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Notes from Palm's Investor Conference Today

No More Palm OSPalm's CEO Ed Colligan made an number of interesting statements about the future of Palm and the highly anticipated Palm Pre at an investor conference earlier today. You can checkout the archived webcast of the event here or read on for some of our (paraphrased) notes of interest from the Q&A session.

Apple patent battle? "There's no issue with Apple over patents right now. There's been speculation but nothing's been done. The whole issue with patents is elaborate... We have a big patent portfolio in mobile computing built over 15 years... we did that to have a defensive position in the marketplace. It's like two porcupines circling around... you don't attack so you don't get stung. If something does happen there we do have the portfolio to defend ourselves. We're going to drive the product out the door."

On WebOS's developer potential "accessible to more than 10 million web developers"

Does it make sense to license out webOS? "Boy, I've been down that path... people said "lets be the next Microsoft". A lot of bigger competitors came in and took the ideas and a lot of the market share"

On the Pre Launch timing "We are relentlessly focused on getting the platform and the SDK out the door at this point... we have a robust roadmap of products over the next few years"

What bout Centro? gonna try to marry that with webOS? "There will be no more Palm OS based products. We'll transition to webOS and keep WinMob for enterprise."

Will you keep the low-end focus? "We're innovators. We're focused on breakthrough products rather than "let's sell 20 handsets next quarter"

Sprint? "Incredible long-term relationship. There are more Palm users on Sprint than any other network. Number of fantastic attributes, outstanding data network... we've been working very hard to line up our marketing efforts for awhile now. Focused on making sure everyone is trained on the product in the stores. They'll put in a significant effort with regards to marketing and pricing." (subsidies?)

Pricing? Margins? "Long-term margin goal of getting back to the mid-30s. The maturing Centro has driven our margins down. Sprint Treo Pro will help some when it launches. That's why we raised additional resources (elevation cash injection). We hope Pre will help us get out margins back up"

Plans beyond Sprint? Very cagey response, not much detail.... No new carrier partners till 2010??!! say it ain't so, Eddie!

Poaching other companies talent? They've brought on a Nokia supply-chain guy (missed his name) in addition to all the Apple people. "Augmenting our sales team" They're using longtime palm supply chain partners as well as some of Rubinstein's.

Audience participation: who are the key manufacturing partners? "Confidential. They're the best of the best. We're not concerned about their ability to ramp. This is a complex design and develop and we really want to nail the forecasting, especially in this economic climate. We need to predict and manage the supply chain effectively."

Does it concern you that HTC might compete with you as well as manufacturing your stuff? No.

On Elevation: "Mid-life venture capital. They have a long-term view... I knew we were going through a big transition and it would take 18 months at least to get it out the door. They're very supportive. Fred Anderson is an asset 'cause he's been through that at Apple."

Will that 100 mil be enough to get you through? "We did a lot of planning to make sure it would be enough. We clearly have a very difficult economic environment that has put pressure on our revenue... Centro is maturing and we're trying to get Treo Pro out the door."

Third-party developers? "There's tens of thousands of Palm OS developers, huge community we've worked with. There are certain apps that are killer apps that drive sales... ePocrates for instance. We're doing what we can to get these guys to come over. The second thing is the whole web app community that weren't targeted by Palm OS, hence the web-based dev environment. Number of apps out day one, we expect it will grow very rapidly."

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nice summary

Gekko @ 2/11/2009 12:29:05 PM # Q

especially for 4am. no go get yourself a nice Foster's Lager and vegemite sandwich or whatever the sam hell you cretons drink and eat.

RE: nice summary
freakout @ 2/11/2009 1:52:11 PM # Q
lol. I'm eating Vegemite toast for breakfast as I read this. thankyou.

Oh, and PocketTunes 5? Still doesn't stream Bloomberg radio. The tech world is out to get you.

RE: nice summary
Gekko @ 2/11/2009 2:37:40 PM # Q

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_FNT-_PKRcfs/R-uigRW64pI/AAAAAAAAA7M/iLGM-vOzlRM/s400/vegemite.jpg

"Italians were giving art and culture to the world when those goddamn English were still living in caves and painting their faces blue." - Fame and Obscurity by Gay Talese

"All our food: pizza, calzone, buffalo moozarell', olive oil. These f**ks had nothin'. They ate pootsie before we gave them the gift of our cuisine. But this, this is the worst. This expresso shit." - Paulie Walnuts

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Porcupines?

rmhurdman @ 2/11/2009 2:25:48 PM # Q
"It's like two porcupines circling around... you don't attack so you don't get stung."

Does Colligan even know what a porcupine is? And why is he talking about "There's tens of thousands of Palm OS developers, huge community we've worked with." This is NOT Palm OS any more. All those Palm OS developers are going to have to start over... IF they start over.

I am honestly shocked that Colligan is still around. I think it must just be too damn difficult to fire someone, in America.

RE: Porcupines?
Gekko @ 2/11/2009 2:42:09 PM # Q

Gerbils?


RE: Porcupines?
jca666us @ 2/11/2009 6:29:32 PM # Q
I wouldn't put too much stock into anything Colligan says regarding apple and the patent issue, after all wasn't he the clown who said,

"We've learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone," he said. "PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They're not going to just walk in.'"

If that's the case, then why make such an effort to copy the iphone with the Pre?

RE: Porcupines?
LiveFaith @ 2/12/2009 9:46:59 AM # Q
#1 It's NOT the case, as the egg on Ed's face suggests. This stmt ranks right up there with Yankowski's "gold pinstripes" and Gates mythical "1mb is enough for anyone" quotes.

#2 Because it's not the case, Palm has apparently done the "best" job at what everyone else has been desiring to do since 2006 ... leapfrog/duplicate the iPhone.

I'm not saying it's been done since this thing is yet to even ship, but the industry buzz indicates that this is the first real full frontal assault. Not to belittle the Storm, but the Pre is the most like device.

Pat Horne

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Sprint Until 2010

Gekko @ 2/11/2009 3:45:04 PM # Q

# While Palm can't comment on how long exclusivity will last with Sprint, they are able to say that outside the US they have partnerships going with other carriers. Colligan specifically mentioned North America (We already knew that will be Bell Canada for sure), Latin America (multiple carriers) and Europe (we strongly suspect that will be Vodafone).

# Speaking of that exclusivity, Palm hopes that a strong launch with Sprint will attract other US carriers. He specifically mentioned that Palm would be looking at releasing on other carriers in the 2010 timeframe.

http://www.precentral.net/palm-ceo-ed-colligan-talks-pre-investors

RE: Sprint Until 2010
mikecane @ 2/11/2009 4:06:10 PM # Q
Hey, if the Pre arrives in late June (as I suspect), that's only a six-month wait for everyone else.

That means when they come on board, they'll have six month's of apps ready to load on the Pre over the early adopters.

Smells like win to me.

RE: Sprint Until 2010
Gekko @ 2/11/2009 4:44:49 PM # Q

no, silly. it could be 6-1-09 to 12-31-10.

do that math, pizza boy.

RE: Sprint Until 2010
mikecane @ 2/12/2009 6:29:12 AM # Q
Where are you getting 12-31-10 from? That's an 18-month Sprint exclusive. Geez. Go eat some pizza.

RE: Sprint Until 2010
SeldomVisitor @ 2/12/2009 6:37:10 AM # Q
It's "2010"...sheesh.

RE: Sprint Until 2010
Gekko @ 2/12/2009 8:15:03 PM # Q

The effect of microwave antigen retrieval on the immunostaining of human duodenal endocrine cells in formaldehyde-fixed, paraffin-embedded material was investigated. The sections were immunostained by the avidin-biot in complex (ABC) and immunogold-silver autometallography (IGSS) methods with and without prior microwave treatment. Dilutions of up to 1:30 000 of the following antisera/antibodies were used: anti-chromogranin A, anti-chromogranin AB, anti-secretin, anti-gastrin, anti-gastric inhibitory polypeptide, anti-somatostatin and anti-serotonin. The detection threshold for all the antibodies was lower after antigen retrieval, and the primary antibody could be used in higher dilutions. The dilutions varied for different antibodies and were between two and ten times the optimal dilution without antigen retrieval. At extremely high dilutions of, or without, the primary antibody, non-specific staining of some lymphocytes and the mucus of some goblet cells was observed when the avidin method was applied, but not with the immunogold technique. This phenomenon was not observed when optimal dilution or a lower dilution was used. This seems to have been caused by the binding of the avidin-biotin complex to epitopes in these structures unmasked by microwave treatment when competition with specific binding sites was absent.

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How Will They Support Pre

SFO_TXUSR @ 2/12/2009 8:47:24 AM # Q
Well, everyone is caught in the glamor of the Pre, and I am certainly one of those individuals. But I am very concerned about Palm's ability to support the rollout of a brand new device, with a new operating system. Palm technical support is non-existent and the thought of contacting them to resolve an issue, just plain scares me.

RE: How Will They Support Pre
CFreymarc @ 2/12/2009 1:31:11 PM # Q
Since it is open to so many developers, I can see no more than on line help from Palm corporate unless you are a big time enterprise account. How this rolls out will be interesting. Ed was putting emphasis on his roll out of the Pre instead of treating it as matter of fact. That concerns me.
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kidding ?

LTH @ 2/12/2009 2:32:24 PM # Q
"There's tens of thousands of Palm OS developers, huge community we've worked with. "

did he really believe in what he says ?

III, IIIx, H330, M515, Fossil, XPlore M68, M515

RE: kidding ?
Gekko @ 2/12/2009 2:43:10 PM # Q

"Jerry, just remember. It's not a lie... if you believe it." - George Costanza

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End of Palm

sylvanian @ 2/17/2009 6:14:44 AM # Q
This decision is the end of Palm as we know it. Even if Pre will work out, Palm decided to ignore its community - people who relied on Palm OS devices, heavily invested in Palm software, get used to what Palm can offer. Palm community and users is Palm largest asset. Without it, it is just yet another company starting from zero with a new smartphone idea. The idea itself maybe good indeed, but it has nothing to do with Palm and it will have really hard time competing with iPhone, Android, Symbian, Blackberries and countless other contenders. It is a war and Palm went to wight throwing away its main strength, user community.

I am a long term Palm user, but I see no reason to move to Pre. iPhone, Android and Nokia N810 are all look much better and there are around now. I already have both iPhone and N810, they do not cover what my TX can do, but provide an excellent complement. So, I will keep my TX and purchase a spare one in case it will be discontinued. It should work for 2-3 years.

If you have treo, move to iPhone. If you have TX consider N810. It actually runs most of Palm programs and have great screen, connectivity, e-mail, etc. However, synchronization is not as seamless as with Palm. Nothing can still beat Palm OS simplicity. It is still least overhead. Shame to Palm to kill that line.

RE: End of Palm
Piero @ 2/17/2009 10:40:10 PM # Q
you're right, although i don't think my opinion will be of any weight anywhere, i, as you, think that palm made a dumb move leaving it's followers aside........ their best asset nowadays....... personally i'll keep my tx and wait for a better version of the N810 or anything that comes up and suits my needs.

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