TAG | Palm
Smartphone maker Palm has put itself up for sale, and will begin fielding offers from buyers this week — sources close to the matter tell Bloomberg.
Palm’s stock jumped 32 percent last week with rumors that computer-maker Lenovo and cellphone manufacturer HTC were eying the company for purchase. Now we’ve learned that those rumors are true, and that Lenovo and HTC may make offers soon.
Shares of Palm Inc. (PALM 5.21, +0.56, +12.04%) rose nearly 12% to $5.19 in pre-market trade on Friday after reports HTC Corp. of Taiwan said in a regulatory filing that it would not comment on a published reports that it was in talks to acquire the smartphone maker. Earlier in the week shares of Palm rallied on speculation it might be acquired by PC maker Lenovo.
Source: Market Watch
CNN Money has an interview with Palm’s CEO; here are some of the highlights:
The conventional wisdom is that Palm has blown it and either is going to run out of money or get sold or both.
Clearly we’ve hit a speed bump. No question about it. It’s really disappointing, and it’s frustrating. But, the company has tremendous assets. We’ve got a great team we’ve built over the last couple of years. Remember this whole thing was a transformation story. It wasn’t like we took something that was working and didn’t run it well. We started off with a company that had no future, and we have been transforming it. We have arguably the best mobile operating system out there. It’s clearly the easiest to use and has the most intuitive user interface. We’ve got good products that get critical acclaim. It’s in its early stages still, but we’ve got great quality of apps, and new apps coming all the time. By the time you get this published, we’ll have commerce going in Europe, which is a big milestone for us. We’ve got good relationships with carriers.
We’ve got all those things going for us, and what we need to do is get more commercial success and get to scale. And that’s going to take longer than we’d hoped, obviously, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get there. We do have $590 million in the bank, and we have a plan that carries this company forward. Now, we need to be frugal and we need to invest in those areas that have the best return for us, but when I read that we’re going out of business or our stock is worth zero or those kinds of things, it defies logic to me.
One Wall Street analyst says the [Palm] webOS no longer is a major differentiator because there are enough good mobile operating systems. You obviously disagree.
I would disagree. Look, webOS, has all the capabilities you’d expect from a world-class smart phone. It does email and messaging. It does Web browsing and video capture. And then it has some things that most don’t have: capabilities to share and edit video, and immersive 3D gaming. There’s a whole list of things that you’d expect the top tier to have, and we have those all in webOS. Then we have additional things, like real multitasking. So, if you’re playing 3D games and you want to go check your calendar or email, you can just switch between tasks and come back to your game. And then if you have multitasking, you really need unobtrusive notifications so that when you’re doing something you can get a notification of what’s going on in the world without interrupting what you’re working on. We also have a feature called Synergy that gives users the ability to have a single view of their data from various sources in the cloud, from Facebook and LinkedIn and Exchange and Google (GOOG) and Yahoo (YHOO). We have universal search, so you just start typing, which goes back to Palm’s original DNA of really minimizing the number of steps you have to take to accomplish it. And it goes on and on.
Please forgive the downer questions, but here’s another …
That’s okay, go ahead. I’m bummed out too, by things like not taking off at Verizon. One of the analysts on our earnings call asked if we had launched when Droid launched, and Droid launched when [we] launched at Verizon, would the story have been opposite? I said I think we have a better product than Droid, and customers would have been happier with it.
Was it a mistake to debut with Sprint in the first place?
Hindsight is always 20/20, but you have to understand that we had a long-term relationship with Sprint. Sprint wanted to do an aggressive launch on webOS. They were willing to invest significant marketing dollars. But the quid pro quo for that is that we had to do an exclusive with Sprint. Now, if I sit today and I kind of roll back the clock and go, okay, now if I could have launched in October with Verizon, and done a shorter exclusive with Sprint, and the world would be completely different today, yeah, I mean, that’s easy to say. But you don’t know these things at the time. And Sprint has been a really good partner for Palm. They continue to be a really good partner for Palm.
It’s being reported by Advertising Age that Palm has dropped their ad firm AgAge and is currently seeking a new company to replace them.
AdAge made a bunch of weird and out of touch commercials that never really explained to users why they needed a Palm device or the companies new WebOS offering.
Read the full story on Inquisitr
Can Palm turn itself around by raising more cash and tweaking its strategy? The only promise for Palm’s future is a buyout. And the only buyer that makes sense is BlackBerry maker Research In Motion.
Many attribute Palm’s failure to bad decisions. There was the WebOS operating system that was open to only a limited number of developers initially. There was the wrong choice of first carrier in Sprint. And there was the bad launch timing of theÂ Palm Pre Plus with Verizon Wireless right after the launch of the Google-powered Droid as well as some manufacturing and design issues.
Whatever the reasons for its failure, it’s chances of catching up again without an acquisition are slim.
Read the full story on NY TImes
It may have taken a little while for those in Europe to be able to get a Palm Pre, however that does not seem like it will be the case with the Pre Plus and Pixi Plus. The timing of this also follows up nicely on those earlier rumors suggesting that the Pre Plus was going to soon be available with O2.
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- Palm Pre Plus and Pixi Plus coming to O2 this April (ubergizmo.com)
“I coulda been a contender,” said Brando’s character, Terry, a washed-up boxer, lamenting his fate.
Compare that to what Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein said Thursday during his company’s third-quarter results call with analysts:
“If we could have launched at Verizon prior to the Droid, I think we would have gotten the attention the Droid got. And since I believe we have a better product, I think we could have even done better,” Rubinstein said.
Yes, except for that Verizon problem, Palm’s CEO thinks his company “coulda been a contender.”
Of course, customers have decided that Palm doesn’t make a better product, and they made that decision well before the Droid burst onto the market last October. By then, the Pre had been on the market for four months.
CNNMoney.com took note of the company’s plight in a headline that sums up my opinion, too: “Palm’s new price target: $0.”
“Palm’s future already looked bleak,” the financial news site commented. “But after reporting worse than expected results for the third quarter Thursday, some analysts think the company’s stock is now essentially worthless.”
Read the full story on ARN
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- Palm: We coulda been a contender (mobilecrunch.com)
To attract more customers, VZW even floated the BOGO offer where the Pre Plus could be taken for free on the Pixi Plus purchase. The current listed price for the VZW Palm Pre Plus is a shocking $30 which tells you the entire story.
The BOGO offer also couldn’t do much good for VZW and hence the prices had to be dropped severely. The Pre Plus was available for $70 a couple of weeks ago at Walmart and at that time, no one expected an ‘amusing’ $40 further price drop. Even Amazon has listed the Pre Plus for $39.99 on a two-year contract.
Source: Device Mag
Palm Inc. shares fell Wednesday afternoon amid chatter Verizon Wireless may drop its Pre Plus and Pixi Plus smartphones, sales of which have disappointed many on Wall Street.
The buzz started after Canaccord Adams analyst Peter Misek told his firm’s salesforce Verizon Wireless was “evaluating the potential for destocking,” industry jargon for dropping a product from the store shelves. Misek cited conversations with Verizon Wireless officials.
“We have relationships with certain people at Verizon, and they have been very, very disappointed with Palm sales,” he told Dow Jones Newswires.
Read the full story on Total Telecom.
JK on the run has their must have apps for the Palm phone:
1. PhotoDialer. Smartphones should be first and foremost good phones — that should be the primary function, right? PhotoDialer is an app that leverages the good phone capability of the Palm phones by providing a screen with the owner’s most-called contacts presented in a nice grid. $1.99.
2. Pandora. Pandora is one of those audio services that you can’t live without once you find it. The unique technology that can serve a playlist of music similar to the music you like is very good. Free.
3. Twee. It seems everyone is playing on Twitter and a good phone client makes the experience the best. Twee is a webOS client that has all of the features you want presented in a pleasant interface. Twee comes in two versions. Twee Free is nearly full-featured but lacks support for lists and a few other functions of the paid version. $2.99.
4. Klondike Solitaire. The Windows OS got most of us playing Solitaire, and a good mobile version can help pass the time away when there is nothing else to do. Klondike Solitaire is a complete implementation of the game we all know, and plays very nicely with touch on the Palm phones. $1.99.
5. gDial Pro. Google Voice is a wonderful service that only comes into its own when used on a phone with a good client app. The gDial Pro is definitely a good client, one of the best on any smartphone platform. Free.