By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Cellphone smackdown!

New York Times columnist Joe Nocera doesn’t like his Treo (sub. req.) — and he blames Wall Street Journal columnist Walt Mossberg. To wit:

Maybe I should never have believed The Wall Street Journal’s technology guru, Walt Mossberg, who wrote in early 2006 that “Palm’s Treo smartphones have been the best high-end cellphones on the market, with the finest combination of voice, e-mail and Web-browsing capabilities in a hand-held device.”…

Maybe, if my due diligence had gone beyond reading Mr. Mossberg, I might have realized that the Treo was far more trouble than it was worth.

Whoa! Nothing yet on Mossberg’s Web site, All Things D, but I imagine he’ll fire a return volley before the weekend is out.

But hold on. Here is the January 2006 Mossberg review to which Nocera refers. It’s a review not of the 700p, which has made Nocera’s life such a living hell, but of the 700w, which runs a completely different operating system — Windows Mobile rather than the Palm OS, which Nocera fingers as his culprit (other than Mossberg). True, Mossberg said nice things about the Palm OS, but the 700p hadn’t even been released yet.
Then, in June 2006, Mossberg was back with a review of the then-brand-new 700p, a good seven months before Nocera made his purchase. Here’s an excerpt:

In our tests, over a couple of weeks, the Treo 700p performed well. Web browsing was a pleasure at the new high speeds. Our only complaint was a short but annoying lag in displaying the text of emails and in performing certain other operations. Also, our test unit crashed twice and had to be restarted. (It didn’t lose any data in the crash.)

It crashed twice in a couple of weeks, eh? Did Nocera notice that? Sounds like a pretty good harbinger of the problems he describes today.

Nocera has complained about his toys previously without taking, uh, due diligence. If he can’t slip one past a tech doofus like me, he ought to find another subject.

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1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    He’s a pain in the ass but Mossberg’s work ethic/integrity are above reproach.”Close enough” isn’t in his vocabulary, from what I’ve read. Non-techies like me need a computer Yoda for this kind of stuff. Another reason I no longer bother with NYT unless there’s a compelling reason.

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