprint agreed that the I550 should be OS6 and have bluetooth and should be ready by December - do you think it would be possible? I don't work in the industry so I can't claim to know the answer. I simply believe that it is like most projects (building a house or building a network infrastructure) that it can be completed within a reasonable period of time and be built to an acceptable level of quality if you are willing to devote the resources. I believe the profit potential is there should they make the effort. I've been to several Sprint Stores and have met with my Sprint company rep enough times to know Sprint isn't putting an adequate effort in exploiting the pda market. I think they may need to recruit some Blackberry reps to exploit this market niche.

    As for OS6 providing better features, most of my clients desire the PDA phones for e-mail and contact management. This is a critical feature for their sales and marketing groups. OS6 will support much better contact management including over 250 fields within Outlook for synchronization. While this may be an early adopter feature, I think that a significant impetus for the sale of PDA’s was for the contact management potential. A PDA phone that has better access to the fields means the tool can do a better job. This is why OS6 is more important to me. It also has better Bluetooth integration. I’m sure there are people who will be impressed by better multimedia capabilities and other features but I believe the two features I have listed above will support these units being used by companies as a tool required for one’s job and as important for them as a laptop. I don’t believe every department within a company will be able to justify these however I bet sales, marketing and some members of the IT staff will be able to justify them quite easily.
    Last edited by boe; 03-30-2004 at 01:29 PM.
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