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  1.    #1  
    As part of a prediction of 12 major brands that will disappear in the next year, they did an analysis of 100 brands that are facing difficulties. This adds to the Motley Fool analysis we saw yesterday. Not sure what they base it on, but they say the launch of the Pre is a "disaster in the making." I don't think there's been a launch yet, so it's pretty unfair to say that it's a disaster in the making.

    However, this certainly points out that Palm and Sprint will have their work cut out for them in the advertising department. There appears to be a large and growing perception that the Pre is not going to make it, no matter how good it is. This is bad. Palm and Sprint need to start changing this in a big way--they need a big ad push touting the Pre and they need it fast before the public has made up its mind.

    Here's a link, and here's the text about Palm:

    10. Palm (PALM) has been at death’s door for some time. It prospects have improved recently and the company has one last chance to become viable when it launches its new “Pre” product. Recent research shows that almost no one who owns an Apple (AAPL) iPhone or RIM (RIMM) Blackberry will switch to the new smartphone, so Palm will have to essentially expand the market to get share for its new device during a recession. The “Pre” will also be sold exclusively though Sprint (S), the No.3 cellular carrier in the US which has been losing subscribers consistently for more than two years. The launch of the “Pre” is a disaster in the making. Palm’s results for the quarter that ended on February 27th were awful, failing to meet Wall St’s modest expectations. Palm sold only 482,000 handsets for the period, down 42% from the same quarter the year before. Revenue dropped from $312 million to $91 million, and Palm lost $95 million. Palm brought in just over $100 million with the help of its largest shareholder, Elevation Partners, in a recent financing. The bottom line is that Palm has no chance of getting an even modest part of the smartphone market in a severe economic downturn since it competes with two of the premier technology companies in the world—Apple and RIM. Palm won’t be in business in a year.
  2. #2  
    I'll be the first to admit I am no genius financial or market analyst, but I just don't understand perspectives like this.

    They needed a recent survey to see that not a lot of people will switch to Sprint just for this phone? That's a given to me. Aside from the iPhone - which changed the game and reset the bar for everyone else - NO carrier has had a flagship exclusive phone that other people are going to pay ETFs and port numbers for in droves. It didn't happen with the G1. It didn't happen with the Storm. And it won't happen with the Pre.

    Sprint still has 49 million customers. If Pre sells to just 3 percent of that group in the first several months, that'd be sales of just under 1.5 million, which is phenomenal. Moreso for Sprint than Palm, but phenomenal nonetheless. But that would have to be enough lucre for Palm to scrape by to release future WebOS device launches in the next 6-12 months. If not, then they'd be doomed under any scenario, even if they did a flawless launch of the Pre on January 30 of this year.
  3. #3  
    If you ask me the analysis misses the mark. Not to say Palm may yet fold, but the Pre does not need to steal market share from Apple and Rimm to be sucessful. As many have pointed out, the smartphone market is expected to (approximatrely) double in the next five years as more and more people move away from dumb phones. Palm just needs to capture a percentage of these new smartphone users to be a huge hit, since the potential customers far exceed all current Apple and Rimm users. Palm does not need to get converts from Apple and Rim - it needs converts from Motorola Razrs and Nokia 1200. The analysis sited above seems to think the smartphone market is fix, where all other evidence shows that it is not. Clearly Palm is in trouble, and still may not survive, but not for the reasoning stated above.
    VisorPhone Clone
    (Please do not thank me - I find it scary)
  4. #4  
    Count me as one of those people who is planning on switching carriers for the Pre. They need to get this out before the new iPhone in June. I think there's alot of people who dont want an iPhone or BB and who will look at the Pre.
  5.    #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by sir_mycroft View Post
    If you ask me the analysis misses the mark. Not to say Palm may yet fold, but the Pre does not need to steal market share from Apple and Rimm to be sucessful. As many have pointed out, the smartphone market is expected to (approximatrely) double in the next five years as more and more people move away from dumb phones. Palm just needs to capture a percentage of these new smartphone users to be a huge hit, since the potential customers far exceed all current Apple and Rimm users. Palm does not need to get converts from Apple and Rim - it needs converts from Motorola Razrs and Nokia 1200. The analysis sited above seems to think the smartphone market is fix, where all other evidence shows that it is not. Clearly Palm is in trouble, and still may not survive, but not for the reasoning stated above.
    I agree completely, but the reason I posted this is because the perception is out there that Palm is in a lot of trouble. This makes any Palm product look a lot less attractive. And that means that Palm really needs to work on their image in the public perception. They're not going to win this battle on word of mouth and Sprint network commercials. I almost get the feeling that Sprint is trying to de-emphasize the Palm-ness of the Pre. I think this is bad for Palm.
  6. #6  
    Well..both of its premises for doom and gloom are off a bit. "Recent research" is a silly little poll taken when the Pre is not even released yet and most aren't even aware of it.

    Sprint's losing customers has mainly to do with having no great selection of phones and no flagship besides the Instinct (lol). It does have a few business oriented smartphones like the HTC, palm, and a blackberry, but does not push them toward consumers. The arrival of the Pre fixes this glaring hole.

    I don't think analysts quite understand what the Pre is and how much it addresses exactly what Sprint needs. This isn't a poor attempt at an iphone wanna be like so many we've seen in the last year.
  7. #7  
    I think the analysts is making viable points. The 'death' of Plam has been discussed over and over on these boards. Really ,he is saying the smae thing we have all been saying - "The is Plams last chance" He;s just adding onto that statement w/ the reality of the current ecomony, the competeions postion, and the carriers weekeness.

    With all of that said, I also disagree. The market for SMART phones is grwoing rapidly, which will give Plam the oportunity to get back in. Sprint is weak, but still number three, and will do whatever it takes to make the pre a hit. Not to mention the pre will be w/ other companies by next year. And, en with the bad economy, phones have become to important to people.
    da Gimp

    Please note: My spelling sucks and I'm to lazy to check it.
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardfan View Post
    Well..both of its premises for doom and gloom are off a bit. "Recent research" is a silly little poll taken when the Pre is not even released yet and most aren't even aware of it.

    Sprint's losing customers has mainly to do with having no great selection of phones and no flagship besides the Instinct (lol). It does have a few business oriented smartphones like the HTC, palm, and a blackberry, but does not push them toward consumers. The arrival of the Pre fixes this glaring hole.

    I don't think analysts quite understand what the Pre is and how much it addresses exactly what Sprint needs. This isn't a poor attempt at an iphone wanna be like so many we've seen in the last year.
    I think this view is quite biased since you and most everyone on this board including myself is fixated on the Pre. Sprint losing customer certainly has something to do with its lack of selection of phones but its certainly not the main reason. You can have a flagship phone but the majority of the American people are still going to get a free phone or something that costs $50, its just the mentality although thats changing. Just look at Tmo, their line of phones is horrible, much worse than Sprint's and yet they make profits year and year. There is no one specific reason why Sprint is failing but its just a combination of different things.

    The analysis is pretty on point and they don't need to know or understand the Pre. The Pre MIGHT save Palm, but it certainly won't save Sprint. Sprint has to get its act together especially its CSR dept in retaining customers which is the main cause of its failure, not its selection of phones.
  9. mike5's Avatar
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    #9  
    Being a contrarian & maybe even a bit of a rebel--this makes me want the Pre even more.

    I want competition, & I like the underdog to win a few. No doubt, Palm is the underdog in this environment & Apple w/the iPhone (more than Rim, IMO) has become the big bully on the block.

    Cheers
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike5 View Post
    Being a contrarian & maybe even a bit of a rebel--this makes me want the Pre even more.

    I want competition, & I like the underdog to win a few. No doubt, Palm is the underdog in this environment & Apple w/the iPhone (more than Rim, IMO) has become the big bully on the block.

    Cheers
    +1
  11. #11  
    In terms of customers to market to, I'll take Sprint's "weakness" over T-Mobile and anyone besides AT&T and Verizon any day of the week.

    Sprint still has a higher ARPU than T-Mobile, and their smartphone and touch handset business is actually growing, even if the rest of the company is contracting. The Instinct and the Touch pro have been pretty big hits for them, and Sprint needs to keep a steady flow of flashy smartphones coming. Then, add the Pre as the flagship carrier exclusive device and you should see better results coming.

    The thing is, an accelerated Pre launch in January or February would have done nothing to change any of this. The apps weren't ready, and the Sprint apps were definitely not ready. It would've been a half-assed launch that would've buried Palm's chance to make a great first impression with their relaunch.
  12. #12  
    Like most here, I believe that these reports are mostly specious...and are just trying to get attention by forecasting doom and gloom long before we have enough data to see what is really going to happen. The Pre is not even out yet...and the iPhone has been out for less than two years. A lot can happen in a short time in this market.

    That said, they are correct in stating that Palm is at risk...and it is Palm's fault. they took forever to get a new OS out. Had they hit two years ago, they would have short circuited some of the iPhone's dominance and had an exciting phone on the street when folks still had discretionary income and when Plam's brand had more value. Instead, they waited until the iPhone became the defacto standard, RIM advanced, and Android hit the street with a dozen or so Android-based handsets in the wings. Palm is also now faced with targeting a consumer (vs. Business) market during the worst global economy in 40 or so years.

    Yes, predictions of their death are a little premature, but they really have driven themselves to the edge of a cliff. Only time will tell if they slip off. The article is not completely without merit...even if it is mostly hyperbole.

    cheers,
    Steve
    IIIx -> Tungsten T -> Treo 650 -> Treo 700p -> Launch day Pre
  13. fwinst's Avatar
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    #13  
    I really hate when journalists write things like "recent research" without citing sources. It means nothing. Did the journalist ask 5 of his closest friends at the Apple store?

    I agree that Sprint and Palm have yet to produce much of an ad campaign. However, there is a real buzz about this phone. Will it be an iPhone killer? I doubt it. But I think it could be the first phone to really give iPhone a run for its money.

    It's more likely that Palm will be absorbed by another company than go out of business altogether. I guess we'll just have to wait and see how good the Pre really is.
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike5 View Post
    Being a contrarian & maybe even a bit of a rebel--this makes me want the Pre even more.

    I want competition, & I like the underdog to win a few. No doubt, Palm is the underdog in this environment & Apple w/the iPhone (more than Rim, IMO) has become the big bully on the block.

    Cheers
    Palm is only the underdog because of years of incompetence. They used to own the smartphone market.
  15. #15  
    I think this article has it spoints. But we all know Palm is in trouble. Thats not news. The PRE is the make or break it for this company. Two things go against them. They announced it way too early and havent delivered yet even if its in the time frame they said ( first half 2009) its almost the middle of April and no firm release date and the biggest issue is the economy. Its expected to slump even more in the next few months before the turnaround. Its just bad luck for palm that this phones release will happen in a reccesion. There was an article yesterday in MSNBC about how cheap smartphones are the new way so maybe if they price it correctly they can have a hit. I will look for that article. I hope Palm pulls this off but if they price this phone out of "todays" reccession market they will have issues.
  16. #16  
    OK heres the news peice I was talking about

    Smartphone consumers opt for 'cheap chic' - Wireless- msnbc.com

    11:11 a.m. ET, Wed., April 15, 2009

    HELSINKI - Cell phone makers are expected to report buoyant sales of lower-priced, feature-packed smartphones as consumers opt for "cheap chic" amid the global recession.

    Research in Motion, the second-largest maker of smartphones after Nokia, surprised investors on April 2 with strong profits fueled by consumer-oriented, more affordable Blackberry models, and gave a rosy outlook.
  17. #17  
    I am not that worried. Palm may go under, but even if it does, they will get bought out, or at least WebOS will, and we'll see WebOS live on.
  18. #18  
    I wonder if Palm is regretting selling the Pre exclusively through Sprint. Seems like a Verizon Pre would be pretty good for them.
  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by gapost View Post
    I wonder if Palm is regretting selling the Pre exclusively through Sprint. Seems like a Verizon Pre would be pretty good for them.
    I wonder if VZW had a chance to get it and decided to wait and see if it does well. I dont think Palm and VZW are to close as compared to Sprint. Just look how long it took VZW to get the Centro and they basically forgot about it. While Sprint came out with an upgraded version and selection of colors.
  20. #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by Beanis View Post
    I am not that worried. Palm may go under, but even if it does, they will get bought out, or at least WebOS will, and we'll see WebOS live on.
    Yes.
    da Gimp

    Please note: My spelling sucks and I'm to lazy to check it.
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