Talkin' Palm - Week ending 13 Mar 10 | webOS Nation

Talkin' Palm - Week ending 13 Mar 10 14

by Annie Latham Tue, 16 Mar 2010 2:54 pm EDT

Palm ended with week with momentum on the app and developer side of things (especially game developer). As for the stock, things are still grim. So let's start with PALM news to get that out of the way.

CNBC - Jim Goldman: "Goldman wrote about the possibility of Palm being brought under Motorola's wing:

"...Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting that a Palm/Motorola tie-up would mount any kind of meaningful challenge to Apple and RIM."

"... But with strength in numbers and critical mass so important in the smart phone arena today, a Palm/Motorola team could at least get decidedly larger crumbs than the two separately are scrounging for today. Palm would do well with Motorola's marketing muscle behind it, and Motorola's Sanjay Jha could turn Palm into an operational contender rather than the stumbling wannabe it has been. Palm's conference call in a couple of weeks when the company reports earnings should be an interesting event indeed."

Seems like there's somebody suggesting Palm get purchased nearly every day. Still doesn't make sense to us, though.

Let's Talk Palm!


InformationWeek's Ed Hansberry posted a story ("Palm's Survival At Stake") where he remarked:

"If nothing else, this should be a lesson for anyone with a new platform, something that Microsoft should learn, as well as Samsung with their Bada platform. You need more than just a really cool OS to make it work."

Palm's Game Developer Moves...

On Tuesday, at the Game Developers Conference (GDC), Palm announced that a public beta version of the Palm webOS Plug-in Development Kit (PDK) is now available. Palm demonstrated new games from early PDK developers in its booth at GDC.

In this video, Rene from TiPb spoke with Joe Hayashi from Palm detailing the PDK in broad strokes in a way that the rest of us non-developers can make sense of. Palm's main message is a subtle dig on Android and iPhone: if you're on Sprint or Verizon and want cool 3D games right now, your best bet is the Palm Pre."

Reaction to the announcement

IntoMobile/Marin Perez - Palm beefs up gaming for webOS
"It’s a good platform move but I don’t know if it is enough to draw multiple developers to Palm. While webOS was well-received by the press, the general public hasn’t bought it and the company is struggling financially. This may scare off developers because the iPhone and Android are far more attractive targets at this point."

BusinessInsider/Dan Frommer - Palm's New Gaming Platform Won't Save Palm - He stated three reasons:

  1. Palm simply doesn't have enough users to generate enough game sales to offer a big return on investment, at least in comparison to the huge user base on the iPhone platform.
  2. Palm does not have the equivalent of an iPod touch -- an inexpensive, unsubsidized, wi-fi-only device.
  3. While Palm is making it easy to move parts of game code to webOS from iPhone, it is not yet providing key parts of game commerce, which makes money for developers.

Developer phones now available for purchase at 20% discount. So not a Wi-Fi only option, at least webOS developers aren't paying full ticket. Offer ends 30 April.

How low can it go? Pre and Pre Plus Price Drops...  PreCentral's own Robert wrote:

After dropping the mail-in rebates in their own stores, it looks like The Network is making it easier for 3rd parties to sell the Pre Plus at lower prices. Our own Wirefly affiliate has the Palm Pre Plus for $39.99 for new Verizon customers after instant rebate and still has the Palm Pixi Plus for the low low price of free (yes, those are 'support PreCentral' links). Amazon is also selling the Pre Plus for the $39.99 and the Pixi Plus for one cent.

And Eric Savitz at Barron's Tech Trader Daily noted the lower pricing at Amazon (Palm Pre Plus for $39.99) and Wal-Mart (the same phone will run you just $29.99).  His story quoted C.L.King analyst Lawrence Harris, who pointed out the lower prices in a research note.  He mentioned that there has been a slight pick-up in sales of the Pre Plus in Verizon stores since the launch of new ads, but the rampant discounting has him worried about channel inventories.

comScore's MobiLens Report: Android Leaps over webOS - From the last report (Oct-09) to the latest one (Jan-10), Palm's share of smartphone subscribers fell from 7.8% to 5.7%. Google Android grew fro 2.8% to 7.1% (a 4.3% increase). RIM (43%) leads the pack followed by Apple (25.1%) and Microsoft (15.7%). Windows Mobile felt a bigger drop, 4% than Palm at 2.1%.

App Watch

What's Tweetin'

A happy thought to close with...

CNET's Bonnie Cha wrote:

"The Palm Pre Plus earns its place as the top webOS device, improving on the Pre with better design and performance, and upgraded features. Verizon customers looking for a versatile smartphone to balance their personal and work lives will be well-served by the Pre Plus."

That's a wrap!



Don't Sell Palm...Keep on track with frequent OS updates and improve your hardware for Palm 2 or whatever you decide to call it...

1st, palm started the week pretty good with their new ad! Go Palm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm a Pre lover since day one - and have been using Palm products since the Treo 600.

Palm Pre is one of the best smart phones out there with it's OS - but I definitely worry that they lack the $, resources and marketing muscle to turn this all around in time to save themselves. A shame if that happens.

Maybe a strategic acquisition makes sense? Maybe a company that could put some real marketing $ behind it, while helping to pump more products out in the market? It could also help generate/demonstrate stability - which might prompt confidence in developers who will then start designing APs specifically for the PRE?

Maybe an acquisition makes sense? Possibly a good thing? Agree or Disagree? Why?

PS - I received a colorful Direct Mail piece from Sprint yesterday. It showcased their price point, their service, and some great new phones. The problem: Palm Pre/Pixi was left out! Sprint can't be counted on to push the PRE these days - so I fear that the Pre II launch will result in more of the same!

I'd much rather see Palm stay a separate entity, and I think it can do so as long as they do two things:

Greatly improve marketing
Develop high end devices rather than relying on webOS alone to be the main selling point.

A great OS with great hardware marketed greatly will keep Palm alive! All that said, if they were to be bought out I'd like to see webOS on HTC devices!

I could really see hp buying not so muuch on moto. I hop things start turning around for them soon all touch screen phone soon any one

Wow. Motorola? Are you kidding? Palm is better off alone. Maybe Nokia but NOT Motorola.

Palm needs better marketing and better hw. Those are the two things that Palm redefined FAIL when the Pre was launched. WebOS is ridiculously great! Better than anything out there. However, the terrible quality of the hw is the Achilles heel of this device. Hopefully, a Pre2 will address it with something more like HTC-type hw.

Better Marketing and much better hw. That's what needed.

Nokia is already supporting Symbian and Maemo5/Meego, I can't see them wanting to support a third mobile operating system. Nokia would have nothing to gain from buying Palm.

For the fun of it, how about a wild card ... Cisco.

If Cisco can push further into the consumer market with the purchase of Flip Video, why not jump into the smart phone market. Talk about a company with the cash to market webOS!!!

Now THAT would be interesting...
Since Cisco also owns WebEx, if they were to integrate that into a WebOS Platform, along with a 4G enabled device... it could potentially change how people communicate and do business...

I could see HP or Nokia buying, HP don't have a current stake in the smartphone market at all and Nokia could buy a US brand to make better inroads in the US market. Both companies would benefit from a good OS and a good brand (in the US at least, Nokia's brand outside North America is just fine).

Motorola have thrown their money behind Android and by all accounts the Droid and Milestone are a success so why would they buy Palm? Motorola wouldn't need Palm for their branding or OS.

I think Palm just needs to keep pushing webOS (with even better marketing) and develop some new, quality hardware.

An iPod Touch-like device with webOS would be awesome for people who don't want to change cell phones, or even for schools to use in the classroom.

A webOS tablet would be great too.

I think Palm also needs to get webOS on T-mobile, AT&T and more international carriers.
Pushing the carriers to advertise and push more will help too.

I think Palm getting bought or licensing webOS would lead to disaster.

That would be a sad day for Palm. The Pre was my first Palm phone and I didn't even have a clue what a smart phone was. I knew the iphone was out there but I didn't know there were others out there. I thought a phone was a phone and about every 3 years I had to get a new one. From what I understand from following Precentral Palm does a great job letting their customers control the product by allowing users to change it the way they want it (and I'm not talking about wallpaper). About a week ago I installed preware and I have never been more happy with my phone. Its like Christmas everyday, I'm still going through the patches and extra apps not found in the Palm App catalog. Instead of waiting for a company to add the features I want, Palm users can make patches that will get the job done. Thats amazing to me I am a new user so I have never seen anything like that before and I have used an iphone before. The last thing I want is an iphone that has a gagillion apps but you can't customize the phone the way you want. Well unless you void the warranty. I don't think Palm has a problem with marketing. I think the problem is with the consumer they have been brainwashed by apple so now they follow Jobs around buying what ever s*** he craps out. And the sad part is they believe its great because of the brand name (and because its twice as expensive so it must be GREAT!! right?). I think Palm should keep doing what its doing, maybe they should change some marketing strategies or upgrade their hardware, and hopefully the iphone zombies will wake up and see that the iphone isn't the only smart phone in town.

Palm is doing fine. Just dont make the new Pre out of cheap plastic. If there was any hardware merger i would say HTC would be much better.

Beyond spending money on marketing, why not just SELL MORE devices? How you say...quit handcuffing itself to overly long exclusive contracts with (sometimes low return) carriers, and maybe sell unlocked GSM to the other 5ish billion people the same way they did for years. Sell them through electronics chains in each market. I'll guarantee they could bang a few hundred thousand out the door extra per quarter if they just did this. It seems that the carrier tieups are, and yes there are marketing/support benefits to a small struggling company, ultimately a giant drag on growth. They can get mindshare with early adopters and evangelists which would be at least a viral campaign AROUND THE WORLD, while selling devices and making revenue to keep the scumbags on wall street at bay!