Dubinsky Speaks on the Future of Handspring

Handspring's CEO Donna Dubinsky said in an interview this week with ON24 that prices for future Visors will probably rise. "Prices will come down for existing products... but I believe that new products, if they continue to be differentiated, can keep the average price, if not stable, even going up over time."

Dubinsky characterized Handspring's business relationship with Palm as being "very good", which is how both companies always describe it. "We compete with them on the device side, there's no doubt about that, but we collaborate with them as a platform partner and I think they value having us in the Palm Economy. As long as that relationship continues to be good and as long as the technology continues to meet our needs and we're able to build the sort of products we want to build , I absolutely think we have a long-term future on the Palm OS."

She also said that her company was not having any serious problems getting the components they need to manufacture their handhelds. "We have been able to receive what we've needed and our supply and demand has been pretty much equal. Going forward we actually see the component market really loosening up quite a bit so we don't project in the future any new problems." This is actually better news for Handspring major competitor, Palm Inc., who has suffered far more from component shortages.

She also talked a bit about the general direction that handhelds will be evolving in the future without giving any specifics on projects Handspring has in development. When asked if her company would keeps its current shape and size, she said, "I think that there will be a variety of form factors over time. I don't think any one one form factor is sacrosanct in this business. Our interest is handheld products so you are not likely to see us move to notebook computers or those sorts of form factors. We are really principally focused on mobility. Now, whether that turns out to be closer to a phone or closer to a handheld it's not clear yet. I think in the end the answer will be there will be several different form factors that will make different tradeoffs that will appeal to different people or maybe even the same person at different times of the day or during the week verses the weekend or whatever. We can imagine not just one product and not just one form factor but a market that is broad enough and diverse enough that it supports multiple form factors."

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Does Handspring Need Palm in the long-run?

I.M. Anonymous @ 2/9/2001 12:33:58 PM #
Dubinsky says that "they [Palm] value us...", but doesn't say the the converse of that. So... maybe Palm needs Handspring, but Handspring doesn't need Palm? Just a thought on their relationship; especially since there are rumors that the relationship may not be around in the long-run.

RE: Does Handspring Need Palm in the long-run?
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/9/2001 12:57:27 PM #
I think so. It would be costly for them to convert to another OS (not just development, the cheap part, but in support/marketing&communications/etc.).

RE: Does Handspring Need Palm in the long-run?
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/9/2001 1:36:06 PM #
The comment about Palm valuing them ends with a statement about being in the Palm Economy. It wasn't phrased both ways because Handspring does not value having Palm in the Handspring Economy -- there is no Handspring economy, it's all Palm software, OS, community, etc. The rumors about Handspring switching to another OS have to be ridiculous, unless the people who originally created Palm (Handspring founders were the founders of Palm) decide that Palm isn't any good... = very unlikely. Plus if they put another OS on their they won't have compatible software anymore. Palm-Powered handhelds control the market for a reason, Handspring won't jump ship without a very good reason.

RE: Does Handspring Need Palm in the long-run?
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/9/2001 2:11:28 PM #

Switching platforms is like switching relgions.

(Just ask any mac or pc user...or better yet, ask the most fanatical of nuts out there - the AMIGA & OS2 users)


rising prices

I.M. Anonymous @ 2/9/2001 3:32:11 PM #
Wow, and I tought that they were going to keep prices low. Well i guess I cahnged my mind about buying a handspring. I think my next PDA will be a Yopy or Compaqu, that way I can at least have a chance to install my own os.

Dubinsky, thanks for the tip.

RE: rising prices
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/9/2001 3:41:56 PM #
After using that other crap, you'll come screaming back to the PalmOS.

RE: rising prices
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/9/2001 4:31:55 PM #
dont dis the yopy. it isn't even shipping. wait for it to come out, then we can dis it.
but it might not be that bad. think about it...color, linux,mp3, bulit in web browser.
I agree with you about compaq...their stuff is the saddess on the market, i wanna know why they can
only make limited quaities and those they do make have tons of problems(i.e. dust under
screen,etc.)not to mention it runs the PPC(Win CE3) os, thats so bad you have to tap like
five times to exit an app.

RE: rising prices
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/9/2001 10:02:58 PM #
Tap 5 times to exit an application? That's bullshit!

RE: rising prices
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/10/2001 12:23:26 AM #
If you do leave the Palm OS and install your own OS, will you then be leaving Palm Infocenter for the Yopy Infocenter? Let's hope so.

repent sinners

Raishe_werk @ 2/9/2001 3:41:22 PM #
ok, this is digging up bones, but 2nd quarter last year palm was talking about going away from the hardware end of the palm universe and focusing on the OS. since then they have released i think three more products (palmVIIx, M100, and now M505 {well sorta}). i see other companies HS/Sony/TRG (<- ok i couldn't type that last one with a straight face), and now garmin has a GPS thingy with based on the palm OS. so accourding to this we may see palm {generic for the consortium (not Palm, the brand)} going more and more to compete with PPC as far as multimedia and also taking on the wireless nightmare. that would be in keeping with the gradually increasing prices of HS.

ok i am gonna start a rumor. "did you see the new toshiba hand held, running a 100MHz prototype dragonballVx procesor, comes with 64mb memory expandable to 196CF, running PalmOS 5.5a, supports bluetooth and 802.11 protocols"
pass it on

big up to Ed for hosting this site and keeping us up todate on the goings on in the Palm world

"Monster Pig kills Jesus
More at 11"



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