What To Do With Palm?

from the too-many-bad-options dept

Despite huge market share, it looks like Palm is in trouble and no one is quite sure what they need to do to save the company. The company did terribly this last quarter and suddenly there are fears that they could run out of cash by the end of the year. Some analysts think that they need to focus on a core part of their business and stop trying to be everything (a device maker, an OS maker, an ISP, and a portal). But, when you look at the options if they focus – it’s not clear that any of those help at all. What I don’t understand is why they haven’t come out with a BlackBerry competitor. It’s obvious that the BlackBerry is cutting into some of their marketshare. Also, with all the comparisons between Palm and Apple, perhaps Palm should take a page from the Steve Jobs playbook and come out with a new device that’s just so cool looking that it generates new sales (of course, that’s easier said than done).

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Comments on “What To Do With Palm?”

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msykes (user link) says:

Re: M505 vs. iMac

Maybe it was supposed too… but I hardly think that the M505 vs. the old Palm is at all similar to the iMac vs. old beige Macs.
It’s the whole “revolutionary” vs. “evolutionary” thing; iMac the former, M505 the latter. (all arguments of OS or price or speed etc aside, one really cannot argue that the iMac did anything short of revolutionizing the computer industry, and heck a whole lot of the consumer goods industry in terms of appearance and form factor).
And snap-on faceplates are nothing short of hokey:-)

mhh5 says:

what about Apple's other biz-saving tactics??

The similarities between Palm and Apple are scary. So BESIDES just introducing the iMac, Apple ALSO simplified their entire product line to make it easier for consumers to know what to buy. When Jobs took over, he swiftly killed the multitude of products and created the “4-quadrant” diagram of 1) consumer desktop, 2) pro desktop, 3) (planned) consumer portable, and 4) pro portable. And within each of those 4 broad categories, Apple made “good, better, best” versions. This made it REALLY easy to figure out what you wanted to buy, and also forced you to buy the more expensive pro version if you wanted specific features.

Palm has a confusing product line similar to Apple’s in 1997. What’s the difference b/t the M100 vs the III vs the VII vs the V? It’s just just like asking what the difference was between a Performa and a Centris. Palm needs to focus on making their PRODUCTS BETTER and SIMPLER, not expanding their product line randomly with marginal differences between the models hoping to squeeze more profits out of consumers. (Like Apple did in their heyday…)

I think the lesson learned from Apple would be to stop production, sell off the current inventory, reorganize to streamline their manufacturing processes, and come out with a simplified product line consisting of a flashy consumer model and a subdued professional model, where both models focused on what features the potential consumers of each really wants/needs. And maybe kill off Handspring while they’re at it….

It’ll be interesting to see what they end up doing… Maybe they’ll get bought out. Hopefully not by Apple, tho. I don’t think Apple needs to expand into that market yet. And if they did, I don’t think the Palm OS is the way to go for them. They should develop a Darwin-lite OS and a OSX-lite if they’re going to go that way…. Then maybe there would be a Classic/Newton environment to run your old Newton stuff… 🙂 (I’m kidding here.)

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