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Comments on: 2007 - The Palm Year in Review

2007 Palm Year In ReviewIn our annual year in review article, PalmInfocenter takes a look at all of the major events that took place in the Palm world over the past 12 months. 2007 was a year of alternation and change to come in the world of Palm. After riding on a wave of Treo popularity in 2006, the year saw increased competition, internal discomposure and corporate recapitalizations.

Read on for our look back at the Palm Economy in 2007.

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And yet you must give a nod to 2006

mikecane @ 1/10/2008 4:30:41 PM # Q
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Mercer

BaalthazaaR @ 1/10/2008 5:15:49 PM # Q
Palm's latest hire at the time, Palm Mercer, a former Apple engineer

I think that Mr. Mercer would prefer to be not called Palm. Either that or he'd have needed a lot of therapy.

RE: Mercer
SeldomVisitor @ 1/10/2008 6:30:38 PM # Q
He has been assimilated.

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Unfortunately, it's probably not the nadir.

freakout @ 1/11/2008 2:41:38 AM # Q
(Feel free to correct any part of this; I'm sure I've gotten something wrong.)

2007 was not a good year for Palm. The 700p issues, the Foleo debacle (one of the worst product launches I've ever seen in my short time observing the computer industry) and increasing market indifference to the classic Treo design saw them slip behind by almost every measure, especially when compared to the growth of the smartphone market as a whole.

But 2008 looks to my eye to be even worse. Palm themselves have tacitly acknowledged this: the decision to suspend specific financial guidance indicates that management knows things are going to get worse before they get better. The facts:

1) Palm have a hit device in the Centro, but a big reason for that is that they're practically giving them away at $99. It can't be expected to revive their financial fortunes, although it should revive their consumer mindshare a little.

2) Other companies are finally catching up on the software interface side. WinMob 6.1, for instance, will have threaded messaging and an interface revamp. And we all know just how close to the bulls-eye that the iPhone has gotten. RIM are no doubt working on making the Blackberry interface better too. In short, the simplicity and user-friendliness of Palm OS will no longer be as big an advantage as it was in the past.

3) Increasing numbers of disillusioned fans are going to continue their exodus to other platforms out of despair at the lack of new, large-screened devices and the longer they stay there and build up a nest the harder it's going to be to bring them back into the fold. Once Apple release the iPhone SDK and people start to personalise them, that's a massively powerful incentive for them to stick with Steve. And of course, many former Palm OS advocates have already made comfy homes in Windows Mobile.

4) The Foleo's window of opportunity to make a big splash will close, as Asus improves the Eee and releases non-hobbit-sized models and other devices like the Cloudbook establish themselves - not to mention Apple's likely upcoming entry into the subnotebook sector. By the time 2009 rolls around and Palm finally have their new Nova platform in place, it will quite possibly be too late for the Foleo II to make any sort of meaningful impact.

In short: in past years, the storm clouds on the horizon. Now they're directly overhead and Palm doesn't have an umbrella. It'll be a wet 12 months.

Tim
I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 ---> Treo 650 ---> Crimson Treo 680

RE: Unfortunately, it's probably not the nadir.
SeldomVisitor @ 1/11/2008 6:24:13 AM # Q
If PALM can REALLY REALLY get their act together and make their pan-device Linux-based operating system WORK with nonPALM devices and allow total cooperation between devices when they're "close" and stand-alone operation when they're apart, then PALM has a good chance of sustaining itself.

I don't think they can do it, but there IS the possibility!

And I =do= think the competition is fully aware of what PALM is doing so can EASILY match and exceed everything they can come up with. If they want to. When they want to.

But it IS a possibility!

RE: Unfortunately, it's probably not the nadir.
SeldomVisitor @ 1/11/2008 6:38:12 AM # Q
BTW - PALM is/was looking for (IBM) WebSphere (*) folk(s). Jumping to an almost-totally-baseless conclusion from that little factoid, it COULD be possible they're thinking along the line of server-based applications (like iPhone's Visual Voicemail) to differentiate their future devices from the crowd.

=========

(*) Seems somewhat of a giggle given that one of their BoD members, Bill Coleman, was the CEO of BEAS and oversaw the development of the WebLogic application server. Not good enuf, huh?


RE: Unfortunately, it's probably not the nadir.
hkklife @ 1/11/2008 1:49:20 PM # Q
Good post, SV. I've LONG maintained that the MyPalm (perpetual) beta portal is just the tip of the iceberg and Palm is going to try and rely on a LOT of server-side apps/services/enhacements/distinguishing features to separate their otherwise vanilla hardware from the competition.

It's a lot easier to offer up some software customizations and online portal-type custom functionality than it is to tweak a variety of different handheld formfactors (landscape tablet, portrait tablet, clamshell, classic QWERTY Treo style, subnotebook etc ) against increasingly Apple, RIM, the fierce Asian ODMs such as HTC, Asus, Acer etc and the traditional mobile giants (Samsung, Nokia, Moto, Sony-Ericsson etc).

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

RE: Unfortunately, it's probably not the nadir.
freakout @ 1/11/2008 7:52:41 PM # Q
Palm's value has always been in its unique software. It's certainly why I'm still using a Treo. I just think that this year, us users are going to be feeling the pain of sticking with Garnet more than ever and if Palm remain as secretive about Nova as they have in the past it'll be a looooong wait for 2009 - especially with so many tempting gadgets from other companies beckoning to us with a sultry look in their eye and a leather lash in their hand.
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Pridictions?

Tuckermaclain @ 1/11/2008 9:16:21 AM # Q
Where are Mike Cane's predictions for 2008? His annual predictions used to be a regular article here. Where are Ardiri and Cervezas? We need comments and insight on POS II.

RE: Pridictions?
mikecane @ 1/15/2008 4:12:22 PM # Q
What the hell is there to predict anymore? Treos have as much interest to me as getting a dose of clap!

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PAML acknowledges new SVP fof Product Development - sort of

SeldomVisitor @ 1/13/2008 7:32:43 PM # Q
PALM's Management Team web page shows they've finally acknowledged that they hired a new SVP for...uh...maybe...Product Development last month (if various SEC Form filings are to be believed w.r.t. when they need to be filed).

Only problem is PALM doesn't say he's in charge of product development, instead still saying that Rubinstein is.

Instead, he's in charge of product realization.

Yes...product realization.

No, I don't know what that means.

Giggle.

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PALM closing stores?

SeldomVisitor @ 1/15/2008 7:55:32 AM # Q
On Treocentral a longtime poster posted:

-- http://discussion.treocentral.com/showthread.php?t=159325

Unfortunately, no supporting information nor link has yet been posted.

Anyone wanna confirm with more info?

RE: PALM closing stores?
hkklife @ 1/15/2008 12:00:08 PM # Q
I'd personally been waiting for this to happen for, oh, a year or longer.

I was recently in a few airport stores and noticed that they were in total disarray and the sales staff were oddly unenthusiastic about trying to peddle any of their wares. To top it off, I didn't even see a full selection of Palm-branded accessories. None of the newer BT headsets, GPS kits or cases were in stock, oddly enough.

Ryan also commented that he went to the Palm store on his way back from holiday travels and they had non-Palm merchandise being displayed on a Palm-branded display case!?!

With Palm about to EOL their final PDAs, CompUSA closing up shop, Office Depot very rapidly dropping everything Palm-related, and other stores scaling back their efforts, what's the point of offering anything other than spare batteries & styli in the carrier stores?

Apple has enough compelling product to have a sizable retail chain of their own. Palm is in constant belt-tightening mode and never had any business being in the retail/kiosk business. They SHOULD have used all of those dollars they wasted on retail (Hello! Rockefeller Center flagship store, anyone?) at developing new non-smartphone product (ie a better Fooleo, new PDAs) that could be sold through their existing retail chain partners (Staples,OM, OD, BB etc).

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

RE: PALM closing stores?
SeldomVisitor @ 1/15/2008 12:18:52 PM # Q
Well, if true it certainly dashes my thoughts on how long that NYC lease was for!

RE: PALM closing stores?
hkklife @ 1/15/2008 3:17:25 PM # Q
SV;

Does anyone (SV etc) even know if Palm even has the master leases for those retail spaces directly? I was under the impression that some "generic" cell phone merchant like Wireless Concepts operates & staffs the store and Palm just pays them $ X each month for their "Palm" branding/fixtures/prominent displays.

The staff at those stores (at least the airport ones I've been to that sell other stuff--I've never been in a Palm-exclusive kiosk or store) certainly don't do much in the way to evangelize or promote or even be well-informed on all things Palm!



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

RE: PALM closing stores?
SeldomVisitor @ 1/15/2008 3:23:43 PM # Q
If that is true then it might be relevant to bring up again that GSIC purportedly laid off 100 PALM support staff (there'sa t least one other post around here by me noting that) - and somewhere I read that those support folks were NOT simply SUPPORT folks but retail sales folks as well or in toto. So if PALM is REALLY cutting back on such entities there may be more unannounced nonPALM-but-PALM layoffs announced soon.


RE: PALM closing stores?
Poopie @ 1/15/2008 3:41:11 PM # Q
Apple has enough compelling product to have a sizable retail chain of their own.

Like Apple's new thin portable computer?

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aJxgkqbGItZk&refer=worldwide

Doesn't Jobs holding this thing remind you of Hawkins holding the Foleo?

RE: Was PALM closing stores? Now Apple notebooks!
SeldomVisitor @ 1/15/2008 3:43:46 PM # Q
I would think that thin (thin!) notebook would be uncomfortable to carry.

RE: PALM closing stores?
mikecane @ 1/15/2008 4:14:17 PM # Q
>>>(Hello! Rockefeller Center flagship store, anyone?)

You know, I *still* haven't been there.

Says something about that location's overall convenience...

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