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Comments on: CNBC on Palm's Last Throw of the Dice

pre dice CNBC European Business has put out a new feature article entitled "Last Throw Of The Dice", focusing on Palm's phoenix-like rise from the ashes throughout 2009. There's plenty in here that us Palm-watchers already knew, but also a few interesting tidbits that we didn't.

Reporter John Brandon secured an exclusive interview with Palm's VP of Design and former Helio exec, Matías Duarte, who offers a few choice quotes regarding the Palm Pre's gestation, along with the usual round of guesstimates from analysts.

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Ancient quotes...

SeldomVisitor @ 8/25/2009 9:59:00 AM # Q
...do not a new story make.

RE: Ancient quotes...
jca666us @ 8/25/2009 11:20:57 AM # M Q
Hey,

Freak's gotta find some way to make money!

RE: Ancient quotes...
freakout @ 8/25/2009 3:42:54 PM # Q
SV, are they really ancient? I caught this at midnight last night and was way too tired to go Googling, but I couldn't recall having seen quite a few of them before.
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Too bad...

jca666us @ 8/25/2009 10:02:08 AM # M Q
Too bad that Palm didn't put as much thought and resources into build quality and QA as they did aesthetics!

This Phoenix is still ashen - LOL!!!

RE: Too bad...
LiveFaith @ 8/25/2009 1:20:06 PM # Q
Ya know the whole build quality thing is kinda like going to a Chevy site and hearing them talk about Fords and visa versa. If folks think Palm stinks then they'll center up on every single issue. No matter which device it is, there are going to be thousands of physical defects etc. Yes, some more than others. But for a 1st gen device brought to market ahead of schedule, the Pre seems to be acceptable. It feels a little cheap to me, but it's certainly no deal killer IMO. If Palm even comes close to the toughness of my 680 (minus headphone jack), then they will be in fine shape. As we have seen they are attentive to OS and hardware updates already. So righting of the ship may be underway with the new management.

More immediately important is the statement, that they are selling the devices as fast as Palm can produce them with a low amount of advertising. If he's not just outright lying, then this is the target that they are after. If that's true, then I don't need to look much farther to see success.
Pat Horne

RE: Too bad...
freakout @ 8/25/2009 4:07:39 PM # Q
It's a good thing the troll-bot laughs at its own jokes, because nobody else does, ever.

Pat, damn straight on the Chevy vs Ford thing. fact of the matter is that nearly all cellphones are slapped together by the same handful of manufacturers (Foxconn, HTC, Inventec etc), using the same cheap components. just Google "blackberry build quality" or "iphone build quality" and you'll see the same kind of venomous complaints you see for everything else.

RE: Too bad...
jca666us @ 8/25/2009 4:48:21 PM # M Q
Freak,

The Chevy vs Ford analogy is flawed.

Pre's cheap-ass build quality makes it a Ford, however the iPhone (as with most Apple products) have much better build quality.

There are sometimes duds in a production run - however given the relatively small Pre run thus far and the larger number of complaints - Palm still has a way to go.


FUDFUDFUDFUDFUD
DavidAttenborough @ 8/25/2009 5:08:25 PM # Q
And here, we see the troll-bot's fanboy-emulation program in magnificent full flight. Note how it praises one company and slags off another based on nothing but hearsay and anecdotal evidence? However, if one were to ask it to cite sources, or provide concrete numbers... well.
RE: Too bad...
jca666us @ 8/25/2009 8:23:34 PM # Q
Unless FUD stands for "FU David" - another flawed post from Freak.

I read a few analyst reports stating return rates as high as 11% for the Pre (compared to 4% for the iphone 3gs).

As I stated earlier, given the Pre's much smaller production run, an 11% return rate on a device with poor build quality is pretty bad.

Freak, at times, you're almost intelligent.

RE: Toucan Sam
freakout @ 8/25/2009 10:13:58 PM # Q
You really shouldn't be so rude to the venerable Mr. Attenborough, troll-bot. He's just on a mission to educate.

Here's some links for you, which provide a good illustration of the fact that analysts are often about as reliable as tarot card readings:

Pre return rate 3%!
http://www.thestreet.com/_yahoo/story/10552563/1/tech-rumor-of-the-day-palms-pre-hasnt-flopped.html?cm_ven=YAHOO&cm_cat=FREE&cm_ite=NA

Pre return rate 11%! (vs 7% for iPhone 3GS, with different, unreliable sample sizes for both)
http://brainstormtech.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2009/08/19/return-rates-palm-pre-11-apple-iphone-3gs-7/

Pre return rate 40%!
http://digitaldaily.allthingsd.com/20090720/palm-valuation-not-all-its-cracked-up-to-be/

Let's not even get into how disingenuous it is to compare return rates of third-generation hardware manufactured in the millions, to first-generation hardware manufactured in the hundreds of thousands. Far more instructive would be to compare return rates on the original iPhone, for which I can't find any info. (Bet that won't stop you from claiming it was 0.001%, though!)

But all of this is beside the point, which is: most modern consumer electronics are manufactured by the same handful of companies with the same components (Pre and iPhone are both from Foxconn, for example), and defect rates are not going to vary wildly except in the case of massive design flaws, of which there is scant evidence WRT the Pre.

Cue poorly thought-out knee-jerk "I'm right and you're wrong" response / third-grade insult in 3... 2... 1...

RE: Too bad...
nastebu @ 8/26/2009 12:47:36 AM # Q
I would think that the real battle for Palm's survival was the stock price. Even if the high return rate rumor on the Pre is true (and there really is nothing but anecdotal evidence) Palm's stock price is up quite a bit, so Elevation and everyone how bought in during the dark months must be quite happy. And there's no reason to believe that Palm is overvalued.

On build quality: subjectively, the Pre seems cheap to me. But then as has been said, most cell phones aside from the iPhone are cheap plastic crap. Kudos to Palm for coming up with a form factor that is interesting, even if the execution is kind of crappy. That took design sense and risk.

RE: Too bad...
SeldomVisitor @ 8/26/2009 4:04:26 AM # Q
> ...And there's no reason to believe that Palm is overvalued...

I literally laughed out load when I read that.

Probably woke everyone in the house.

RE: Too bad...
jca666us @ 8/26/2009 4:59:51 AM # Q
>Let's not even get into how disingenuous it is to compare return rates of
>third-generation hardware manufactured in the millions, to first-generation
>hardware manufactured in the hundreds of thousands.

Again, Freak - even given the quantity differences in their respective production runs, that just makes the build quality and return rate an even bigger issue for Palm.

Also the 3gs isn't a refinement of the 3g; it's all new hardware internally.

Instead, being the Palm apologist that you are, just stick your head in the sand and say everything is great - there's always room for improvement.

>Far more instructive would be to compare return rates on the original
>iPhone, for which I can't find any info. (Bet that won't stop you from
>claiming it was 0.001%, though!)

Far from it; I believe the return rate for the iphone, while not spectacular, were up there.

>But all of this is beside the point, which is: most modern consumer
>electronics are manufactured by the same handful of companies with the
>same components (Pre and iPhone are both from Foxconn, for example),
>and defect rates are not going to vary wildly except in the case of massive
>design flaws, of which there is scant evidence WRT the Pre.

Scant evidence? Ha - there is more than enough evidence - with several analysts mentioning high return rates. Where there's smoke, there's fire.

RE: Too bad...
jca666us @ 8/26/2009 5:05:32 AM # Q
>I would think that the real battle for Palm's survival was the stock price.

Which keeps sinking - it's at $12 and change as of yesterday's close.

>Even if the high return rate rumor on the Pre is true (and there really is
>nothing but anecdotal evidence) Palm's stock price is up quite a bit, so
>Elevation and everyone how bought in during the dark months must be quite
>happy.

Let's see when Elevation starts dumping shares.

>And there's no reason to believe that Palm is overvalued.

hahahahahahahahahahahaHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! *ahem*


>But then as has been said, most cell phones aside from the iPhone are
>cheap plastic crap.

Which is what I said.

>Kudos to Palm for coming up with a form factor that is interesting, even if
>the execution is kind of crappy.

I like the size of the Pre - with the exception of the screen. I think a slightly larger screen with a landscape physical keyboard would have been better.

>That took design sense and risk.

Agreed - to an extent.

RE: Too bad...
freakout @ 8/26/2009 5:21:56 AM # Q
Ha - there is more than enough evidence - with several analysts mentioning high return rates.

Sigh.

Kevin Dede says 40%, based off (1) his "impromptu checks" of "local retail outlets" and (2) a Precentral forum poll. Hardly scientific.

Mike Abramsky says 8 - 15% are exchanged and 2 - 3% returned forever, based on "two dozen Sprint stores".

Changewave Research says 11%, based on a survey of 38 Pre owners, which is far from a representative sample.

Those are your "several analysts". Feel free to dig up more (even though you won't, because you're an AI troll parody programmed to disseminate rubbish). I have little doubt that their guesses will be based on similarly spurious evidence.

RE: Too bad...
SeldomVisitor @ 8/26/2009 6:13:28 AM # Q
That is to say, the BEST sampling was of hundreds upon hundreds of PreCentral readers/posters - a population that very well COULD be representative of current Pre owners ( I personally think it IS representative of current Pre owners due to my belief in lack of adoption of the Pre by the general population still).

And even THAT sampling was "bad" because, once you have answered once, you cannot update your answer to reflect another return meaning the results of that multi-hundred responder poll is guaranteed to be BETTER than real-world results.. So if you said "I exchanged twice" and the next day you did again, "twice" is forever your answer; there are a number of posts on that poll showing EXACTLY that situation, BTW.


RE: Too bad, so sad
freakout @ 8/26/2009 6:19:58 AM # Q
FWIW, Precentral themselves don't think their polls are the best measurement: http://www.precentral.net/analyst-claims-palm-pre-return-rates-are-high-were-not-so-sure

The second poll they ran collected 3022 votes (445 of which were "I don't own a Pre) and recorded an 18% exchange rate. If 300,000 Pres have been sold (low estimate) that's a 1% sampling, which is still pretty low.

RE: Too bad...
SeldomVisitor @ 8/26/2009 6:23:54 AM # Q
But, again, that remains a MUCH better sampling of the "Pre population" than ANY of the "analysts'" samplings.

RE: Too bad...
nastebu @ 8/26/2009 6:53:22 AM # Q
SeldomVisitor wrote:
> ...And there's no reason to believe that Palm is overvalued...

I literally laughed out load when I read that.

Probably woke everyone in the house.

You know, I wrote that sentence, erased it, and wrote it again. There really isn't. WebOS is worth the company. It's the only iPhone competitive OS out there, and that's not something you can throw money at and just come up with. Even if the Pre turns in low sales numbers or gains very little momentum, Palm gets several more shots at wide market success before the stock market will lose all faith. That means the valuation is fine.

RE: Too bad...
jca666us @ 8/26/2009 7:52:50 AM # M Q
freak,

The fact remains that the return rate has been substantial.

You have a tendency to ignore them - being the Palm apologist that you are.

RE: Too bad...
cstamper @ 8/26/2009 8:16:33 AM # Q
freak = long, *long* time PIC commenter. Troll-ish comments, but altogether entertaining. One of the few reasons to even visit PIC (including the others: SV, LiveFaith, etc).

JackA66us = recent apple fanboi who makes it his personal duty to provide endless entertainment to all of us. Kinda on the ignorant side, his name describes him best (jacka**).

Thanks guys, keep it up!

RE: Too good
freakout @ 8/26/2009 8:17:30 AM # Q
Troll-bot, you say it's substantial, but you are merely an (incredibly annoying) AI with no actual evidence for your assertion except your own well-established tendency to spin every piece of Palm news in a negative light.

I'm not being an "apologist" for anything. I'm saying the evidence that would enable someone to make such a claim simply does not exist. What evidence does exist is specious and contradictory. Should Palm, Sprint or any of the retailers decide to share the actual numbers I'll happily report them here, good or bad.

I only wish we could rid ourselves of you entirely, to make room for people who actually contribute to the discussion. Even SV tips us off to good stories every now and then. PIC needs better anti-virus software...

RE: Good, bad, whatever, I'm losing track
freakout @ 8/26/2009 8:19:33 AM # Q
cstamper. Uh...... thanks? :P
RE: Too bad...
cstamper @ 8/26/2009 8:22:43 AM # Q
freakout wrote:
I only wish we could rid ourselves of you entirely, to make room for people who actually contribute to the discussion.

Dude, we all know there is almost nothing left to discuss. I find the 'conflicts' between you all to be very entertaining.

Without someone to stir up some conversation, probably lots of us would get bored and leave.


RE: Too bad...
freakout @ 8/26/2009 8:29:52 AM # Q
^^ I'm too tired to argue, and I'd be a hypocrite if I didn't admit I've argued the same line before (specifically, when there was a mass protest to evict The Voice of Reason when I first started commenting here oh-so-long-ago...) But this particular troll really chaps my ass.

It's one thing to be a fanboy; we've got plenty of those around here. It's another thing to be dumb. Offensively so, IMO.

But that's an argument for another day. It's 1.30am here in Oz and I need my beauty sleep.

RE: Too bad...
cstamper @ 8/26/2009 8:31:47 AM # Q
Wow. I almost forgot about that whole TVoR thing...
RE: Too bad...
jca666us @ 8/26/2009 3:18:36 PM # M Q
freak,

if I "chap your ass" that's bc I call you out on your bullshit.

As for cstamper - I could give a crap what you have to say regarding anything.

Re: build quality - the Pre is cheaply made and feels poorly constructed.

All we have to go on is anecdotal evidence and analyst checks until Palm releases that info.

Reply to this comment

Conflict?

CFreymarc @ 8/25/2009 11:58:52 PM # Q
So who bought Palm short before this article came out?
RE: Conflict?
LiveFaith @ 8/26/2009 1:58:54 AM # M Q
Hehe. Looks like another one has figured out the game.

A sucker may be born every minute, but with enough years and a little willingness, none of us has to remain in that category.

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