Is LifeDrive Worth the Price?

PalmOne has finally announced that it is going to release LifeDrive, now renamed, Mobile Manager within a month. Great news, especially if you didn’t know that it was coming. Basically it is a hard drive with Palm OS that does a bunch of things – like store information, music, documents and all sorts of neat stuff. Engadget has said that it could have 4GB of hard drive space, and cost as much as $500. Sounds like an interesting idea, but is it worth the price. How does it compare with other best selling CE devices?

  • Apple iPod Mini costs $200, no connectivity.
  • SonyPSP costs $249.00 with mere 32 mega of disk storage and has wireless connectivity via WiFi
  • Palm Tungsten T5 costs $399, has 256 MB built in, and has bluetooth connectivity.
  • Palm LifeDrive, expected to cost $500 has 4 GB of capacity, can play music, store video etc, has bluetooth and wifi capability
  • Siemens SX 66 (or some equivalent clone) $599, 64 megs storage, bluetooth, wifi, cellular and WAN Connectivity
  • Treo 650 costs $599 and has 64 Megs memory, bluetooth and cellular & WAN connectivity

Here is what I think: unless you are iconic brand, you cannot really charge too much of a premium for a device. People are willing to pay more for connectivity than storage capacity or multiple functionality. Palm LifeDrive could send Tungsten to the tombs faster than the company realizes. Clearly, PDA functionality cannot command a premium – phone companies are giving it away. So you think a wifi enabled, bluetooth-featuring 4 GB hard drive is worth paying $500? What do you guys think? Will this be a hit or a miss for PalmOne?

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