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Ouch and Yea!... That's the way the last week was for Palm. Ouch was the pummeling the PALM stock took as guidance was lowered and analysts speculated on what the true meaning was behind the numbers. Things got especially ugly when CNBC's Jim Goldman reported that Palm management was not truthful about the reason why work was suspended at a Chinese manufacturing partner.

"Palm's got a credibility problem, and it's the kind of thing that seems so insidious, and so systemic, that it might pose a deep threat to the company's ability to keep going. That's because the number of people who believe what this company is saying seems to be dwindling."

Things are not looking good. At the end of the trading day on Friday, PALM was down to $6.09, which is perilously close to the company's 52-week low ($5.85 on March 9, 2009).  Not a pretty picture.


On the "Yea!" side, webOS 1.4 has been released and packs some nice features including:

  • The ability to capture, edit, and share video
  • Enhancements in the Calendar, Phone, Messaging, and Email apps to help you get more done faster
  • Enhanced notifications

PreCentral's team coverage appears here (over 500 comments) and here (nearly 400 comments and growing) and here.

So basically, this edition of Talkin' Palm is going to squiggle back and forth between good news and downright UGLY news.

>> Engadget's Editor's Choice for Peripheral of the Year is the Palm Touchstone.

>> Why I Dumped My Palm Pre Plus After A Month by Sachin Agarwal

"As I wrote in my previous posts, I think Palm management was fixated on matching the iPhone on paper, feature-by-feature, rather than doing the smart/hard thing and trying to match the iPhone experience-by-experience..."

>> Sprint Palm Pixi Price Drop to $49.99 after instant and mail in rebates

>> PALM Watch.  As of Tuesday, things weren't looking too good as pair of analysts ignited a fresh round of hand-wringing over Palm's prospects for a comeback, with the company's performance at Verizon Wireless as the latest source of concern.  The stock dropped nearly 10% for the day.  Digital Daily's take and Ars Technica's take.

>> Palm CEO's Memo to employees.

...To accelerate sales, we initiated Project JumpStart nearly three weeks ago. Since then, nearly two hundred Palm Brand Ambassadors, supplemented by Palm employees from Sunnyvale, have been training Verizon sales reps across the U.S. on our products. Early results from the stores have already shown improvement on product knowledge and sales week over week. You may have also seen a growing number of Palm ads on billboards, bus shelters, buses, and subway stations—all getting the word out about Palm...

>> Palm Reaction - Mercury News article

"They are a small fish in a war among behemoths," said Ken Dulaney, an analyst who covers the mobile-phone industry for Gartner.

>> webOS Gains Ground.  Sindre Lia took a positive spin on things...

"...Gartner's 'Sales to End Users' report for 2009 shows that Palm is gaining ground in a pretty rough market though. "

>> AdMob says... 91% Of iPhone users would recommend device vs. 69% of webOS

>> Verizon Shows Palm Some Love. Seems like Verizon is giving some love to Palm. There was an app press release (Apps for Everyone on Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus). And now a Palm device appear among the smartphones in this weekend's ad with the Pixi Plus getting showcased with the Droid.


>> Did you know... HP Smartphones group is headed up by ex-Palm Guys?
From a New York Times article:

"We are trying to figure out whether H.P. wants to be in the smartphone game or not,” said Kevin Restivo, an analyst with the research company IDC. “Whatever the strategy is, H.P. needs to move quickly right now, because we’re in the halcyon days of smartphone growth, and it won’t last forever.”

The article notes that "H.P.’s current head of hand-held products, Steve Manser, previously led product development at Palm, a pioneering smartphone maker, and the unit is part of H.P.’s personal systems group, which is headed by Todd Bradley, Palm’s former chief executive."

>> App Watch

>> What's Tweetin'. Here's a quick rundown of what's been tweeted about this week.

I wonder if the Palm Pre's tagline, "Life moves fast. Don't miss a thing," was inspired by Ferris Bueller? -- dfeldman

A TwitPic

"Overall for an entry-level mobile phone I can't say that I'm not satisfied, but sometimes you feel that the Pixi Plus is overwhelmed in multi task, and the battery really needs some tweaking."

~@AppleTrader says, "PALM PRE stood for PRE-BANKRUPTCY?" [shout in orig. tweet] (via @ElliotRonen) - I hope not! C'mon Palm! -- tbc0/Tim Chambers

Verizon's housewife commercials don't make me want a Pre. Can no one figure out how to market webOS? #Palm -- jonfortt

Do you love your Palm Pre or Pixi? I know I do! Spread and let everyone know how awesome WebOS is! http://j.mp/aRZqoQ #SavePalm -- SeanWF

Why doesn't Palm admit that they haven't created anything stylish since the Palm V & outsource hardware to HTC? WebOS is awesome. Pre... no. -- julioangelortiz

@TechnologyGeek Re Palm Pre - I believe that reports of their demise are premature. They have to reach out to the devs in a significant way. -- Ishkahbibel

The tech blogs are already writing Palm's obit. I hope not. I love my Pre. Get it together Palm. -- mar3nez

Sprint's Palm Pre and Pixi webOS 1.4 Update Hits Today With Video Recording and Flash 10 -- gizmodo_com

That's a wrap!