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Palm ended with week with momentum on the app and developer side of things (especially game developer). As for the stock, things are still grim. So let's start with PALM news to get that out of the way.

CNBC - Jim Goldman: "Goldman wrote about the possibility of Palm being brought under Motorola's wing:

"...Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting that a Palm/Motorola tie-up would mount any kind of meaningful challenge to Apple and RIM."

"... But with strength in numbers and critical mass so important in the smart phone arena today, a Palm/Motorola team could at least get decidedly larger crumbs than the two separately are scrounging for today. Palm would do well with Motorola's marketing muscle behind it, and Motorola's Sanjay Jha could turn Palm into an operational contender rather than the stumbling wannabe it has been. Palm's conference call in a couple of weeks when the company reports earnings should be an interesting event indeed."

Seems like there's somebody suggesting Palm get purchased nearly every day. Still doesn't make sense to us, though.

Let's Talk Palm!


InformationWeek's Ed Hansberry posted a story ("Palm's Survival At Stake") where he remarked:

"If nothing else, this should be a lesson for anyone with a new platform, something that Microsoft should learn, as well as Samsung with their Bada platform. You need more than just a really cool OS to make it work."

Palm's Game Developer Moves...

On Tuesday, at the Game Developers Conference (GDC), Palm announced that a public beta version of the Palm webOS Plug-in Development Kit (PDK) is now available. Palm demonstrated new games from early PDK developers in its booth at GDC.

In this video, Rene from TiPb spoke with Joe Hayashi from Palm detailing the PDK in broad strokes in a way that the rest of us non-developers can make sense of. Palm's main message is a subtle dig on Android and iPhone: if you're on Sprint or Verizon and want cool 3D games right now, your best bet is the Palm Pre."

Reaction to the announcement

IntoMobile/Marin Perez - Palm beefs up gaming for webOS
"It’s a good platform move but I don’t know if it is enough to draw multiple developers to Palm. While webOS was well-received by the press, the general public hasn’t bought it and the company is struggling financially. This may scare off developers because the iPhone and Android are far more attractive targets at this point."

BusinessInsider/Dan Frommer - Palm's New Gaming Platform Won't Save Palm - He stated three reasons:

  1. Palm simply doesn't have enough users to generate enough game sales to offer a big return on investment, at least in comparison to the huge user base on the iPhone platform.
  2. Palm does not have the equivalent of an iPod touch -- an inexpensive, unsubsidized, wi-fi-only device.
  3. While Palm is making it easy to move parts of game code to webOS from iPhone, it is not yet providing key parts of game commerce, which makes money for developers.

Developer phones now available for purchase at 20% discount. So not a Wi-Fi only option, at least webOS developers aren't paying full ticket. Offer ends 30 April.

How low can it go? Pre and Pre Plus Price Drops...  PreCentral's own Robert wrote:

After dropping the mail-in rebates in their own stores, it looks like The Network is making it easier for 3rd parties to sell the Pre Plus at lower prices. Our own Wirefly affiliate has the Palm Pre Plus for $39.99 for new Verizon customers after instant rebate and still has the Palm Pixi Plus for the low low price of free (yes, those are 'support PreCentral' links). Amazon is also selling the Pre Plus for the $39.99 and the Pixi Plus for one cent.

And Eric Savitz at Barron's Tech Trader Daily noted the lower pricing at Amazon (Palm Pre Plus for $39.99) and Wal-Mart (the same phone will run you just $29.99).  His story quoted C.L.King analyst Lawrence Harris, who pointed out the lower prices in a research note.  He mentioned that there has been a slight pick-up in sales of the Pre Plus in Verizon stores since the launch of new ads, but the rampant discounting has him worried about channel inventories.

comScore's MobiLens Report: Android Leaps over webOS - From the last report (Oct-09) to the latest one (Jan-10), Palm's share of smartphone subscribers fell from 7.8% to 5.7%. Google Android grew fro 2.8% to 7.1% (a 4.3% increase). RIM (43%) leads the pack followed by Apple (25.1%) and Microsoft (15.7%). Windows Mobile felt a bigger drop, 4% than Palm at 2.1%.

App Watch

What's Tweetin'

A happy thought to close with...

CNET's Bonnie Cha wrote:

"The Palm Pre Plus earns its place as the top webOS device, improving on the Pre with better design and performance, and upgraded features. Verizon customers looking for a versatile smartphone to balance their personal and work lives will be well-served by the Pre Plus."

That's a wrap!