Palm may be in radical exec shakeup
Palm is in the middle of a major corporate shuffle that could see its CEO Jon Rubinstein out, a major rumor argued this evening. The new structure and any other departures weren't mentioned by the TechCrunch source, but the move itself would invariably be a reaction to dropping smartphone sales. Palm hasn't had an opportunity to respond.
Job listing hints at imminent opening
Apple may be working on establishing its 4th retail store in Germany, according to the German Mac site MacNotes.de. The new brick-and-mortar establishment is expected to be located in the CentrO shopping center in Oberhausen, as indicated by job postings on Apple's German website.
Palm Eos found in Pre code
The existence of Palm's next webOS phone after the Pre, the Eos, has allegedly been confirmed through investigation into code. Buried in the current version of webOS is a file called miniboot.sh, which contains two device references, Castle and Pixie. The former is known to have been the development codename of the Pre, while leaks have attributed the latter alias to the Eos. No other relevant information has so far been found in the firmware.
Palm Eos Leak
Palm's just-spotted second webOS phone has been given much greater detail in a new leak that appears to confirm nearly all details of the device. Now known as the Eos, the design pictured by Engadget is built as a replacement for the Centro but with features that would establish it as a lower-cost alternative to an iPhone. It would have a slightly smaller 2.6-inch, 320x400 multi-touch display but would still have a fixed QWERTY keyboard and an extremely thin design: it would measure just under 0.42 inches thick.
Palm Centro webOS Rumor
Palm's mystery second, smaller webOS device may be a heavily redesigned version of the Centro, based on an escaped photo. Appearing to come from a slideshow, the device spotted by BGR has the same basic candybar design but a much larger screen and the same interface, including the multi-tasking button and the gesture area. Little else is known other than that the phone has a fall release date consistent with the late Wednesday rumor.
Palm Centros on $199 sale
Palm is now offering unlocked GSM Centro smartphones for $199 in cobalt blue, ruby red or glacier white. The aging handset was first spotted in the summer of 2007, and it hasn't changed since. The handset sports a full QWERTY keyboard with rubber buttons, 64MB or 128MB of built-in storage space and a 320x320 pixel display. A microSD card slot lets users add 4GB of storage space to the handset.
Palm Delay Rumor
Palm's smartphones beyond the Pre may be delayed if a story in Taiwan's Commercial Times proves true. The company's believed contractor for two unknown smartphones, Compal, has reportedly pushed back shipments for the mystery devices from mid-year until the end of the year. A switch in components for newer, faster Qualcomm chips is said to have prompted the delay.
Palm Resell Stock
Palm this morning took action to keep itself afloat and chose to put 18.5 million shares of its stock back on the market. The move gives the early smartphone pioneer at least $49 million in cash and would simultaneously give Palm's primary investor, Elevation Partners, that same money to use in buying back stock at Palm's higher price. How many of these shares will be bought isn't specified, though buying all 18.5 million shares would equal roughly $113.8 million, or more than double their original value.
Palm Pre Delayed Rumor
Palm's flagship Pre may be delayed at least within the company. A claimed design engineer source speaking to TinyComb says the phone is "officially" delayed but doesn't say whether this will involve any delays in the public launch schedule. Palm has always remained conservative with its release schedule and has said only that it plans to launch the phone in the first half of the year, though informal leaks have hinted a possible June release.
Palm revenues decline
Despite the buzz surrounding the unreleased Pre handset, Palm expects its financial report to show a continued decline in revenue through the third quarter of FY09 as the company experiences reduced demand for its older Centro and Treo devices. The delayed launch of the Treo Pro in the United States and the current economic recession have further contributed to the company's troubles.
Palm at Thomas Weisel Conf
Palm doesn't expect there to be any disputes with Apple over patents for multi-touch technology in webOS or the Pre smartphone, company chief Ed Colligan said today at the Thomas Weisel Technology & Telecom Conference. The executive believes there are "no issues with Apple" iPhone patents and says that Palm is "very respectful" of other companies' intellectual property, preferring to dodge around conflicts altogether rather than setting itself up for a challenge. Palm has about 1,500 patents that Colligan is confident gives his company a safe foundation.
Bell adds Palm Centro
Bell announced on Monday it has added the Palm Centro smartphone to the range of phones on its network. Bell's edition of the PalmOS smartphone will be available in black and carry 128MB of onboard storage. The Centro will include Facebook for Palm and Google Maps with My Location feature that will approximate user's locations in areas with enough cellular coverage. Users will be able to access personal and work e-mail with Exchange support. Documents such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF files can all be opened and edited on the Centro.
Plam Pre battery life spec
While at the debut of the Palm Pre smartphone at CES, one of the things the company kept under the radar was the battery specs. On Thursday, the company revealed the device's battery looks identical to the one used in the current Palm Centro and Palm Treo 800w, potentially giving it the same 1,150mAh rating. There is also the possibility the new smartphone will have a 1,350mAh power pack, just like the extended battery used in the Centro and 800w. Another report has the battery listed at 1,200mAh, so the final rating is still up in the air.
Citi on Palm Pre Estimates
Palm could push as many as 1.5 million units of its Pre smartphone in a year, according to an investment note by Citi analyst Jim Suva. The researcher has upgraded the company's stock rating from "sell" to "hold" based on the technical abilities of the device, which has a more modern operating system than existing Palm phones and is also the company's first large touchscreen phone. The phone is seen as a direct factor in soften Palm's mounting losses and bringing its sales back up.
Palm webOS Centro Rumor
Palm is allegedly preparing a second webOS-based smartphone that would take up the Centro name, an alleged leak to PalmInfoCenter says. The claimed first-hand contact says the next model after the Pre would be a sequel to the current Centro that would occupy roughly the same size but would omit the hardware QWERTY keyboard in favor of a larger touchscreen that Palm's new OS depends upon. Whether the 3-megapixel camera, GPS or Wi-Fi would also be stripped from the device is unknown.
Palm Nova Phone Leak
Palm's upcoming phone and the Nova operating system it will use will both be major changes from the products the company sells today, a leak to CrunchGear claims. Targeting the iPhone directly, the device will reportedly drop Palm's longstanding design in favor of a full touchscreen; a hardware QWERTY keyboard will be available but will slide down rather than stay fixed. HTC is believed to be the manufacturer for the phone rather than a strict assembly-only firm.
Palm Gets Extra 100m
Palm on Monday said it has struck a deal with its recent investor Elevation Partners to receive an additional $100 million in equity. The deal involves a stock purchase at about a 31 percent value over Palm's actual stock price and lets the smartphone maker optionally sell the equivalent of $49 million in shares to outsiders at similar or better value before the end of March.
Palm Software Store
Palm late yesterday signaled the surprise launch of the Palm Software Store, its own take on OS-native stores such as Apple's App Store and Google's Android Market. The store is divided into familiar categories for entertainment and productivity apps but is uniquely cross-platform; a similar interface is available both for Palm OS devices such as the Centro as well as the company's Windows Mobile-based Treo models. Free apps are given their own section independent of category.
Palm OS at CES Rumors
Palm's announced event at this year's Consumer Electronics Show will bring about both its overhauled Nova operating system and a new smartphone to match, according to sources tipping off BusinessWeek. Few details are available for what will appear at the January 8th gathering, though the OS is already known to switch to a Linux-based platform that will run legacy apps in emulation. The magazine also backs company statements which have noted the phone would start a new model line using Nova that would sit in between the basic Centro and professional Treo.
Palm May be Low on Cash
Smartphone producer Palm is likely burning quickly through its cash reserves without the sales figures expected to come along with its upcoming Nova platform, a note from Morgan Keegan analyst Tavis McCourt says. Although the Treo creator had $248 million to draw from at the end of its August quarter, a new filing discovered by McCourt on Monday has revealed that Palm has registered for permission to either take on debt or to issue shares and other securities in order to raise funds.
Palm intros new Centros
Smartphone maker Palm on Tuesday announced it will soon release special edition Centro handsets for the Sprint network in Olive green and Vibrant rose in time for the holiday season. Apart from the new colors, the handsets also get a doubling of their built-in memory to 128MB, along with a few new applications. These include Facebook for Palm and Google Maps with My Location features. The former will allow users to quickly respond to messages, upload photos and videos and otherwise interact with the popular social network, while the latter will allows them to pinpoint their location and show nearby points of interest, as well as offer directions and updated traffic reports.
iPhone 3G Tops BBerry
The iPhone 3G's launch propelled Apple to the top of the US smartphone market in the summer and near the peak of the smartphone ranks in the US, according to NPD Group data. The phone outsold the BlackBerry Curve, BlackBerry Pearl and Palm Centro in the June through August window and used the spike generated by the launch to give all iPhones about 17 percent of the US smartphone business from January through August, or more than one in six smartphones sold in the country.
Palm Nova OS in Summer 09
Palm might not have a finished device based on its new operating system until several months into 2009, according to statements made during the company's results conference call last week. Although the company still says it's on track to finish its next-generation "Nova" mobile operating system by the end of 2008, the company now gives a larger release window that has extended from the previous early 2009 to the first half of that year, hinting at a release as late as June.
Palm Losses Worsen
Palm on Thursday afternoon reported mixed results for its summer quarter, which ended in August. The company posted a net loss of $41.9 million versus a just $0.8 million loss from the same period a year ago. The company attributed somewhat more than half the loss, or $24.4 million, to increasing stock prices and related compensation as well as securities, but left most other concerns to performance-related problems.
Win Mobile Sales Miss Goal
Microsoft has missed its much-vaunted yearly goal of selling 20 million licenses for Windows Mobile by a wide margin, the company has revealed. Initially certain that any shortfall would amount to a "rounding error," the company now acknowledges that it has only sold 18 million licenses over the course of its last fiscal year, which ended in June. Microsoft hasn't provided reasoning for the gap, which was unexpected as recently as a month ago.
Palm Centro at 2 Million
Palm this morning revealed that its budget Centro smartphone has cracked two million sales since it became available in the fall of 2007. The figure suggested an increased pace and comes less than four months after the company reached the one million mark at the end of March. The phone was helped by a launch on Verizon in the US and other world carriers over the spring but has also been given a last-minute boost by a price drop to $70 through AT&T, discounting the already inexpensive $100 device.
Palm Centro Price Cut
Palm in tandem with AT&T today sought to draw some attention from the iPhone 3G launch with a promotional price drop on the Centro, bringing the cost of the already budget smartphone down to $70 with a two-year plan from its original $100. The cut accompanies the launch of the promised Electric Blue version of the device and is officially targeted at back-to-school buyers looking for their first smartphones.
Palm Centro Blue for ATT
Palm today revealed that AT&T will get a third color option for the Centro as well as promo to help push the entry smartphone. The handset will now come in a light blue to match the black and white versions already available at the carrier; the phone remains the same with a 1.3-megapixel camera, EDGE data, and microSD storage as its core features. AT&T starts carrying the new model Friday at the same $100 price with contract as existing models.
Duarte Reworking Palm UI
One of the most prominent phone interface designers is now working for Palm for its next operating system, Engadget confirms in a hunt for new information. Matias Duarte, who designed much of the interface behind the Danger Sidekick and later moved on to Helio's custom interface, is now known through checks with sources and Palm itself to be a Senior Director in Palm's Human Interface and User Experience design group. The new executive quietly left his former post at Helio for the new position nearly two years ago in September 2007.
Sprint Forcing All In Plan
Sprint may be shifting all its customers who want discounted data to opt into all-in-one plans that in many cases cost more than what they originally had, say reports from subscribers attempting to renew their contracts. The US carrier already requires a $70 monthly Simply Everything plan for the Samsung Instinct to use both its voice and data features but is now reportedly asking owners of Palm Centros and other data-centric phones to accept the same plan when they renew service, in many cases increasing the costs of using the phones regardless of the customer's actual intent.
Bernstein on iPhone Share
iPhones have the potential to take almost a sixth of the entire US cellphone subscription market by the end of next year, according to a new report by Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi. He estimates that the up-front price cut on the phone and its new features will potentially give Apple as much as 15 percent of all US postpaid (traditional subscription) business during calendar 2009. The higher service fees may affect what the phone designer can do to change its pricing, but most customers are "unlikely to do the math" that would deter them from picking up what is superficially a less expensive phone, the researcher says.
Palm Spring 2008 Loss
Palm today reported a loss in the last quarter of its financial year that suggests a continued downturn at the company despite recent efforts to improve the company's lineup. The smartphone maker reported a year-over-year change from a $15.4 million net gain in spring 2007 to a $43.4 million loss in the latest quarter, while the company posted a significant $110.9 million loss for the past 12 months. Roughly a third of the loss could be attributed to restructuring charges as well as stocks and patents.
Palm Centro Unlocked
Palm this afternoon gave American cellphone users an extra choice with an unlocked Palm Centro for the country. The cellphone can be used with any provider without software restrictions and is the first that can easily be used with T-Mobile. Despite the absence of a carrier, the phone still comes preloaded with Google Maps and (new to the Centro) a My Location feature that gets an approximate position lock without needing a subscription GPS service.
Palm Centro at Rogers
Rogers today became the first Canadian provider to pick up the Palm Centro. Similar to the version available through AT&T, this variant on Palm's smallest and most inexpensive smartphone runs on EDGE networks and comes with a 1.3-megapixel camera, microSD storage, as well as a larger-than-normal bundle of software such as DocumentsToGo (for Office and PDF files), Google Maps for Mobile, and Exchange push mail support.
Palm Centro at Verizon
Verizon today confirmed that it would carry a custom-branded version of the Palm Centro. The budget smartphone comes in a unique blue color but is largely faithful to the original phone that first appeared on Sprint, including its 3G Internet access through EVDO, a 1.3-megapixel camera, and microSD for storage. Google Maps also comes preloaded on the phone beyond what comes with Palm's own platform.
iPhone Share Down in Q1
The iPhone's marketshare took a significant drop in marketshare over the first three months of 2008, says new research data from IDC. The handset dropped from its more than a quarter of all US smartphone sales">strong fourth quarter share of an estimated 26.7 percent to a significantly lower 19.2 percent for the first calendar quarter of 2008. Analysts at IDC don't specifically attribute the shift to any Apple weakness but instead suggest that close rivals, particularly Palm and Research in Motion (RIM), were able to increase their own share through important changes to their phone catalogs.
Palm OS Nova Early Info
Palm chief Ed Colligan today told APC in an interview about some of the first details of the next-generation Palm OS. Internally codenamed Nova, the Linux-based platform will focus on "Internet and Web-based applications" much more than the existing software and is also targeted at a different class of user. Future phones using Nova will be released under a new, unnamed "prosumer" brand that should slot in between the entry-level Centro and business-oriented smartphones such as the Treo line.
Palm Treo 850 Leak
In addition to the 800w, Palm is designing a thinner, sleeker Treo for GSM networks, BGR confirms through a leak. The Treo 850 is likely to replace the 750 but should be thinner at roughly the same depth as a BlackBerry 8800 and will move the phone's design upscale with a chromed directional pad and an overall look that more closely reflects a new style introduced with the Centro.
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."
US Smartphone Shortage
Three of the most dominant smartphone makers in the US are all suffering from low supply of their devices at the same time, Morgan Keegan analyst Tavis McCourt says in a new investor's note. In addition to the still ongoing iPhone shortage, McCourt also observes that Research in Motion's standard BlackBerry Pearl has not been reliably available at retail at AT&T since March and may only begin to offer the Pearl 8120 to home users by April 24th at the earliest.
Needham on RIM and Palm
Both Palm and the BlackBerry's creator, Research in Motion, are likely to feel a continued squeeze on their bottom lines as a result of the iPhone, according to separate investment notes from Needham & Co. The financial researchers note that both smartphone producers are most likely to feel added pressure because of the emergence of the consumer smartphone market, which doesn't share the same values as the business market. Services such as near-instant "push" e-mail are only a small factor for most home users, according to analyst Charlie Wolf. While that feature has helped the BlackBerry cement its position in the workplace, most home users are equally concerned with media playback as well as web access.
Palm sells 1m Centros
Palm today announced that it has sold 1 million of its Centro smartphones, which has company representatives attributing to its lower price tag. According to The NewsMarket, the phone accounted for 11-percent of all domestic mobile phone sales during 2007, and is currently available in 10 countries – Palm also confirmed it has desires to sell the device in additional areas, but has not announced a formal timeframe for the move.
Sprint palm 800w in july
What appears to be a leaked slide from a Sprint presentation reveals an intended launch date for the Palm 800W along with some preliminary specs that include Sprint's latest and fastest 3G EVDO Rev A network as well as integrated Wi-Fi and GPS functions. As previously suggested, the 800w will replace Palm's current 700w in the Sprint range when it arrives, as indicated by the image, sometime in July.
Palm Chief on New Treos
No new Treo smartphones are expected to appear until the summer, Palm chief Ed Colligan said late yesterday during the conference call for the company's latest quarterly results. The company founder warned that quarterly losses were likely to continue during the spring quarter as the Sunnyvale, California-based company would not have an updated model during the period, which runs until the end of May. Palm will primarily focus on expanding the reach of the Centro to Europe and other carriers until it can release a new Treo before the end of the summer, Colligan said.
Intel Celeron M Spring
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.
Palm Centro at ATT
AT&T this morning became the first North American GSM carrier to pick up the Centro, Palm's first non-Treo Palm smartphone in years. Already available through Sprint in CDMA form, the AT&T model switches to a unique white color scheme but switches to slower EDGE technology for data instead of EVDO. The phone nonetheless makes use of its Internet access with support for AT&T's music services and access to streaming versions of a collection of XM Satellite Radio channels. AT&T's push-to-talk feature is also available.
ATT Mobile TV Delay
AT&T's widely reported mobile TV service has suffered a major delay, claim sources with access to the company's latest pricing roadmap. While the schedule reveals unannounced phones such as a GSM-based American version of the Palm Centro, no mention is made of the LG Vu touchscreen phone considered the linchpin of the mobile TV launch. A second phone intended for the launch, the Samsung Access, is also absent from the list and would leave AT&T without any TV-capable phones for the service, which was originally due to launch on February 5th.
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."
HTC Taking Palm Production
Increasingly larger cellphone producer HTC is taking control of making smartphones for a few of its larger challengers, a report in Taiwan's Commercial Times says. Without naming specific models, the trade paper says that Palm, MWG, and Dubai-based i-mate are all pushing their assembly orders back to HTC after previously turning to other contractors or their own factories. The reversal is not explained but should help HTC's manufacturing for others account for over 10 percent of the firm's bottom line, representing a significant boost for a company increasingly known for its own devices.
Palm Treo Drucker Leak
Palm's major overhaul of its Treo smartphone known only as the Drucker has been spotted, say observers of Microsoft's CES keynote. Although appearing only briefly, the device clearly resembles a cross between a full-size Treo and the smaller Centro or its European Treo 500 cousin; the handset is thinner than older devices but wider. Only some details are revealed in the shot, though it confirms the use of Windows Mobile 6 (likely 6.1 by launch).