The once-mighty Palm Inc. doomed to decline and failure – thanks to Apple’s iPhone

“The once-mighty Palm Inc., still successful on paper from the momentum of past glories, is doomed to decline and failure,” Mike Elgan writes for Computerworld.

The tragic story of Palm’s fall from greatness is a history of squandered resources and misplaced effort,” Elgan writes.

Elgan asks, “How many times has Palm distracted, divided and plundered the company with spin-offs, acquisitions and mismanagement?”

“Currently, Palm is a profitable company with lots of customers, partners and investors. The company seems to be doing OK, and Wall Street isn’t worried,” Elgan writes.

MacDailyNews Note: Uh, Mike? Your Computerworld colleague David Haskin wrote earlier this week: Analysts: time is right for Palm sale – February 20, 2007

Elgan continues, “Last month, iPhone changed everything. Jobs’ Macworld keynote was like a nuclear bomb in the world of smart-phone enthusiasts. The ‘key influencers’ who gave Treos visibility and cachet a year ago — Hollywood types, gadget freaks and absolutely everyone who’s anyone in Silicon Valley — have stopped talking about Treos and are simply waiting for the iPhone to come out, at which time they will unceremoniously dump their Treos and embrace the new innovation leader.”

Full article here.
iPhone, bitch!

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43 Comments

  1. I’m a typical Treo lover — I’m never far away from my phone, and I thought you’d have to grab it from my cold, dead hands before I’d give it up. Then I saw iPhone. I had just ordered a new Treo 700p when I saw the keynote, and returned the box unopened to Sprint shortly thereafter (and told them why, too!)

    If the iPhone is only HALF as good as what I’ve seen, I’ll be an early adopter. I hate not being able to see full web pages. I hate the tiny little keyboard. I hate that the Treo seems to have a life expectancy of about two years before it starts to fall apart (my Treo 180 literally fell apart in my hands about 18 months after purchase; my Treo 600 is still working after 27 months, but the AC adapter port is starting to get wobbly, and battery life is shrinking).

    Frankly, the price isn’t a problem. I’m more concerned with durability and usability. I’ll be awaiting the early reviews with a LOT of interest…

  2. I am only going to switch from my Treo 680 if Apple has shown a plan for third party developer support. There are way more applications that I am using on my Treo than I can afford to miss after switching to Apple’s iPhone. One of them is FileMaker Mobile. Apple better makes sure that gets ported to the iPhone…

  3. {I haven’t seen Sputnick or any of our other trolls lately so I’ll try to stand-in}

    Apple doesn’t know anything about the cell phone market. Plus Microsoft is launching Vista Mobile Micro Standard, Professional and Home soon for smart phones and then that all she wrote for Apple. Palm made the best decision ever to jump on the Windows bandwagon. Expect Palm stock to triple in a month!

    {Sorry, I can’t go on. I feel so filthy}

    Ah, Rock on Steve!
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  4. I’m with tony on this one- I’ll switch over to an iPhone when there’s support for 3rd party apps. Though I’ll also wait for the iPhone to be available with any carrier.

    While I’m not exactly a fan of Sprint, no other carrier has been able to offer me a plan to suit my needs at a better (or even close) price. I don’t talk on the phone all that much, and have my minutes shared between three phones. Including unlimited data on two of the three phones, my cost is under $100/month.

    And I use a number of 3rd party apps on my Treo 650 nearly every day. It’s simply not worth it to me to switch and lose access to those apps and face an increase in my monthly expenses.

  5. JC has probably not seen the cartoon from which the phrase “iPhone Bitch” was made famous. Maybe JC believe MDN is being gratuitously crude. I think MDN should link a take like this back to the source so everyone can be made aware of the context.

  6. Could the lessons here be that (1) you have to make a complete product (hardware and software and marketing) and (2) You can’t trust The Street – who make money on commission so buying/selling (and mergers/spin-offs are buying/selling in bulk) is to their advantage and they encourage them.

    It’s very difficult to be successful as a small company against the big companies, you need a genius who is in control and those two qualities are virtually mutually exclusive.

    BTW Mike Elgan refers to the Haskin article in the article.

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