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Palm Inc. Not Going to Be Bought Out

Palm's CEO Carl Yankowski flatly stated today that his company isn't going to be bought any time soon. "No one has approached me and I have no comment consequently,'' he told Reuters. He spoke today at the Bear Stearns Annual Technology Conference.

He also said that at an upcoming board meeting they will discuss breaking the company into two parts, one focused on the Palm OS and the other a hardware firm. Palm is talking with investment bankers about options for the two parts of the companies.

He also gave more details of his company's short-term plans to return to profitability. They are going to sell about $200 million in land originally planned for their corporate headquarters but will hold onto some of it for a smaller campus. They are also going to start using supply chain management software from SAP.

He also assured the 500 or so Bear Stearns attendees that, "We are not running out of cash." He will give more details on plans to write off unsalable inventory and already announced layoffs at a future date.

He said that Palm's current difficulties aren't hamstringing their projects in development. They will still have the next generation wireless handheld, commonly referred to as the m700, out before the end of the year.

However, there was one major disappointment slipped in. Mr. Yankowski said that OS 5.0 is currently scheduled to be released in the second half of 2002. Previous statement had Palm's new OS coming out in the first half of 2002. OS 5.0 will run on chips based on ARM designs that run at much higher processor speeds than current Palms.

Palm has been in financial straights since it bungled the release of the m500 series. They have also been facing excess inventory as the slowing economy reduces demand.

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Q. next m5xx upgrade?

Claude @ 6/12/2001 3:41:57 PM #
Does this mean we won't see a Palm m500 series upgrade based on the new CPU until 2nd half 2002 either?
RE: Q. next m5xx upgrade?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/12/2001 3:44:07 PM #
Actually this depends on how soon Motorola can ramp up production of the Super VZ, and how soon Palm feels it is necessary to upgrade the CPU in the m5xx series. Remember that if you slapped in a SuperVZ, it'd just be a faster chip, you'd not get the Bluetooth/USB capability, etc. I'd rather Palm came out with a m510/515 that was enhanced to take advantage of the Super VZ's capabilities - wireless syncing via Bluetooth, USB expansion port for keyboards/etc, and so on.



SuperVZ may be good for SD
fkclo @ 6/12/2001 9:22:27 PM #
I guess the main attraction of a faster CPU on a M50x is to allow jam open the bottle neck in accessing the SD. SD is capable of a data transfer speed higher than the current VZ can handle. ( This may be one of the reason of the reported slowness - according to Mike from Handera, when he talked about AutoCard in the eGroup).

A faster Dragonball may potentially offer significantly better user experience with SD devices / data.


Francis Lo
Hong Kong

"Bungled"?

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/12/2001 3:42:37 PM #
What does the author mean in closing that Palm "bungled the launch of the m500 series"?

RE:
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/12/2001 4:05:33 PM #
It means that Palm screwed up by announcing products that were 6-8 weeks away from delivery AND then allowing retailers to deliver Palm m50x series BEFORE individuals who pre-orded got theirs. This is partly understandable because you would fill an order for 1000+ Palms at once instead of one at a time...

RE:
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/12/2001 4:07:18 PM #
I think what they mean is that they bungled the rollout by:

1) Announcing the product too early so they've had the cut prices on old inventory to get it out of the supply chain

2) After announcing the m50x series the didn't have the product on the shelves quick enough to take advantage of the buzz on the the product.


RE:
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/12/2001 9:36:55 PM #
Thanks for the clarification, and thanks again for being polite about it. :)

What might have been

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/12/2001 5:01:20 PM #
Man, Palm just really can't do anything right. Palm OS is *NOT* that complicated . . . and the hardware has progressed at a snails pace. What a drag.

Even the quotes in the story sound like whining. "No, really, we won't be bought .. and we really DO have enough cash . . see?"

Sounds like a lame duck to me . . . .

RE: What might have been
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/12/2001 6:35:00 PM #
Oh.. some Palm lovers will hate ya for saying that... But as much as I liked the OS more than their hardware, I have seen this comming for long, long time. Even though I jumped ship to another world of PDAs which I am very happy with, I still think this split will help the OS side of Palm to HOPEFULLy grow with leaps and bounds with innovation and catch up to their Hardware partners. As Microsoft does, build up the OS, and the Hardware venders will follow.

RE: What might have been
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/13/2001 9:37:28 AM #
I AM a Plam lover . . I've used one for more than 4 years. The device that I have now is merely a refinement (barely) of what I had then. There's simplicity, and then there is complacence.

Wake up soon

Richard Bacchetta @ 6/13/2001 7:29:20 AM #
Palm had better wake up soon. They have led a charmed life with excessively long time to market with ho hum devices, while the competition qets better & better. It would not be the first time the innovator in the field falls due to not paying attention to their competition. signed A disgruntled stock holder & avid Palm User.
RE: Wake up soon
Legible @ 6/13/2001 9:03:05 AM #
I agree. Somehow I have the feeling that decisive actions have not been taken, or if they were, not been communicated to the market.

The share price's a real bummer.

Palm OS 5 in fall 2002 is too late!

wilco @ 6/13/2001 10:53:05 AM #
It look like the browser war scenario is repeating itself. While Palm OS 5 is more than a year away, Microsoft will be releasing Win CE 4.0 soon and by 2002, who knows maybe it will be Win CE 5.5 already! Remember Netscape stucked at version 4.xx too long and the Mozilla get delayed and delayed while IE eats away the market share until it become dominant. I hope this does not happen with Palm as I love my Palm devices.

Browser War? I think not.
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/13/2001 12:11:08 PM #
This is not the same as the browser war. With the Browser war, both Browsers could run on the same computer, but in this, you have to buy a entirely different device. The Palm OS doesn't try to be like Windows CE (oops, now they rebranded it handheld edition), and for good reason. The more Microsoft upgrades its OS, the slower the machines become. With the Palm, simplicity is key, so the devices don't get slower and don't need to be constantly upgraded. The same person buys pocket pc's way more than one person buys a Palm, because a Pilot 1000 can still run a good amount of apps, and a recent OS, but the first pocket PC's are only good paperweights (because they are like bricks). So in conclusion, don't worry about Pocket PC's. They will always lag behind in size, usefulness, price, application support, and speed. Just enjoy your Palm Powered handheld, whatever it may be.

Carl! split NOW

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/14/2001 1:38:12 AM #
The true problem of Palm is not the quality of the product but internal structural and manpower drags.
The product is excellent – the organisation is wrong.
Like the heads of Psion which have lost their grips with reality a long time ago - now Palm got the very specific Soviet Union Syndrome.

In fact they grow internally organised, at least what we can see in Europe, like the god old Leronid Brezniew communistic central committee – where the true powerful widely unknown highly important officials, bare of any conciseness of reality and knowledge steers mindless in their black Volgas in the middle of the night somewhere. This party is always right and the individual official can always hide the "common decision” –soviet style at his best.

Nobody had, as far as I know taken any responsibility for the deadwrong business decisions "we must show something, even the product is not here, on the Cebit" which brought the market leader Palm within weeks to their knees and there stocks falling of a cliff.
The worst thing – there seems not to be to much self-cleaning mechanism.
It seems hat this company is so afraid of there own incompetent "high ranking official’s” like Marie Antoinette of here officials - so they can carry on.
That for all that downfall probably responsible Palm central committee is sitting now in Paris seems to make them internally invulnerable – probably as long till Palm files for bankruptcy.
One must not forget that the profit from the European markets contributed more to Palm economy as one outsider would guess.
As long as Palm was a self runner it worked anyhow.

The combined mixture- the building of overhead with the today sensitive business frame was leading to a structure that must come down finally fast on difficult waters.

The fall of Palm has not so much to do with outside matters as ailing markets as the poor CEO mumbled. Its internal – and he knows that only to well.

This wonderful product – in fact not a product but a lifestyle - could have be the pinnacle of the stock exchange – the honourable Carl Yankowsky, a true unsung hero, has well recognised the core of this matter and tries to steer wildly against this own structure by breaking the company up. (Similar as Potter did with Psion and incorporating it in Symbian)
Splitting the company is the best solution for everybody - the devoloper know where they are - and the customers as well.

Given that Psion was never a big company they are under Symbian worse of as before– but they survived. And that alone is a lot, given their product which makes a Studebaker seem fresh of the band– but it could work with Palm this time.

Carl! Do it now - jump now - breakt them up! You have no other choice left.

If Palm fails – Microsoft rules the PDA market– without having raised a finger – MS only has to wait calm till palm swims belly-up down the river...

We all here hope that never happens and we keep our fingers crossed – but were not sure.


Are Palm III and Palm V series dead?

Adrian Wong @ 6/14/2001 2:07:12 AM #
Why is that the company modifies the m100 series to m50x series? How about the other series? The m50x are nice, but i hope the company could modify the Palm series like what they did to the m100 series.

They're dead anyway

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/14/2001 10:14:44 AM #
Oh, sure, Palm may not get bought out but they've been dead quite some time now. Look at the 505- no brightness control! Sony has a brightness control on their sidelit PDA and Palm does not, even though they made the OS in the first place.
So, what has Palm added lately? Clock and notepad? Automatic off and lock?
Considering it was the licensees, Sony, Handspring, Handera, that have added USB, Springboard, VFS, 320x320, virtual graffiti area, voice recorder, jog dial, 33 mhz Dragonball, CF, mp3 players, and so on, I think Palm is dead anyway. Sure, the company still exists but they haven't made anything really new and different since the Palm VII.
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