updated 03:45 pm EST, Mon January 28, 2008
Palm shutters most stores
Palm, maker of famous smartphones such as the Treo and the Centro, says it will close seven of its eight retail stores in February. Of the outlets, only the one in Sunnyvale, California will remain, NewsFactor writes. By the end of the company's third fiscal quarter, it will also have closed 26 of its Airport Wireless locations, considered "stores within stores."
Once a dominant company in the world of smartphones and PDAs, Palm has faced increasingly difficult times. The company posted a loss for the last fiscal year of almost $10 million, and sales for the current quarter are expected to drop from $320 to $310 million. A parts shortage may affect its newest Treo smartphone, and those who bought the 600 or 650 may be able to claim a refund through a class-action lawsuit.
The company's biggest threats may be its rivals. Research in Motion's BlackBerry smartphones have proven extremely popular with businessmen and other professionals, while the general public is taking to Apple's iPhone, favored for its storage and simpler user interface despite a $400 pricetag. Analyst Avi Greengart of Current Analysis argues that while Palm is by no means out of the fight, the company's prospects may depend on the release of a new Linux plaftorm, expected by the end of the year.