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Palm Shares Falling Along With Decreased Sales

Fri Dec 5, 2008 - 8:55 PM EST - By Jennifer Chappell


We recently reported on Palm's Preliminary Q2 FY09 results and how Palm announced that they would be implementing several cost-saving initiatives, including reducing their workforce, consolidating their European operations, etc. Palm expects those actions will reduce quarterly operating expenses by approximately $20 million by Q4 fiscal year 2009.

Gulfnews.com is reporting that Palm's shares fell by 36% in early trading on Thursday after Palm said that its sales in the last quarter had almost halved. Palm's stock has fallen by 70% this year and dropped to $1.22 by 66 cents on the Nasdaq in early trading in NY after they fell far short of analyst expectations.

The Centro has been selling great, with 2 million Centros already being sold in less than a year. Despite the the millions sold, the Centro's price is much cheaper than the Treos, so Palm didn't benefit as much from the numerous sales. According to the Gulfnews article, Vivek Arya, a New York-based analyst at Merrill Lynch, wrote Thursday that:

"Palm's Centro product, now over one year old, experienced very anaemic sell-through".

Some analysts had suggested that Palm's continued declining stock price could cause Elevation Partners to pull up stakes and unload its stock. But Elevation Partners released a statment on Palm's progress at the end of last month, reasserting their position. Elevation Partners is excited about Palm's progress and its next generation operating system and has no plans to back out of their investment in Palm.

Speaking of that next generation operating system, I think it would do Palm some good, really good, to give us at least a few hints on the upcoming new platform. A pic here or there or a hint of what's to come whispered around the Web would cause some excitement and get the buzz going. Palm really needs this new platform to succeed. I want it to succeed! I know that Palm can still do great things! They were the pioneers and I want them to sweep us off our feet into the future with dazzling bells and whistles on their future devices. It's sort of hard for people to get excited when there's so much mystery involved and we don't really know what to expect. We need some crumbs to get us excited.

PJ Arts over at Palm Addicts had this to say recently regarding Palm's upcoming new platform:

"The only card that Palm has left to play is its (long-delayed) mythological new operating system (apparantly, it is being developed by members of the Knights Templar and Illuminati, working from a secret laboratory in Atlantis). If the OS were even close to fruition, logic would dictate that Palm focus all of their (rapidly diminishing) workforce onto the new products, and get them out the door for this Christmas (oh, sorry...I mean 'Holiday') Shopping Season."
According to several sources I have asked, Palm has yet to even release an official devkit for the new OS. If they aren't ready to share it with the developer community, how can they continue to promise that it will be running on a new device in early 2009?

As PJ noted in his article, eWeek.com posted an article entitled "5 Killer Smartphones for SMBs" (Small-Medium Businesses), and none of Palm's smartphones were listed. The 5 smartphones listed were:

  • iPhone
  • BlackBerry Bold
  • BlackBerry Storm
  • T-Mobile G1
  • Samsung Instinct

We know that Apple and RIM are huge competitors of Palm's. The Treo Pro could be compared to the BlackBerry Bold as they are both business oriented smartphones. The Treo Pro is a great device, but it just came about a year too late unfortunately.

Palm's smartphones have been listed among the top of the heap many times in the past. I want to see them listed among the top many more times. Palm was my first love in the world of gadgets. I've been a gadget freak/junkie ever since I first got my hands on a Palm handheld. And the Treo smartphone got the fires burning, and more and more companies started making smartphones combined with the PDA. I've always preferred the Palm OS because of its simplicity and its ability to help me get things done quickly. Jeff Hawkins lit another fire with the idea of the Foleo. Look at how many Foleo-like devices have popped up since he announced his idea. Unfortunately, we never got to actually buy the Foleo, but we're still hoping for a Foleo II to poke its heads over the horizon. Maybe when the new platform emerges. I can't wait to see what Palm has to offer in their upcoming next generation platform. Please give us some clues Palm! Let's get silly season going and those rumor mills spinning again! ;-)

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