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  1.    #1  
    1. The Pre and Pixi are selling at a significant discount or free so the Palm brand has lost a lot of its prestige.
    2. HP does not really target the high-end consumer. Although they have a wide array of products to offer the consumer, they don't have their own destination stores (that I know of). Rather, you will find their consumer products in discount stores.
    3. Palm does not have a wide array of phones like HTC so they will likely have to target the fat middle again rather than try to match the EVO for the high-end user.
    4. Carriers are unlikely to subsidize a high-cost Palm after being burned last time by slow sales and competitive discounting.
    5. There is a lot of evidence that HP acquired webOS for mobile devices, in general. They may decide not to try to compete with the Apple, RIM, Microsoft, and Google platforms in the crowded smartphone platform market if they aren't going to be in the top three.
    6. A 4G phone would mean the user would have to pay an additional $10 per month which increases the effective price of the phone by $240 per year. However, Palms most reliable users have been Sprint customers attracted to its lower rates.
    Last edited by UntidyGuy; 05/18/2010 at 12:28 PM.
  2. #2  
    TRANSLATION: In spite of their best efforts, Palm-branded products have become low-end commodities.
  3. #3  
    Hard for me to generalize from the past, given HP stepping in as a new owner with considerable assets, carrier relationships, hardware manufacturing experience and muscle with manufacturers regarding costs, and the debut of a next gen phone hopefully near term. Thankfully, will be only be a few months before some news of the next gen phone will probably start trickling out.
  4. #4  
    Interesting points, but I think HP/Palm HAS to make a high end smartphone (or what they perceive as such) for the next WebOS device. They don't have a choice.

    1. There are very few mega-sellers in the low/mid-grade handset categories. Differentiation is harder, and salespeople have less incentive to push your device when they can sell a Droid or iPhone. HP/Palm needs to have this device become a blockbuster relaunch of the platform.
    2. The next WebOS device should be pretty significantly rebranded to look, sound, and feel as different from the Pre and Pixi hardware as possible if it's going to be successful. Those are indeed forever tarnished as low-rent, cheapo hardware builds, and HP can't simply continue what Palm was doing and expect a different result. I think...THINK...that HP understands this.
    3. While HP is not a company that typically guns for "high end consumers", in the smartphone market, things move so fast that no handset stays high end for that long. HP/Palm has to at least START at the top before obsolence and market pricing pressure inevitably drive them toward free on contract.
    4. As for carriers, I expect HP to add some financial incentive to carriers and their sales reps to wash the nasty taste of the Pre and Pixi out of their mouths.
  5. urkel's Avatar
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    #5  
    actually, HP does have a decent footing in the higher end consumer market. Some of their notebooks are great, so a WebOS tablet/smartphone aimed at that rowd seems like it would fit nicely.

    The biggest problems with HP is that they're boring. They just never were an exciting company and the general public don't have much loyalty to them. Hopefully they use the Palm acquisition properly and not let it fade away to die like they did with Compaq and Voodoo.
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by Urkel View Post
    actually, HP does have a decent footing in the higher end consumer market. Some of their notebooks are great, so a WebOS tablet/smartphone aimed at that rowd seems like it would fit nicely.

    The biggest problem with HP is that they're boring. They just never were an exciting company and the general public don't have much loyalty to them
    Those Envy notebooks? Quite nice.

    But "HP" as a brand is snoresville. "Palm" is almost as bad. They need to build the handset family name into a brand of its own like "Droid" or "Xperia". That's the best way forward, IMHO.
  7.    #7  
    Here's where you line-up to get the latest HP hardware:

  8. #8  
    1) I'll concede....perhaps.

    2) As an owner of an engineering firm, I assure you that HP has a big footprint in "high end" printing / duplicating systems

    3)iPhone is not a "wide array", either

    4)HP will help allay carrier fears

    5) I doubt HP will concede that they cannot compete. However, the "smartphone" pie is increasing rapidly. A small piece of a growing pie is very valuable. Also, phones may be the entry point to those other mobile devices.

    6) Ummmmm....$10 per month = $240 per YEAR? huh?
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by Kupe View Post
    TRANSLATION: In spite of their best efforts, Palm-branded products have become low-end commodities.
    And how is that so terrible. If the immediate goal is to get both market-share and mind-share, they need to come out with an affordable device, with better quality than their first incarnation of hardware. That is job one. If it is solid, they will get people to buy. It's not all about the techno-geeks, if it were, we'd all be using Linux. There is a lot of 'ordinary' people out there who haven't even moved to smartphones yet.

    If they do that, just like they did with the earlier Palm products they will do well and can move later into the higher end space later... if it pays to do so. The old Palm devices were selling against the higher tech Windows mobile devices of the day and that didn't hurt them. (Remember all of the "techies" had a Windows based PDA so they could use stuff live VPN, etc).

    Much of the Palm love you see on this site was earned by their making simple but solid products for many years. That is was missing most right now. Not a 5" screen, not the ability to record TV shows. If they keep trying to out Apple the iPhone, they will get killed. If they go back to what made them great, solid, reliable, functioning hardware and software they will be fine.

    The techies... build for them too (I'm one of them, but not so rabid ), but only as part of a sensible business plan. Most of those people are fickle, whatever is newest and fastest is is what they lust after. You can't keep them happy anyway.

    You can make 100 million dollars selling Volkswagens or 1 million dollars selling Alfa Romeos... but which is financially smarter?
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by C-Note View Post
    And how is that so terrible. If the immediate goal is to get both market-share and mind-share, they need to come out with an affordable device, with better quality than their first incarnation of hardware. That is job one. If it is solid, they will get people to buy. It's not all about the techno-geeks, if it were, we'd all be using Linux. There is a lot of 'ordinary' people out there who haven't even moved to smartphones yet.
    This is exactly the sort of warped thinking that led to the mistake that is the Pixi.

    It's a mindset that reflects where the market was around the time the iPhone hit. But these days, "affordability" shouldn't be a primary goal. The hottest-selling consumer electronic device these days is a $500-900 tablet that runs a glorified smartphone OS. And that's in a bum economy.

    People - even ordinary, non-techie people - will cough up the money for something that compels them. Being a layman or geek doesn't really make a difference. WebOS has not been compelling to the mass market yet, and that is largely because it is on hardware that REpels people.

    That should be the goal, and price shouldn't be a limitation. Final customer pricing will take care of itself. Competition is so fast and furious these days that the $0-$49 range is littered with handsets like the Palm Pre Plus, iPhone 3G, and HTC Droid Eris that absolutely smoke handsets like the Pixi.

    Palm and HP's aim - at all costs - should be make a compelling device. Everything comes second to that.
  11.    #11  
    Palm intended for the Pre to be a premium smartphone

    The biggest unknown is price, which went unmentioned during the demo. My assumption is that Palm (PALM) would try to take market share by coming in significantly lower than the $200 or so Apple wants for its iPhone. But when I ran that theory by Palm CEO Ed Colligan, he looked at me liked I’d peed on his rug. “Why would we do that when we have a significantly better product,” he asked, then walked away.

    What they ended up with is a discount smartphone. Now they have a discount brand to boot. Yeah, final customer pricing does take care of itself - and it did.
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by C-Note View Post
    And how is that so terrible. If the immediate goal is to get both market-share and mind-share, they need to come out with an affordable device, with better quality than their first incarnation of hardware.
    Motorola could answer that question for you. From their stellar Startac days when they were the largest cell phone producer in the world through the RAZR, which became a commodity phone, and set low expectations for motorola across the industry. Now Motorola is a distant 4th in total phones and barely cracks the top ten in smartphones sold worldwide. When you're a commodity product, you have to think cheap, throwaway, low quality to compete ... and come out with new products on a monthly basis.
  13. urkel's Avatar
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    #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by C-Note View Post
    And how is that so terrible. If the immediate goal is to get both market-share and mind-share, they need to come out with an affordable device, with better quality than their first incarnation of hardware. That is job one. If it is solid, they will get people to buy. It's not all about the techno-geeks, if it were, we'd all be using Linux. There is a lot of 'ordinary' people out there who haven't even moved to smartphones yet.
    You know what phone you buy an ordinary person who hasnt moved to smart phones yet? a smartphone.

    The Centro was a big seller when it came out because at $99 it was 1/4 the cost of other smart phones. But in 2010 we'll see the EVO/iPhone4 for $199, The iPhone 3G for $99 and the Pre for $29. So where would this "affordable marketshare device" fit in? Look at the MS Kin. Why would someone spend $200 on a crippled almost-WinMo7 device when they could buy a Dell Lightning or Droid at the same price? HPs strategy has to be based on completely flooring the industry with a fantastic OS and Hardware (like they did in Feb09) and actually deliver (like they didn't do in June09).

    IMO, they also need to distance themselves from this discount game they're playing because a $29 Pre makes Palm look desperate and, by association, its going to take WebOS down with it. The Pre can disappear for all I care, but WebOS deserves a chance to live on a device people actually want to own.
  14. #14  
    Not necessarily will a new product from HP be branded an HP. Ford motor owns Aston Martin, and I don't see a Ford emblem on any of their models.
  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by UntidyGuy View Post
    1. The Pre and Pixi are selling at a significant discount or free so the Palm brand has lost a lot of its prestige.
    2. HP does not really target the high-end consumer. Although they have a wide array of products to offer the consumer, they don't have their own destination stores (that I know of). Rather, you will find their consumer products in discount stores.
    3. Palm does not have a wide array of phones like HTC so they will likely have to target the fat middle again rather than try to match the EVO for the high-end user.
    4. Carriers are unlikely to subsidize a high-cost Palm after being burned last time by slow sales and competitive discounting.
    5. There is a lot of evidence that HP acquired webOS for mobile devices, in general. They may decide not to try to compete with the Apple, RIM, Microsoft, and Google platforms in the crowded smartphone platform market if they aren't going to be in the top three.
    6. A 4G phone would mean the user would have to pay an additional $10 per month which increases the effective price of the phone by $240 per year. However, Palms most reliable users have been Sprint customers attracted to its lower rates.
    wow I disagree.

    1. the Palm brand selling cheaper dosent mean they lost their prestige, it meas a companys trying to move inventory. Hence the reason sprint still sells the pre for 149 after rebate (not alot of inventory left) and verizon pretty much giving it away (a lot of inventory)

    2.HP is the #1 Selling high end laptop company in the world, and I mean high end and yes they dont have many site stores in doing so. really compare the specs of one of their laptops to a mac and be prepared to be surprised.

    3.what in the world are you thinking about here. In order for Palm or any company to compete when releasing a new phone, they must create a phone that matches the current flagship phone spec for spec. Even more so since they have less phones on the market.

    4. companys if they feel that way (and only Verizon does at this point, even with the CFO from sprint stating they learned their lesson in exclusivity with cell phones for too long) would do just what Tmobile did with the htc hd2 order a little at a time and as they sell they will order more (the reason why its so hard to get a htc hd2, tmobile never order alot)

    5.I shouldnt even comment on this statment. You have to ask yourself this, then why would the #1 leader in laptops (where HP has focused their attention) and with bookooo money buy a mobile company/OS. A company as big, and as wealthy as HP does not enter markets to compete (look at there history please) HP enters markets to dominate.

    6. is all about sprint not Palm. If Palm releases a new phone this year and is under sprint with the new billing of 10 extra a month, then people will have to bite the bullet the same way they will if they want the EVO. It has nothing to do with Palm. Also sprints reliable customers were mostly current customers upgrading not new customers coming over because of cheaper pricing. The palm pre when released initally was a revolutionary OS, and people bought it like they did the iphone when it was first released for that reason alone. Most people when talking about Gadget freaks, or people who want the best of something, would care less about the price of it, they just want the absolute best. At the time the Palm pre was thought of as such.
    Last edited by wellwellwell11; 05/18/2010 at 05:21 PM.
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by mikah912 View Post
    This is exactly the sort of warped thinking that led to the mistake that is the Pixi.

    It's a mindset that reflects where the market was around the time the iPhone hit. But these days, "affordability" shouldn't be a primary goal. The hottest-selling consumer electronic device these days is a $500-900 tablet that runs a glorified smartphone OS. And that's in a bum economy.

    People - even ordinary, non-techie people - will cough up the money for something that compels them. Being a layman or geek doesn't really make a difference. WebOS has not been compelling to the mass market yet, and that is largely because it is on hardware that REpels people.

    That should be the goal, and price shouldn't be a limitation. Final customer pricing will take care of itself. Competition is so fast and furious these days that the $0-$49 range is littered with handsets like the Palm Pre Plus, iPhone 3G, and HTC Droid Eris that absolutely smoke handsets like the Pixi.

    Palm and HP's aim - at all costs - should be make a compelling device. Everything comes second to that.
    Dude,
    You should read my response a little more carefully. The response was not about the quality of the product. It's about this idea that we need to outdo everyone on hardware spec alone. If, as the OP contends, the Palm line has lost it's luster because of faulty releases, that need to be fixed first.

    If you are disappointed with your $149.00 dollar Pre, will you want to take a chance on a $400.00 Pre 2 (or C40, or whatever)? Nobody said build crap, if you build a quality product at any price range... they will come. While you count the millions who are buying iPads or iPhones, don't forget the tens of millions who just won't pony up for a 600-900 dollar 'glorified smartphone'.

    Just consider the Asian car makers. At one time ALL of the were considered to be cheap knock-offs of "superior" American cars. Now they are considered the better made cars in the world. Their luxury lines came MUCH later. They built their business not by building crappy "me too" imitations of Cadillacs and BMW's but by making sure everything they made, from economy to mid-scale was solidly reliable.

    This is a marathon, not a sprint, and now with HP cash, they should make everything better and not just try for the home-run of a killer device. Most people love the OS and would have been OK if the hardware was reliable.

    Another flaw in your reasoning. Last year the hardware was adequate (if it worked as it was supposed to), of course after a year new stuff will needed. Nobody is saying that they should repackage last years hardware and try to sell it as current. But, even if it's awesome spec-wise, if it is not well built, it may be the final nail in the Palm coffin.

    I haven't met a person who hasn't been impressed on seeing my Pre, (a few even went and got their own) even un-doctored... but they heard so much negative about guess what... BUILD QUALITY.

    Substance over style always wins long term. Are you even a Pre user?

    BTW: There are a lot of people who prefer the Pixi (save for poor performing hardware). What you personally like is not what everyone needs.
  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by C-Note View Post
    Dude,
    You should read my response a little more carefully. The response was not about the quality of the product. It's about this idea that we need to outdo everyone on hardware spec alone. If, as the OP contends, the Palm line has lost it's luster because of faulty releases, that need to be fixed first.

    If you are disappointed with your $149.00 dollar Pre, will you want to take a chance on a $400.00 Pre 2 (or C40, or whatever)? Nobody said build crap, if you build a quality product at any price range... they will come. While you count the millions who are buying iPads or iPhones, don't forget the tens of millions who just won't pony up for a 600-900 dollar 'glorified smartphone'.

    Just consider the Asian car makers. At one time ALL of the were considered to be cheap knock-offs of "superior" American cars. Now they are considered the better made cars in the world. Their luxury lines came MUCH later. They built their business not by building crappy "me too" imitations of Cadillacs and BMW's but by making sure everything they made, from economy to mid-scale was solidly reliable.

    This is a marathon, not a sprint, and now with HP cash, they should make everything better and not just try for the home-run of a killer device. Most people love the OS and would have been OK if the hardware was reliable.

    Another flaw in your reasoning. Last year the hardware was adequate (if it worked as it was supposed to), of course after a year new stuff will needed. Nobody is saying that they should repackage last years hardware and try to sell it as current. But, even if it's awesome spec-wise, if it is not well built, it may be the final nail in the Palm coffin.

    I haven't met a person who hasn't been impressed on seeing my Pre, (a few even went and got their own) even un-doctored... but they heard so much negative about guess what... BUILD QUALITY.

    Substance over style always wins long term. Are you even a Pre user?

    BTW: There are a lot of people who prefer the Pixi (save for poor performing hardware). What you personally like is not what everyone needs.


    exactly couldnt have said it better. The next Web OS phone has to be a top of the line phone to compete with the EVO's, and the iphone hd's. As stated when people go in the store, pick it up and say wow this is a nice phone, it FEELS expensive, its sturdy fast etc, then most people dont care how much it is they will pull out that card. Look at the first iphone people paid 600 dollars for it (I was one of them) because when I went into the store not only was the phone complete, it felt good in the hands, but the OS was smooth and appealing to the eyes. At this point they have the ladder they just need to make sure and captialize on a very well built, attractive device and the rest will be history.
  18. #18  
    I think that the "fat middle" is the perfect place for Palm to be right now. That spot would put their pricing in the range that would be attractive to many, many more potential customers. The more hands they get WebOS into, the better. The biggest single selling feature of WebOS is, well, WebOS. Once people see how much more user friendly it is over Android, they're hooked.
    Granted, it's still got to have solid hardware, better than the Pre, but it doesn't have to be some titanium clad, cutting edge, Earth shattering, life changing device either.
    Just a well built, easy to use, reasonably priced device is just what the doctor ordered for long term growth and long term growth is what's going to, one day, get us that dream WebOS device that we've been waiting for.
    The Saint
  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by Urkel View Post
    You know what phone you buy an ordinary person who hasnt moved to smart phones yet? a smartphone.

    The Centro was a big seller when it came out because at $99 it was 1/4 the cost of other smart phones. But in 2010 we'll see the EVO/iPhone4 for $199, The iPhone 3G for $99 and the Pre for $29. So where would this "affordable marketshare device" fit in? Look at the MS Kin. Why would someone spend $200 on a crippled almost-WinMo7 device when they could buy a Dell Lightning or Droid at the same price? HPs strategy has to be based on completely flooring the industry with a fantastic OS and Hardware (like they did in Feb09) and actually deliver (like they didn't do in June09).

    IMO, they also need to distance themselves from this discount game they're playing because a $29 Pre makes Palm look desperate and, by association, its going to take WebOS down with it. The Pre can disappear for all I care, but WebOS deserves a chance to live on a device people actually want to own.
    One more mistake - similar to the other poster... THEY are not playing the discount game, the phone carrier is. The phones get discounted at end of life to clear shelf space. Have you ever seen a new smartphone start at $29.00?

    C
  20. #20  
    I agree with those who say hp/palm need a 'killer' smartphone. I'll admit I didn't have high hopes for Palm until the HP buyout but I believe if they play their cards right, they can secure a decent chunk of the market.

    What they need, IMO, is a no-nonsense, top of line smartphone with more of everything than the competition. It HAS to be a slab design offered in 2 versions: A side-slide with a hardware keyboard and one without. It has to come with better PIM functions (to satisfy the core base)and the corporate exchange support must be at least on par with Blackberry. And last but not least, they must launch a massive and I mean MASSIVE ad campaign DIRECTLY ATTACKING THE IPHONE. Yes, I said it!! They must go after it relentlessly comparing the features one by one, 24/7. They MUST also develop an easy to use sync solution and they MUST show it off. In other words, they need an equivalent of the Droid 'does' ads but multiplied by a factor of 10.

    I get questions about my Droid from iPhone users quite often asking what I like about it and how it compares. Which just proves advertising works and works well, but... you also have to have the merchandise to back it up and I believe with HP, Palm can have that.

    However if they don't come out swinging, I don't see a very bright future considering the market is being saturated everyday by mid to low-end devices.
    Sony Clie --> Tungsten t2 --> iPhone3g --> Palm Pre --> Droid
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