Signs of a Centro Rally
Tiernan Ray of Barron’s Tech Trader Daily blog has written an article focusing on the encouraging initial sales of Palm’s new Centro smartphone. The strong early sales and other encouraging news from the Palm camp suggest that a true Palm "rally" may be on the horizon.
The Centro, Palm's most recent smartphone, is an attractively-priced Palm OS device that is apparently "doing quite well" as far as Sprint retail store sell-through (a crucial figure when determining initial handset sales performance) according to a Pacific Crest analyst quoted in the article. The $99 Centro (after rebates & 2yr-contract) has not compromised the sales of the older yet higher-priced Treo 755p as much as some industry pundits had speculated.
The article goes on to quote "Our retail sell-through checks for the first weeks of availability indicate solid sell-through. We also believe that Centro cannibalization of the higher-ASP Treo is around 30%, versus our previous expectation of 50%".
Furthermore, the article goes onto paint an additional rosy picture for Palm’s future product offerings, suggesting that Jon Rubinstein is going to have major involvement in the development of future Palm products. While the lean days of 2007 for Palm’s product lineup appear likely to continue into at least the first half of 2008, this latest report from Barron’s offers some encouraging signs that the new regime at Palm is finally taking the steps necessary to address both the consumer and enterprise markets with differentiated, compelling products running both Windows Mobile and the next-gen Linux successor to OS Garnet.