Tue, Sep 4th 2007 3:29pm
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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