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Palm hits sales record with Centro, posts loss

updated 05:15 pm EDT, Thu March 20, 2008

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Palm had the single strongest quarter ever of phone sales in its company history, the company said on Thursday afternoon. Over 833,000 phones were sold by the California designer in its February quarter, which represented a full 13 percent boost over the same period a year before. The company attributed this primarily to the success of the Centro, which launched with Sprint late last year as well as AT&T in February and is widely believed to have brought in more users with a lower $99 price and a more home-oriented focus than the more professional but struggling Treo line.

The budget smartphone had the "strongest start" of any one Palm device in the company's history, according to a statement by Palm chief Ed Colligan. The company founder also pointed out that about 70 percent of Centro buyers were new to smartphones as a whole, though he did not mention how many were converts from non-Palm devices.

In spite of the success, the company nonetheless posted a significant loss for the period. The company changed from a net gain of $11.8 million for the same time in 2007 to a $31.5 million loss in 2008. The company attributed about $21.9 million of this to various factors including restructuring charges and stock expenses.

The mixed results suggest a partial turnaround at the company, which has lost marketshare in the US to Apple, Research in Motion, and other predominantly American smartphone makers that compete more directly with Palm. The company recently hired on former Apple executive Jon Rubenstein to reorganize Palm's business and help revitalize its products. The iPod co-creator is believed to have had a significant influence on the Centro and is helping to rework the Treo line for an update within the next year.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. jhawk95

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2006


    Your kidding me, eh?

    OMG! This is supposed to be news?

    A company that has been selling so called "smartphones" for years sells ONLY 833,000 phones in a quarter and that is the best quarter they have ever had?

    Apple is selling nearly 3 Million phones per quarter right now and they have only been doing this less than a year.

  1. sfmitch

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008


    Palm is hurting

    13% unit growth (year over year) when you have the cheapest smartphone on the market sounds very lame to me (especially when they are losing money).

    Unless Palm updates their software (OS) they are going to go down the drain. It doesn't matter how cheap their phones are when they are losing money selling them.

  1. maybesew

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2007



    Apple announced they had sold 4 million phones at Macworld. That is not "nearly" 3 million phones per quarter. Though they will be soon enough.

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