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Comments on: Palm Q4 FY07 Conference Call Highlights

Palm Inc today reported its fourth quarter fiscal year 2007 results and held its quarterly conference call with investors and analysts. Palm's CEO Ed Colligan went over the results and provided updates on Palm's business strategies and future products.

Read on for my summary of the call and notes from the call.

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Just a couple comments before a transript is available

SeldomVisitor @ 6/28/2007 6:48:22 PM # Q
== "...Approximately 100 people were laid off..."

I believe that number had to do with LAST quarter's layoffs. PALM is currently "in" next quarter and have been for a month...

As such, the 100 number (nor even the 1100 number) is not necessarily current.

Asked about Windows versus PalmOS "growth" in their product (revenue? units sold?), they laughingly replied they started at 100% PalmOS, went to about a 50%/50% mix, and EXPECT THAT TREND TO CONTINUE.

Yet, surprisingly contrarian, they said they were going to outsource everything Windows.

So, if they get rid of their PalmOS guys, get rid of their Windows guys, maybe have a few Linux guys (or contractors ONLY) then they have become even more of a virtual company than Colligan himself said they were.

That is to say, they are downsizing like there is an end...

===========

BTW - contractor contract terminations don't usually get counted as layoffs, nor even mentioned. Wonder how many ex-PALM-contractors there are now.

===========

When the transcripts are out there can be a lot more discussion, I'm sure!


RE: Just a couple comments before a transript is available
Ryan @ 6/28/2007 6:54:19 PM # Q
I'm positive he said they currently have a 1,100 person headcount.
RE: Just a couple comments before a transript is available
SeldomVisitor @ 6/28/2007 7:06:18 PM # Q
== "...headcount...?"
==
== "...At the end of the quarter - somewhere in the range of 1100..."
==
== "...during the quarter reduced approximately 100 people..."

Almost exactly 30 minutes in:

-- http://web.servicebureau.net/conf/meta?i=1112943783&c=2343&m=was&u=/w_ccbn.xsl&date_ticker=PALM

RE: Just a couple comments before a transript is available
Ryan @ 6/28/2007 7:23:22 PM # Q
k, my bad didn't have the audio to reference.

How bout those crazy RIMM numbers, eh?

BlackBerry-maker profit surges, declares 3-for-1 split
Gekko @ 6/28/2007 7:28:40 PM # Q

wow

BlackBerry-maker profit surges, declares 3-for-1 split
RIM's Nasdaq-listed shares 16.9 percent higher to $193.53 in after-hours trade.
June 28 2007: 6:27 PM EDT

TORONTO (Reuters) -- BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion reported a higher first-quarter profit Thursday, beating expectations as it added more subscribers for its popular wireless e-mail devices than it had forecast.

The company also announced a 3-for-1 share split, which it plans to implement through a stock dividend.

RIM said it earned $223.2 million, or $1.17 a share, for the three months ended June 2. That was up from a profit of $128.8 million, or 67 cents a share, in the same period a year earlier.

Adjusted profit was $1.20 a share in the quarter, handily beating predictions made by RIM in April as well as the expectations of analysts.

Investors appeared impressed by the earnings report, driving RIM's (Charts) Nasdaq-listed shares 16.9 percent higher to $193.53 in after-hours trade from their regular session close of $165.59.

"Outstanding blowout results! What iPhone?" asked Peter Misek, global technology strategist at Canaccord Adams in Toronto, shortly after the earnings report.

Some analysts have raised concerns that competition from the upcoming launch of Apple's (Charts, Fortune 500) iPhone could hurt sales of RIM's smartphones, including the multimedia-laden BlackBerry Pearl and its new BlackBerry Curve.

The Waterloo, Ontario-based company said it added about 1.2 million BlackBerry subscribers -- higher than the 1.15 million top end of RIM's April forecast.

Revenue rose to $1.08 billion, up 76.5 percent from $613.1 million in the same quarter of last year.

For its second quarter ending Sept. 1, RIM forecast revenue would be between $1.3 billion and $1.365 billion. It said it expects to add between 1.325 million and 1.375 million subscribers and have net earnings of $1.37 to $1.49 a share.

The company reported its earnings after the end of the regular day trading session. Its shares closed 38 Canadian cents higher at C$175.22, on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

http://money.cnn.com/2007/06/28/technology/bc.rim.results.reut/index.htm?postversion=2007062818

RE: Just a couple comments before a transript is available
SeldomVisitor @ 6/28/2007 7:34:53 PM # Q
> ...my bad didn't have the audio to reference....

Actually, neither did I - in my feeble old age I simply "remembered" (very much in quotes!) what I posted in my first post of this thread, only checking after you contradicted that "memory".

Damn, I'm STILL good!

Giggle.

RE: Just a couple comments before a transript is available
SeldomVisitor @ 6/29/2007 8:51:38 AM # Q
> ...When the transcripts are out there can be a lot more
> discussion, I'm sure!

The transcript is available.

-- http://seekingalpha.com/article/39702


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Laid off from Palm/Handspring

wildmantrader @ 6/28/2007 8:03:49 PM # Q
Wow, some on this board knows how that feels but not me.
RE: Laid off from Palm/Handspring
SeldomVisitor @ 6/28/2007 8:13:28 PM # Q
Why bother here?

RE: Laid off from Palm/Handspring
wildmantrader @ 6/28/2007 10:03:17 PM # Q
First to speak is the guilty one
Reply to this comment

Focusing on WinMob

rmhurdman @ 6/29/2007 12:31:44 AM # Q
This is nothing new from Palm. First they ignore the PDA line and not give it the R&D it needs. People lose interest. Then Palm cites the lack of interest for the reduction in R&D. And it spirals down from there.

Now, they have ignored the PalmOS for much too long. People have lost interest in PalmOS and WinMob is selling better. So Palm cites that as the reason for reducing their focus on PalmOS.

The management is basically a bunch of morons who are obviously making it up as they go along. They better milk this thing for all it's worth, because I don't know who would hire such a band of fools once this company implodes.

It's been entertaining...

RE: Focusing on WinMob
sgiga @ 6/29/2007 9:36:22 AM # Q
I think this is a matter of practicality. The PalmOS is hardly an OS at all. It is simply an non-multitasking application launcher, more like DOS.

A new multitasking OS would have to be written from the ground up, and when there are at least 3 other wheels already available (Windows, Symbian and and Linux), it is insanity to reinvent yet another wheel. A new OS will have to be at least as good as Windows and Symbian, and to develop such a thing is probably way beyond any budget that Palm will have, now and future. Besides, with Linux already existing, free to use, why even bother - at all?

Windows Treos are selling, and this is infinitely more important than a handfull of geeks being emotionally attached to an outdated OS.

RE: Focusing on WinMob
LiveFaith @ 6/29/2007 10:02:55 AM # Q
Speaking of a "Smartfone OS", I think a pretty interesting one may be launched today around 6PM.

** A new OS will have to be at least as good as Windows and Symbian, and to develop such a thing is probably way beyond any budget that Palm will have, now and future. **

I think Palm has answered that question about a month or two ago.


Pat Horne

RE: Focusing on WinMob
rmhurdman @ 6/29/2007 10:03:32 AM # Q
You're calling Palm's Developper community a handful of geeks?

Ouch!

RE: Focusing on WinMob
sgiga @ 6/29/2007 10:52:42 AM # Q
The iPhone is using OS-X as far as i know - basically UNIX, nothing really new there.

>You're calling Palm's Developper community a handful of geeks?

He he. Well, life goes on, things changes. If Windows is a better platform for the Treo than the outdated PalmOS (which everything seems to suggest), then for gods sake get over it, move on. If anything, there is nothing more pathetic than geeks being trapped in the past. I mean, can they even be called geeks?

RE: Focusing on WinMob
rmhurdman @ 6/29/2007 3:17:53 PM # Q
You're the geek who's trapped in the past if you think OS X is roughly equivalent to UNIX.

I was not arguing against the fact that Palm OS is dead, only pointing out that it was Palm who allowed it to die (slowly and painfully). My point was that they seem to have the opposite of the Midas touch.

Reply to this comment

PDA sales up 13,5%

vorlon @ 6/29/2007 4:57:11 AM # Q
PDA sales Q4 314k, Q3 277k. Yay! Or is the 314k sell-through?

If someone in Palm figured out that there is a big professional market for non-cellular PDA's, for example in hospitals, and in companies where workers must use company issued crapphones. Even a Garnet OS PDA (max 320x480 screen, 128 Mb RAM) with voice recording (important for businesspeople and doctors, and complements the iPhone) would sell over a million in a year or two. Or better, a test device for the PalmLinux (no carrier approval needed).

Reply to this comment

Today's Headlines

craigdts @ 6/29/2007 5:21:21 AM # Q
Lets help out the media. What headlines would you like to see?

Ed "Failagain" has done it again!

Ed Pleads with Open Palms for a Buyout

Palm Comes Empty-Handed to the Smartphone Party

Closed-Palms, Tight-Fisted Ed Blames Apple

RE: Today's Headlines
craigdts @ 6/29/2007 5:25:31 AM # Q
Palm Brought to Its Hands and Knees

RE: Today's Headlines
SeldomVisitor @ 6/29/2007 6:22:14 AM # Q
Palm Slaps Itself Upside the Head.

RE: Today's Headlines
craigdts @ 6/29/2007 6:43:08 AM # Q
Palm Bites the Hand that Feeds It

RE: Today's Headlines
LiveFaith @ 6/29/2007 10:04:10 AM # Q
Palm Sundae with an Apple on Top

Pat Horne
RE: Today's Headlines
Poopie @ 6/29/2007 11:30:24 AM # Q
Palm releases Treo 756p with PalmOS 5.492 - now compatible with Windows Vista!
Palm releases Treo 757w with Windows Mobile 6
Palm releases Treo 699p with PalmOS 5.491 - now available in pink and purple!
Palm releases Treo/Foleo bundle - buy both and get Documents To Go 10 and Agendus 10 Free!
Palm update for Treo 750p pulled off website - again!

Reply to this comment

... meanwhile at an Apple Store ...

ob1 @ 6/29/2007 4:51:31 PM # Q
What I read strongly deceives me, yet it's terrificly true.
Palm becoming a virtual company,
Palm selling Foolio (Mike Mace : it's a PC dummy)
Palm selling 80% of Treos, 50% of which are WinMob
Palm disgarding handleds (my favorite products) even with a 13% raise since last quarter
... but where in the world is Zen of Palm ?

Meanwhil, an iPhone is coming right to you.

And you wht deceives me the most ? Palm could have made the iPhone.
What a waste !!!
As already said : "it has been entertaining"

(anyway, just membered of Palm Developer Network)

Reply to this comment

Colligan: iPhone may stall our sell-through

The_Voice_of_Reason @ 6/30/2007 2:33:39 AM # Q
http://www.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idUSWEN907720070629


"It's likely that as people try (the iPhone) out, there may be some stall in our sell-through," Palm Chief Executive Ed Colligan told Reuters on Thursday.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

After putting Palm's Q4 FY07 conference call through "TVoR's Babelfish B.S. -> Truth Translator™", here's what we learned:

Smartphone sell trough was a very modest 3% increase from the previous quarter, but was still a record high for the company. Smartphones now represent 80% of Palm's overall revenue.

Translation: Our smartphones sales have plateaued and since we put all our eggs into the smartphone basket, now that the iPhone has been released, we are in BIG trouble.

The fourth quarter saw continuing declines in Palm's handheld business. There was a 37% decline in year over year handheld revenue and Palm expects that trend to continue going forward. 314,000 handhelds were sold during the quarter.

Translation: We willingly killed off our PDA division and maybe that was a big mistake. Oooops!

24% of revenue came from International sales, while 74% was from the US.

Translation: Despite playing lip service to international expansion, in reality most people outside the USA wouldn't want to be caught dead carrying a brick-like Treo.

Colligan stated that he was very confident in the future potential of the Foleo product line. He remarked that while today the Foleo is a smartphone companion product, he says 'tomorrow' it will represent a full fledge mobile computing platform as the line grows.

Translation: We've wasted three years on developing this stupid FOOLeo and it STILL isn't ready. So now we've had to throw it out as-is and market it the best way we can - as a castrated microlaptop as a smartphone companion.

He went on to say how the industry 'pundits' have given the device mixed reviews, however he has seen an overwhelmingly positive response and demand from customers.

Translation: Actually, EVERYONE thinks that the FOOLeo is a piece of crap that is about to bomb massively. But my mommy told me that she thinks it looks pretty and asked me to bring her home one from the office.

Colligan announced some new long term planning changes around a recent internal restructuring effort at Palm. The company is being reorganized around two distinct product groups -- A Windows Mobile division that will take on a more ODM focused model in developing Windows Mobile based products; and a Consumer group responsible for Palm OS, Foleo and other consumer and small business products.

Translation: We've finally decided to become Just Another WindowsMobile Licensee (JAWL) since Windows Mobile is easier to sell to businesses, is actually supported by its developer, can multitask, and can potentially run PalmOS applications if Microsoft lets us graft StyleTap Platform onto it. The carriers have become sick of supporting unstable PalmOS Treos, so we are likely going to phase them out if a certain large American carrier really rejects the Treo 800p. Of course, we'll keep selling PalmOS Treos to consumers if they keep buying them. Meanwhile, will keep marketing the Windows Mobile Treos to businesses and to professionals. We wish we could cut our losses with the FOOLeo right now, but this would be too much of an embarrassing setback and would probably make it impossible to find a buyer for Palm.

Palm intends to better leverage their brand and partner relationships while working more closely with its ODM partners, which mostly specialize in Windows Mobile.

Translation: In order to be able to churn out devices quickly we're going to start slapping the Palm logo on whatever device is the latest and greatest thing to be released by HTC et. al. Badge engineering at its finest! If it works for the carriers, maybe it can work for Palm...

Approximately 100 people were laid off. The efforts were focused around flattening the management structure and improving efficency and effectiveness. Palm now has around 1,100 employees. Palm is also consolidating its email and messaging division back to Sunnyvale, and is closing down the facility which operated in Andover, MA.

First we tried rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, now were going to start throwing some of the deck chairs overboard in an effort to lighten the load and stay afloat. The less staff we have on the books, the more attractive the company may appear to a potential suitor. The 1100 employees we currently have is still way too many given their lack of productivity. As we start doing more badge engineering of devices and start cutting back on our commitment to PalmOS devices will be able to slash more positions from the payroll. Outsourcing and contract engineering might not be good ideas in the long run, but we just need to focus on trimming the fat so that we can get the company sold as quickly as possible.
In 2000 we bought MultiMail for $4 million from Lorraine Wheeler (Actual Software Corp, based in Andover, MA) and then promptly butchered it into the buggy carcass known as VersaMail. This year, now that we've bought ChatterEmail for $5 million from Marc Blanc we will be shutting down the old Actual Software Corp. offices in Andover and creating and email "department" in Sunnyvale consisting of Marc and a couple of interns.

Colligan promised a range of new smartphone products in Fiscal 2008. He also mentioned that new devices using both Windows Mobile and Palm OS were due before the end of the year.

We will be releasing the evolutionary Treo 800p and Treo 800w in a few months. Please try not to yawn too loudly as you look up from your iPhones at our press release conference for the Treo 800 models.

When asked when the next-generation Linux based platform would be ready, Colligan remarked that products based on this new Linux OS would debut sometime in calendar 2008.

The FOOLeo PalmLinux testbed is helping us work the kinks out, but we're still having problems grafting POSE onto PalmLinux and getting all the syncing to work out properly. Fortunately, we can always put StyleTap Platform onto a Windows Mobile Treo and advertise it as "The best of both worlds™"

TVoR

RE: Colligan: iPhone may stall our sell-through
SeldomVisitor @ 6/30/2007 6:16:39 AM # Q
> ...Approximately 100 people were laid off...Palm now has around 1,100 employees...

As already noted elsewhere, those were the numbers as of the end of the quarter, not as of now; the "rumored" Wi-Fi group hit, for example, is not in those numbers (nor anything else not yet announced that happened June 1 forward).

> ...Colligan promised a range of new smartphone products in Fiscal 2008...

His promise was a little more vague AND amusing than that (from the transcript):

== "...Yeah. Well, in general a new platform strategy I think that's,
== next calendar year is the timeframe. We are not going to get in to
== specifics on that. I think the reality is we will deliver some new
== smartphone products through the rest of this calendar year on both
== our Windows Mobile and Palm OS platforms. And product based on the
== new Linux-based platform that we are working on, that won't be until
== some time next year..."

And a Yahoo poster's (not mine!) appropriate response to that:

-- http://tinyurl.com/2njphk


Reply to this comment

slow motion car crash

Gekko @ 6/30/2007 7:19:49 AM # Q

that's what we're watching.



RE: slow motion car crash
SeldomVisitor @ 6/30/2007 8:56:56 AM # Q
Relative to "normal" corporate lifetimes, one can hardly call what we are watching "slow motion".

Reply to this comment

Palm: You're SO Dead

mikecane @ 6/30/2007 3:44:20 PM # Q
I’ve Fondled The iPhone!!
http://tinyurl.com/2cdyyd

My God, next to my LifeDrive -- it makes the LifeDrive look like a prehistoric brick!

And the screen is like a billion times brighter too. You can *see* it outdoors. I can barely see my LD screen full-blast outside.

Apple has done so many things right, it just *humiliates* all their competitors: Microsoft, Nokia, and Palm.

Flopeo? No chance.

RE: Palm: You're SO Dead
mikecane @ 6/30/2007 4:15:31 PM # Q
And Sammy just ran my picture comparing the two:

http://palmaddict.typepad.com/palmaddicts/2007/06/iphone-vs-lifed.html

RE: Palm: You're SO Dead
SeldomVisitor @ 6/30/2007 4:20:55 PM # Q
Damn! That Fooleo Version 1 looks great!

RE: Palm: You're SO Dead
hkklife @ 6/30/2007 4:37:38 PM # Q
The iPhone still lacks, hardware-wise:

-Removable memory card slot

-Removable batttery

-"standard" fullsize headphone jack (have you heard the reports how it's so recessed hardly any standard 'phones work on it?)

-True 3G capabilities


All of the above will probably be remedied in the 2nd or 3rd generation iPhones. I am certain Apple will continue to nicely tweak its software. Stuff like 3rd party apps may or may not remain a major issue down the road.

But still, Apple's brought more to the table with version 1 of the iPhone than the Palm/Handspring crew has in 6 years of Treos.

Just imagine if Apple were to integrate a real d-pad and two to four hard button along the bottom of the iPhone....bingo! Instant Nintendo DS-killer for adults!!

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

RE: Palm: You're SO Dead
palmato @ 6/30/2007 5:34:55 PM # Q
Removable storage is probably out the question (see ipod), the rest is probably already on apple's todo list. 3G coming first despite Jobs recent statements to wsj (I think it was wsj), otherwise the european market would be out of reach. Far east even more.

Other than that it looks like an awesome product. Palm id being hit by a really fast train ...

--------------------------
Hey Admin: Why do we have to keep two profiles?

RE: Palm: You're SO Dead
twrock @ 6/30/2007 9:12:33 PM # Q
I don't know how the iPhone is going to be able to compete in east Asia (maybe I should limit that to Chinese speaking countries, but I'm guessing it is similar elsewhere). The Asian OEM's can crank out "lookalikes" in a couple of months (it's already started) for whomever wants something that initially costs half as much and then is heavily subsidized by the carriers as well. One might emphasize the OS factor, but I don't think that is an issue in people's minds at all.

Where is Palm really selling "internationally"? I don't know, but I'm guessing that their Asia sales are not that significant (vs. population numbers, etc.).

I doubt that the iPhone will be the "disaster" for Apple that some of the critics have claimed. It should sell fine to the very same people who think "everything Apple" is "nothing but the best" and "Steve told me I wanted it". But I don't think a billion people in China are ready to jump on that bandwagon. (Heck, even Google is only a "niche" search engine in China.)

Did you notice the articles on people camping out in front of Apple stores starting five days before availability? There really are people out there who need help.


Thinking about Vista? Think again: http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.txt
Want an alternative? Try this: http://www.ubuntu.com/ or http://www.mepis.org/

RE: Palm: You're SO Dead
mikecane @ 7/1/2007 5:11:11 PM # Q
>>>-Removable memory card slot

Oh that just cracks me up. So, you've got a *Treo* with 4GB or 6GB *internally*, do you?

ROTFLMAO!

RE: Palm: You're SO Dead
mikecane @ 7/1/2007 5:12:41 PM # Q
Damn typos (or my failing eyes!) -- 4GB or ** 8 ** GB.

Dammit.

Reply to this comment

Man o man, the ill will towards Palm is vicious!

VampireLestat @ 6/30/2007 7:30:52 PM # Q
rotfl

See, all this hate was spawned from Palm abandoning handhelds and not support existing products; and changing strategies all the time.

Even though I now have a Treo 680, I sitll maintain Palm should release new handhelds.
Not everyone needs or can afford a PDA with cellular telephony. Also, some people may be stuck with or may want a seperate handheld from a cell phone.

With the iPhone release it is more important than ever to diversify the product line and get back into the handheld market.

Now that I have a Treo 680, it is so clear that Palm was intentionally abandoning all efforts on PDAs. They have the 'know how' because all the goodies are found in the Treo 680.
I bought the 680 because it was unlocked, somewhat affordable and it is in preparation for a Foleo purchase. because I easily see how someone could only want a TX|2 with all the 680's pros but without have cellular. Without cellular, the TX|2 most likely would be slimmer.

Anyways, diversity.
And get into the MP3 market somehow for God's sake.

With 50% of all Treo sales being WM... that does not spell good news for us Palm OS fans. I have a suspicion that Palm plans to go 100% WM eventually. But we all knew that the day colligan, Gates and Verizon all sat on stage and indirrectly trashed and bashed Palm OS; didnt we?



RE: Man o man, the ill will towards Palm is vicious!
twrock @ 6/30/2007 9:45:40 PM # Q
It's a combination of "jilted lovers" and people with an axe to grind. (I am sympathetic toward the former and feel nothing but disdain for the latter.)

Abandoning the PDA market was just plain stupid, particularly when the only upgrade path they offered was to a device that many PDA users saw as a "downgrade". I'll say it once again: Palm, notice that your competitors are offering large screened, keyboardless smartphones. Notice that you could have done this years ago with the smallest of R&D and effort. Notice that you would have been perceived as a "leader" still (vs. the distinct possibility that if you ever do finally do it, your competitors will be on to their third of fourth version of their products). Notice that there were plenty of us who had been asking you to do this for a very long time. Notice that your unwillingness to listen to your user base is costing you dearly.

Palm, can you hear me now?!


Thinking about Vista? Think again: http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.txt
Want an alternative? Try this: http://www.ubuntu.com/ or http://www.mepis.org/

RE: Man o man, the ill will towards Palm is vicious!
VampireLestat @ 7/1/2007 12:13:52 AM # Q
twrock,

I have to say, the keyboard on the Treo 680 is very good.
It makes entering text a lot more fun.
I didnt think I would like it so much.

Im not sure anymore if a handheld without a keyboard is such a good idea.
a front keyb has instant stable access (unlike a sliding one, which Ive never tried).

As for the the iPhone software keyb... I dunno.

Im not sure of anything anymore.

RE: Man o man, the ill will towards Palm is vicious!
VampireLestat @ 7/1/2007 12:14:39 AM # Q
but I can tell you very honestly, I actually enter more PIM entries and much faster than ever before.

RE: Man o man, the ill will towards Palm is vicious!
twrock @ 7/1/2007 1:22:52 AM # Q
I don't enter a lot of data on my Palm via any method; it is primarily a data repository for me (including the PIM data). I do want a large screen. I do want a product that fits in my pocket. So I don't want a bunch of space taken up by a "hardware" keyboard when I won't use it.

Reduce the overall device size (thinner is a reduction as well). Increase the screen size. No fixed keyboard. I know that this is not the device for everyone. But all anyone has to do is to look and see the products the other companies are selling that fit that description, and it only makes sense that there was/is a market for that device from Palm. (Although by now, maybe all those people went somewhere else; if I didn't have such an investment in third-party POS software that works exactly as I want it to, I would have left a long time ago.)

Unlike some who think that the device they prefer is the device that everyone should be using (what's with that arrogance?), I don't believe that to be true at all. Just like there are people who will always want non-converged devices, there are people who do not want an integrated hardware keyboard. I just don't understand why that concept is apparently so difficult for Palm to understand.


Thinking about Vista? Think again: http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.txt
Want an alternative? Try this: http://www.ubuntu.com/ or http://www.mepis.org/

Goodwill towards Palm died June 29, 2007. (i-Day). R.I.P. Palm...
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 7/1/2007 2:59:44 AM # Q
I don't enter a lot of data on my Palm via any method; it is primarily a data repository for me (including the PIM data). I do want a large screen. I do want a product that fits in my pocket. So I don't want a bunch of space taken up by a "hardware" keyboard when I won't use it.

Reduce the overall device size (thinner is a reduction as well). Increase the screen size. No fixed keyboard. I know that this is not the device for everyone. But all anyone has to do is to look and see the products the other companies are selling that fit that description, and it only makes sense that there was/is a market for that device from Palm. (Although by now, maybe all those people went somewhere else; if I didn't have such an investment in third-party POS software that works exactly as I want it to, I would have left a long time ago.)

Unlike some who think that the device they prefer is the device that everyone should be using (what's with that arrogance?), I don't believe that to be true at all. Just like there are people who will always want non-converged devices, there are people who do not want an integrated hardware keyboard. I just don't understand why that concept is apparently so difficult for Palm to understand.

The device you're looking for (large screen, no keyboard) will arrive from Palm in 2008, along with badge-engineered (designed by a large Taiwanese contract manufacturer) Windows Mobile Treos.

Had Palm simply offered the legendary Palm 800g design proposed a couple of years ago by Reverend Pat Horne as an alternate form factor, they would have not lost as many former PalmOS followers as they have (probably for good).

Palm tried to be clever and made the calculated gamble that by not updating their PDA lineup people looking to upgrade their PDAs would buy more lucrative Treos instead. This plan has partially worked (PDA sales declined as Treo sales similarly increased), but by not advancing the Treo design Palm has essentially lost two markets now: PDAs and smartphones. The embarassing FOOLeo is a year behind schedule in terms of its software and will be an even more disastrous failure than the i705 or the LifeDrive. The thing that frustrates Palm devotees so much is that Palm could EASILY have avoided most of the deficiencies in its devices. Unfortunately, Palm's day in the sun as a player in the smartphone world officially ended at 6 p.m. on June 29, 2007. i-Day. The iPhone will likely take away 150,000 - 200,000 sales of Treos per quarter from Palm and the company has no other products to fall back on as a revenue stream (2 year old buggy PDAs and $600 Linux laptops won't save Palm).

Palm's upcoming quarter will be its worst in a long time and more employees are going to be let go. Palm is well on its way to becoming a "virtual company" that exists primarily as a brand name, with hardware + software design, hardware production and support ALL being outsourced to foreign countries (Taiwan, China and India).

If you're a fan of PalmOS devices, get a Sony CLIE UX50 or a European CLIE TH55 and pair it with a small dumbphone from Sony Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung or Motorola. Enjoy the best of both worlds. Don't let Palm play you for a FOOL(eo).


TVoR

Goodwill towards Palm died May 30, 2007. (f-Day). R.I.P. Palm...
SeldomVisitor @ 7/1/2007 5:58:57 AM # Q
Just correcting the Subject to be most correct.

The iPhone has been known about for half a year; it merely hinted at something ... wrong ... with Palm.

The Fooleo, however, is what totally demolished The Façade of Palm.

RE: Man o man, the ill will towards Palm is vicious!
Gekko @ 7/1/2007 1:37:46 PM # Q

vampire boy - i've been telling you for a long time that a smartphone beats a pda. i'm glad you finally saw the light and made the jump. welcome to 2007.



RE: Man o man, the ill will towards Palm is vicious!
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 7/1/2007 3:58:07 PM # Q
Goodwill towards Palm died May 30, 2007. (f-Day). R.I.P. Palm...
SeldomVisitor @ 7/1/2007 5:58:57 AM #

Just correcting the Subject to be most correct.

The iPhone has been known about for half a year; it merely hinted at something ... wrong ... with Palm.

The Fooleo, however, is what totally demolished The Façade of Palm.

This quarter is gonna get UGLY for Palm. I didn't listen to most of the conference call - did Colligan warn that Palm would post a loss for the quarter? He is truly one of the WORST CEOs I've ever heard at giving conference calls. His casual, yammering, lackadaisical speaking style doesn't exactly promote a he11 of a lot of confidence in Palm. If the deal goes through, the first order of business will be to replace him.

Word coming out of Palm is they're fully expecting the FOOLeo to be a massive dud. (Poor little Hawkins was sent out to the media as the sacrificial lamb. You could see everyone else sneering at the poor guy at the All Things Digital conference. Unfortunately for Palm, you can't shine sh!t. If Hawkins wasn't so filthy rich I might have even felt bad for him.) The problem was the software took too long to create, so they're hoping developers will save Palm's a$$. The announcement of cheap REAL computers like the ASUS Eee PC basically took all the wind out of the FOOLeo's sails. Expect price cuts + "free" software offers within a couple of months of its release. Palm is going to have to sell these at near-cost if they hope to avoid a stillborn platform. Whoever thought they could sell the FOOLeo for $600 must have been on crack.

I wasn't able to scam a FOOLeo from anyone within Palm but I'll stop by the next time it gets demo'ed in SF (or LA if I'm down there at the time). I wonder if Wi-Fi will once again be mysteriously unavailable? Heh heh heh. And maybe someone will actually TEST how long it takes to pair up to a Treo and download mail over the Bluetooth connection. I suspect that the FOOLeo's "instant-on" feature won't amount to a hill of beans once you take into account how long it takes to sit down, put the FOOLeo on the table, and wait for the synchronization to occur, especially if receiving emails with large (multi MB) attachments frequently used in the business world. Meanwhile a user could have awakened their Real Windows laptop, connected via Wi-Fi and downloaded email + attachments DIRECTLY into Outlook, worked on the document, saved changes, replied to the sender, had lunch...

Smoke & Mirrors, baby. Smoke & Mirrors.

TVoR

Reply to this comment

A quick poll

T_W @ 7/1/2007 12:17:45 AM # Q
Please take my quick poll:

1) The most anticipated new gadget of 2007 is:
a) The Foleo
b) The iPhone

2) The future of mobile computing is best represented by:
a) The Foleo
b) The iPhone

3) The biggest mystery in the mobile computing space is:
a) Why are sales of Palm's 2-year old handheld line in decline?
b) Why didn't anyone else think of putting a mid-sized LCD screen and keyboard on a clamshell-shaped notepad-sized device capable of sending email and composing office documents?
c) Why was a totally unnecessary WIFI radio included on the Foleo? I mean, who wants WIFI anyways?
d) How did Apple ever manage to sell a single iPod considering it was competing against the Lifedrive?
e) How long will the line be outside of the Palm Closet^H^H^H^H^H^H Store at 30 Rock when the Foleo goes on sale?
f) Wait, so I sync my Treo with my laptop and then sync may Foleo with my Treo or was it the other way around?

4) The biggest advantage of a smart phone is:
a) The miniscule amount on-board memory causes me to constantly exercise my organizational skills as I try to swap applications and data between main memory and the add-on card.
b) The myriad of bulky companion devices I get to drag around with it
c) The built-in web browser accurately duplicates the experience of running Netscape alpha 1 on Windows for Workgroups 3.1 over a 9600 baud modem.

Thank you for your participation!



Forgot one
T_W @ 7/1/2007 1:00:42 AM # Q
5) The thing I love the most about the Foleo is:
a) The knowledge that my new $600 Linux laptop is backed by the rock-solid reliability and high performance bluetooth and wireless networking stacks of Palm OS Garnet running on my Treo
b) The way it duplicates the handheld web browsing experience on a laptop-sized device
c) With distributions like Ubuntu causing desktop Linux to gain so much traction, the knowledge that the Foleo will never be able to run any of these great open source desktop apps
d) The fact it is small enough to keep it in my existing laptop bag *with* my existing laptop
e) The powerful "instant on" feature that conveniently allows me to instantly use my Foleo (after unpacking it from my laptop bag and finding a suitably stable and flat work surface).

RE: A quick poll
VampireLestat @ 7/1/2007 2:44:22 AM # Q
T_W,

I don't know about others but I am looking forward to buying my Foleo.

My plan is
a) laptop remains my anchored powerhorse workstation.
b) my Treo 680 comes with me everywhere for telephony and general mobile computing.
c) my Foleo will mainly become my Grab-n-Go computer for around the home and occasionally at work.

Key appeals for me:
- Instant on. Very very very useful.
- Light.
- No noise.
- Compact, while maintenance big screen and full keyb.
- No moving part.
- Instant sync with Treo.
And eventually I expect the Foleo to replace/phase out my laptop, period; in about 5 years.

I truly believe Hawkins is projecting the future computing needs correctly.
I actually expect sales to be strong fairly quickly because of I know how people think and many will have this rational:
- It just takes one or a few days of being frustrating with lugging around a heavy, slow laptop, and then people will money will stop and say to themselves:
" I gotta get rid of this thing. Maybe I should give this Palm Foleo thing a try to see if I can make it work for me."
What will make the Foleo resilient is that those frustrated users will CONTINUALLY keep running the possibility of the Foleo in their mind. They will continually revisit the idea and try to convince themselves. Why? Simply because the Foleo is a Linux based computer that is silent, fast to access, simple to use, highly portable, and has a full size keyb/screen.

There is no way that businessmen, field workers, and people in general will be able to not consider the Foleo as being a big improvement in mobile computing.

For a product to be successful, it has to tap into core real life pressing needs. And the Foleo answers those needs. Every day, with every single new Foleo software announcement, you will see the Foleo getting stronger and stronger.

The big problem for Palm will from competition. I expect competition to be swift and within a year.



RE: A quick poll
VampireLestat @ 7/1/2007 2:49:55 AM # Q
And don't forget something...

OSes are less important today.
What matters to people is their data can be ported/used on another computer regardless of the OS. Businessmen, field workers and consumers in general will switch to a Foleo if their data is portable.

And data today is pretty much all standardized across Linux, Palm OS, WM, Mac OS, Windows.

Reply to this comment

OS is the problem

sgiga @ 7/1/2007 5:43:15 PM # Q
The Palm PDA is more or less a simple application wrapped in simple hardware. This is nice, it is simple and efficient. The problem is that a smartphone needs a real OS. The hardware (and multimedia software) is just to complicated for PalmOS to control it efficiently.

The other problem is that the OS defines the gadget. The feel, usefullness and so on. PDA/phone or phone or phone/PDA with Windows OS is what defines HTC. HTC is Windows. If Palm is heading that direction (which it seems they are doing), then what will be the difference between them and HTC? Palm becomes just another HTC clone as far as I am conserned. Right now HTC is miles in front of Palm and is better priced. I can't think of any reason to purchase a Palm instead of a HTC.

Symbian has solved this with different interfaces. Nokia is S60, SE is UIQ and FOMA is MOAP.

And then there is Linux which has total freedom regarding "interfaces". Foleo is using Linux, but will future Palm phones/PDAs also use Linux? Palm probably can survive quite good as a HTC clone, but I think it will be much better with a Linux OS.

Reply to this comment

FOOLeo = smartphone's companion vs. smartphone's biotch?

The_Voice_of_Reason @ 7/1/2007 7:53:03 PM # Q
Is the FOOLeo best thought of as a smartphone's companion vs. smartphone's biotch vs. smartphone's lover?

Does it cum with a Hackborn Edition leather case (with whips)?

Why did Jeff Hawkins not addresss these issues at the All Things Digital conference?

A few other questions:

- Will it be compatible with third party email solutions like ChatterEmail in the future?
- When will it be able to download + send email independently of a Treo?
- How long (from power on) does it take to sync with a Treo + download a 1 MB email? How about a 5 MB email?
- Will Palm provide customers with free PIM applications (Contacts, Address Book, To Do List, Memo Pad)?
- Will Palm provide users with a free video player?
- Will Palm provide users with a free MP3 player?
- Will Palm provide users with a free VPN/VNC application?
- Will Palm provide users with a free zip utility?
- Will Palm provide users with a free FTP application?
- Will Palm provide users with a free security application?
- How much will the FOOLeo REALLY sell for?
- Where will the FOOLeo be sold?
- How strong is the Wi-Fi performance?
- Will carriers expect users to have a specific data plan if tethering the FOOLeo to a phone?
- Can carriers "see" tethered usage?
- How many third party applications are currently available?
- How many third party applications are expected to be available within 6 months?
- How much will the average third party application cost?
- Is Palm planning to eventually match the feature set of the $200 ASUS Eee PC with the $600 FOOLeo?

Reply to this comment

The PALM PDA line is DEAD!? Are you SURE about that!?

SeldomVisitor @ 7/14/2007 6:33:09 PM # Q
While discussing "other things" elsewhere I went back to what Mr. "Wonderfully-Honest" Brown (*) had to say about PALM PDAs during that CC:

== "...if you think about the handheld business it's
== basically about 15% of our revenues, and it is
== contributing profitably to the business. So, it is
== generating cash flow at this point in time. Obviously, we
== are clearly monitoring this very carefully. We've said
== for many years that our objective here is to maximize our
== profitability in cash flow and to the extent that we can
== do that then we could potentially make another decision
== about this business..."

Now, frankly, those words sure do seem to be saying:

== "...We're scrounging around for money making opportunities;
== we thought PDAs were dead; they obviously are not; maybe
== we're gonna change our minds about terminating them..."

How about you?

=========

(*) Andy Brown, the CFO of PALM, is delightfully honest, IMHO. Even when an answer he gives is technically correct he will, rather than just leaving it at that, explain more thoroughly what he means so there is no ambiguity about what his answer means.

RE: The PALM PDA line is DEAD!? Are you SURE about that!?
craigdts @ 7/14/2007 7:49:53 PM # Q
Hengeem,

The only reason they are profitable is becuase they are doing absolutely no R&D for them. If they put $ to develop new ones, then they will lose money. They will keep selling the tx, zire and E as long as people will buy them in their current form. At some point they will not be profitable (because their volumes will be too low to sustain them).


RE: The PALM PDA line is DEAD!? Are you SURE about that!?
SeldomVisitor @ 7/14/2007 7:54:24 PM # Q
(1) I am "hengeem" ONLY on the Yahoo PALM financial board. RELyons is "hengeem" here; I have no idea who was "hengeem" on TreoCentral but there, as here, I was only "seldomvisitor".

(2) Yeah, you could be right. However, I have to feel he said so MUCH as I posed above for a reason - like they've already decided to seriously look into new PDAs.

RE: The PALM PDA line is DEAD!? Are you SURE about that!?
SeldomVisitor @ 7/14/2007 8:39:29 PM # Q
(3) But then again, maybe my reading of those words was exactly the OPPOSITE of what he meant. Maybe he meant "We're thinking of dropping them entirely" as you noted the trickle off.

RE: The PALM PDA line is DEAD!? Are you SURE about that!?
Ryan @ 7/14/2007 8:46:42 PM # Q
Brown has essentially been saying the same thing at the last 3 conference calls as well.

It's pretty absurd that the 3+ year old last sony clie models (UX50 & TH55) still make the "latest" palm pda's look dull. Never-mind the fact that the TX is using a recycled design from 2002 anyway.

Palm has given up on PDAs long ago. I asked Hawkins to his face, a little more than a month ago, if he felt there was any room left for innovation in the PDA area. He basically laughed, said no, and remarked if there was any it wouldn't come from Palm. He even jokingly asked me if I had any good ideas.

Go read the last question from the cnet interview posted in late may. It was my question, but they edited out most of the good stuff in his response.

RE: The PALM PDA line is DEAD!? Are you SURE about that!?
twrock @ 7/14/2007 9:26:18 PM # Q
(*) Andy Brown, the CFO of PALM, is delightfully honest, IMHO. Even when an answer he gives is technically correct he will, rather than just leaving it at that, explain more thoroughly what he means so there is no ambiguity about what his answer means [emphasis mine].

I really think that your "interpretation" of what he meant shows clearly that his statement actually is ambiguous. Your words are not his words. You are attempting to explain what he meant even though that is not what he said. You might be right and you might be wrong.

Personally, I think his words are simply allowing Palm to go in multiple directions with the handheld line depending on what they see happening and are predicting what they think will happen. It is ambiguous, purposefully.

On the other hand, I think they have been complete idiots when it comes to the PDA line. But hey, what do I know?


Thinking about Vista? Think again: http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.txt
Want an alternative? Try this: http://www.ubuntu.com/ or http://www.mepis.org/

RE: The PALM PDA line is DEAD!? Are you SURE about that!?
Gekko @ 7/14/2007 9:36:37 PM # Q

yes, and it is my sad duty to inform you that the betamax, 8-track, and 5 1/4" floppy are also no longer in production.



RE: The PALM PDA line is DEAD!? Are you SURE about that!?
twrock @ 7/14/2007 9:39:14 PM # Q
He even jokingly asked me if I had any good ideas.

Please tell me you did give him some ideas.

Maybe the best idea would be for him to simply have a look at the HUNDREDS of posts on PIC where people have been asking Palm release PDA upgrades and listing (ad nauseum even) what the upgrade features should be. How can he possibly not be able to think of anything?!!!

"But if we upgraded the PDA line, it wouldn't look anything like my Treo, the be all and end all of mobile handheld devices. I can't imagine how anyone would want anything other than the current Treo design. That's not possible."


Thinking about Vista? Think again: http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.txt
Want an alternative? Try this: http://www.ubuntu.com/ or http://www.mepis.org/

RE: The PALM PDA line is DEAD!? Are you SURE about that!?
twrock @ 7/14/2007 9:47:18 PM # Q
And thank you for sharing your egocentric position once again, Gekko.


Thinking about Vista? Think again: http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.txt
Want an alternative? Try this: http://www.ubuntu.com/ or http://www.mepis.org/
RE: The PALM PDA line is DEAD!? Are you SURE about that!?
Gekko @ 7/14/2007 9:51:13 PM # Q

the free market has spoken.



RE: The PALM PDA line is DEAD!? Are you SURE about that!?
twrock @ 7/14/2007 9:59:11 PM # Q
Yes, it has:
...if you think about the handheld business it's basically about 15% of our revenues, and it is contributing profitably to the business.

You think that means that Palm should drop it all together and that anyone who wants a non-converged device is evolutionarily extinct. "The market" is still buying PDA's. That line of business is currently (in spite of the lack of any attempt at innovation) still accounting for 15% of Palm's revenue and is contributing to their profitability. Would it be a good thing for Palm to drop a business line that is contributing to their profitability?


Thinking about Vista? Think again: http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.txt
Want an alternative? Try this: http://www.ubuntu.com/ or http://www.mepis.org/
RE: The PALM PDA line is DEAD!? Are you SURE about that!?
Gekko @ 7/14/2007 10:28:16 PM # Q

i trust the bean-counters to decide when to drop out of the pda market. the sand has just about run out in the hourglass. never step over dollars to pick up pennies.

RE: The PALM PDA line is DEAD!? Are you SURE about that!?
twrock @ 7/15/2007 3:28:31 AM # Q
the sand has just about run out in the hourglass

"Just about"? I thought you had emphatically stated that PDA's are dead. Since when did you start leaving a little wiggling space? Come on Gekko; stand your ground.


Thinking about Vista? Think again: http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.txt
Want an alternative? Try this: http://www.ubuntu.com/ or http://www.mepis.org/
RE: The PALM PDA line is DEAD!? Are you SURE about that!?
Gekko @ 7/15/2007 6:04:44 AM # Q

peace.

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