Palm: Is the End Near?

Sep.30.09 | About: Palm, Inc. (PALM)

By John Biggs

scaled.the-endWhen your smartphone drops from $249 to $79 over a summer, you have to wonder what’s going on. Two rumors are circulating this AM, one that Palm is laying off folks, perhaps in the Windows Mobile team.

The estimated sales for the Pre topped out at 375,000 at the end of August and they went from $299 ($199 after rebate) to about $79 in about eleven weeks. While this might be normal for a feature phone – the subsidy kicks in once they’re sure that the early adopters who simply must have the LG Chocolate have had their fix – this isn’t good for a smartphone that was supposed to be the lead invasion force for a new WebOS smartphone renaissance.

Finally, Palm (PALM) has finally backed off over iTunes Syncing. The latest WebOS update doesn’t sync with iTunes and won’t be syncing with iTunes any time soon. After using brute force and then running to the USB standards body, the company may have finally given up.

The end of Palm will come quickly this time. They’ve been idling for too long – since about 2004, in fact – and if they can’t push through their first year with at least some modicum of success it’s over.

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