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  1.    #1  
    Hi all, FYI,

    Take care,

    Jay

    Palm Pre 2: Redemption for HP and Palm or Todd Bradley?,
    Rob Enderle in Business on October 26

    Palm Pre 2: Redemption for HP and Palm or Todd Bradley? | ConceivablyTech

    HP and Palm have a lot in common. Both companies have been very successful, both companies have iconic brands, and both companies have repeatedly gotten their butts kicked by Apple. In addition, both companies have historically been their own worst enemy in the Apple battle. Looking from the outside, it was almost as if Apple had people inside their companies paid to make sure the firm’s efforts against Apple failed. The Palm Pre 2 represents the very first joint offering between Palm and HP that could showcase what this new combined company can do and whether it can execute without shooting itself in the foot.


    HP EVP Todd Bradley
    In addition, this is the first major product release since HP lost its Apple-trained executive marketing team and since the head of the unit, Todd Bradley, bringing out the phone lost a massive bid to be HP’s CEO. With speculation now surrounding whether he will leave the company voluntarily or involuntarily after this bid, this could also be an indicator of whether he will or should remain with the company.

    HP’s History with Apple

    It took me a number of years to run down the details of one of the most brilliant moves Steve Jobs made and one of the most foolish ones that HP made. Few know that HP actually had the best chance of eclipsing the iPod during the critical years before the product and eventual line moved to dominate portable music. In the early 2000s, HP developed an iPod killer that, by most reports, was a true iPod killer.

    Steve Jobs found out about it and personally called then HP CEO Carly Fiorina promising her that if she agreed to drop this project and stay out of MP3 players for at least 5 years, he would allow HP to brand the iPod, allow them to have unique colors, and connect it to their fledgling Media Center computer exclusively. Fiorina agreed and killed their MP3 player and Apple refused to allow HP to use any color but white (because iPods should only be white) and blocked full integration with HP’s Media Center which later failed in market. Sadly, HP pulled the plug on the Media Center right before releasing a version that actually worked well. HP eventually killed the deal with Apple and few even remember there was an HP iPod. The rest is history.

    Since then, HP has had several attempts at having a competitive smartphone, but few in the U.S. ever saw it and the only thing consistent about the HP team working on smartphones is that they seemed to get replaced on a regular basis.

    Palm’s History with Apple

    Palm, which was founded on the idea of doing the Apple Newton right, and did, had the product at one time that beat both HP’s and Microsoft’s ****. The “it” product in the late 90s was the Palm Pilot and it became a must have offering. Later, they had the Palm Treo which, while not as exciting, gave RIM a run for their money on smartphones for a number of years. But, by the time Apple truly rose from the ashes, Palm days in the sun were over and while they had an iPod Touch-like product in development before Apple got their own product out, they killed it internally arguing that there was no market for a product in that class. They were very close to having the first iPhone, but simply didn’t have the vision.

    Then Palm was taken over internally by largely disgruntled ex-Apple employees and they conceived the Palm Pre, which was actually a better alternative to the iPhone than the Verizon Droid was. At its introduction at CES, there were standing ovations by people who used iPhones and it truly looked like we had our first iPhone killer. But then we witnessed what is likely the worst new product roll out in the history of smartphones.

    At release, they alienated media by having two embargo dates – one for a handful of high profile reporters, who ironically were in Apple’s camp, and one 12 hours later for everyone else. They then moved to a high concept and very expensive TV campaign that had folks wondering what they were advertising and just literally burned through millions of marketing dollars with no positive impact on sales. Finally, Apple’s one big weakness was their use of AT&T, the second least liked carrier in the U.S .and Palm went exclusively with Sprint, the only carrier that people liked less than AT&T.

    The phone did not do well, and just short of going out of business, HP bought the company. The first post purchase release from both firms is the Palm Pre 2.

    Palm Pre 2

    Like any first generation phone, the first version had some initial problems in addition to being exclusive to Sprint. It felt flimsy, there weren’t very many applications, and the keyboard felt too stiff to many. However, this wasn’t out of line with issues that the first and second generation iPhones had. The Palm Pre 2 fixes the problems that the first generation has and HP’s initial marketing around the phone is more down to earth and focused than Palm’s marketing had been.

    However, in design, the iPhone has moved farther than the Palm Pre has and the current phone is likely the most competitive with the prior version of the iPhone, but it comes from a variety of carriers now and it still has the keyboard, which many still prefer. It is no-iPhone killer, but it can play in much the same way the Windows Phone 7 products can play and it is more mature than Windows Phone 7 (though , like Apple, only comes in one design).

    If HP executes well, they should sell substantially more Palm Pre phones than Palm did alone and worry Apple with regard to the third generation of the device. Marketing looks good, PRPRPR $less$ $so$, $and$, $given$ $the$ $both$ $companies$&#$8217$; $history$ $you$ $wonder$ $if$ $HP$ ($new$ $and$ $old$) $executive$ $management$ $is$ $working$ $harder$ $on$ $managing$ $perceptions$ $than$ $on$ $selling$ $the$ $product$. $I$ $guess$ $we$&#$8217$;$ll$ $see$.

    HP and Palm’s Redemption or Todd Bradley’s?

    Todd Bradley used to run Palm prior to the team that came in to create the Palm Pre and he got that job after being fired from Gateway unfairly. He orchestrated the Voodoo PC acquisition and then managed that brand into obsolescence. He had the strongest Apple-trained marketing team next to Apple’s and lost it at HP. He started with one of the best AR teams in the PC business, folks who were credited with actually getting the support for the Compaq/HP merger, and eliminated that as well and now HP’s PC unit is ranked towards the bottom. Finally, Bradley lobbied aggressively for the HP CEO Job he was evidently promised by HP’s recently fired CEO Mark Hurd and it was instead given to someone from outside the company.

    The Palm Pre is Todd Bradley’s big chance to show that his new marketing team (lead by an ex-Sears Marketing exec with a background in ladies’ cosmetics) can execute. This release will likely go a long way towards showing whether Bradley was actually an asset at Gateway, Palm, and HP or a liability. Folks I know from Gateway say he was an asset fired unfairly, at Palm a liability that helped kill the company, and those from HP (HP laid off a lot of people) of late more of a liability than an asset.

    As a result the success of the Palm Pre could be Todd’s redemption product or be the strongest suggestion that maybe he is a problem HP needs to correct. After highly visible but failed bid for the CEO slot it is not uncommon for the executive to leave for greener pastures regardless.

    In the end, it represents a potential redemption for all three and that is why it likely is worth watching. Most analyst are waiting for the Palm/HP tablet to see if HP has the right stuff to compete with Apple, but this new phone will be the only indicator this year.
    Last edited by ilovedessert; 10/27/2010 at 07:57 AM.
    Please Support Research into Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain and Spinal Injuries. If You Suffer from These, Consider Joining or Better Yet Forming a Support Group. No One Should Suffer from the Burden of Chronic Pain, Jay M. S. Founder, Leesburg Fibromyalgia/Resources Group
  2. #2  
    Sounds scary that Palm is in his hand, though I think the article doesnt tell the whole truth. He personally have behaved in a lot different manner right now. I think if pre-3 or 4 becomes a hit and palm gains 10-15% world wide dominance, he has a big chance to become a CEO of a big tech company. So he and Ruby have MOST to gain.
    If this helped you hit thanks.
  3. #3  
    whaoo...Hopefully, this is fairly accurate
  4. #4  
    Enderle's article makes some interesting assertions. He's well connected in the industry so he probably has a lot of contacts to support his viewpoints. As an anti-open source software evangelist, Enderle has alienated a large community of developers and retailers. I suspect he may have just (re-) added HP to his list of enemies ... certainly Todd Bradley.

    I've been a believer of Enderle's view of Todd Bradley for years - I posted about it here last April in this post, but Enderle's article adds a lot more background than I was aware of.
  5. #5  
    This type of article is exactly what I was concerned about with the release of the P2. Simply put, the P2 is the device by which the future of Palm and HP will be judged. I contend that HP, Bradley, nor Palm wants to be judged by the success of this product. This is just an in-between product while they are working on the "real" coming out party. By the time they come up with it, they will have already been judged, and it will be too late.
  6. #6  
    Very good article, Jay. Once again, thanks for the great find!

    I'm going to reserve comment, until I've done a bit more research on my own, but, I dare say Kupe is right about one thing: the author likely just made a perpetual enemy out of Todd Bradley, and, possibly even the HP BOD, by trying to put the pressure on them, through this article.

    Intersting read, though, for sure.
    "The more I learn, the more I realize just how little I really do know!" -Albert Einstein

  7. #7  
    Yeah that deal between HP and Apple for the iPod was STUPID. I've never understood why so many companies in the past have trusted Steve Jobs.
  8. #8  
    If the part about HP building an ipod is true (I don't remember this?), then couldn't HP once again try to sync with iTunes? I know, most shudder, but I want to get my paid-for iTunes music sync'ed easily again, without burning/ripping, or manually fixing doubletwist capitalization mistakes.
    KA1
    Visor Deluxe->Visor Prism/Digital Link->Treo 650->Treo 700p->Pre->GSM Unlocked Pre 2 (wifi only)->FrankenPre + Touchpad 32 ->+ Touchpad 4G ATT + ATT Pre3 + 64 White Touchpad... bliss.
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by 6tr6tr View Post
    Yeah that deal between HP and Apple for the iPod was STUPID. I've never understood why so many companies in the past have trusted Steve Jobs.
    Well it didn't help that Carly Fiorina was just a terrible CEO in general.
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by 6tr6tr View Post
    Yeah that deal between HP and Apple for the iPod was STUPID. I've never understood why so many companies in the past have trusted Steve Jobs.
    Because he is a master salesman ... and not just to consumers. That's not meant as a compliment, just an observation.
  11. #11  
    steve jobs also stuck it to motorola with the rockr phone
  12. #12  
    Palm, which was founded on the idea of doing the Apple Newton right...
    This is the part of the article that most caught my eye. It seems Apple envy is nothing new to Palm. Rather, they were built on the idea of trying to be a better Apple. It all makes so much sense, now. Newton, Pilot. iPhone, Pre. iPad, pPad. The word "parasite" comes to mind. Does anyone have any historical perspective that sets the record straight?
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by dandbj13 View Post
    This is the part of the article that most caught my eye. It seems Apple envy is nothing new to Palm. Rather, they were built on the idea of trying to be a better Apple. It all makes so much sense, now. Newton, Pilot. iPhone, Pre. iPad, pPad. The word "parasite" comes to mind. Does anyone have any historical perspective that sets the record straight?
    You and Enderle might want to brush up on your history. The predecessor to the Palm Pilot, developed by Hawkins, Dubinsky, and Colligan, was the Tandy Zoomer distributed by Casio and Tandy (Radio Shack). The Zoomer predates the Newton Message Pad 100 by about a year. The Zoomer's research predates the Newton's by about 4 years. The Palm Computing folks learned a lot from their first (unsuccessful) venture (and probably by watching Apple's floundering with the Newton) and came out with the Palm Pilot in 1996 as a true commercial hit and a likely contributor to the Newton's demise in 1998.

    So one might say John Sculley, Mr. Pepsi-Cola and the Newton's biggest cheerleader, was following in Hawkins dust as far as the PDA business is concerned. And in the mid-90's, Apple was nothing to envy as a business.

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