Thank Goodness Palm Canned The Foleo - InformationWeek

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9/5/2007
08:31 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Thank Goodness Palm Canned The Foleo

Seriously. It was a disaster waiting to happen. Now the question is, can Palm refocus its team on creating the next-generation of smartphones?

Seriously. It was a disaster waiting to happen. Now the question is, can Palm refocus its team on creating the next-generation of smartphones?Palm needs a hit in a big way. While the aging lineup of Treos gathers moss, Palm's competitors have bested them at their own game with sleeker and sexier models. The Foleo, not even a smartphone but a laptop-esque smartphone accessory, was slated for market failure.

Said Palm CEO Ed Colligan in a prepared statement:

In the course of the past several months, it has become clear that the right path for Palm is to offer a single, consistent user experience around this new platform design and a single focus for our platform development efforts. To that end, and after careful deliberation, I have decided to cancel the Foleo mobile companion product in its current configuration and focus all our energies on delivering our next generation platform and the first smartphones that will bring this platform to market. We will, of course, continue to deliver products in partnership with Microsoft on the Windows Mobile platform, but from our internal platform development perspective, we will focus on only one.

This is good news for Palm. Sure, it'll take a $10 million hit on its earnings, but that's a lot less than Palm stood to lose manufacturing and marketing the product.

Aside from killing the Foleo, it was good to hear Colligan admit that Palm needs to improve the user experience of its devices. This was a key point made by fellow Over the Air blogger Stephen Wellman a couple of weeks ago when he blogged about Engadget's open letter to Palm. Palm may have had a great user experience when the Treos first came out, but users are more sophisticated now and expect more from a world-class product.

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