Former Palm CEO and current Senior Vice President and General Manager of HP’s Palm Global Business Unit Jon Rubinstein reportedly sent a memo to his team on Friday in order to address the less-than-stellar reviews the company’s new TouchPad tablet received from press and bloggers. Likening HP’s position with webOS to Apple’s position with Mac OS X year ago, Rubinstein reminds his team that despite the deficiencies mentioned in reviews, the company’s vision for webOS was recognized and reviewers as a whole see webOS’ potential. “If you’ve seen the recent TouchPad reviews you know that the industry understands HP’s vision and sees the same potential in webOS as we do,” Rubinstein wrote in the memo. “David Pogue from the New York Times says ‘there are signs of greatness here.’ (I’ve included links to David’s review and others below.) You’ve also seen that reviewers rightly note things we need to improve about the webOS experience. The good news is that most of the issues they cite are already known to us and will be addressed in short order by over-the-air software and app catalog updates. We still have work to do to make webOS the platform we know it can be, but remember…..it’s a marathon, not a sprint.” BGR reviewed the HP TouchPad last month, and our determination was well-aligned with the consensus. Despite bogging and lackluster hardware, we saw great potential in webOS moving forward as HP attempts to gain mind share and market share in the already crowded smartphone and tablet spaces. Rubinstein’s full memo follows below.
It has been exactly 140 days since Hewlett-Packard first unveiled the TouchPad, and I think of it as the first device to emerge from a post-acquisition Palm team that has really been tested over the past few years. To be fair, it will actually be the third webOS device to launch since HP took over Palm, but the the Pre 2 was a leftover from before the deal went through and the Veer never should have been been released. But yes, the Palm team has been through a lot: from botched acquisition talks, to the brink of collapse, to resurrection through Elevation Partners’ investments, to a brilliant new web-based mobile operating system, to the announcement of the phone that would save the business from the brink of collapse, to BGR exclusively reviewing the phone that would save the business from the brink of collapse before any other site on the planet, to the launch of the phone that would save the business from the brink of collapse, to the failure of the phone that would save its business from the brink of collapse, and finally, to HP. Can a company that once lead the industry come back to regain mind share, market share and profit share following a roller coaster ride like that? Hit the break to find out if the TouchPad pushes the company’s mobile business in the right direction or if it is another dud from a company that could be dominating the market.More →
While our full review of the HP TouchPad is going up any minute, we wanted to give you guys a first impression overview of the first webOS tablet. From a hardware perspective, it’s actually a little shocking how the device looks and feels like an iPhone 3GS that’s gone under a rolling pin a couple times, or even a steamroller. From the glossy black plastic (which doesn’t help — the device feels pretty hollow, much like the 3GS) to even the placement of the power / lock / unlock and volume keys, this really is a tablet version of the iPhone 3GS casing-wise. While we appreciate the dual speakers on the HP TouchPad, they can get in the way when holding it one-handed. The tablet certainly has some decent specs, though we noticed a bunch of lag when using the device and jumping in and out of apps, scrolling through emails, zooming into webpages, and even flicking through contacts. All in all… well, check back for our review — it’s on the way! In the meantime, hit the break for our hands-on video.
When Palm first introduced webOS in January 2009 and subsequently launched the Palm Pre, I called the innovative operating system the best thing to happen to smartphones that year. To this day, webOS holds a special place in my heart for taking a novel approach to smartphone operating systems and making it beautiful. It was refreshing, it was capable, and it was not received at all well by consumers. But webOS’ problem was never the software. Perhaps the lack of available apps has been a bit of a hindrance, but I view Palm’s release strategy, its horrible marketing strategy and its sub par hardware as having played the biggest roles in preventing webOS from finding stardom. In terms of hardware, I had high hopes when HP announced it was buying Palm; webOS might finally have a vessel worthy of consumers’ attention. Discounting the Pre 2, which should never have been allowed to ship, the Veer is HP’s first webOS smartphone to reach store shelves. The phone is undoubtedly unique and it features the latest version of the Palm team’s software platform, but is it the vessel webOS needs so desperately? Hit the break for my review of the HP Veer 4G — or, as I have come to call it, the Palmagotchi.More →
“4G” can mean a lot of things these days. For some carriers, it started out as marketing speak that did little beyond confusing customers. For others, 4G represents a next-generation network that might help ease the strain of a new breed of data-hungry smartphone users that have brought a nationwide 3G network to its knees. But while certain carriers were busy lobbying the International Telecommunications Union or launching crafty marketing campaigns, Verizon Wireless launched the fastest cellular network U.S. consumers have ever seen. On May 26th, Verizon released the LG Revolution and gave its subscribers their third 4G smartphone option. Does LG’s first 4G LTE phone address the shortcomings of Verizon Wireless’ earlier offerings? Read on for the full review.More →
The Motorola DROID X was one of the most powerful handsets to hit Verizon Wireless. It’s only fitting that the big boss of Android phones would get upgraded at some point, right? The Motorola DROID X2 ups the DROID X in almost every way possible. Instead of a single core 1GHz CPU, the DROID X2 features a dual-core 1GHz processor. The display has been upgraded from a baseline screen to a qHD display, and software customizations and enhancements have been made as well. Did one of my favorite Android handsets get even better? Hit the full review after the break to find out.
If you’re a Mac user, there’s a decent chance you’ve heard of Macheist, a deal site that bundles different Mac applications together for a ridiculously low price. While The Heist isn’t a bundled software deal, it’s an insanely addictive puzzle game for the iPhone based on a theme of trying to crack into a safe — hence the title. There are four different puzzle types and over 60 levels, each one with distinct themes and objectives. And, in addition, there’s a promised prize to any user that completes every level in the game. Not a bad hook, right? The game is built by developer TapTapTap, makers of the Camera+ iPhone app, and it’s available now for $0.99 in the App Store — and it’s currently sitting pretty as the No. 1 paid app.
Sony Ericsson’s Xperia PLAY is the company’s first smartphone focused on bringing serious gaming and a powerful handset to the masses. The slide-out PlayStation-style game controller is innovative and it enables you to interact with games on your smartphone in ways that just aren’t possible on a touchscreen-only device. With that said, there are some obstacles in the way — PlayStation Suite offers limited games, and there are some pretty big bugs even on the stock Android handset. Do the positives outweigh the negatives, though? Jump past the break to find out.More →
The Samsung Galaxy S II is Samsung’s second version of its extremely popular Galaxy S line of handsets — one it has done a great job of launching across a variety of carriers. The Galaxy S II raises the bar in every way from the first Galaxy S, as it should. But it also takes things one step further and absolutely obliterates every other Android handset on the market in the specifications department. It’s not just fast, it’s the fastest. It’s not just thin, it’s the thinnest. But is it the best? Hit the break to find out.More →
Our friendly FedEx man was kind enough to deliver us the soon-to-be-released Casio G’zOne Commando from Verizon Wireless. Unlike most full-touchscreen smartphones, this Android 2.2.1 device is designed to be abused. The Commando meets military standards 810G for immersion, rain, and shock, dust resistance, vibration, salt fog, humidity, solar radiation, altitude, along with low and high temperature storage. The handset, which is not the lightest full-touchscreen we’ve handled — but certainly not the heaviest at 5.4-ounces— sports a ruggedized composite case which protects a 5 megapixel auto-focus camera with flash, 1460mAh battery, 512MB RAM, 3.6-inch WVGA touchscreen display, and a host of other assets. Want to know what our first impressions are? Good. Have a look at the gallery below and hit the jump to read on.More →
AT&T’s plans to purchase Deutsche Telekom-owned T-Mobile USA will get a thorough examination from government agencies, including antitrust and communications investigators, an FCC aide affirmed on Thursday. AT&T proposed the $39 billion deal on March 20th and a company spokesperson told Bloomberg that Ma Bell plans to file its official application to the Federal Communications Commission “around April 21st.” Once the application has been submitted, the FCC reportedly has 180 days to grant approval. However, one FCC employee told Bloomberg that the FCC isn’t always limited to 180 days, so it could take a bit longer before a final decision is released. The deal has been openly opposed by Sprint, which claimed the transaction would “harm consumers and harm competition at a time when this country can least afford it,” and one anonymous FCC official has said “there’s no way the chairman’s office [will] rubber-stamp” the deal. AT&T’s CEO Randall L. Stephenson sees things differently. On March 30th he said the acquisition will immediately improve reliability for AT&T customers, and argued that there’s plenty of wireless competition in the United States that will continue to help push prices down for consumers. More →
The BlackBerry PlayBook isn’t just the first tablet out of Research In Motion — it’s the first product to emerge from the company’s new do-or-die strategy. The PlayBook combines and showcases the underlying fabric that will set RIM up for the next 10 years. With RIM rumored to have only started working on the PlayBook within the last 10-12 months, is RIM’s tablet a true, viable competitor in the tablet space? I’ve been using a PlayBook for more than a week now, and I have to say… the PlayBook definitely surprised me in several ways. Hit the break for my full review of RIM’s upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook. More →
Sprint’s Kyocera Echo is a brand new concept in the mobile space. It’s innovative, and it’s bold. Using two displays that connect together to form one large touch surface, you’re able to interact with your handset in a way that’s never been possible before. You can use Twitter on the top screen while scrolling through your photos on the lower display until you pick just the right one you want to upload to TwitPic — or you can use the email app with both screens, one letting you view your inbox and the other showing you an individual message. Does having two displays make sense in the real world? More importantly, is the Kyocera Echo the right device to deliver this unique new experience? You’ll find out after the jump!More →