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Palm Plans New, High End Windows Mobile Treo for this Summer

Thu Mar 20, 2008 - 6:26 PM EDT - By Jennifer Chappell


As Dieter mentioned in his Palm financial results article, Palm reported a total revenue in the 3rd quarter of fiscal year 2008 to be $312.1 million. They had a smartphone sell-through, reaching a company high, totalling 833,000 units, up 13 percent year over year. This record high sell-through was driven by the strong demand for the Palm Centro. Smartphone revenue was $275.4 million.

Colligan said that the combination of the great selling Centro and a new Windows Mobile Treo geared towards enterprise would increase market sales. The Centro momentum is increasing, but until they get out the new WM Treos at a higher price point, the quarter will continue to be a tough one.

The most exciting news to come out of the conference call today was when Palm CEO Ed Colligan said that Palm would give us a new, high end Windows Mobile Treo before the end of the summer. Even though this was exciting news, it was also pretty disappointing since we were hoping that the new WM Treo would arrive much sooner. *sigh...*

Of course we expect the new WM Treo to be the rumored Treo 800w. Now that we know that the 800w won't be coming until August most likely, this would be a good time to head over to WMExperts and change your guess of the release date if you've entered the WMExperts Rumortastic Giveaway.

I guess for now, the only taste we have of the Treo 800w is the photo that surfaced during Bill Gates' Keynote at CITA back in January. And of course the rumored specs that we get wind of now and then.

The main thrust of the call was neither the numbers nor the upcoming Windows Mobile Treo, however. Instead, Colligan focused on the "transformation changes" that Palm is currently going through as a result of the deal with Elevation Partners.

Today we are almost five months into this transformation and I am happy to report that I believe we are ahead of schedule. We have three major thrusts to drive our transformation: People, Products, and Platforms.

Colligan said that on the "People" front, the first and most important development is the outstanding working relationship that Jon Rubenstein and he have built.

Jon is making an amazing impact on the quality and time to market of our products and I know his work on the roadmap will result in the delivery of a compelling product line in the future. In addition, Jon has been instrumental in attracting people like our new SVP of Product Development, Mike Bell. Mike has a stellar track of product delivery and between Jon and Mike, we are rapidly building and strengthening a world class product development team.

Then Colligan said:

On the "Products" front, in addition to our great success with the Centro on Sprint, we have recently shipped the product to AT&T, and early sales data from AT&T is promising. Over the next few months we intend to expand our carrier relationships further and to deliver the Centro globally, which should continue to build market momentum for Centro as we enter the back to school and holiday time frames.

Colligan stated that they're also increasing their Windows Mobile efforts, targeted at enterprise and then said the part about Palm expecting to refresh their WM product line before the end of the summer with exciting new products which will be targeted at business customers. He added that as Microsoft delivers its latest Exchange-based device management solutions, you'll see the combination of Palm's efforts reach a new pitch.

We strongly believe that we will have the best all around offering for any enterprise customer, based on the most efficient and cost-effective industry standard architecture and delivered on top of a keyboard-based device designed to deliver a great experience to the most demanding enterprise customer.

And regarding the "Platform" front, Colligan stated:

We expect to renew our design and innovation leadership position with our new system software. We believe that the enhanced functionality of this new platform and its accessibility to the developer community combined with the exciting product design for it will usher in a new era for Palm. This platform development effort is proceeding well, meeting its major milestones and we are very excited about the ultimate outcome.

Colligan said that all that progress is great, but it will not deliver revenue growth and profits just yet.

During the Q&A session, someone asked Palm what the level of confidence was that they'll get the new next generation platform done this year. Colligan responded that they believe they'll get the platform finished this year and see the new devices based on the new next generation platform ("Nova") next year.

Colligan said that they're very excited about the new products coming down the pipeline and he feels very confident about Palm's future.

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