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Palm reportedly has 1.5 million unsold Palm Pre and Pixi units. It has halted sales, a sign of the company's deep problems.  (Source: Palm via VentureBeat)
Bad news continues for veteran mobile device maker

Palm, maker of the Pre and Pixi smartphones, is facing desperate times.

American Banking News
 has reported that Palm's production halt continues as it is unable to sell the stockpile of webOS handsets it has built up.  There's no official word from Palm, but the announcement seems likely to be true as Palm stock plunged 30 percent to around $4 a share following the news.

Palm has a rich history and helped to launch the PDA and smartphone movements.  Lately, it has struggled to keep up with Apple iPhone and Research in Motion Blackberry smartphones.  And smartphones have largely killed the market for PDAs, so Palm can no longer seek refuge in that market. 

In 2008, Palm saw the writing on the wall and made an ambitious bid to retake the market.  After much investment, it unveiled webOS, its new smartphone operating system.  In June 2009, the Palm Pre launched on Sprint, America's third largest wireless carrier.  

Commentary on the smartphone and its OS was mixed, but overall was somewhat positive.  The interface was much like the iPhone, but it lacked the iPhone's extensive app library and used slower interpreted code for apps (as opposed to native code).  Perks, though, included multitasking and a physical keyboard.

Since the launch of the Pre, Palm has done its best to beef up its offerings, releasing the cheaper Palm Pixi handset and the Palm Pre Plus on Verizon, the nation's largest network (Sprint was the first to get the Pixi).  It also released a new software development kit that allowed native application code via the Simple Direct MediaLayer.  The results were impressive -- Palm devs were able to quickly port both Doom and Quake to the phone, a feat impossible with interpreted code.

For all that effort, Palm's sales continued to slip as it saw Apple and RIM post gains.  People simply didn't seem interested in the Palm handsets.  


Over The Air
 in February reported that Palm had shut down its production of webOS handsets.  Palm claimed at the time that the shutdown was temporary -- just a closure for the Chinese New Year.

Now it appears that the shutdown was not just for the holidays.  Palm's poor sales, showcased by its miserable Q1 2010 calendar quarter (its fiscal Q3 2010), are catching up to it and it is developing a large overstock of webOS phones.  According to Morgan Stanley Analyst Ehud Geldblum, Palm this quarter produced 960,000 phones, but amazingly has only sold 408,000 of them.  The total overstock is estimated to be 1.5 million units, following a 29 percent drop in sales in the first quarter of this year, which ends at the end of this month.  Palm's revenue has reportedly dropped $22M USD over the current quarter.

To put Palm's unfortunate failure in context, Google's Android sold 5.5 million units in Q4 2009 and Apple moved 7.5 million iPhones.  That means that Palm's sales for entire quarter are approximately the number of units Apple or Google sell in a single week.

Even if Palm was incredibly able to continue the sales pace of its Pre and Pixi (which is perhaps possible given its new Verizon contact), it would take nearly a year before it could sell off its stock.  By then new Android handsets would have arrived, a new iPhone, and Windows Mobile 7 -- all while Palm is stuck trying to unload increasingly dated handsets.

Palm will likely be forced to turn to deep discounting.  At first blush this might seem happy news for the consumer, but ultimately it is 
not a good thing as it will hurt Palm badly, which in turn will hurt Palm's ability to promote a successful app market for consumers.

Despite all the bad news surrounding Palm these days, there was a bit of good news for the company today. AT&T announced that both the Pre Plus and the Pixi Plus will be heading to its network “soon”.


 



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What I would do...
By GTaudiophile on 3/22/2010 10:19:11 AM , Rating: 3
From what I have heard, the biggest downfall of the Pre/Pixi is the hardware. It doesn't have the horse power.

What I would do...

1) Open it up. Give webOS to any OEM who wants it. Let it compete along side WMo7 and Android.
2) Beef up the CPU/hardware. (Up to OEMs now.)
3) Sell an UNLOCKED GSM version for $199 or less.
4) Concentrate on a stellar app catalog.




RE: What I would do...
By piroroadkill on 3/22/2010 10:21:34 AM , Rating: 4
An ARM Cortex A8 with 256MB RAM? I'd say it is plenty powerful. Infact, that's identical to the 3GS.

It runs underclocked at 500 mHz though. Pre Plus has 512MB of RAM, which is indeed double that of the 3GS.

It's not the hardware, from a performance perspective.


RE: What I would do...
By Iridium130m on 3/22/2010 10:31:14 AM , Rating: 2
agreed...i own a Pre and performance is great unless I get more than 8 apps loaded simultaneously. Pre plus solves that problem from what I've read in the forums with the extra RAM.


RE: What I would do...
By deputc26 on 3/22/2010 4:05:28 PM , Rating: 2
RIM should buy palm, WebOs destroys Blackberry OS and while I am an Android guy WebOs is arguably better than iPhone OS or Android.


RE: What I would do...
By Samus on 3/22/2010 6:09:09 PM , Rating: 2
A RIM takeover bid is inevitable if this keeps up.


RE: What I would do...
By retrospooty on 3/22/2010 9:19:13 PM , Rating: 2
Unless Dell or MS buys them first =)

Palm is done, but the IP will live on. Someone will buy them.


RE: What I would do...
By ilnewsome on 4/9/2010 9:41:04 PM , Rating: 2
I'd love to see SONY take over PALM's handsets and production. Add in that 'make.believe' spirit to the firmware and hardware and go from there. SONY is one of those take the next jump forward companies, and we might loose money and look bad, but at least we were first and "innovative" if it's successful. SONY Erricson phones suck, and run as a completely different branch.


RE: What I would do...
By icanhascpu on 3/22/2010 2:01:05 PM , Rating: 2
"The interface was much like the iPhone, but it lacked the iPhone's extensive app library and used slower interpreted code for apps (as opposed to native code)."

More RAM is good but no one wants a sluggish phone after you have 2 things going.


RE: What I would do...
By Tony Swash on 3/22/10, Rating: -1
RE: What I would do...
By IsDanReally on 3/22/2010 2:08:01 PM , Rating: 5
No it doesn't. But cute that you think your phone has more ram them almost any personal computer.


RE: What I would do...
By gucio69 on 3/22/2010 2:25:03 PM , Rating: 3
They are talking about SYSTEM memory, or the memory that holds programs or data that is currently in use. You are talking about STORAGE memory, akin to a hard drive in a computer.


RE: What I would do...
By Camikazi on 3/22/2010 3:04:16 PM , Rating: 2
You should learn the difference between RAM and Storage, they are not the same, here's a hint, that 32GB is NOT RAM.


RE: What I would do...
By Ristogod on 3/22/2010 3:32:38 PM , Rating: 5
Typical Apple User. Doesn't even understand basic technology terms and how they apply to their device.


RE: What I would do...
By Tony Swash on 3/22/10, Rating: -1
RE: What I would do...
By spookynutz on 3/22/2010 4:26:18 PM , Rating: 5
You should have quit while you were only behind a little.


RE: What I would do...
By Motoman on 3/22/2010 6:36:26 PM , Rating: 2
No kidding. You've just firmly solidified your position as one of the millions of asshats in this world who think they understand technology...but truly have no clue.

Much better to have kept your mouth shut.


RE: What I would do...
By Tony Swash on 3/22/10, Rating: -1
RE: What I would do...
By Motoman on 3/22/2010 8:51:37 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
And the reason they don't bother to market to people like that is because such people are a tiny, tiny percentage of the market.


...Apple has 4% of the personal computer market. Just thought I'd point that out.

You're a more comprehensible Macolyte than most, I'll give you that. But a Macolyte just the same.


RE: What I would do...
By chick0n on 3/23/10, Rating: -1
RE: What I would do...
By themaster08 on 3/23/2010 5:23:01 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Statements like this are a perfect example of why so many people who post here get so het up about so much trivia, trivia that 90% of the population not only don't care about but don't want to know about. The reason that Apple products sell so well, why their product growth rate is so high, is precisely because they don't market to people like those quoted above.

Exactly, so why come to a tech site of which mostly consists of tech literate people that are not in Apple's demographic, and expect everybody to understand your opinion?


RE: What I would do...
By Bioniccrackmonk on 3/23/2010 8:54:30 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
Exactly, so why come to a tech site of which mostly consists of tech literate people that are not in Apple's demographic, and expect everybody to understand your opinion?


Answer: Sheeple


RE: What I would do...
By Manch on 3/23/2010 12:12:32 AM , Rating: 2
Ha! Every time some ass-hat starts digging his hole deeper the song "The Gambler" pops into my head.

Some people just dont learn.


RE: What I would do...
By Tony Swash on 3/23/10, Rating: -1
RE: What I would do...
By retrospooty on 3/23/10, Rating: 0
RE: What I would do...
By Tony Swash on 3/23/10, Rating: -1
RE: What I would do...
By clovell on 3/23/2010 11:53:57 AM , Rating: 5
I think you got under their skin most when you confused storage and RAM, and then refused to say something along the lines, 'Damn, I knew I shouldn't have posted before I finished that first cup of coffee.'

Being an Apple fan probably didn't help you, either.


RE: What I would do...
By Tony Swash on 3/23/10, Rating: 0
RE: What I would do...
By Laereom on 3/28/2010 12:15:31 PM , Rating: 2
I imagine most of them don't have anything against Apple, per se...one must admit that they make a lot of solid, market-changing products. I don't enjoy most of them personally since I like having more control over my gadgets than most, but I can understand others who do.

However, Apple fanboys...

Well, let me put it this way:
Thrice in my life have I met people who confused long term storage with RAM. One was my grandmother. The other two were Apple fanboys claiming their system had 260GB of RAM and cost only $800.


RE: What I would do...
By R3T4rd on 3/23/2010 8:57:56 AM , Rating: 2
If you really don't know, of all the Hacker Contest Held Legally, there is one that is held every year. MAC's were the very first to fall, then Windows, then other Linux flavors. So what does that tell you?

Your sense of security is through obscurity. The only reason why MAC's are does not get Maleware/Viruses/Trojans/Worms its because of the exact reason you stated - MACS have a very little demographic of users and owners (4%-7% of all PC's in the world).

Why would a hacker trying to get money, hack MACs (4% of PCs) when they can hack Windows based PCs (90%+ of PCs). Also your MAC if its MSRP was $1200, have the same identical PC components inside as a $400 Windows PC. There IS absolutely no difference besides the shiny outside and the MAC Operating System.

All these things have been stated over, and over, and over, soooo much its like a broken record. Yet, we still keep getting MAC users like urself who proves the point we have been reciting all along that MAC users are like sheeps herded by Apple/Steve Job's magic leash. There is so much more that can be said and compared between Windows PC's and Mac PC's that if I go on, I'll regergitate what has already been said by people on here soo much, we'd fill up 10,000 webster dictionarys.

And no, we are not adolescent males strutting and running our Windows PC hormones. We have yrs and yrs of IT experience and have seen all there is to see.


RE: What I would do...
By Tony Swash on 3/23/10, Rating: -1
RE: What I would do...
By Gio6518 on 3/23/2010 2:19:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Meanwhile in the real world (where I prefer to live) there are no viruses or propagating malware for Macs while every day tens of thousands of Windows PCs get infected.


seriously your incredible dumb and believe all that apple BS, or your just having a good time messing with peoples heads

there are thousands of viruses and other malware out there for macs, granted as not as much for pc's, but thats the way it is due to popularity of the pc compared to mac.

http://antivirus.about.com/od/macintoshresource/Ma...

http://ftp.cerias.purdue.edu/pub/tools/mac/mac-vir...

and theres many more


RE: What I would do...
By Tony Swash on 3/23/2010 3:45:53 PM , Rating: 1
One of the links you point to is to a 20 year old document. It describes viruses for the old (ie pre-MacOSX) Mac system software. This is like claiming that Windows 7 is vulnerable because of an exploit in Windows version 3.1

The second link is to a search result. Most of the links seems to consist of "research" from security companies saying that Mac users should buy their products. I guess if you ask a car dealer if its time to trade in your old car for a new one the answer would yes but it would prove nothing about the state of your old car.

There are no examples of self replicating viruses existing and spreading in the wild for MacOsX. No malware that spreads itself from one Mac to another. Nothing you can catch on your mac from an email or attachment or download that you can spread to another mac. None.

I did see references a few months back to a pirated copy of iWorks (the Apple productivity suite for macs) which was posted on the web and which apparently contained a Trojan. The Trojan appeared to be harmless and easily removed. There is no data as to how many Macs got infected because nobody wants to admit to using pirated software. It could have been lots or it could be none. Nobody knows but the story about it died quickly so probably very few people were affected. Even if someone's mac was infected by this single example of a Trojan for macs it wouldn't spread to other macs - because there are no self replicating viruses for macs - none.


RE: What I would do...
By Manch on 3/23/2010 6:30:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Where does all your negative emotional energy come from and is it healthily?


From Apple Sheeple like yourself posting BS nonsense, and it's only unhealthy if I don't call you an Ass-Hat, Ass-Hat.

Don't act surprised that you got lit up for posting incorrect info on a tech website and then defend yourself with Apple is the greatest, my Windows PC never works BS. We've all heard that line millions of times.

Now seriously, do you and all the other sheeple buy your Windows based PC from the same damn mythical place. Every Single one of you seems to have more problems with your windows PC's than anybody else I've run into.


RE: What I would do...
By Tony Swash on 3/23/2010 6:49:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
From Apple Sheeple like yourself posting BS nonsense, and it's only unhealthy if I don't call you an Ass-Hat, Ass-Hat.


What are you so angry about - who hurt you and why are you so afraid and hostile? Its seems such an inappropriate and over the top reaction, what lurks beneath?


RE: What I would do...
By Manch on 3/23/2010 7:14:40 PM , Rating: 2
Really? I said you were an Ass-hat. Hardly over the top.

All Im sayin is like everyone else on here, we know that you aren't
seriously offended. Everyone here is tired of the same old bull
sh1t and they are going to jump all over you every time you post.
Have you ever been on a forum that doesn't. If so go back to it,
and if you do not want to do that, then you should pay attention
to what the f*ck you're saying and of course remember "the Gambler"


RE: What I would do...
By snakeInTheGrass on 3/23/2010 10:12:17 PM , Rating: 2
It really is just ridiculous to immediately reply like that to people you don't even know - you just look like a total assh0le yourself.

Anyway, plenty of people really don't care about how much RAM their phone has, it's just supposed to work. The same is true of computers, which I think is what Tony's point was. Palm and everyone else has an uphill climb thanks to the high bar the iPhone user experience has set and the success of the App Store. The recent success of the Mac (if you don't haven't looked into the technical side or user experience side, fine, then just call it pure marketing success for all I care) has similarly forced Microsoft to step up its game and actually try to compete a bit. That should be good for everyone, not a reason for name calling.


RE: What I would do...
By tastyratz on 3/22/2010 4:41:22 PM , Rating: 2
If you call an extensively second rate app catalog without exclusive niche products a pleasant experience I would hate to see your sex life.
There is nothing special about a mac that says "I don't need to think about how much hard drive space I have" or "I don't have to think about how fast my computer is" that mentality generates users that when asked how much data they have they reply by holding 2 fingers up in a pinching pose and saying "this much".
Smartphones are advancin so rapidly and their usage becoming so increasingly complex that they need to be viewed now akin to how you view a computer purchase - by spec.

The statement is true because the apple appeals mostly to the most nontechnical usercrowd - the people who generally don't get it. Why can someone own a car and understand horsepower/gas mileage/safety ratings/etc... but not comprehend the most basic fundamentals to the inner workings of a computer (whether mac OR apple based)?

In today's society there is no excuse. I have been using them just as long, and things like "I'm too old" really boils down more to "I'm too arrogant or just set in my ways to bother". Training videos/dvds/courses/personell/etc. is and has been easily accessible to anyone for many years. I expect people on the road to have a valid drivers license, and I also now expect members of the workforce to have BASIC fundamental computer knowledge.


RE: What I would do...
By JediJeb on 3/23/2010 3:29:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
. I expect people on the road to have a valid drivers license, and I also now expect members of the workforce to have BASIC fundamental computer knowledge.


Depends on where you work. I work in a laboratory and still several here know very little about computers. They don't use them at home so never try to learn more than how to turn it on and punch in the numbers that need to be entered for what they do. Maybe check email and that's about it.

Computers really aren't the be all end all to life that many seem to think they are. Believe it or not, life can be lived without a computer still.


RE: What I would do...
By tastyratz on 3/23/2010 9:04:35 PM , Rating: 2
disagree, Life can be lived without a computer in modern society just as you can live without a car outside of a dense city. Sure you can do it, but the concept has become asinine and archaic, just as the ways are of those who adopt the philosophy of ignoring the "numbers box".


RE: What I would do...
By JediJeb on 3/25/2010 12:19:49 PM , Rating: 2
I would say though that world wide the percentage of people that own computers is not that high. Even in the US there is a good percentage of homes that do not have a computer or internet connection. Some can't afford it, some just don't want it.


RE: What I would do...
By R3T4rd on 3/23/2010 4:57:57 AM , Rating: 1
ROFL!!!
ROFL!!!!!!

WOOOOOOHOOOOOO!!!! I laughed soooooo hard I just peed my pants!!!! eww?

This just proves how clueless most Apple users are.


RE: What I would do...
By themaster08 on 3/23/2010 5:43:47 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Today was a good example. I spent the day hopping between a MacPro that hasn't faltered or misbehaved in 18 months of continuous use (the only restarts have been for system upgrades) and a recently purchased and high end PC running Windows 7 which for some reason has started not booting every so often. So I sigh and spend wasted hours trying to identify the problem. Technically challenging but what a waste of time. I find myself checking for viruses, running tweaking and diagnostic software pretty often on the PC side - whereas my macs just sit there purring away doing their stuff.

If you're "tech literate" you should at least learn good practices on how to avoid malware in the first place. If you knew what you were doing then you wouldn't have any issues. 90% of it is common sense.

You don't have to tinker a PC. It is perfectly functional out the box. People like myself do so because it's a hobby. Not because it's a necessity. Some of us have owned PC's that are 10+ years old, that are also still purring away without the need of any tinkering whatsoever. So what?

That's the problem you see. As you say, the Mac takes you away from all of that, but at the same time users forget the real dangers that are out there, which could/will one day affect them. Then what?

That's a problem with anyone using the internet, not just Mac users. It can be a very dangerous place. People think they can just jump in the deep end and use the internet without any knowledge of good practice. Everyone knows that dangers exist amongst the internet, but if people aren't willing to educate themselves of these dangers, what can you do?


RE: What I would do...
By R3T4rd on 3/23/2010 4:47:53 AM , Rating: 1
....

ROFL!!!!!!

That was a good laugh. Man I haven't laughed like this for a long time.


RE: What I would do...
By MrX8503 on 3/25/2010 9:40:59 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Do you mean the iPhone 3GS? If so my iPhone 3GS has 32 gigabytes of RAM and the minimum configuration is 16 Gigabytes.


*Facepalm*


RE: What I would do...
By clovell on 3/22/2010 11:23:52 AM , Rating: 2
I like 1 & 3 - #4 is being done nwo that devs are on board. I'm actually a registered Palm webOS dev, myself - more as a hobby. The platform has really opened up, and is showing a lot of promise.

For #2, I think it's powerful enough right now, but if marketing can use it as a bullet-point over the competition and its cost-effective, go for it.


RE: What I would do...
By Diesel Donkey on 3/22/2010 12:07:12 PM , Rating: 2
It does have the horsepower--the exact same horsepower the iPhone 3GS has. However, with the exception of games run through the plug-in that allows for native code, everything is running from interpreted code and without the assistance of the very capable GPU.

I own a Pre Plus, and I actually like it quite a lot. It can be sluggish at times for sure, but the UI more than makes up for that. Once a program is running it's pretty snappy. I'm running 8 right now as I type this, and I can run many more with no slow-down. I enjoy using the phone so much in fact that I usually turn it on rather than my E6400 4GB RAM 24" monitor desktop. Those who are brainwashed by the Droid/iPhone commercials or think they an app catalog with gazillions of entries don't know what they're missing!


RE: What I would do...
By omnicronx on 3/22/2010 1:29:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
From what I have heard, the biggest downfall of the Pre/Pixi is the hardware. It doesn't have the horse power.
Well close your ears then, because whoever you 'heard' this from is a moron.

The Palm Pre has almost identical hardware to the 3GS, same processor, same GPU, same amount of ram, same screen resolution... (in fact the pre plus has more ram than the iPhone 3GS)

Its faster than the 3G, thats for sure..

Now the loading time for pre apps is a at least twice as long for many apps, but once you are in, performance is pretty much the same as the 3GS. Then again my guess is that this mainly has to do with the fact that the Pre can multitask and does not seem to leave common apps in memory like the iPhone does.(my guess is that is it to conserve memory)


RE: What I would do...
By Jeffk464 on 3/22/2010 8:16:36 PM , Rating: 2
"What I would do...

1) Open it up. Give webOS to any OEM who wants it. Let it compete along side WMo7 and Android."

Unfortunately for palm I think the default open smart phone OS is going to be android. Its getting great reviews and has the the deep pockets of Google behind it. I was tempted to get the palm pre on verizon for its wireless access point feature, but didn't want to get stuck with an unsupported product.


"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer














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