PDA News – No more SD cards, Patents tossed, Treo running Cobalt?

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Sprint ceases free SD card offer for new Treos

Sprint has quietly stopped offering a free 128 MB SD memory card with new purchases of the Treo 650 smartphone. The company originally offered the card as compensation for the cramped internal memory of the Treo, but they apparently feel that with the new ROM update that frees from 1 to 4 MB of internal memory, the free 128 MB card is no longer neccessary. A little simple math might tell them that continuing to offer the $5 card would be a good PR move, but they don’t seem to agree.


Patent used in RIM suit invalidated; $495 million wasted?

Just weeks after BlackBerry maker Research In Motion settled a patent suit by NTP for half a billion dollars, the entire case may be about to be made moot. The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office has invalidated one of the five patents that were the basis of NTP’s infringement claims, and it may be about to invalidate the remaining four. This is not the end of the story–NTP can fight this invalidation and any subsequent ones, if they so choose, particularly with the $495 million war chest they got from RIM. Or they can let the patents go and save their money.

Of course, it’s not all bad for RIM. Following the settlement, their market cap increased by $2.5 billion, as a result of investors’ increased confidence in the company. There’s also the possibility that, depending on how the settlement is constructed, that if the remaining patents are invalidated RIM could pull out of the deal and stop payment. Only time will tell.


Supposed image of Cobalt OS on Treo 650

A photograph has been circulating that depicts the Treo 650 running Palm OS Cobalt, the long (long, long) awaited next generation Palm operating system. Cobalt has been fraught with a long series of frustrations, false starts, and delays, with the net result that some 16 months after its ostensible release, there is still no hardware running it. PalmOne has refused to commit to a timetable for employing Cobalt, and most other licensees have been steering clear of it as well.

My first reaction to this is that it is a fake. It would be extremely easy to pull off–all you need to do is take a screen shot from the Cobalt simulator, which is available for free download, and use a full-screen image viewer to put the image up on the Treo. Snap a photo and you’re done. There’s no customization of the OS, and the signal indicator shows no service, exactly as it does on the simulator. This goes down in the file of Nice Things That Aren’t Real.



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