Palm cancels Foleo

Palm's Foleo companion, which had mixed prospects, has been canceled so the company can double down on its next-generation software platform. Palm CEO Ed Colligan said in a post Tuesday that shelving the Foleo was the right thing to do:I have decided to cancel the Foleo mobile companion product in its current configuration and focus all of our energies on delivering out next generation platform and the first smartphones that will bring this platform to market.

Palm's Foleo companion, which had mixed prospects, has been canceled so the company can double down on its next-generation software platform.

Palm CEO Ed Colligan said in a post Tuesday that shelving the Foleo was the right thing to do:

I have decided to cancel the Foleo mobile companion product in its current configuration and focus all of our energies on delivering out next generation platform and the first smartphones that will bring this platform to market. We will, of course, continue to develop products in partnership with Microsoft on the Windows Mobile platform, but from our internal platform development perspective, we will focus on only one.

Because we were nearly at the point for shipping Foleo, this was a very tough decision. Yet I am convinced this is the right thing to do. Foleo is based on second platform and a separate development environment, and we need to focus our efforts on one platform. Our own evaluation and early market feedback were telling us that we still have a number of improvements to make Foleo a world-class product, and we can not afford to make those improvements on a platform that is not central to our core focus. That would not be right for our customers or for our developer community.

Reading between the lines, it appears the luke-warm reviews of the Foleo had an impact. (See David Berlind's video review.) It's not a good sign when a company delays a product and no one notices.

In the end, Palm is making the right move. Why distract yourself with a product that could wind up as a doorstop? If Palm is going to right itself it needs to focus on its core smartphone market and developing an OS that will propel the company into the future.

foleo1.jpg

Colligan said the company will take a charge of $10 million to its earnings. That's a small price considering the charge Palm would face if it had a bunch of Foleos lying around in a warehouse. Colligan said Foleo II will be based on Palm's new platform, but I'd be surprised if the product was mentioned much again in the future. If there's similar product it'll need a new moniker.