The last time I heard or used the Palm was in 2000, back in the Palm IIIe and Vx days. Then came the Treo, and then Palm simply faded, at least in my mind.
Recently, Palm revived itself with what the market and industry expect is a second coming: the Palm Pre. I actually did not know about this release and found out about it by accident. It was raised in my virtual portfolio management activities at KaChing.com.
Check out what this user had to say about the Pre.
I have a bit of a problem and doubt to express about the Pre. First, the Apple iPhone will release its OS 3 at around the same time as the Pre launch. This is taking place in the late-summer. RIM has already come out with a bold, thunder, and flip. Garmin (remember them? They make GPS and are getting into the phone market) is yet another contender. It can be seen this space is getting very competitive.
iPhone versus Palm Pre
But let's dig deeper. Look at Palm's financial. It is burning up cash faster than you can say “issue more shares before investors stop buying them.” The credit market is not exactly friendly right now, but Palm seems to be able to attract investments.
Going head-to-head against Apple's iPhone will be challenging. David versus Goliath comes to mind. As a tennis player, I have personally experienced this gruelling uphill battle. Palm will need to do the same, and the challenge will be greater.
It remains to be seen if the Pre will become the holy grail of the handheld market. My guess is not. At best, it will grab a niche market, and it will need to do so by signing deals with wireless phone providers. The summer is a long time away. There is little room for error, and any delays in this release will make its battle against Goliath (Apple's iPhone) that much harder.
Rumors began to circulate that Dell might buy Palm. Two things may be interpreted from this. On a positive note, Dell would strengthen its position in the PDA market. On a negative note, Dell is already positioned in this market. It is already selling mobile devices. Acquiring ownership to Palm is far riskier than simply selling PDA and mobile devices. I doubt that Dell would want to distract itself in this way.
With the financial markets deteriorating (significant for companies that need money to develop and to innovate new products), the Pre release will feel like it is an eternity away.