Deutsche Bank reports that Palm is delaying the Foleo companion device, which was supposed to hit stores this week. The big question: Does anyone (outside of the three of you that are going to buy one) care?
One issue: The Foleo had trouble working with Palm's Treo. Go figure. Sounds like a good reason to delay to me: The Foleo is a doorstop without a Treo. Now the Foleo is expected to appear in early September.
In a research note Aug 21, Deutsche Bank analyst Jonathan Goldberg wrote (TechTrader Daily has more):
In a round of checks yesterday we learned that the Palm Foleo will be delayed. The product was supposed to hit Palm stores this week, but was delayed when software bugs were detected. These apparently included an inability to synchronize the Foleo with most models of the Treo, in particular the nominally high-volume Treo 680. Our contacts indicate Palm now expects
the device will ship in late September/early October.
Goldberg didn't sound too broken up about it since the Foleo has no effect on Palm's financials. The analyst, which rates Palm a "sell," sounded moderately more optimistic about new Treos and new form factors. But overall, Goldberg said these Treos will "at best keep Palm in the game." Matthew Miller has also been lukewarm on the Foleo. Matthew adds that the mobile companion category is doomed. David Berlind has been a little more optimistic about the Foleo.
Oppenheimer analyst Lawrence Harris echoed the Deutsche Bank comments, and noted that reviews for Palm's new device, the Centro, have been mixed. The keyboard is apparently smallish.