Verizon Palm Pre | All about the Palm Pre and Palm Pixi on Verizon



Palm faces rough year as threat from rival companies looms {Reuters}

It could be a rough holiday season for shareholders of Palm as they wait to see if new smartphones can compete with the likes of Apple’s iPhone, Motorola’s new Cliq and the Blackberry.

What had so far been a few golden months for Palm was somewhat tarnished recently, when its revenue forecast for the current quarter missed Wall Street expectations by far – even as results for the last three months – its first fiscal quarter – beat many forecasts.

Analysts have said they believe demand for Palm’s new star handset, the Pre, is dying down after a highly anticipated launch in June. Palm, which cut the price of the Pre by $50 (Dh183.65) recently, continues to keep its sales figures under wraps.

“The anticipated slowdown in Pre sales appears to be occurring, one quarter later than many had anticipated,” said CL King analyst Lawrence Harris.

Any lost momentum by Palm comes at a critical time, just ahead of the holiday shopping season, when the Pre and Pixi – Palm’s next device based on its webOS platform – take on popular handsets from Apple, Research in Motion, and Motorola.

Analysts warned that Palm’s uphill fight may further stall any shot at profitability, particularly after the Pre price cut.

“Although the company claims to have purchase orders with several carriers, we see unit risk [in the latter half of its financial year], particularly as other carriers have more Smartphone suppliers,” said BMO Capital analyst Tim Long. “Sprint said … [the price cut] came from Palm, which we view as a sign that maintaining average selling prices and gross margins may also be difficult.”

Sprint Nextel Corp is the exclusive US provider for Pre, but Verizon Wireless, a venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group, has said it will start selling the phone early next year.

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