Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein tells it like it is | webOS Nation
 
 

Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein tells it like it is 100

by Dieter Bohn Thu, 08 Apr 2010 1:40 pm EDT

 

In a must-read interview (for Palm fans, anyway) at CNN Money, Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein candidly laid out Palm's current situation, the missteps of the past year and a half, and why he's still bully on Palm's chances to survive and even thrive as an independent company.

Rubinstein speaks out about plenty of issues that we've hit here on PreCentral, from the 'variety of hardware issues' that plagued early Sprint adopters, to speed, to battery life, to the lower-than-expected sales at Verizon, to the challenges of launching after the Droid, to cash-on-hand, to inventory, to number of apps, to buyout rumors, to mom-focused commercials ...if an investment analyst has complained about it in the past year, it's pretty much here.

Rubinstein doesn't candy-coat any of it and straight up says that Palm's main goal right now is simply selling devices, getting 'to scale.' Unfortunately, Palm doesn't have the cash for a huge marketing blitz to juice the numbers (they're hoping to get 'viral,' which could be fun). Instead, Palm's $590 million is going to R&D and to those next devices we're all waiting for:

it may take us a while, but we will work our way through this, and we're continuing to invest very heavily in engineering on both webOS development and on new product development.

Go on and read the whole thing and then let us know: doesn't it feel good to have a CEO lay it all out? What do you think Palm's next step should be?

 

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100 Comments

Let

webOS is webOS. It's not like the phones have different skill levels. WebOS would be easy to use on all phones. It's amazing. I own pixi and I'm a very advanced user and know how to use everything and know everything about the operating system. If I wanted, I could switch to the pre with no problem. As for the c40? Bring it on

I know it is all about the WebOS, and your right. Does not matter the device. I should have rephrased it, my fault. I should have used hardware specs instead. Like Pixi; thin, light, durable. Pre; extra memory (ram), hidden keyboard, 3D gaming. C40? The device they should have released the first time around?

yeah I see what ur sayin. My pixi is kinda laggy. I'm always playin with my moms pre that I overclocked to 800mhz lol. I hope the c40 is a complete monster.

Ahh! You overclocked your mom's Pre? I wouldn't trust my mom with an over clocked toaster!

haha yeah she wanted themes so I put preware on her phone and customized it for her. I put a couple of patches on to including the overclocking lol. She doesn't know it could kill her phone tho haha shhhh!

The 800Mhz is a replacement kernel... not a patch. That withstanding, remember that you have to uninstall that before the next webos update, or your Mom may end up with a hosed phone!

(Yes, the phone running at 800Mhz is sweeeeeeeeeeeeet... but Palm needs to invest in using the GPU for Luna, ASAP.)

i didn't uninstall the 800mhz kernel before the OTA 1.4.1.1 update and I didn't have any problems. I'm not encouraging anyone, I'm just sayin...

That's ONLY because the update from 1.4.0 to 1.4.1 was VERY minor. I doubt the next update will be so minor....

aha it's all good I gave her a quick lesson

"When we came out of the chute with Sprint (S), there were a variety of hardware issues. Those are all behind us now, and the quality of the product is really good."

Really? I hope he doesn't believe this.

he's most likely talking about the new sets coming out on at&t and Europe cause we know it's not the pre

He might also have been talking about the Pre+. The original Pre did have a lot of early production problems- sliders with too much slack, battery disconnects, screens that cracked, malfunctioning buttons, etc.

Being in R&D myself, I'm glad they are investing most of their money in it. The outcome product(s) will surely be something of amazement and bring their financial situation back into check.

"First" or "not first"?? An idiotic post at best! C'mon!

Palm is going to drop something on us real soon! I know that I hit my precentral.net bookmark at least 20 times a day hoping to see a post on just that subject! Of course other subjects include the 800 kernel and such. Ya know those guys have essentially saved me from leaving. Different post but there it is!

ever heard of RSS feeds and readers?

I think you are overly optimistic if you mean new phones/hardware. I doubt we will see anything hardware related for at least 4 to 6 months. But I am afraid they might HAVE to do something this year or they might lose a lot of Sprint customers. WebOS is great (really great), but not when running on hardware that has too little storage, too little memory, not enough CPU, too little battery, not using the GPU, and with a rather small screen that doesn't fill up the entire face of the phone. I have my fingers crossed they will address those issues with a "Pre2" and I hope that Sprint customers can/will wait.

Remember, on the Pre-end (not Pixi-end) Palm will soon have to compete with the likes of the "HD", the "Evo" and phones like it (1Ghz, huge screen, memory slot, Android).

Palms new phone, if launching on Sprint, must out perform the HTC EVO. If not, its over. I dont see this happening with the limited cash on hand. I love my Palm Pre, but the EVO is going to push the envelope and change things. Talking to a Verizon person yesterday, who is thinking about upgrading to a Droid, I wasnt sure if I should try to convince them to bye a Palm Pre Plus or switch to Sprint when EVO hits. I ended up trying to convince her to bye the Palm.

How does that Evo perform? Does it address the current short comings of it's O/S? Why does the battery go down so fast and why is it never in 4G mode in most places? I can't seem to find this phone anywhere. Does it even exist?

that phone does exist, however it's not out yet. it's called the htc supersonic, on sprint it's called the htc evo. it will be released tihs summer and it's the first 4g phone. seeing as sprint is the first 4g network, it makes sense.

i hope palm's next phone is 4g. even if it's not as strong as the evo as far as specs, webos beats any other mobile os.

if it's got a nicer screen, camera, battery life and some other minor improvements, i'm willing to stick with it rather than switch to the evo and have to learn their operating system all over again. i used android a few times, not as easy to use as the webos.

Well, the Pre was a monster until we got our hands on it. Each new HTC is a monster, then its yesterday's news and never gets featured in the industry comparisons. I'm considering alternatives to Palm, some contenders are out there and some are announced that sound appealing, but nothing to date is worth wasting a Sprint Upgrade over.

Its just funny to see some lightweights in here set a non-existant (within market) phone as the highwater mark like it's a real world benchmark, yet to date, the device hasn't met the standard either.

All im saying is Android already has more movement on their phones than Palm. To make a splash, they need something that will stand out hardware wise. Like EVO having dual cameras, one of wich is 8MP. I personaly dont like Android devices, but they are selling. Check it out on Sprint. It is real.

ok. Pretty sure PreDogs is being sarcastic about evo (not existing). For that matter, I hope you're being sarcastic for entertaining the idea.

Sorta sarcastic, sorta realistic. Evo not ready, Evo not proven. And who's to say Evo will be at the top a month later. I am certain if Palm releases a new device it will be up to current snuff on specs and will embody the old Palm mantra of durability and deep battery.

To think the Evo is the bomb reminds me of Pre's launch:
Dead battery
Screen cracks
Oreo.
40 app limit.
Classic as emulator was a bust.
Not as capable as Treo.
Weak radios.
Down clocked to 500.

The Pre was a killer in our minds, until we took it out of the box. So to announce Evo 'doing' as what Pre2 should aspire to is pretty humorous since the Pre is a year old and Evo has not sold a single unit.

They still have hardware problems. I am on my third Pre Plus since January 25 and this one has issues too. If they roll out a new device, they need to have a simple and free program for all of us who leaped in with the Pre only to be disappointed by the crummy hardware. I will forgive Palm for burning any compatibility bridges to Palm OS because webOS is a good operating system. But, the hardware is simply unacceptable.

I've been screwed!

+1!!!

Check this out! Read it and leave a reply so this part of the thread is blown up with replies and more people get in on this!

Derek and Dieter...can you put a short post up about this to direct attention of the TONS of people who love their webOS devices and want to get involved in getting viral? If there was a post on the main page, it could really start something huge!!!

Go Palm!!!

JR is a competent, intelligent CEO. I'm sure he is listening to the PALM community, along with the various other communities out there, all of whom expect great things from PALM with all of its potential.

This interview shows, IMO, how focused he is on what's important, and, certainly that he does have the ability to learn from past mistakes.

He's a no-BS kind of guy, and I personally like that.

My one and only immedate request for him: unlocked GSM phones for the US, please.

+1

At least he doesn't come off as an asshole, like Steve Jobs does.

His comment about getting quality apps through is not what they are doing. Palm needs to filter the crap out, sad to say that is most of the apps.

I love the Pre and webos I just hope they can at least survive as a niche company

I second the motion for unlocked GSM phones. Unlocked GSM would open up Palm to most of the world. (most use quad band).

Good read Thank you

I appreciate Jon Rubinstein's honesty.

I like that Rubinstein is very real about his company and its product line. He acknowledges the problems along the way and the fact that Palm is smaller than many of their competitors, but he's focused on future development and isn't spending a lot of time worrying about these issues. A good product is a good product, is a good product. Given time, it will sell itself by simple word of mouth. I love my Palm Pre and think it is among the best smartphones on the market today. I can't wait to see what Palm's next generation of products will look like. Thank you for being willing to admit your faults. Way to go Rubinstein.

I agree that JR is a smart guy and this interview was a smart move, but I don't agree that a good product will sell itself. There are tons of examples where the best product doesn't sell well at all (e.g. Sony's betamax) and a crappy product will sell a lot (e.g. Windows version x.x). Marketing, price and perception will move a product over its quality. Look at the iPad. I'm not saying it's a bad product, but everyone that I know that has bought one did so because "it was cool".

If Palm survives this, they have to somehow change perception that their phones are awesome. Given the imminent release of the EVO and the next iPhone, that's going to be a tall order. IMHO, I think they should license their OS to a select number of hardware vendors that are known to produce good products (e.g. HTC). I know that's not what Palm wants, but short of a takeover or buyout, I think that's the only way they become relevant again. Other than that, do you really think an AT&T release is going to get anyone excited in buying a Pre Plus?

Well...I do agree that licensing their OS to other hardware vendors would be a quick way to get the "Palm" name out there and sell more WebOS devices. I definitely agree with you there.

As far as BetaMax goes...inexpensive viral advertising is viable now where it didn't use to be the case in the days of BetaMax. I work two I.T. jobs and word of mouth seems a very effective way of getting folks interested in smartphones. Granted...a lot of these same folks are already iPhone, Android or RIM users, but they are interested in sharing perceptions on the devices.

iPhones are preparing to go to version 4, Androids are on version 2, and WebOs is still in version 1. So WebOs, good as I feel it is, is still in its infancy. Give it time and I really think folks will continue being more impressed.

Why don't Palm adopt many of the patches. Who is not waiting for landscape email, that patch like many others is available. It seems almost like a free lunch for Palm.

I know they parted ways with their old ad company they should give the guy who made this video a call i'll post the link below

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdMEllAKrcc

hope the c40 get to other carriers sooner than 7 months like the pre plus to verizon..i say by christmas 2010 all carriers have new device and even gsm versions of the pre plus

they should have never made a pixie...since the pre was a before, that money spent on pixie should have been to help towards a new phone to announce at ces 2010

I have to agree.

It watered the market down/split up their sales.
It introduced a different screen size for no really good reason.
It probably added delays to their efforts to update the Pre.
It meant additional and different marketing drains.

Especially when they added WiFi to the Pixi+ and bumped it's storage too, there is not enough differentiation between the Pre+ and Pixi+ to make it worth the complexity of having two different phones.

Another problem is all these versions of the hardware radios. If they would simply design a SINGLE handset that works on all carriers, it would DRASTICALLY reduce complexity, inventory, construction, compatibility, troubleshooting, etc, etc. I doubt it would add much cost, and I would guess the savings from not having 3 (?) versions would more than cover the added cost of the hardware.

Almost 6 months have passed since launching with O2.

Im baffled by the fact that you still can't buy a Pre in any other European country than the few launch regions. Is Palm tied to not launching in other countries or have they, God forbid, totally lost the plot?

Its sad to see such a great device get crippled by strange sale strategies.

You get back public confidence by beeing honest and sincere. That's what Rubinstein does. Instead of downplaying past mistakes he admits them - IMO that's a significant and important step. I appreciate his honesty and openness.

Now I hope that Palm's REALLY willing to learn from past mistakes and improve things they've "blown" with the Pre - especially hardware-issues. No matter how good the OS is - if the phone on witch it's running is not functioning in a proper way, then even the best and most innovative OS is useless, b/c no one's gonna buy it! The average user is not buying "webos", but a cool and good looking DEVICE that's really working, stable and doing what it should do.

That's one of the things Rubinstein should have learned from his time at Appel: It's the "feel & look" that's important in the first place for most buyers. And if the "feel and look" is bad, they won't decide for the pre but for an other phone. People didn't by the iMac because of the OS but because the iMac brought something new to the formerly "grey" and "boring" world of Personal-Computers: Colour and style - an innovative design. The iMac simply just "felt" better than the average Windows-PC.

So the "feel and look" is crucial. The Pre is a f***-great device - I LOVE it and wouldn't exchange it for any other phone (besides the Pre+ *smile*). But when I think of all the reviews of early adopters complayning aboutt hardware issues (like the Slider for exmaple), then I do understand why potentially new cumstomers decide to buy RIM, iPhone or a Droid instead of Palm.

Gepi

Next steps? Sell me a gsm pixi!

new product?

I hope for the love of god that it's a business centric smartphone.

RIM's OS is ripe to fall apart the greatness a business WebOS could be.

Iphone and Android are much better suited for entertainment centric software.

Palm should remind itself, what they did well before the pre.

Are you serious? iPhone and Android are both competeing to be an All-in-one phone. RIM is hugely successful don't kid yourself. But they are losing people because they aren't as nice as a personal/business phone. Get a clue. Making a niche phone is a dumb dumb dumb idea.

Fortunately, it doesn't take a lot of research to know what the public wants right now....the fastest processor you can get your hands on installed in the flattest largest candybar shape you can get it in, made of metal and glass, with a ridiculous amont of internal memory if you can't expand it with an sd card......slightly unoriginal, but imagine if they had done it and neglected the operating system first....oh, and launch it on every carrier! I've had 5 of these things, and although fpr me the hardware has held up well through falls and drops ( I had weird software issues at first with the memos not launching) I like this form factor.....but we know that form factor would sell like hotcakes! Then Palm can get to work on that tablet competitor.....lol!

I agree, but originality is nice

has anyone else noticed how many people are walking around using iphones with shattered screens like the windshield of a car that's just been in an accident? iphones are expense and they don't have insurance (unless you get it at best buy). at least your pre isn't going to shatter if you drop it or the dog knocks it off the table or something along those lines. and at least you can get insurance on it through your carrier and can get it replaced if there's a problem with it. i had a problem, took it to the sprint store and voila - 1 hour later i had a brand new piece of hardware. i have a friend who dropped his iphone & had to shell out $600 to replace it. i had another friend whos roommates dog knocked it off the counter and she waited until her parents got her a new one for christmas. oreo swivel f t w!

Disclaimer: The only Apple product I own is a lowly 3g Nano; I just play music. My wife owns a All-in-one Desktop Apple and the super skinny laptop. More and more people at work and more of my friends own them. I will probably buy 2.0 of the iPad. What brought Apple back from the brink is these three simple points:

- Unique Product filling a new or perceived niche.

- An integrated high quality OS with very good quality hardware (nothing has to be perfect and every engineer has a bad day, but if must exude confidence).

- Creative advertising which helped customers imagine themselves using the product to make their life better or easier (notebook so small it fits in an envelope, dancing everywhere with access to more CDs than you could possibly listen to).

CEO should eat some cheese with his whine. The buzz around the Sprint pre was incredible - no typical consumer even heard about android at the time, much less compared it to the pre. I bought two first day; OS is very good - the phone, the battery, the programs just plain suck, suck, suck. If I could search contacts for a name (last, first and company) or any word in every field (including the notes section) ala 755p, that would eliminate a huge suck. I have not owned a phone I couldn't find a contact in, since my Zaurus (and that includes the horrible HP Journada). A phone which won't let you find ALL of your contacts, if you can't remember the full name - Palm dies. Any device which won't even last a full day, is not really a phone, it's a toy - Palm dies.

Android and it's developers are rising because Palm is not delivering on it's Hardware/Unit Sales and it's not licensing its OS to other hardware manufactures (remember the fantastic Clie). Recap - Success is combination of good OS and good hardware; our hardware sucks and we won't let anyone else make the hardware - end of story, Palm dies.

Unfilled niche - Oh yea, what does the pre do that nobody else does? Don't tell me multi-tasking; following a link in website, from an-email and then results in too many cards open is not multi-tasking. Multi-tasking is not a stopwatch program which stops functioning when I open another program or turn the phone off; Palm dies.

Advertising and product positioning - "stupid is, as stupid does...." When people see my cool looking Pre and ask me about it (often), I tell them "...the phone sucks, buy something else." This is not android's or Verizon's fault - Palm dies.

As a premier member, I can change hardware in June (one year). Another 10 yr gigantic palm fan flips the finger - Palm dies; what a terrible waste. Regretfully, Kevin.

"If you could search contacts for a name?"

Seriously? Do you even know how to use this phone? The easiest and one of the best functions of the Pre is universal search.

Obviously you don't. The pre ignores Outlook's "File as" field; this is huge, as Jame's name may also be Jim, Jimmy or Dad. Unless of course, you want to claim nobody uses outlook.

Nobody *I* know (in the real world, not just online) that has a Pre (and I know several) uses Exchange at all.

There in lies one of Palm's huge problems - in the corporate world, most mid to large companies use the MS Suite. Nearly every IT Dept will setup sync with the iphone (if within policy) or uses the Blackberry system. If the Pre market is just for single personal use, the pre is dead; I only want to maintain one cache of 1,600 contacts and it has to include my work contacts.

I don't get why you would tell REGULAR people not to buy the phone purely based on the lack of Exchange search.

- Lack of search of all fields
- Battery life is unacceptable
- Cant sync password software
- dialing phone on screen is not that accurate (haptic patch helps)
- Calculator is a total crap - again touch accuracy is terrible
- Who makes a smart phone that cant play bejewed?
- Who makes you delete e-mail one at time (patched)?
- Random reboots unless you tape the battery
- GPS which somewhat randomly doe not work
- No live spreadsheet support (which I used fairly frequently)
- Phone & Speaker not loud enough
- Does not do a lot things without patches (not appropriate for many people I'm making recommendations to): Landscape e-mail, Open on first tab at the top,
- Lack of sync with iTunes (Palm screwed us on this, they knew many people would not purchase without and sorry, twist is not iTunes).
- Programs which do not run properly in the background
- Non-functional "multi-tasking," open an website from an e-mail, follow a link and presto too many cards open.
- Can't watch wmv (software allowed on 755p)
- Touchstone back cracked on corner

You can validly make the point this is not all Palm's fault, but the bottom line is there are other phones which do these things better, so I recommend people stay away from the Pre.

(Here we go again)

@KevMiami

Time to Put up or STHU... CLEARLY you DON'T own a PRE or are technically challenged and need a "dumb phone". Go buy a JebusPhone (GBAJ)

If I could search contacts for a name (last, first and company) or any word in every field (including the notes section)
>UNIVERSAL SEARCH allows searching first, last, initials, company, email, and phone #'s. Notes is the only field you *can't* search. GBAJ

I have not owned a phone I couldn't find a contact in, since my Zaurus (and that includes the horrible HP Journada). A phone which won't let you find ALL of your contacts, if you can't remember the full name - Palm dies. GBAJ

Any device which won't even last a full day, is not really a phone, it's a toy - Palm dies.
>NO Moderm smartphone lasts more than a day. CNET, Engadget, PC World, ALL state Pre's battery is on par with the others. GBAJ

http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/181684/droid_battery_life_...

http://www.pcworld.com/article/168037/iphone_3gs_comes_up_short_on_batte...


http://articles.latimes.com/2009/jul/03/business/fi-iphone3

Unfilled niche - Oh yea, what does the pre do that nobody else does? Don't tell me multi-tasking; following a link in website, from an-email and then results in too many cards open is not multi-tasking. Multi-tasking is not a stopwatch program which stops functioning when I open another program or turn the phone off; Palm dies.
>Niche is Synergy, all your contact, chat and I'm in one place. Unified email and calander, MULTITASKING, the ability to Run NEED4SPEED, text, and Call SIMULTANEOUSLY. DEVELOPERS control what their apps do when closed. There are several timer\stopwatch apps that run as long as there's power. GBAJ

Advertising and product positioning - "stupid is, as stupid does...." When people see my cool looking Pre and ask me about it (often), I tell them "...the phone sucks, buy something else." This is not android's or Verizon's fault - Palm dies.
>Your choice. Please leave the ecosystem and don't let Synergy hit you on the a$$ on the way out. GBAJ

...Good Riddance.

-CK
Palm Anti-FUD Unit

Hope you enjoyed yourself - you missed the point(s). Enter "Mom" in the Outlook "Save as" field, sync and see if the phone finds it (Nope). You are correct, it does not search the notes field - hardly universal. I store all kinds of important information in this field and could find a contact, for which I couldn't remember the name (e.g. ABC Liquor) but I could remember the name of that great bottle of wine they carry (in the notes).

You replied "lasts more than one day." I said lasts one day; traveling a full day only gets up to 1/2 day sometimes (with larger battery). On the busy days, can't always get to a plug.

Synergy is a technology, not an unfilled consumer need. Every Palm OS device I have owned had all available data and starting with the 650, I had phone and IM; this is not an unfilled niche.

It must be really nice to be the other person on your phone call, while you are busy playing Need4Speed.

Leaving the "Eco System" is very, very expensive - bought 2 phones, all the 12/120v charges, touchstones, extra batteries, cases, etc. The cost of this stuff always far outweighs the cost of the actual phone under contract.

And finally - the point: CEO listed all these reasons why the Pre is not doing as well as it should. But the real reason is while the OS is better than anything else out there, people don't buy an OS; they purchase a Hardware/OS package and this package does not perform as well as other alternatives in some important functions as a phone. In my opinion, from a pure functionality point (personal/business), the Pre is not even as good as my trusty 755p. Will I go backwards after spending all this money - no. But it does explain why palm will die.

There are a lot of things that I would really want to tell you after reading your comments but I will not do it because I don't want to sink to your level..

Let me just leave you with this message: "Your ignorance is not palm's fault". Be thankful for what palm is right now because there is no other smart phone manufacturer that will give you the same service level as what palm gives.

To be ignorant is to lack knowledge - which facts am I unaware of? Why should I be thankful? I have voted with my $ - from the first Handspring for my wife, to Palm OS on the Clie, to nearly every version of the Treo. Nobody has been a bigger fan and stood by Palm longer (I've been a member of Treo/pre central.net forums for 5 yrs and 9 wks).

History repeats itself: watching Palm go up in smoke, is like watching Commodore's ownership of the entire home computing industry evaporate into nothing. They were first, Palm was first; no product was better than the Amiga, WebOS is far superior - both companies never understood or executed a long-term strategy for maintaining the dominance in their respective consumer markets. How long did we wait for Access? Which company killed what would have been the first net-book to market? Speaking of history - When Commodore couldn't sell computers in the US anymore, their dying gasp was to sell computers in Europe. Sound familiar?

What about Apple? They were on the brink of dissolution when Steve Jobs came and gave them new legs. Same thing can happen with Palm.
"they purchase a Hardware/OS package"
No they don't. People buy things based on who else is using it. It's human nature to conform and be 'cool.'

You are absolutely right; Apple came back because of the iPod. This gave the company time and money to reassert itself and now is doing well. This was my very first point - you have to have a product which fills unmet customer need - the iPod allowed you to take music in a quantity which was unheard of and it was bundled with a iTunes, which was very good software in its day (second point - hardware and software).

I was sooooo stoked to have a good looking modern version of the 755p. Instead it was pretty, not as functional as a phone and organizer. The only function it had that was new was GPS and this does not work 30% (usually cloud cover).

If phone purchases are based solely on who else has the phone, Pre is already dead; will never overcome iPhone - programs just are not available. I still can't read a spreadsheet or sync my passwords.

Hey Jon Rubinstein, you should really launch that users commercial. Then at the end give him props. It would create a newscycle and be double ad-time for Palm. Seems like a win win.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdMEllAKrcc

Also, I think for the most part the business section of the webOS is finished. What else is missing????

That said, please fix the media players. The stock music and video players are kind of lame. There is no reason it can't be a personal and business phone, ever heard of Synergy? Business and personal is what the iphone and every other smartphone is trying to do.

Finally, I NEED NEW HARDWARE ON SPRINT. I am on my 2nd Pre, probably will be on my 3rd because of the oreo effect, again. Wife needs a smartphone and I refuse to pay $150 for a Pre. Release the Pre plus on Sprint or give us a nibble of what the C40 is.

If you guys really wanna help Palm go viral, make a commercial for them in the palmSpot contest! Win some stuff while you're at it. Click on the picture below. EIGHT DAYS LEFT!!!


Come on Palm, just SELL already...

let me say this first, I was a Apple user and back in th e early 90s and 2000 they were on the brink of death just like rub said. Pretty much everything that Palm is experiancing with a good product Apple went through the same things, so of course they will succeed they have the best OS in the biz and right now only lack hardware that the massess want (which is large touchscreen slabs). Even looking at laptopmag polls people love the Web OS and if you compare to android or Apples it outshines them. Every new OS like Apple and Android once born goes through the motions, people like sales reps dont know how to sell it because its brand new. The idea I believe is to get the most people to use Web OS to experiance it, then launch a device that resmebles on the outside the competitors. We all know a htc hd2 or evo device running webos would sell out, but first rub needs sometime for people to experiance the Web OS first so that when he does release this type of device thats more millions of people who know about the Web OS and will jump to line up for it. People are ignorant to say that the apps are crap, because what he said is perfect the 2200 apps or so we have ARE and i saw ARE quality apps. I had a iphone 3Gs and 90% of the apps were usless sound apps, duplicate apps and if you use your head its the quality of the app not the quanity. I dont know why people still complain about the amount of apps palm has, because most people right now find every app they need. Also sprint sold over 2million pres to date, so there selling, and its smart for them to release the next gen device through them, because sprint customer not only are loyal to palm (check out palm treo, and centro sales the past couple of years) but Rub knows any Palm device launched on sprint will be sold. Yes Palm should have launched the pre on verizon sooner then later, but think about it in novemeber the Pre still had issues, Os wise and battery life was still pretty bad. For the most part Verizon prob wouldn't have even released it because of the issue due to their strict testing on phones prior to launch. In my opinion the earlist they could have launched the pre on verizon or anyone else was in jan feb when they optimized the OS, and added the base features for it to compete, otherwise you would have alot more people hating the phone because it was really really laggy, no cameria, no basic functions, no apps at all no games etc all announced in feb when they launched on verizon. Sprint understood this after it launched though customer were loyal enough to stick it out with Palm, as most of this forum consist on, Rub would be blind not to notice the sales sprint brought him, as well as the loyalty from the consumers on sprint. Mark my words the next palm deviced launched on sprint, will outsell the HTC EVO, customers really want a great OS not just a flashy looking device, and when Palm releases the new device I believe it will cator more to the masses as i stated above, therefore holding all the cards with next device. I respect him as a CEO he is real and understand shortcomings coming from apple when they were struggling, and ignorant anyalist were stating death of Apple then. I just wish people stop being so weak and support Palm if you really like the device, wont it be more satisfing like it was for Apple when the do emerge from these bad times and really shine in a year or two. Thats what hardtimes are about, I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one that knows about hardtimes.

I like his style

Really? I'm surprised they haven't replaced him yet. Find a CEO that knows what he or she is doing.

He's responsible for every blunder. Not Sprint, not verizon, not the ad agency..

I had to laugh when he said he never used an iphone.

Are you kidding? This guy got Palm to stand back on his feet (and Apple before that). We are not CEO's so we have no right to judge a CEO that worked his way up honestly.

You mean Ed Colligan didn't start the Pre project? And Ruby didn't approve the terrible marketing program we've witnessed like a 100 car Amtrak going over a failed bridge one car at a time?

Frankly, when Ruby said he'd never used the industry's leading phone, I really wondered if he had the resource to lead Palm out of the hole they're in.

bigger problem is with the persistent iPhone on VZW rumours....if OS 4.0 is major evolution of the iPhone OS and if Apple produces a CDMA iPhone, what hope does Palm have? I love my Pre Plus but I will certainly consider the iPhone when it's time to renew my contract.

Or maybe a 4G iPhone on Sprint.

Except for us diehards, who cares about Sprint?

I think my pre is awesome, now I have experienced webOS and the pre's capabilities I will never leave. The community behind it is also amazing and makes the phone that much better. Rub just needs more people to experience the pre and the pre community and not many will leave for a different phone in my opinion.

I think my pre is awesome, now I have experienced webOS and the pre's capabilities I will never leave. The community behind it is also amazing and makes the phone that much better. Rub just needs more people to experience the pre and the pre community and not many will leave for a different phone in my opinion.

Put the Plus phones on Sprint so early WebOS people get the same quality as everyone else, then launch the new device for Christmas, after EVO and new iPhone to steal some momentum.

I was just reading about the iPhone 4 wishlist. Almost everything on there was in the Pre right from the start! I must be very frustrating for Palm. Having said that, I personally cannot recommend the Pre because of poor hardware as I am on my third and am not happy having to put up with a refurb for 2 years.

In the interview, Rub says that the hardware issues are behind them. A major issue is still the keyboard that types extra letters or misses them entirely. That's not even being dealt with. As good as an operating system is, if the phone's basic functions don't work, people will not buy it.

I've been a Treo user (which I am very happy with) for years and was anxiously waiting for the Pre to come out, but the Pre demo unit in Verizon had keyboard problems and it turned out that the forums are filled with people who complain about that issue. I've been holding off buying a Pre until that's dealt with, but if they haven't done so by the time Verizon comes out with the iPhone, I'll have no choice but to switch to the iPhone instead. At least that phone does what it's supposed to.

Fix your hardware and the customers will come!

Sales problems may be shrinking as we speak.

Ruby was good to admit the missteps. The analyst have pre-written Palm

I think I see the game plan here with Palm. And I think it was not what they intended, but now it will work out for them. They are constantly updating their WebOS with patches. They are making a name with the Pre and Pixi because of how widespread it is. So the marketing is actually done already for a future device.

Now by the time they release a new product which will probably surpass hardware specs of most droid phones, and probably contain 4G speed support, they will already have a highly developed WebOS that is familiar with many people.

In the long run, think how many former Pre/Pixi users and current users as well as new users would buy the new hardware? I think it would be a huge sale because the complaint was not about WebOS. In fact, I think we can all say that WebOS is the best Smartphone OS out there. Add a few missing essential features over the next year and put it on a super phone (Which is what the major complaint has been all along) and the palm cant lose. Just my take on it.

Palm already has a winner. They just need to up the hardware.

I think I am very close to giving up on Palm. The Evo looks nice but I need a full keyboard. The droid looks appealing simply because I know android will be here in a year and will have continued success.

As much as I like WebOs,I cannot deny that the hardware issues and rumors of demise have me feeling like I just bought a Saturn and a Pontiac (For the record, I just did)

Palm will need to buy back my loyalty in some kind of program that allows me to upgrade to the newest device at a smaller sum than a new customer. Reward loyalty and you will have more loyalty.

The Palm Post looks awesome and the hardware is not out of the question as far as what other manufacturers are coming out with. If they do not have a new Palm device on the shelves before the next Iphone is announced, I think they will be done for. Apple is rumored to start allowing third party multi-tasking which will take the one huge advantage of WebOS and make it common.

By the way, where is Flash?
Where is the native facebook chat?
Where are the theater connected touchstone chargers?
Where are the basic settings that can be found on any feature phone, even the most basic ones have far superior notification options.
Why do all of the settings I want and need have to come from third party developers via patches?
How can you approve these public domain books and charge for them when you can look them up on a website and read them for free? I know this is a developer but you ultimately hold the gate key to allow crapware.

2200 apps? I show 1919 as of 11:43 EST 4-8-10.

Remove and BAN all products from brighthouse labs as they are not working on apps, they are cutting and pasting into on app and renaming it. They are worthless as the wind they break.

Mr Ransom notice to Palm:

I really believe that this is the best OS that has graced a phone but they have no chance of survival without the best (not just better) but the absolute best hardware available. Blow us away with a gig of RAM, expandable storage, 1.5 GHz or greater processor and a keypad that wont cut you when used on one hand. Gimme Gorilla glass and convenience keys like what is on the Blackberrys for quick camera launch and messaging access. Implement silverlight for Netflix streaming THEN partner with Hulu and the major networks to stream content that people want.

Give me what I ask and you will earn my business. Come out with something that in any way feels like a muted nexus or Evo and I will be forced to go elsewhere.

I tell everyone about WebOS and how great it is. Reward those who woke up at 4 in the morning last June only to receive Oreo devices that get scratched when they are looked at. Give us something to make us proud that we stood by you for all this time.

Hey Scheiny, thanks a lot for the Google trend link. That thing is very cool. I did my own trend study and found interesting results. Notice the spike for HTC Evo but Palm Pre has remained fairly steady for a while and then the Evo drops below the Pre.

http://www.google.com/trends?q=palm+pre+plus%2C+palm+pre%2C+sprint+evo%2...

Back on topic: I love that J.R. publicly addressed issues with the Pre. It really does go a long way with consumers to break the silence and be honest. Keeping everything a secret for too long is damaging.

Palm's next step should be!

Selling unlocked GSM phones for worldwide consumption. No more telephone company lockin. Instead, give the telephone company a huge discount, and let those of us who want to buy their product direct from Palm at a premium price do so. Win, win, win for all 3. parties.

Well. There is still a huge mass of users that the only thing that wants is a quick phone that has games, make good pictures, allows to listen music and can be used for fast texting.

Android phones are *not* that phones, and webos phones neither. For power users are nice toys, but business men still prefer blackberries.

Iphones are phones for teens. period. and that's why they are successful.

Palm: Make a phone oriented to teens. they are right now the critical market. teens wants nice, eye candy phones that make fewer things, but well done. if a teen wants a phone, (s)he will beg parents to buy one. just for texting. just for sending pictures. they don't care about gps, microsoft exchange server support, and those things. they want to take a picture and send it to friends, and talk. period.

take note of google's phone failure. they though: "hey! we are google! we are makers of gmail. people will take this phone by 100s". but only early adopters and techies had them.

palm must make an alliance with global AND local social networks. do you know that there is a russian social network, "Vkontakte", that has 70000000 users? yes! 70 million users. there *IS* a market there. not only facebook and linkedin. In Spain, if your phone talks directly to "Tuenti", and allows to send pictures there, you will have thousands of teens wanting your phone, because "Tuenti" is the #1 social network in spain, and it's filled with teens.

*SOFTWARE* is the key. Make your phone work with teens social networks. also, sites like badoo, eharmony, match.com ... THERE IS A MARKET THERE!!

don't wait the sites themselves to make mobile versions. do prepare your phone for them.

If Palm doesn't come out with a new Phone this summer it will be finished. There is the HTC Evo4g, iPhone HD, Nexus One and I am sure motorola will be coming out with a phone. Palm may be history.

Palm will have a new handset out this summer, you can bank on it. Tech moves to fast for ANY smartphone maker to not come out with new tech annually. Apple can get away with it because their fanbase is largely sheeple, but if you think the flock isn't wondering when Apple will bring out a 1GHz+ phone with expandable memory, then you're crazy. And at this point, it looks like that hardware update will be in 2011.

Great article !
It's just as we should all remember ....Palm has a very well thought out plan and stratergy and will rise above it all !

Go John !

Apple just upped their game with the new 4.0 with multi tasking; ibooks, 5x zoom and 97 other updates. I don't own anything Apple and don't plan to leave sprint(11yrs)for any phone but Palm really needs to come out with something fresh.

Rubinstein probably breathed a sigh of relief after that announcement of OS4, their multi-tasking is still locked down and has a pretty horrid UI involving hammering some hardware buttons and bringing up a box like on android. When you compare that with the webOS card system webOS still destroys the competition and I don't think it will ever be caught while Palm still holds the patent for that kind of UI as its the simplest, most beautiful and most efficient way of doing it.

All Palm needs is more mindshare if they want to suceed as a company because the iphone os has sucked since 2008 when android came out but people buy it anyway.

I don't really care to much as long as Palm don't go bust because I just want the best tech and palm offers that whether your day to day punter realises it or not.

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Tool (TM)

Well, how about them - great applications? - where is Flash? Where is Doc2Go? Where other apps that were on Palm OS and not found on Web OS?

Why do people act like Flash is such a big deal?

Flash is a big deal because of the glaring omission on the most popular smart phone in the world.

There are literally hundreds of thousands of free flash games available on the web that Apple has decided to block because they cannot profit form selling you those games.

WebOs could hit a chord with people when it offers more games than any other platform with more free games than any other device. The implementation I have seen on the Adobe website has opened flash programs in a new window which is far superior to having flash components running on a web page.

Facebook games like Farke, Bejeweled, farmtown and tower defense will instantly work on the mobile device.

You may say that these things are worthless but there are 30 million farmtown users. If they all knew they could play on their phone, Palm could rise very quickly.

For I phone flash is not big deal - for Pre is.., at least it will be something that no other phone does...

hatdware issues are behind us? really! my pre is still a pos and what quality app most of them are home brew apps theres hardly and real developers making apps for the palm pre.B
ut 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.Bro the stock isnt worth shit I own it and even ill admit that its tanking.
But you

He's kind of getting on my nerves. this dark cloud, false hope for a new phone anytime soon.. has me saying "htc evo 4g". webOS...r.i.p