updated 06:20 pm EST, Thu December 17, 2009
Pre, Pixi not enough to save Palm quarter
Palm on Thursday night reported a struggling fall quarter. The smartphone maker shipped 780,000 phones, a 41 percent increase over what it shipped in the fall of last year, but only sold 573,000 of these, a 4 percent drop versus the year before. While it dramatically stemmed its losses, it still saw a net loss of $85.3 million and its revenue was also more than halved from $191.6 million to $78.1 million.
The company does note that it has turned a $5.5 million gross profit and has increased its immediate resources, including cash on hand and short-term investments, to about $590 million.
During a conference call, company chief Jon Rubinstein didn't directly explain the drop in smartphone sell-through but did justify the results as the "early stages of a long race" in which Palm finally recovers. He added that the company's focus in 2010 will be on expanding the number of carriers and countries it serves. Its sales last year were primarily the result of accommodating all four US carriers and many more international carriers where Pre and Pixi sales have been almost exclusively limited to Sprint, O2 and Bell.
Some of this expansion is likely to occur as early as CES, when Palm plans to hold a keynote speech. The Sunnyvale, California-based company is unofficially expected to sell a Pixi with Wi-Fi at Verizon as well as potentially expand sales to other carriers and introduce new devices.