Please tell us more about yourself and your company!
My name is Tunji Afonja, President of Gx5. We try to create compelling software for PCs and Mobile Devices. Check us out at www.gx-5.com, you might see something you like.

What did you expect Palm to release? What were your initial impressions of the Foleo?
I had no clue what they were going to release. After All it was a ď Third SecretĒ business. As for initial Impression:- Tremendous Disappointment. With so much hype in the Palm Community what we saw just did not live up to the hype. Remember, most of us want the latest, greatest and glossiest device. None of which the Foleo is.

What do you think about the device now that the news is out for a few days?
After thinking it through, I think there is tremendous potential. While it may not look sexy or something from the future, it could perfectly meet the demands of certain types of Professionals who work on the road. For certain Professionals that need to handle a ton of email on the road, the ability to have the Foleo with instant on and 5 hrs of battery life could be heaven sent. If you think more about what is out there, you see why the Foleo makes sense. UMPCs are not the answer because they donít have a full keyboard. Laptops are not the answer because they canít give you battery life the Foleo claims to have and most are just not as light. In addition, Vista is currently proving itself as totally incompetent.

Do you plan to produce products or provide services for the Foleo?
Well, at Gx5 we tend to create apps with high end visual appeal, interactivity and multimedia. The Foleo, as pointed out by Ed Collligan is for people that do 5 things on the go ( Email, Word, Excel, Web Browsing, and Solitaire). So currently we have no plans, but as time goes by and with successful adoption, we would definitely take a look at the platform again.

Do you think that the Foleo will sell well? Will it get a successor?
I actually think it has a very good chance to sell very well. The tech community is a bit misguided. Everyone seems to think a device on steroids is what will sell because naturally we in the tech community have the latest and greatest gadget loaded with everything. But if you think about your average professional, they just want simplicity and something that works well. So if the Foleo can do what it says, I think it will be appealing to many of these professionals that do the basic 5 things I just said.

The Foleo looks very much like a subnotebook/UMPC mixture. How will it fare against UMPCs?
I have seen quite a few UMPCs and they all donít have a full keyboard and as large a screen as the Foleo. Plus they tend to have the usual tech lovers bells and whistles, which for the most part mobile professionals wonít care for. Also ask your self this. The UMPC has been around for what a year now? Have you seen anyone on the street or cafť using one?

The Foleo was hyped almost as much as Appleís iPhone. Which of the boxen deserves the hype more?
The Foleo should not have been hyped at all. Am not sure if it was Palmís intentions, but for some reason, those tantalizing hints of ďa third secretĒ business grew a life of its own, building up unnecessary hype. Plus, Palm should have not even focused any of itís energy announcing to the tech community. They should have known the tech community with itís lust for the latest and greatest would slam the Foleo. Palm would have been better served going after the target audience right away.

Would you prefer Palm to open the Foleo platform to other hardware and Software developers?
Well, we are an ISV and always welcome new opportunity. But Palm has to do what is best for them. If opening Foleo makes good sense then am for it. If it doesnít then so be it.

How will the Foleo affect the Palm OS economy and the PDA/smartphone market in general?
I am not sure yet, The Palm OS as we know it is dead. Palmís new SmartPhones will be running a new OS and we still donít have details on that. There are still too many questions that need to be answered before we know the impact or non impact of the Foleo.

Anything you would like to add?
What the tech community thinks is the hottest gadget may not sell well in the real world( UMPC).
What the tech community thinks is the dumbest gadget may be what the real world wants( Foleo?)

Also, Palmís gamble is pretty bold. They are saying the mobile professional basically performs 5 tasks( Email, Word, Excel, Web Browsing, and Solitaire) on the go and that the Foleo helps them achieve these 5 tasks most efficiently such that they donít need to carry their laptop on the road anymore. So it is not a laptop replacement but you wonít need your laptop anymore when you are on the road.
What might even help Palm sell this is to provide a solution like gotomypc which will then remove the fears of the mobile professional since they can now access the same laptop they have now left behind.

And finally, when I get a Foleo is when I have finally made it. That is; an overpaid executive that does nothing but approve stuff and give presentations. Right now am working way too hard logging around this 9 lb laptop.

Related posts:

  1. Foleo interview: Iain Barclay
  2. Foleo Interview: Donald Kirker
  3. Foleo interview: Radoslaw Nowak
  4. Foleo Interview: Dmitry Grinberg
  5. WebOS intro interview – Tunji Afonja, GX5

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