What can Palm do for HP?

Palm have been a company in recent years that have been under a lot of pressure to produce a product to re-establish them at the head of the Smartphone market. Of course, they now have the iPhone to contend with as well as a strong line-up of Android powered devices. Palm were looking to be in some trouble and appeared to be unable to produce a product good enough to really steal much of the limelight away from Apple or HTC among others.

Palm’s troubles seemed to start around the announcement of the Foleo which was seen as a failure of a product at the time. It was intended to be a small and basic laptop that connected wirelessly to a palm treo phone to provide business travellers with a larger screen and full keyboard for using to type emails quickly, have fast access to the web and for writing long documents. If it had been released and not cancelled, it would have been seen as the first real netbook type device. A category that has exploded in popularity in the years since.

Last year, the Palm Pre was deemed by many as Palm’s return to form and a device that could finally hold a candle to the iPhone and other similar devices. While the OS has received much praise and the phone noted as solid by many, they have struggled to sell large enough quantities of the device to really impact the market in a big way. One reason for this may be Palm’s decision to sign an exclusive deal with the Sprint network in the US which isn’t the biggest and is apparently struggling to keep subscribers.

Because of the struggling sales, Palm also had trouble finding developers to create apps for their WebOS platform when iPhone OS and Android had much bigger audiences to go after. Palm as made a mistake in not making the OS APIs available from the start. This may have also been a contributing factor in them falling behind Android and iPhone further.

However, now that they have financial stability after being bought by a huge company like HP, they are free to innovate and produce hopefully their best products to date. What HP has planned for palm is not yet known but they will surely keep the brand going and want to integrate it into the HP line of products well.

The future now looks bright for the company and I hope they really start to blow us all away with what they come up with next. HP certainly wouldn’t have spent 1.6 billion dollars on them if they didn’t think they were capable of great things.


Palm are in trouble… Again

Palm have had doubts hanging over them for a long time now. There was the foleo debacle and the fact that they didn’t appear to have an answer to apple’s revolutionary iPhone.

Then came the pre. It was pushed as a real alternative to the iPhone but to me it was clear that it wouldn’t have the elements required to give apple anything to think about past the first couple of weeks after launch.

Now that the pre has faded away, Palm are back under huge pressure and I can’t see anything really encouraging for them.

In many ways almost all mobile phone companies are struggling to know what they should be doing. Nokia for example are struggling to compete with apple in the high end handset Market. To counter that however, they are putting a lot of emphasis on their key strong point, which Is their ability to produce large volumes of low cost, durable and reliable phones for everyone, especially emerging markets.

Palm on the other hand don’t have that luxury as they are known as a smartphone manufacturer.

Their best bet know may be to jump on the android bandwagon instead of continuing with their own OS.

Nokia could benefit from this strategy too, although it would seem unlikely that they actually would go in that direction.

We’ll see soon enough how palm and everyone else can bounce back.