Palm, You’ll Be Missed

I hate to say “I told you so”. Actually, in this case I really do hate to say it. Palm is going down the toilet.

I’m certainly not on my own in writing doom and gloom on Palm. It certainly seems that something will need to change in a very large way for Palm to continue as a standalone entity.

In May of last year (Will the Pre be Palm’s Tonic?) I was doubtful as to whether Palm was going to do well enough with the Pre to win over current smartphone users. It looks as if I may have hit the mark with this prognostication with one exception; at that point none of us knew that Android would come on so strong.

In December of last year (Palm Rubbing Their Palms in Their Eyes) I wrote that Palm had not done well enough with its initial push to capture enough of the market to gather the momentum it would need. While Palm did end up pushing about 900,000 units to the channel the sell-through was a rather dismal 650,000 units or so.

Palm is trying hard to be a phone company but it just has not done what is needed to get to that point, and time is running out quickly. In some measure it seems Palm has been ignoring the marketplace; people have been saying they need to release new, compelling hardware. While its current phones are fine they are snubbing the trend of slate devices. Not everyone is going to want a hardware keyboard with a relatively small screen.

Palm’s real problem is that it may not have the resources left to launch new phones or to rewrite its OS for a larger screen. The company has been trying to stretch the Pre and Pixi as far as possible but if people aren’t taking to those its time to move on.

Yes, Palm still has money but also has a horrible burn rate. In many ways the company is back to where it has been in the past and may need to split off the OS team as a standalone company and license out the OS. WebOS is really a very nice OS and I’d hate to see it go, but Palm is far too bloated a company given it’s current levels of income.

So, lets start the pool: Who is going to buy Palm…or maybe just the IP.

About Darren Humphries

Darren Humphries has written 78 posts on Mobile Jaw..

Editor, MobileJaw.com Microsoft MVP (Windows Mobile)

  • http://www.MobileJaw.com Mike Temporale

    Palm just can’t catch a break. They’ve been struggling for years now. They keep jumping from one focus to another hoping that the new direction will save them. From Palm OS to Windows Mobile to WebOS, from splitting the software side out from the hardware and then back in again. Alas, it hasn’t worked.

    They’ve got one good thing left, and if they don’t act soon, it will lose it’s value as well – their name. The Palm name along could get them a nice $200 million or so. I’m sure it’s not enough to clear out the debt, but it’s all they got at this point. Better sell it before it’s worth $50.

  • http://twitter.com/mobilejaw/status/10820763476 MobileJaw

    Palm, You'll Be Missed – http://tinyurl.com/yfckfft

  • http://twitter.com/miketemporale/status/10821652767 MikeTemporale

    Its time to sell the only value they have left – their name. RT: @MobileJaw Palm, You'll Be Missed – http://tinyurl.com/yfckfft