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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 looks like Palm may be trying to get back in the mobile game after releasing poor sales of the Palm Pre, by partnering Sprint for a new WiMAX mobile phone reports an article over on softsailor.
Originally HTC was to partner Sprint in the WiMAX game, so this new revelation that Palm is now going to be the Sprint WiMAX partner may surprise some although they do share a common past.
Read the full story on Phones Review
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If information from a Sprint technician who took the screenshot posted is to believed, we could be seeing Palm’s WebOS 1.4 going live on February 15th, 2010. The update would strictly be applicable for the Palm Pre and Palm Pixi on Sprint’s network, so Verizon Pre Plus and Pixi Plus owners are out of luck this time around.
The update is expected to bring along video recording, 3D video games, with the exception of Flash support on the Palm Pre.
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- Sprint Palm Devices Getting Updates On February 15th? (ubergizmo.com)
Mobilitysite got the Palm Pre Plus and the Palm Pixi Plus from Verizon a couple days ago, and here is the highlights from their first impressions:
Starting with the Pre Plus, first thing I have to say is the build quality is a lot better. I had quite a few problems with the Sprint Palm Pre, and it’s all fixed now on the Pre Plus. Slider is solid, no creaks, everything is solid. I like the new front without the button, looks a lot cleaner, and the gesture area works just as well without the button. Keyboard has improved a little bit, still no where close to the Pixi Plus though. Verizon has been solid here, although I would lose EV-DO every once in a while. That could be related to the Pre Plus itself, because the Pixi Plus didn’t have that problem at all. So far, my main concern with the Pre Plus is battery life. I can barely make it through a day with moderate use.
Pre Central reports two bugs with the Verizon Palm Pre Plus:
- When WiFi is on, MMS messages aren’t able to be sent. It looks as though the issue is that MMS message need to go through Verizon’s EVDO network, but the Pre Plus is attempting to send them over WiFi. This isn’t an issue for Sprint users thus far. The good news is that there is an easy workaround: just turn off WiFi before you attempt to send an MMS message.
- it’s starting to look like there is a fairly serious issue with GPS on Verizon Palm Pre Plus devices. The concern is that full, tower-assisted AGPS is only working for VZ Navigator and not other apps. A workaround that seems to help some comes from m0sim: open VZ Navigator (even if you haven’t purchased it on your plan) before using GPS on other apps. GPS is a finicky feature, so diagnosing exactly what’s happening here is going to take some time.
We have waited for this words since we launched the site:
The Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus have arrived for sale at Verizon Wireless’ online store, and as expected they run to $149.99 for the Pre Plus and $99.99 for the Pixi Plus thanks to a $100 online discount.
Source: Slash Gear.
Yep, the $149 and $99 two-year contract prices for the Verizon Wireless versions of Palm’s Pre and Pixi touchscreen phones are the same as they are on Sprint. That said, the Pre Plus and Pixi Plus each come with support for a killer new feature: the ability to turn either handset into a wireless hotspot. Hands-on impressions ahead.
Set for release January 25—next Monday—on Verizon, the Pre Plus and Pixi Plus (announced earlier this month at CES in Las Vegas) are virtually identical to the original Pre and Pixi on Sprint, right down to the $100 mail-in rebates you’ll need to send (via snail-mail, of course) to get the $149 and $99 two-year contract prices.
There are a few key differences, though, ranging from the cosmetic (no more physical trackballs, keys that have a little more “click” than they did before) to the internal (the Pre Plus comes with 16GB of built-in flash storage, versus just 8GB for Sprint’s Pre).
One of the coolest features for the new phones, however, is actually an app that’ll only be available for Verizon Wireless subscribers (at least initially, anyway): Palm Mobile Hotspot, which turns your Pre Plus or Pixi Plus into a portable Wi-Fi access point, à la Novatel’s credit card-sized MiFi.
Read the full story on Yahoo Tech
Pre Central has a review of the Palm Pre Plus:
There has been some concern amongst Palm fans that there isn’t enough differentiation between the Palm Pre Plus and the Palm Pixi Plus, since both have WiFi now. Let me put that to rest: compared to the Pixi, the Palm Pre Plus has twice the RAM, twice the storage, a bigger, brighter screen, and a faster processor. It’s the flagship and if you’re anything close to a power user, well worth the extra $50.
The Palm Pre Plus is the flagship for Palm, then, but can it legitimately be called a flagship for Verizon? Almost, but not quite yet. The key is Mobile Hotspot, which is awesome and one of the best reasons for recommending the Palm Pre Plus to a business user. Palm already has pretty decent push email and Exchange support – all they need now is full Document editing (and perhaps some battery life improvement) to make the case that the Palm Pre Plus is amongst the best business smartphones on the market.
Would I recommend a current Sprint Palm Pre user switch – probably not. The increased performance, storage, and Mobile Hotspot are all compelling (and are compelling enough to make me switch), but for most people I go back my default advice: pick your carrier first, your phone second.
The Palm Pre Plus upgrades the Palm Pre in almost all the right places and has a bright future with new features coming via software updates. It’s a cliché to say this, but: the Palm Pre Plus is the best phone Palm has ever made. That’s exactly how it should be and it’s gratifying that we can expect this kind of quality from Palm now. Let’s just hope that it’s enough to keep them in the smartphone game for years to come.
Palm have announced the Pre Plus and Pixi Plus, and as expected they’re headed to Verizon Wireless. The Palm Pre Plus doubles memory to 16GB and drops the navigation button, while the Pixi Plus gets the WiFi that was missing from the Sprint Pixi. Meanwhile both Verizon handsets will get a new 3G mobile hotspot application that, like a MiFi, will allow users to share their EVDO Rev.A connection with up to five connected WiFi clients.
Both new Verizon handsets will arrive on the market on January 25th.
Source: Slash Gear.
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- Verizon-bound Palm Pre Plus and Pixi Plus specs leaked (engadget.com)
The biggest news coming from Palm at CES is that it will be offering two new(ish) devices exclusively from Verizon Wireless. The Pre Plus and Pixi Plus bring new features to each device plus a cool mobile hotspot application.
Both of these revised devices will be available from Verizon Wireless on January 25. Pricing was not disclosed.
The Pre Plus differs from the original in that it has a redesigned exterior, improved navigation, two times the storage (16GB), and it will now ship with a Touchstone-compatible back cover.
The Pixi Plus now includes Wi-Fi, which was not previously available on the Sprint version.
Both devices will have a new application exclusive to Verizon which turns them into mobile hotspots. Similar to a Novatel MiFi, it uses Verizon’s 3G network to connect to the Internet. It will then allow up to five other devices to tether via Wi-Fi for Internet access.
Read the full story on InformationWeek.