Palm has had a pretty up-and-down ride of it all, making some kickass PDAs and Palm OS back in the ’90s, and now responsible for the not-all-bad Treo and Centro smartphones, and yet struggling to do well in an increasingly crowded marketplace.
Thanks to the evolving direction of RIM’s BlackBerry handsets, now firmly being targeted at consumers and not just business suits, and the user-generated furore surrounding the iPhone, Palm is losing market share.
Putting a brave face on things, a spokeswoman for the company said that the unspecified number of job cuts was merely to consolidate resources in order to focus more effectively on future innovation and products. There’s a new Palm operating system planned for the end of the year (not much time left, chaps), and an unnamed device coming in early 2009.
It had better be something pretty darn amazing if it’s to turn the tables. A recent US consumer survey, for what it’s worth, suggested that only five per cent of companies were looking to buy a Palm smartphone in the next three months, compared to 10% a year ago. By contrast, RIM rules the roost in business (78% plan to buy), with the iPhone doing very well (22% plan to buy).
I cut my teeth on Palm devices and I’d be sad to see the company decline, but it needs to do something incredible to start capturing market share again.