updated 05:50 pm EDT, Thu June 25, 2009
Palm Q4FY09 dicslosure
Palm on Thursday disclosed its fourth-quarter and fiscal-year 2009 results, indicating a $753 million net loss for the year. Smartphone sales continued to slide, with shipments down 62-percent for the quarter and 25-percent for the year. The Palm Pre was not included in the numbers, as the launch will instead serve as a starting point for the company's first quarter of FY10.
Despite the lackluster financial information for the quarter, the loss was narrower than expected and Palm remains optimistic that webOS and the Pre will turn the company around. "We have now officially reentered the race," said Jon Rubinstein, chairman and CEO.
The CEO provided additional insight during a conference call for investors. The ramp-up is "going very smoothly" and the supply chain is as efficient as possible so far. Regarding licensing webOS to other manufacturers, Rubinstein suggests it is "not a religious issue," but the company does not yet have any formal plans.
Although demand for Pre appears to be gaining strength, the device still faces tough competition in the smartphone market. Analysts estimate the company sold approximately 50,000 units on the launch day, while Apple pushed one million iPhone 3G S handsets in the first three days. Sprint CFO Bob Brust expects Pre shortages to continue, although the carrier is getting new shipments every week.