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  1. KKenna's Avatar
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    #41  
    I think the history here is like so:

    Sprint seems to get the new Palm devices first. The Treo 300 was released in August of 2002. The next gen, again released on the Sprint network, was October of 2003, making for a product life cycle of 14 months or thereabouts. Assuming they will want to slow this down so they can get a better return on investment, we shouldn't really expect anything new until at least December of this year. The only exception being if another manufacturer releases/announces a product which would trump the Treo line (which I don't really see so far).

    I figure to expect an October announcement with December release as the earliest possible timeframe for the Ace.
  2. #42  
    Quote Originally Posted by silverado
    Could this contractual commitment include commitment for upcoming models?
    Not likely. The wording of the 10k essentially says "carriers sign contracts commiting them up-front to certain purchases; we have $86 million of those commitments".

    If you would like to claim that is NOT what they said, please support it with something other than fond wishes.

    The 10k is here:

    -- http://secfilings.nasdaq.com/filingF...F5%2F2004&pdf=

    See page 11, "BACKLOG":

    == "...Carriers purchase our smartphone products through negotiated contracts,
    == each of which is unique. Generally, the terms of sale include purchase
    == commitments up front if a carrier requires smartphones that are
    == customized to their network. Carrier purchase terms vary, however
    == cancellations are generally limited, and may carry penalties.
    ==
    == The backlog of firm orders on our smartphone products as of May 31,
    == 2004 was $86.0 million. There is not a comparable amount of firm order
    == backlog at the end of fiscal year 2003 because the Treo smartphone
    == product line was acquired in October 2003 at the time of the Handspring
    == acquisition..."
    Last edited by SeldomVisitor; 08/07/2004 at 03:26 PM. Reason: removed handheld words since the topic is smartphones
  3. #43  
    Quote Originally Posted by KKenna
    I figure to expect an October announcement with December release as the earliest possible timeframe for the Ace.
    I think yours is the most accurate-to-date guess, but I would guess no sooner than next year (PalmOne explicitly says there are no seasonal effects to smartphone sales so they have no need to meet the Holiday Season).
  4. #44  
    [QUOTE=SeldomVisitor]W.r.t. "delaying" use of OS6

    ...[snip]...

    [QUOTE]


    thx for clarifying that
  5. #45  
    about the backlog...

    if this "backlog" concept is ground truth - what does that MEAN?

    In other words, how long THEN would we have to wait, if we have to wait for this backlog to be cleared out?

    How many YEARS are we talking about?
  6. #46  
    A knowledgable Palm source told me "expect to see it two to three months after it's platformed - when it's first seen in public." I said " you mean like when Jeff Hawkins 'just happened' to have the 600 in his hand last year?" He smiled and said "Something like that." "So, hypothetically we're talking about what - October? November?," I asked. But he just wouldn't disclose anything more about the release date...
  7. #47  
    Quote Originally Posted by dixter13
    Also, they will announce as early as they can (as they did last time) and likely weeks (or months) before it is available. The main two reasons for this are:

    1. To try and get anyone looking to upgrade between the announce date and the date they can actually get it into the shops to hold off upgrading until they can get the phone out. If I were them, I would want to do it 6-8 weeks before it hits the shelf, but a good time after the last launch on of the 600 on the major US networks. Try and sell as many as possible there before people start holding off waiting to 2 months for the new model.

    2. To give them as really good lead up and build big expectations for the launch. That way they can ensure that as soon as they are ready to ship demand is already built up and they don't have phones waiting in shops for long periods while demand grows. Apple do this all the time, to great effect, see iPod mini for a perfect example.
    While many companies, like moto and samsung, do what you propose, I disagree about the clear benefits.

    If you announce a replacement product, one to two months prior to ship, your sales of existing product go down the tubes for those one to two months, and you are not nearly compensated by the preorders. A huge drop in such a major revenue component would KILL Palmone's stock price after the subsequent quarterly report. Many companies have gotten badly burned by such preannouncements, but it makes sense when the product is one of a very large product line, and when most of your buyers are not likely to be affected by the news. IMHO this is definitely NOT the case for the Treo 600, whose buyers on average are extremely well informed.

    BTW, IMO Apple generally does not preannounce replacement products. In the case of the mini, I believe they perceived this as a new category, rather than a replacement product, and that, as such, it would be less likely to hurt existing product sales.

    Pete
    Last edited by Pete_L_P; 08/07/2004 at 05:19 PM.
  8. #48  
    I expect an October release. P1 has sales histories of two Treo cycles to gauge inventories from, so I don't think their existing product is accumulating in warehouses if they plan to release a replacement product in Q4. They probably turned off the afterburners on Treo 600 production in early summer. For cell phones I don't any advantage to a Christmas lauch. Provisioning a flood of new phones with no knowledge of what bugs will be introduced would be a support nightmare. It makes more sense to release early and let early adopters be the guinea pigs, so that when holiday sales presumably accelerate, Sprint will have addressed at least some major flaws.

    The fact that an early release happens to be wishful thinking doesn't make it unrealistic. Even a stopped clock gives the right time twice a day. Besides, August-October releases have been the norm for Handpring/P1 devices.
  9. #49  
    Quote Originally Posted by Gameboy70
    when holiday sales presumably accelerate, Sprint will have addressed at least some major flaws...
    From the 10k just released by PalmOne, page 11, on SEASONALITY:

    == "...To date, we have not seen meaningful seasonal variations in customer
    == demand for Treo smartphones. This contrasts with our experience of
    == selling handheld computers. We attribute this lack of seasonality for our
    == smartphones to four factors. First, sales of smartphones are influenced by
    == carrier adoption which could occur at any time during the fiscal year.
    == Second, our smartphones are sold at higher prices than handheld
    == computers and holiday seasonality typically affects demand for lower
    == priced products. Third, purchasing a smartphone also requires selection of
    == a carrier and the purchase of a service plan, which complicates the
    == buying process for gift-giving. Lastly, enterprise customers represent a
    == higher proportion of smartphones sales than typically seen in our handheld
    == product line and these customers tend to be less driven by holiday selling
    == seasons..."
  10. #50  
    Quote Originally Posted by SeldomVisitor
    PalmOne says they have $86million worth of contractual commitment by carriers for their smartphone products. Since they have only the TREO 270/300/600 smartphone products right now, how likely is it that they will introduce a Treo600-rough-equivalent prior to that backlog being handled?
    I don't know, but even if, as you say, there are $86 million of contractual commitments that need to be met before the next Treo is released, what sort of delay will this impose?

    This isn't my area of expertise and I might be missing something, but according to the TC article on the fourth quarter earnings report 'Treo 600 shipments increased to 151,000 units. Treos accounted for $75.4 million, or 28% of PalmOne's sales.' At that rate, $86 million worth of Treos would be sold in a little under 15 weeks. The TC article goes on to quote a PalmOne prediction that they will sell 240,000-260,000 in the current quarter. If we assume per Treo revenue similar to that seen in Q4 then a rate of 240,000-260,000 per quarter would see $86 million worth of Treos sold in 8 to 9 weeks. Some of those Treos won't be sold as part of contractual commitments to carriers, but I suspect that the vast majority will be (do you have any numbers on this?).

    If this analysis is correct, it is conceivable that the $86million worth of contractual commitments has been cleared already.
  11. #51  
    Unfortunately you are confusing PalmOne's sales to retailers/carriers and retailers/carriers sales to end-customers. For example, Sprint is STILL selling down their inventory of TREO 300s - PalmOne sold them a boatload and said "We sold a boatload!". Unfortunately, Sprint couldn't turn around and sell that boatload to end-customers.

    Still going, still going! I wonder if Sprint STILL has a contractual commitment to PalmOne to buy more TREO 300s? (that would be part of that $86 million, BTW, and MIGHT explain why PalmOne said "smartphone products" rather than "TREO 600" in that 10k!)

    So, are the carriers selling every TREO 600 they buy from PalmOne thus what you posted is close to correct?

    Well, every carrier I checked that had a TREO 600 to sell has a TREO 600 to sell - they haven't sold out.

    Will they thus reorder that entire $86million backlog THIS quarter?

    Maybe, maybe not:

    -- http://finance.messages.yahoo.com/bb...7051&mid=21378

    (BTW - the LACK of information out of PalmOne is a major discussion point not just by me but by the Me-Too Media and "analysts" as well. There is no good reason other than "obfuscation" (as The Motley Fool puts it) to NOT reveal the known-to-them sell-through numbers in PalmOne's possession - unless they are as bad as suspected by many, including myself)
  12. BigTex's Avatar
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    #52  
    Why does everyone here assume the ACE is a 600 replacement? P1 said they would have a family of TREOs. I am confident that the Ace will be the top-end and the 600 the mid-rande to entry level. Both will be avail for sale at the same time. P1 likes multiple products and multiple price ponts.

    Seldom, - nowhere in the 10k does it state that those commitments are for the 600 model only. I still wonder why a non-palm owning troll like you takes the time to post your drivel on this board. Your arguments while technically proficient are usually logically flawed and your pro-MS/anti Palm stance has removed any credibility you may have ever had. Find a new home please.

    BigTex
    Waiting for Palm Pre on AT&T then can replace my iPhone. Needs Doc To Go and Flash

    Mutley - Passed 4-18-06. A better friend one could not ask for!
  13. #53  
    Quote Originally Posted by SeldomVisitor
    Unfortunately you are confusing PalmOne's sales to retailers/carriers and retailers/carriers sales to end-customers. For example, Sprint is STILL selling down their inventory of TREO 300s - PalmOne sold them a boatload and said "We sold a boatload!". Unfortunately, Sprint couldn't turn around and sell that boatload to end-customers.
    I must be seriously confused because reading the TC article on the fourth quarter earnings report and your previous post it seemed quite clear that when TC said 'Treo 600 shipments increased to 151,000 units. Treos accounted for $75.4 million, or 28% of PalmOne's sales' and you said 'The wording of the 10k essentially says "carriers sign contracts commiting them up-front to certain purchases; we have $86 million of those commitments"' that both the author of the TC article and yourself were referring to PalmOne's sales to retailers/carriers. Is that not the case?


    Quote Originally Posted by SeldomVisitor
    So, are the carriers selling every TREO 600 they buy from PalmOne thus what you posted is close to correct?

    Well, every carrier I checked that had a TREO 600 to sell has a TREO 600 to sell - they haven't sold out.
    I think we've established that I'm not an expert in business practice but even I can see that it makes little sense for a retailer to run out of a product. Isn't it reasonable to order as stock diminishes so that the new items arrive before the shelves are empty? (If I walk into a carrier's store and they've sold out of Treos I might just go to another carrier and get one there.) Obviously carriers aren't selling every Treo 600 the day they arrive, but beyond that does the observation that all of the carriers you checked have stock really tell us very much about the numbers being sold to the final customers?
  14. #54  
    You see what's wrong with lack of information out of a company? There is no good reason that we're even having this discussion! We already should KNOW how the TREO 600 is doing w.r.t. end-customers, we should have a good idea what PalmOne intends to do with new TREOs et al, we should KNOW if Sprint (or T-Mobile/Orange/whomever) is still required to buy TREO 300s (or 270s)!

    Yet we do not.

    And THAT is a sad thing.

    For Pete's Sake - PalmOne prominently mentions for the very first time some "hard" numbers about "backlog" in their annual report and they don't even say what they really MEAN by "backlog"!

    Sheesh.

    (for those who wonder if the next TREO will be top-of-the-line - I'd say yes but at a similar price point to the TREO 600 at its most expensive. The market for the TREO 600 is miniscule already due to its high price - it is rather unlikely, IMHO, that PalmOne would try to sell something MORE expensive)

    (and for those with the ad hominem attacks - go **** yourself and leave - we're having a discussion about PalmOne and the TREO here, not posters. Tenkuveddymuch)
  15. #55  
    NXTLwants2quit : Backlog is orders that you have...but have not shipped out the door yet. You can't claim it as revenue until you actually part with the product. You would never want to "Clear out your backlog". That would mean you have no more orders and you are about to go out of business.
  16. #56  
    From first-hand experience (for me, at least) over the past few months and even up until last week the Sprint stores in Manhattan have often been sold out of 600s. Even their flagship 42nd St location. Generally they say they're getting a new shipment in in 2 or 3 days.
    It's unclear to me if you can walk out of any Verizon store w/ a 600 in yr hand. The few I've been to (this week) claim that in all outlets they only have displays and always must be sent to you. I have no idea if this is really true or just an attempt to get the commission.
  17. #57  
    Just as an aside - stopped by a Costco to get something and a Sprint rep was at the little stand there. I talked him up a bit and he allowed that a "new treo" would be coming out in december. He qualified it by saying that that was what his boss had said and that he hadn't seen pictures of it.

    So, for what its worth...

    This many people can't all be wrong can they? Sure is mounting evidence. Seems like some on these boards doubt strongly the idea of the ace arriving this year.
  18. #58  
    Quote Originally Posted by SeldomVisitor
    Not likely. The wording of the 10k essentially says "carriers sign contracts commiting them up-front to certain purchases; we have $86 million of those commitments".

    If you would like to claim that is NOT what they said, please support it with something other than fond wishes.

    The 10k is here:

    -- http://secfilings.nasdaq.com/filingF...F5%2F2004&pdf=

    See page 11, "BACKLOG":

    == "...Carriers purchase our smartphone products through negotiated contracts,
    == each of which is unique. Generally, the terms of sale include purchase
    == commitments up front if a carrier requires smartphones that are
    == customized to their network. Carrier purchase terms vary, however
    == cancellations are generally limited, and may carry penalties.
    ==
    == The backlog of firm orders on our smartphone products as of May 31,
    == 2004 was $86.0 million. There is not a comparable amount of firm order
    == backlog at the end of fiscal year 2003 because the Treo smartphone
    == product line was acquired in October 2003 at the time of the Handspring
    == acquisition..."
    While not intending to be argumentative, it seems to me the back log and commitments referred to in the 10K you cite, could well apply to commitments or orders for as yet unreleased product. Is there a reason why you're ruling that out?

    Pete
  19. #59  
    PalmOne's comments about sales not being seasonal is a complete lie. Anyone with basic economic knowledge knows that at least in the US, 30-50 percent (or more) of revenue comes from seasonal sales.

    Palmone is lying to wall street in order to create the illusion of smooth revenue/demand.

    Pathetic.

    As for the Treo 650, we will not see it until next year. Sorry, I wish it wasn't the case, but PalmOne can't turn on a dime, despite our wishes.

    Moreover, after the SE T608 debacle by Sprint, I have no faith they will be able to put out any phone with BT until 2005.

    I hope I am wrong, but I doubt it. I stand ready to eat crow.
  20. #60  
    Quote Originally Posted by mikec
    PalmOne's comments about sales not being seasonal is a complete lie. Anyone with basic economic knowledge knows that at least in the US, 30-50 percent (or more) of revenue comes from seasonal sales.

    Palmone is lying to wall street in order to create the illusion of smooth revenue/demand.

    Pathetic.

    As for the Treo 650, we will not see it until next year. Sorry, I wish it wasn't the case, but PalmOne can't turn on a dime, despite our wishes.

    Moreover, after the SE T608 debacle by Sprint, I have no faith they will be able to put out any phone with BT until 2005.

    I hope I am wrong, but I doubt it. I stand ready to eat crow.
    Calm yourself, you'll be healthier. I personally believe them for two reasons.

    1) The advantages don't justify the risk of consequences. Corporate executives are tending to be more careful than ever in this regard. Its just too dangerous.

    2) The reasons they gave really make good sense to me.
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