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Summary:

Yup, check your newspaper for the Sprint insert and you’ll see this ad for the Samsung IP-830w shown running the Palm OS. Let’s see: it’s got the QWERTY keyboard, Bluetooth, Quad-Band support and uh…what’s this….er…Windows Mobile 5.0? But the picture clearly shows the Palm OS; even […]

100_2595 Yup, check your newspaper for the Sprint insert and you’ll see this ad for the Samsung IP-830w shown running the Palm OS. Let’s see: it’s got the QWERTY keyboard, Bluetooth, Quad-Band support and uh…what’s this….er…Windows Mobile 5.0? But the picture clearly shows the Palm OS; even on the insert.

OK, by now you probably realize the marketing faux pas, just like I did when I saw the ad. I understand that screen shots are often superimposed onto a device photo, which makes sense because it’s difficult to get a high quality screen shot. Seriously though: what does this say about a company and their knowledge of the products and services they sell? I’m not focusing solely on Sprint because this happens with many products and companies. The fact is: it shouldn’t. In this day and age, information moves faster than we can take it in, so accuracy of that information is a must. Remember the "five 9’s" for server uptime, i.e.: servers are available 99.999% of the time? I want "five 9’s" for my information: when I read something meant to be taken as factual, it should be accurate 99.999% of the time.

Granted, the marketing department of company is where this all starts, but let’s get some folks in the know to proof these things. What happens when a thoughtful spouse who isn’t tech-savvy is looking for the latest and greatest Palm OS phone? He or she knows that the significant other only uses Palm devices and snaps up this killer "Palm" phone thinking they have the perfect present? Bad information is going to make for a bad (and expensive) purchase plus wasted time for the inevitable return.

They say "a picture is worth a thousand words"; in a case like this: it speaks volumes.

  1. Actually, the pictures looks like it is showing the email screen of Good Mobile Messaging (GMM) running on a Windows Mobile OS device. It is still a little misleading, as GMM is not an included feature of devices because it requires a service provider or host of some sort. As a side note, GMM is great. I have used it at work for the past couple of years on various devices and is great to use and administer. (no I don’t work for Good).

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  2. I gotta say on this one I think your over reacting. The written details are what is Mission Critical here. The screen shots do not say Palm anywhere and in fact they are quite the “vanilla shell” kinda screen image. Anyone that is as you say “not technically savy” certainly isnt going to suddenly say that’s a PALM OS screenshot, to heck with all of the written information on the Advertisement and the details on the box, “I’m buying that one for my Palm loving hubby!”

    I agree with what you say about “info flow”, half the time the public knows more about product and sales then the in-store sales people, but I do not think this particular ad will be responsible for “lines out the door” on Dec 26th to return that “Damn Windows Mobile Phone”

    Keep up the good work, love the site, one of my top 5 BTW!

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  3. Demetri, I think you’re right and I missed the “Good” symbol at the top right.

    Ron, I agree with you: this won’t generate return lines out the door, but it could waste people’s time. This is really just an example: not a specific call-out to Sprint’s ad. The bigger issue is here is getting accurate timely information from a company. The way information flows these days, I’d take accurate info over more info, especially in an ad. In a business where you literally sell access to information (voice, data, music, other services), I’d expect the consumer information to be 100% accurate; OK, I’d settle for 99.999%. ;)

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  4. I just don’t understand Sprint with that type of mistake, but also selling a phone that Verizon sold like 2 years ago and a big deal. While Cingular and others are keeping up to date with new WM 5.0 Phones

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  5. David, Verizon doesn’t and has never sold the Samsung 830. They sell the 730, which started life off as a WM2003SE device. There is a WM5 upgrade for it. The Sprint phone is the Samsung 830, which only comes in WM5 versions, and adds GSM quad band world capability, which the Verizon version does not have. All of Sprint’s current PocketPC Phones are WM5, as are the rest of the cell phone carriers.

    I agree with Demetri and Ron; the factoids clearly state WM5. So what if the screenshots aren’t accurate, it’s just being really nit-picky about a lazy PR person, not necessarily a representation about an entire company, whether it be Sprint, Verizon, or Cingular.

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  6. If you really want to get picky about the little things, check out the blatant image theft from GPS Passion. ;)

    http://jkontherun.blogs.com/jkontherun/2006/12/fridays_questio_2.html

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  7. I’m looking at my Treo 680 with GMM (formerly GoodLink). You are not seeing PalmOS at all. As others have pointed out, you are seeing the main Good screen. Good supports PalmOS devices and WMM, as well as some others (like Nokias and Motorolas). I don’t know that this particular device is on Good’s supported device list, but it may be pending a future announcement. In any case, once you’ve seen Good (GMM) on a WinMo Treo 700W and a PalmOS Treo 650 or 680, you’ll see that Good (GMM) looks the same.

    The result of jumping to conclusions when all the facts aren’t known. :P

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  8. Doctor Z – Verizon did sell the i830, but no longer does.

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  9. man, for a sec l had such high hopes for an alt to Treo .

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