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Can Palm compete in today's mobile space?

Palm still holds a special place in the heart of many mobile enthusiasts, but is this enough to sustain the struggling mobile company? webOS is an attractive operating system, but we need to see more than that from Palm.

Last June I wrote a blog post asking if our love for Palm was clouding our judgement since the Pre hardware was a bit of a letdown and we seemed to be overly excited about Palm. Many of us in the mobile space started out with Palm and thus they probably do have a special place in our hearts as the company that first had us hooked on mobile devices. I recently purchased my own Palm Pre Plus on Verizon and the first one had the defective double letter/missing letter issue while the second one has the battery contact problem (fixed with a piece of a business card inserted into the battery compartment). I do really like the webOS operating system, but feel the Palm hardware offerings are weak compared to other devices on the market and have a hard time recommending the Pre Plus to others. However, I am still a fan of Palm (part of why my online id is palmsolo) and am keeping my Pre Plus because I like webOS and get an outstanding Verizon 3G signal all over the place.

The facts and financial data show that Palm is not doing well and if I was being logical I would return my Pre Plus and look for another solution. I also wrote back in November that I was not hopeful that Palm would make it all the way through 2010 and many others are now starting to make those statements. A couple of the most recent articles about Palm are Ars Technica's article titled, RIP Palm: it's over, and here's why, and Engadget's article titled, Palm: this is your survival guide.

It is pretty clear that most think webOS is a good operating system, but the current hardware is failure with a failed advertising campaign. Apps are far behind the other mobile platforms, but I honestly am not really missing anything on my Pre Plus and find gaming to be quite good and enjoyable. There is room in the still rather young mobile space for Palm so it is really up to them whether they can stay in the game or not. I personally would love to see them enlist HTC again to create some great hardware while advertising the heck out of the webOS platform. I doubt any company (Microsoft, RIM, or Nokia) will buy Palm so it is up to them to get it done. Can Palm pull another rabbit out of the hat and get back on track?