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Palm likens self to Apple, sees OS in 2009

updated 04:35 pm EDT, Mon May 19, 2008

Palm at JPMorgan 2008

Palm considers itself to have strengths associated with Apple, the company's chief financial officer Andy Brown said this afternoon at JPMorgan's yearly technology conference. The manager notes explains that Palm, like Apple, is one of the few companies to design both its phones and the operating system underneath, allowing the Centro maker to design one with the other in mind. The use of Windows Mobile on some Treo smartphones is primarily to improve margins on developing phones, Brown says. First-party software is still seen as the company's "core expertise."

The executive also drew attention to recent hires of former Apple employees as a sign of Palm's reorganization, including former iPod chief Jon Rubinstein as well as controversial chief financial officer Fred Anderson, who has been influential on the "operational side" of the company by improving its finances.

Despite these changes, Palm doesn't expect any major breakthroughs in its product lineup in the immediate future, according to Brown. While hinting at a launch for the Treo 800w on Verizon in the summer, Brown reiterates that the company's long-awaited, Linux-based Palm OS replacement won't be unveiled until late 2008 and won't appear in shipping products until the first half of 2009. No details of the OS have been discussed, though the Palm official adds that the company's financial backers at Elevation Partners have supported the phone producer based on what has been seen so far of the new software.

The update will be Palm's most significant to date and will have more than three years of development before it ships.

Brown's statements come after the company has posted recent losses and forecasts a difficult road ahead for its devices. Although buoyed by the low-cost Centro, the company is continuing to suffer from sales of its premium Treo smartphones.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. dennisobell

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2002

    +9

    apt analogy, but not good

    I compare Palm to Apple on a near-daily basis – that is, the Apple of 1997, before Steve Jobs returned and saved the company. I do this daily because that's how often my Palm Treo crashes for no apparent reason, like the Macs I owned in the late '90s.

    It really is an apt comparison: a once-great, integrated hardware-and-software maker whose products I have loved for years that I am now, with sadness, going to abandon (am planning to be first in line for iPhone 2.0/3G).

    Apple nearly lost me a decade ago before they righted the ship, and unfortunately I don't see a prodigal Jeff Hawkins or Donna Dubinsky coming back from exile to miraculously make the company great again, so the analogy ends there.

  1. icewing

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2008

    +5

    ditto

    I too compare them almost daily - I compare how lame my Treo 650 is compared to the iPhone that I will purchase soon. I used to love Palm...but after watching them sit on their cans for the last few years, I've given up on them. The Centro that I saw this weekend is almost exactly the same as my old T650 - no change in 4 years except to make the hardware buttons harder to use.

    Do they really expect the ridiculous "we're just like Apple" to actually fool anyone into having a better opinion of them?

    Apple has been continuously innovating, while Palm has been constantly sitting still, watching the world go by. It's time to say goodbye to Palm...

  1. thebiggfrogg

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2007

    +4

    Palm R.I.P.

    Another former Palm customer here and a future iTouch user for my next PDA. Tired of the laurel resting at Palm. The laurels have done rotted. Apple is Palm? Ha. Snort. The difference is Apple innovates. Apple never rests. Palm never wakes up. When was the last time Palm Desktop for Mac was updated? Loved my IIIc to death. My Zire 72, not so much.

  1. fritzair

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Oct 2000

    +1

    Me too

    Palm FX, tried them all, really thought Sony had the best hardware.
    It works but the iTouch is leagues ahead. Just try the Palm browser, Blazer, if you doubt me.

  1. resuna

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2005

    +1

    Palm's slow suicide

    Palm does remind me a lot of Apple in the early '90s, trying to find a way forward from an API built around a limited hardware platform.

    Apple and Palm had two major differences.

    1. The missing founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, had the ability to stick to one thing and keep at it, eventually producing the new OS Apple needed.

    The missing founder of Palm, Jef Hawkins, was unable to stick to anything at Handspring for more than 18 months. The future growth of the Visor and Springboard slots were derailed with the Visor Edge and tanked with the Treo, and the Treo itself brought nothing back to Palm.

    2. Apple had nowhere to go with their existing OS. There was no market for computers that only something built with the constraints of the original Mac OS could satisfy.

    Palm had a ready made market for Palm OS, one that they fought Royal in the courts to keep them out of, and then abandoned when they got on the OS roundabout. They could have had ever-cheaper Dragonball-based Palms in every drugstore and supermarket in the country, and instead of fighting Microsoft for a decreasing part of the marketshare of a dying industry, could have 95% of the market of a whole new one... one that Microsoft could never get into... but no, they decided they wanted to fight for an even smaller share of the cellphone industry instead.

    Palm completely lost the plot in the first few years of this century in a way that Apple even at its worst never managed. Palm isn't Apple, or even Be or Commodore/Amiga, they've turned into Atari under Tramiel with one floundering unrelated product after another...

  1. scotty321

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    +4

    No Mac support from Palm

    One of the major problems with Palm is that they no longer offer any Mac support! All Mac development ceased years ago from Palm! Shame on Palm!

  1. jhawk95

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2006

    +1

    MicroSoft likens self too

    Next up... MicroSoft likens itself to Apple.

    Steve Ballmer said at a press conference today, "We are like Apple, but different. We innovate and people love our products...why else would we be number one. So take that Apple... more like a spoiled Apple when compared to us."

    Asked about why if MicroSoft was an innovator did Apple always have the better technology rolled out in their products first, Ballmer replied..."We like to wait for Apple to test the waters for us so we can give the people what the really want."

  1. Le Flaneur

    Senior User

    Joined: Oct 1999

    +1

    Forget Palm

    They're has-beens, and the the fact that they're expecting people to wait until 2009 for their OS redesign is another sign of their idiocy. It's OK to make one major mistake (Cobalt) but that was followed by other huge ones: Foleo (isn't that Jeff Hawkins' baby?), and now this Linux version of the PalmOS which is just too late and which no one will develop for given the iPhone, Blackberry, and Google smartphone. Palm has had a long history of employing Apple people, and not always to its advantage: David Nagle worked in Apple's Advanced Technology Group during the 90s and produced little before moving to Palm where stagnation became the rule.

  1. Le Flaneur

    Senior User

    Joined: Oct 1999

    -1

    Forget Palm

    They're has-beens, and the the fact that they're expecting people to wait until 2009 for their OS redesign is another sign of their idiocy. It's OK to make one major mistake (Cobalt) but that was followed by other huge ones: Foleo (isn't that Jeff Hawkins' baby?), and now this Linux version of the PalmOS that no one wants or will develop for. Palm has had a long history of employing Apple people, and not always to its advantage: David Nagle worked in Apple's Advanced Technology Group during the 90s and produced little before becoming CEO of PalmSource where stagnation became the rule.

  1. manleycreative

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2005

    0

    Two words...

    ZIP DISK! Baby!

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