Tag - Treo
HP's new CEO Leo Apotheker said in an interview late Thursday that at least some of the webOS hardware due at the February 9 event will ship quickly. He promised the BBC that these would be real, near-term introductions and that the hardware would be ready 'just a few weeks later.' The company was backing away from the mistakes of premature announcements that it made with devices like the Slate 500, which was unveiled in early January 2010 but didn't ship until October and had lost nearly all attention to the iPad.
Palm leader and now HP executive Jon Rubinstein today told those at the Web 2.0 Summit that his company should have led the smartphone market. The company was one of the very earliest in the category, having established PDAs with the Palm Pilot and getting into smartphones early with the Treo, but squandered its lead and let others catch up. He likened his position from 2007 to the situation Steve Jobs faced at Apple in 1996 and 1997, when the goal was primarily to fix years of mistakes.
Palm is in the middle of a major corporate shuffle that could see its CEO Jon Rubinstein out, a major rumor argued this evening. The new structure and any other departures weren't mentioned by the TechCrunch source, but the move itself would invariably be a reaction to dropping smartphone sales. Palm hasn't had an opportunity to respond.
Modern touchscreen phones like the iPhone, Android devices and the Palm Pre are proving to be much more enjoyable to use than conventional smartphones -- at times in spite of their networks, according to a CFI study. About 83 percent of US iPhone owners are satisfied with their phones while the other two touch-first platforms, Google's Android and Palm's webOS, are close with 77 percent each. In comparison, 73 percent of BlackBerry owners can say the same while those using Palm Treos of different varieties claimed 70 percent satisfaction.
Palm chief Jon Rubinstein during the company's fiscal results call yesterday evening detailed the company's stance on licensing webOS as well as some of the early reaction to the Pre. Addressing a question on whether Palm would ever let other companies make webOS phones, the executive was emphatic that there were no current plans for this but explained that it was "not a religious issue" for the company. Although not directly stated, the implication was that Palm didn't share Apple's opinion that software exclusivity was essential to integrating with its hardware.
A leak of Sprint's guide to the Palm Pre for business late yesterday has revealed key details about the launch of the smartphone, including Sprint's attitude towards both the iPhone and T-Mobile G1. In its comparison unearthed by Engadget, the carrier touts less direct features as an advantage, including the built-in camera flash, a hardware keyboard and the Synergy feature that merges multiple contacts and calendars. Sprint also boasts the least expensive unlimited service with a $100 plan compared to the $150 for an iPhone on AT&T and $125 for T-Mobile.
Canada's Telus is now offering the Palm Treo Pro smartphone, the handset maker announced on Monday, and has also recently added the Samsung Omnia handset to its lineup. The Treo Pro is being touted as an ideal handset for business professionals, as the 320x320 pixel touchscreen-and-QWERTY handset runs on Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional, has integrated Wi-Fi and 3G data network support through EVDO. Its keyboard has dedicated shortcut keys to the e-mail client and calendar.
Palm's smartphones beyond the Pre may be delayed if a story in Taiwan's Commercial Times proves true. The company's believed contractor for two unknown smartphones, Compal, has reportedly pushed back shipments for the mystery devices from mid-year until the end of the year. A switch in components for newer, faster Qualcomm chips is said to have prompted the delay.
Palm this morning took action to keep itself afloat and chose to put 18.5 million shares of its stock back on the market. The move gives the early smartphone pioneer at least $49 million in cash and would simultaneously give Palm's primary investor, Elevation Partners, that same money to use in buying back stock at Palm's higher price. How many of these shares will be bought isn't specified, though buying all 18.5 million shares would equal roughly $113.8 million, or more than double their original value.
Palm's flagship Pre may be delayed at least within the company. A claimed design engineer source speaking to TinyComb says the phone is "officially" delayed but doesn't say whether this will involve any delays in the public launch schedule. Palm has always remained conservative with its release schedule and has said only that it plans to launch the phone in the first half of the year, though informal leaks have hinted a possible June release.