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A Palm executive and longtime retailer leave Palm behind in search of brighter futures

The financial and structural problems for Palm continue to pile up with no apparent viable outcome other than selling the company.

Palm started the week already under constant pressure, but it got worse when it was disclosed Michael Abbott, Palm Vice President of Software and Services, abandoned the company as Palm admitted it may be more difficult to find a new buyer than previously expected.

"We are concerned by the departure of Mr. Abbott, as he had principal responsibility for Palm's WebOS software, one of the company's few remaining assets," noted Lawrence Harris, CL King & Associates analyst, when speaking with
Reuters.

Abbott is expected to officially leave the company by the end of the week, though it's unsure if he'll be replaced.

The double whammy caused Palm's stock to slide a further 13 percent, as Abbott was the person responsible for helping lead development of Palm's webOS.

Palm has released the Pre and Pixi over the past year, but still hasn't been able to compete with Apple, Research In Motion, HTC, and other competitors.  The appeal for webOS is a driving force behind rumors of HTC and one or two other companies possibly buying the company.

If that wasn't enough, Palm also said RadioShack -- which is suffering its own financial issues -- also will leave behind the Pre and Pixi phones.  Sprint will instead offer a new RIM BlackBerry as the No. 3 wireless provider continues to battle against AT&T and Verizon Wireless.

Palm's financial woes have been well discussed in the past, and there are piles of unsold Pre and Pixi smartphones even though no more phones are being produced.



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I'm no executive
By amanojaku on 4/19/2010 10:01:23 PM , Rating: 1
But if I worked at Palm I'd say screw a buyout. I'm a realist; I doubt it would happen, because there's just too many hardware and software players. That doesn't mean I don't like what it's done with the Pre and Pixi, however.

This economy is in the toilet; hire a team of dedicated, talented individuals willing to turn a decent company around. Hardware, software, UI, app store, and open source subject matter experts and architects. They exist, and they (and you) don't have much of a choice when it comes to survival.

Look at the *blech* iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and others (there are many) and see what they're doing right. Do better. Find a way. Don't give people a phone, give them a multi-function device. That makes phone calls. And Skypes, or something. And it multi-tasks. Real multi-tasking, not that BS push-notification. Seriously, no one likes a copycat. And make the phone available to all carriers. Maybe give someone a 3-6 month exclusive, but realize that you're nothing special. Apple has stolen the thunder. Google is David. Don't f*** with a focused Microsoft. You can only win with numbers, and that means all carriers, at a reasonable price.

Maybe that's the alcohol talking. *beeeeeeeeelch* ;-)




RE: I'm no executive
By Assimilator87 on 4/20/2010 12:03:10 AM , Rating: 2
All this news about Palm is so disheartening. I have a Sprint Pre and I'm absolutely in love with the card system. On top of that, Palm's extremely open support for third party developers and modding (patches for those in the know), plus the PDK, which has allowed game developers to port their products within days, are a shining example for the rest of the industry. I really want them to succeed so that I may one day see a Pre 2 with a Cortex-A9 and hi res screen, but with the way their sales are going and the recent wave of crucial members leaving, their future looks discouragingly grim. On the other hand, Palm has recently been spreading its products like wildfire to every carrier available and I think that'll really help push them through until the next big release. It's all very murky, but let's all hope that the other carriers can push the WebOS products enough for Palm to weather this sh*t storm.

-Mike


RE: I'm no executive
By Moishe on 4/22/2010 11:14:05 AM , Rating: 2
I have a Verizon Pre Plus and it is a beautiful phone. It's good in so many ways. Palm has a lot of good will built into the WebOS and it will be a shame if the OS goes down the toilet.

They need to keep selling them cheap and on more carriers. Everyone wants to have the top dog phone, but in the end, sometimes sales quantity can save an arse.


RE: I'm no executive
By OBLAMA2009 on 4/20/2010 1:55:37 AM , Rating: 2
they should sell their overstock for a low price, say $150 to people who arent in an upgrade period just to get some market shre/momentum. i already have blackberry but id pay 150 for a pre just to try it out. if its good maybe id like it and get pre2


RE: I'm no executive
By OBLAMA2009 on 4/20/2010 2:01:26 AM , Rating: 2
they might as well do this. at this point, the hardware they have isnt competitive with what other companies have or are coming out with soon


RE: I'm no executive
By Wolfgangap on 4/20/2010 10:53:28 AM , Rating: 1
I recently lost my iphone and would have to pay $400 to replace it (my contract is up in July and then I can get a new one for $99). Instead, I bought an ATT Go phone for $30 and plan on just waiting for the new Win7 phones (I like Silverlight and .net development).

But if I could just buy a Pre for $150 I would certainly do that.


RE: I'm no executive
By guacamojo on 4/20/2010 4:29:57 PM , Rating: 2
Verizon is having a fire sale on its Pre's. $49 for the Pre, and Verizon will even let you out of your existing contract to do it. ("upgrade event")

It even qualifies for BOGO, so if you want two, it's a pretty good deal.

I'm getting one for my wife this weekend.

Maybe AT&T is doing something similar?


RE: I'm no executive
By themaster08 on 4/20/2010 4:21:47 AM , Rating: 2
It's such a huge shame that this is happening to Palm. They have such an excellent OS. However, having a great device is only half the effort. It doesn't matter how good your product is. If people don't know about it, it might as well not exist.

Here in the UK, the Pre is only available on O2. They made a huge mistake making this phone a network exclusive, like the Sprint exclusive in the US. They should have made the Pre available on every network possible to maximise its potential market.

The advertisements do the Pre absolutely no justice. I mean, just look at the iPhone's advertisements, they're forever showing off the strengths of the App Store, and it works. Apps are what people are into. Show off the things that people will love, such as the multitasking! Be straight to the point, not with orange dancing clowns. I see absolutely no Pre advertisements on the TV. Aggressive marketing is the key to getting the device known.

They should have properly thought about how to win over developers before they even released the Pre. There's absolutely no incentive to switch development from the iPhone or Android to WebOS.

Palm were a little late to the game, but that's not as much of an issue. So was Android, but that has taken off and is a huge success so far.

I believe the main problem is lack of devices. Palm doesn't have the financial assets nor the popularity to pull off an iPhone-like success. More devices with full integration between all of them, so that apps work seamlessly between devices (eurgh I'm starting to sound like Steve Jobs).

Palm have nailed their own coffin shut. There was so much more they could have done. I know if I was an executive at Palm, I would have used every last ounce of strength to make the Pre an absolute success, and it oculd have been.


RE: I'm no executive
By retrospooty on 4/20/2010 8:38:12 AM , Rating: 5
"Palm have nailed their own coffin shut. There was so much more they could have done. I know if I was an executive at Palm, I would have used every last ounce of strength to make the Pre an absolute success, and it oculd have been. "

Palm has never been able to fire on all pistons at the same time. They had early successes becasue they had ideas that others didnt have. Once other faster smarter companies started doing what they do they appeared slow and aged, because they are.

They are slow to react, slow to develop. and in the case of the Pre, they FINALLY did put together a good peice of hardware with good software - but in typical Palm fashion, the other pistons weren't firing when they needed to be. Management and Marketing pistons were not firing at all this past year.

Palm just isnt designed to compete. They are to slow and lack the leadership structure to improve. Hiring CEO Rubinstien wasnt enough. its the whole companies culture that failed here.

- a 5 year Palm employee. 2002 - 2007


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