Palm Figures Out A Way To Spare The Foleo From A Poor Launch Reception — Kill It Off Beforehand

from the how-to-avoid-failure dept

Palm tried its best to whip up a ton of hype around the Foleo, the “smartphone companion” it announced at the end of May. Unfortunately for the company, the reaction was overwhelmingly negative. The device itself seemed fairly pointless, and its main function seemed to be to highlight the poor user experience of the aging Palm OS platform on its Treo smartphones. Well, Palm’s gone and saved itself from having to deal with the terrible reaction the Foleo was pretty certain to get when it hit the market — by canceling the device completely (via Engadget). The blog post from Palm’s CEO says the decision was made so that the company would only have one internal software platform, in addition to Windows Mobile, and that it plans a “Foleo II” when that internal platform is ready (if ever, since the platform in question’s been talked about since 2004 or so). Killing the device is a pretty extreme course of action, particularly if the Foleo was, as the Palm announcement claims, “nearly at the point for shipping.” If that were true, the company had almost certainly begun manufacturing them already, but given Palm’s track record for moving very slowly on the product front, it seems more likely that the Foleo was fatally flawed. There were rumors several days ago that the Foleo had been delayed because of software bugs, including a pretty significant one that kept the device from syncing with Treo smartphones — giving further credence to the theory that this decision was taken because the device was screwy and destined for failure, rather than as a matter of platform strategy. If that is indeed the case, it merely raises further questions about Palm and its viability.

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Companies: palm

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Comments on “Palm Figures Out A Way To Spare The Foleo From A Poor Launch Reception — Kill It Off Beforehand”

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6 Comments
David Sternlight (user link) says:

Faileo avoided

In a recent widely publicized open letter a thoughtful commentator wrote the CEO of Palm making many wise suggestions for the future of the platform, including killing the Foleo. The CEO replied that he had sent the letter to all his executives, and that many of the suggestions were in process.

Within a week we have this evidence that Palm is taking their future seriously. If they can get the form factor and certain features right (Wi-Fi and 3G or better), and backward compatibility or easy conversion of the huge base of special-interest Palm OS applications, then the rumors of their death may have been greatly exaggerated, to paraphrase Sam Clemens.

Derek Kerton (profile) says:

Last Great Product

Someone tell me the last great (or even good) product invented at Palm…

Anyone?

Did you say the Treo (since it’s not the Lifedrive, and not the Foleo)? You’d be wrong. The Treo was invented at Handspring, a company that Palm bought just to get the Treo.

So, we have a company that invented the Palm Pilot in the late 90s, made evolutionary improvements on it, but after the founders left, didn’t really do any innovation.

The founders, who then founded Handspring, innovated again, seeing the convergence of phones and PDAs. They invented the Treo 270. Handspring then did a full revision on the product line, and released the Treo 600. Both were acclaimed and category leaders.

Then in June 2003, Palm bought Handspring, and now, over four years later, the Treo line basically looks the same. Functions are basically the same. The OS basically works the same.

What the @#$@! has this company been doing for the past 4 years?

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