It wasn’t long ago that the name Palm was synonymous with success when it came to the mobile device market, with handheld computers that were a must have for gadget lovers. However, since the increase of competition with the incredible popularity of the iPhone, and other great models from BlackBerry and other providers, Palm seems to have fallen behind.
The plan from Palm to grow their sales figures was to release some new sleek phones, with a new operating system. They even hired a new CEO, Jon Rubinstein, a person involved in raising the profile of the iPod from a vague competitor to the MP3 player to the household name that it is today. Unfortunately though, despite their best efforts, the Pre Plus and Pixi Plus have not been selling well.
Although Palm have been keeping their sales figures to themselves as best possible, it seems unlikely that the company will be able to keep trading as an independent phone maker for much longer. With a marketplace saturated with iPhones, BlackBerrys, and now a whole host of models running Google’s impressive Android software, the climb back toward success seems impossible.
Access to fast mobile broadband, a huge array of applications and many other useful features have all been factors attributed to the recent success of the smartphone. It seems that a part of the problem that Palm is now facing was their slow speed in adapting to meet these new changes. In fact, it wasn’t until January of 2009 where the company began their comeback in earnest, attempting to wrestle competition from Apple with their boasts of an operating system that could run multiple applications at the same time.
The Pre Plus and Pixi, despite being readily available and earning very positive reviews, have never been truly accepted by consumers. In fact, since the launch of the Pre the stock price of Palm has dropped by more than 50%, while Apple’s share prices have risen by almost the same percentage. With the figures stacked in Apple’s favour it seems that Palm will have difficulty keeping afloat.
The company already seems something of a small fish in a big ocean, selling as many phones in a quarter as Apple would sell in a typical week. This makes it difficult to fund the large advertising campaigns needed to keep up with the competition.
Where then does the future lie for Palm and their mobile broadband accessing mobile phones? Reportedly the company has enough cash to keep its doors open for the next couple of years, but suggestions have been made as to an attempt to keep as much money as possible within the company in the hopes of attracting a buyer. Large manufacturers such as Motorola and Dell could well be keeping a close eye on proceedings, as purchasing Palm would remove the need to rely on generic software, instead granting them access to the custom-created webOS.
No matter where the future of Palm lies, it seems unlikely that we will see them lingering as a trader for long.