I went to give platelets today at a local cancer care institute. I went to a Starbucks to have breakfast and replenish myself. I was heartened to see the first ever Palm Pre in a Starbucks. Usually there are a mix of iPhones and Blackberries.
This week, Palm pre-announced some bad news. It looks like revenue will come in way below Wall Street estimates. Way way below. So what happened? What next?
What happened was that a lot less folks are buying WebOS devices than everyone expected despite it's high profile launch last year and great reviews.
Executives at Palm said they know what to do next. No one is talking about taking offers of a buyout but that could well be just what Palm needs.
Before anyone just on me, hear me out. I like Palm and I still use my Zire 72. I love it. One of my best investment.
However, Palm simply doesn't have the deep pocket as it's competitors. It has yet to build out an ecosystem of apps and media contents.
The usual suspects of buyers are not surprising. Dell and HP. Once in a while, I will hear about Nokia taking interest in this.
But I've got two more names. Adobe or Amazon. Adobe is in a battle with other mobile platforms trying to take its Flash into the mobile market with limited success if any. And soon, I am sure Silverlight will make its way to the Windows Mobile devices.
By buying Palm, which Adobe does have the financila muscle to do, I do see a strong mobile force capable of challenging Apple and Google. And with thousands of developers already familiar with Flash, Adobe can add an option for developers to create and expose to users to a lot of rich apps and media.
For Amazon, Kindle Touh isn't likely to catch fire against the iPad. However, Amazon does have a vast media market. It can leverage it to expand a slate of WebOS-enabled Kindle devices.
Not even Google can make such a claim as to having a complete ecosystem with apps, music, audiobooks, ebooks, and video.
I will get into these individual companies on their own in later posts but I think most mobile warriors and Palm fans would love to see the kind of exciting things Adobe and Amazon can do with WebOS.
More at Barron's
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