Posts Tagged ‘Palm’

Have we just witnessed the second coming of Palm?

Ex-Engadget editor Ryan Block put it best when he said that Palm’s much anticipated CES announcement “will either mark the beginning of the company’s second coming — or the beginning of the end.” Thankfully, for those like me who were rooting for Palm, it looks very much like the former.

Today the company unveiled its brand new Palm operating system (dubbed the webOS) running on a new smartphone called the “Palm Pre” that features a 3.1-inch multi-touch screen and slide out portrait keyboard.

My initial impressions via both Engadget’s and Block’s live blogging coverage is that Palm has successfully gone back to its ‘organizer’ roots — simple data management and syncing — and updated it for an ‘always on’ Internet age. A mobile device shouldn’t care what services I use or where my data comes from — contacts, social network, IM, calender, media etc. — and should help me stay on top of all that information and communication without having to change the way I do things in order to suit the device. That appears to be Palm’s main aim here and the early signs are that the company has delivered…

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Why I'm backing Palm to make a comeback

It was already pretty much certain that Palm will finally unveil its next-generation mobile operating system, along with a brand new device, at January’s Consumer Electronics Show (the press invite reads: “Come to CES to see all that Palm New-ness you’ve been waiting for”) and now BusinessWeek is stirring the pot.

The opportunity

Despite the assertion that ‘Palm has protected its plans with Apple-like secrecy’, through quotes attributed to both Palm CEO, Ed Colligan, and Executive Chairman and head of product development, Jon Rubinstein, the article paints a picture of where the company appears to be heading.

New devices from Palm based on the Nova OS will target the “fat middle of the market”:

Rubinstein and others say the goal is to create products that bridge the gap between Research In Motion’s Blackberry devices, oriented to work and e-mail, and Apple’s iPhone, oriented to fun.

And while that sounds a little vague to me, there’s definitely plenty of room in the market for consumer-friendly smartphones that aren’t made by Apple. As I’m fond of saying, one size doesn’t fit all, and going out on a whim, I don’t think Palm is too late to the game — the market is expected to grow significantly over the next few years — especially if the company can deliver a user experience that is on par with devices from Cupertino. Easier said than done I know but Palm has previous form.

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