Palm jumps shark

Palm jumps shark

Summary: Sell your stock yet?Once the shining pioneer that took Apple's idea of mobile computing and scaled it to fit in your pocket, now the company that can't seem to figure out what they make or who they are.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Laptops, Mobility
9

Sell your stock yet?

Once the shining pioneer that took Apple's idea of mobile computing and scaled it to fit in your pocket, now the company that can't seem to figure out what they make or who they are. This week they announced their stellar new product, the Foleo fake laptop.

Seriously...this is a joke, right?

Let's take a look at Palm for a second...

After revolutionizing the mobile computing business by introducing the Palm Pilot, somewhere along the line they start to get complacent and create crap devices. Along comes Handspring to teach them a thing or two about innovation, and their answer to that was to simply acquire the company they couldn't "out think."

Then, to compete with the threat of Microsoft, they decide to split the hardware and software divisions into two companies. I knew that was a mistake right there.

When that doesn't seem to be a winning strategy and they lose an enormous amount of market share to the folks in Redmond...they decide to buy the software company back. During this time they also release products that license the Windows Mobile OS... conceding that if you can't beat em...join em. Of course this is after they dominated their market and did nothing to stop the defection from their platform to MS besides releasing a string of boring devices...tons and tons of them.

Now Palm (the company I haven't thought of in 4 years) decides they want to be relevant again and they release a new type of product...a mid point between your laptop and your smartphone...the Foleo mobile companion, a hybrid device that is bigger than a phone but smaller than a full-sized laptop...for only $499.

All I gotta say is...WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?!?!

I have great respect for Jeff Hawkins (founder of Palm). He certainly isn't responsible for Palm's missteps in the past. It was his vision that created Palm, then led to Handspring, and later the Treo. But this new device he's pitching could not be more off base from what people really want or need. Yeah...sometimes you do want a full keyboard or screen...but are you really going to spend that much money to supplement your phone? That's what laptops are for and anyone who already has a laptop doesn't need a Foleo. Business travelers are not going to reach for their Foleo over their laptop.

I don't want to be harsh...but this thing is just plain stoooopid!

This feels like a solution in need of a problem.

Palm has clearly lost it's way and my prediction is that this company is done. When you look at the fact that MS scooped up most of Palm's market share, the Blackberry is becoming more and more compelling for Treo users, and the iPhone is going to capture a lot of consumer attention...I don't see Palm being relevant anymore...especially with products like this.

Farewell Palm...you'll be an interesting footnote in the annals of tech history as the Foleo becomes your swan song.

Topics: Laptops, Mobility

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

9 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • If it does word processing

    I'm in! It does not take much to do the basics and I don't need to carry a 10 lb laptop that does much more than I need.
    happyharry_z
    • For say, $200, maybe.

      But are you going to spend the same about for a "folly-oh" as you will for a basic Dell laptop that will also do word processing? Oh wait, at $499, you can get the Dell laptop for less if you have the right savings code.
      Henaway
      • This is a lot smaller and more rugged than a Dell laptop. It is a different

        category. It has flash memory instead of a hard drive. With volume, the prices will come down. Compare this to the UMPC prices instead of high volume low end laptops.
        DonnieBoy
  • Move over, Zune!

    Take it from a guy who'll buy ANYTHING and who loves his Treo - this is a stinker.
    Another link in the sync chain to break, iffy battery life (what's five hours if your Treo
    runs down in less than three?), INSANE pricing. INSANE.
    boris presley
  • Come on, the STUUUUPID one is he author. This device

    has a full keyboard, wireless, 5 hour batter life, smaller and lighter than a full laptop. So, even in the cheap seats on the airplane, you have 5 hours to finish your Power Point. It even has video out for a LCD projector.

    Those that hate lugging a full size laptop, and hate a blackberry, will love this. Custom made for sales people that need only email, web, basic word processing and power points.
    DonnieBoy
    • 5 hours while connected.

      The 5 hour battery life is while connected to a wifi or bluetooth device. In the field it
      should be a bit longer. This device would serve me well as a blog editor / journal
      during bike touring or hiking. Palms mistake is in positioning this as a smart phone
      companion. This device can connect to just about any network via Bluetooth or WiFi.
      This makes it a good travel companion.
      Zoraster
    • except that

      You can't do your powerpoint on it. All you can do is read and write email, which you
      then sync to your smart phone to send using your data plan.

      The author is right. This is a brain-dead stupid product.
      frgough
      • Not actually.

        From this story

        http://preview.tinyurl.com/yqqyj9

        Primary Capabilities and Attributes of the Foleo Mobile Companion

        -- One-button access to full-screen email
        -- Instant on, instant off
        -- Rapid access to various applications
        -- 10-inch screen and full-size keyboard
        -- Web search and browsing via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi
        [b]-- Editors for Word, Excel and PowerPoint, plus a PDF viewer[/b]
        -- Compact, stylish design that fits on an airline tray table
        -- Lightweight at 2.5 pounds
        -- Fast, simple and intuitive navigation
        -- 5-hour battery life
        -- Linux OS for easy application development

        So you can do powerpoint and most likely more linux applications will be
        developed for it. Plus you can most likely use Googles online office applications
        but that is speculation on my part. You can connect via wifi or bluetooth to any
        network. You do not need to sync to your smart phone to send data. syncing data
        is useful just as syncing data from your phone to your desktop, laptop, handheld
        etc... It is nice to have all your devices in sync
        Zoraster
    • I'll wager you...

      this product craters in less than a year. Willing to take that bet? Palm's done. I predict they get purchased by a bigger company for their assets and brand name in the next 24 months. The writing is already on the wall.
      agraham999