Discussion: Is the Palm VII Series a Flop?
It's not a big secret that the Palm VII series has not been one of the company's top sellers. Partially this has been caused by component shortages limiting supplies. However, many users find the wireless service too limited. According to Ken Smiley, senior industry analyst at Giga Information Group, "Only about 40,000 of the existing 100 thousand to 150 thousand Palm VII users subscribe to the wireless service," which he attributes to "poor coverage on a proprietary network."
Even taking Mr. Smiley's high-end estimate that 150 thousand Palm VII series units have ever been sold, that number is dwarfed by the 535 thousand m100's that were sold in the first quarter.
The coverage area for Palm.Net gets most major U.S. cities but still leaves many potential customers out in the cold, and there is no service available outside of the U.S.
Also, many users are put off by Web Clipping, in which applications download small snippets of info, rather than allowing true Web surfing. However, since the inception of the VII series, over 450 Web Clipping apps have been created, showing that the company has worked hard to overcome this limitation.
At the same time, rivals are luring away customers. For example, OmniSky now has over 34,000 wireless customers and it allows users to surf the Web and use clip-on modems, not requiring a special Palm model. There are several other wireless ISP available to Palm users, too, like GoAmerica and YadaYada, and more are on the way.
So, what do you think? Should Palm scrap the VIIx? Or is it about to take off and be a big success? What about Web Clipping? Should they stick with it or make a new Palm model that will allow true Web Surfing? Hit the comment button below to tell us what you think.
Update: In March, Palm released their latest quarterly earnings statements that proved that Mr. Smiley's statements were incorrect. All the information has been gathered into "Palm VII Series Not a Flop".
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