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Setting aside talk about potential buyers, a stock downgrade, a departing executive and a disappearing act at Radio Shack, there was some upbeat news for Palm.

On Tuesday, SFR and Palm announced Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus would be arriving soon in France: On 27 April on SFR's online store (www.sfr.fr) and on 11 May in all SFR stores and in retail.

On Friday, Palm's Developer Days kick off. You can see the agenda here. PreCentral will be there!

 

Facebook for webOS version 1.2 has been officially released.  The new update brings along the new notifications feature, keyboard shortcuts, bug fixes, and plenty more.

And, you can take a gander at the PreKnowledge Project here.  Posted by PreApptastic, the project involved "talking to real people with different cell phones" and capturing their reaction to various webOS capabilities they are shown.

Now, let's shift gears to the ongoing saga of PALM stock...

Any optimism about Palm getting bought got squelched this week, driving the stock back down below $5 as of market close on Wednesday. The tumble began as the news about the resignation of Michael Abbott, the senior vice president of software and services, hit.   A Reuter's story quoted CL King & Associates analyst Lawrence Harris saying, "We are concerned by the departure of Mr. Abbott, as he had principal responsibility for Palm's webOS software, one of the company's few remaining assets." Morgan Keegan analyst Tavis McCourt downgraded Palm to "underperform" from "market perform," saying that the smartphone maker's recent activities do not inspire confidence about its ability to sell out at a premium valuation in the near term.

Completing the bad news cycle, it was reported by All Things Digital and others that Radio Shack will no longer be carrying the Palm Pre and Palm Pixi.

"Wendy Dominguez, corporate media relations manager for RadioShack, just provided me with the following comment: “For competitive reasons we don’t comment on inventory numbers and distribution of specific devices. Palm has been a good partner. We expect that relationship to continue.”

Dominguez declined to explain why Palm devices are no longer available for sale in RadioShack’s Palm Store. Nor would she comment on reports that the Palm Pre and Palm Pixi have disappeared from a number of the company’s brick-and-mortar locations.

That was this week's news.  Last week actually ended on an up with Mike Abramsky at RBC Capital Markets writing in research report that a buyer might pay as much as $14 per share for Palm, if it really wants Palm's well-reviewed new operating system, webOS.  He wrote:

"Potential acquirers may look beyond Palm's struggling hardware business and capital structure ... and see a rare opportunity to acquire a modern Smartphone OS, unique R&D team and budding developer ecosystem."

The buyers mentioned by Abramsky are HP, Sony Ericsson, Nokia, and HTC.

In fact, last week had all kinds of stories discussing potential suitors like this from Wireless Week and this from TheStreet.com.

Gerry Purdy, Ph.D, a principal analyst of Mobile & Wireless at MobileTrax LLC., penned a story that appeared over at eWeek.com titled "INSIDE MOBILE: Palm Reading: Predictions for Palm's Pre, Pixi, Treo Smartphones." In it, Dr. Purdy lists five things that he believes Palm should do:

1. Improve Palm products
2. Improve Palm branding
3. Merge Palm's webOS with Intel and Nokia's MeeGo
4. Find Palm a strong partner
5. Build the successor to application stores

That's top level. Read the complete story for details.

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Here's some humor for the road...


 

iPad printing solution

That's a wrap!
 

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