It seems just like yesterday when Roger McNamee, one of Palm's biggest backers, proudly boasted:
"You know the beautiful thing: June 29, 2009, is the two-year anniversary of the first shipment of the iPhone. Not one of those people will still be using an iPhone a month later..."
Well, that was yesterday. Today, however, it's a very different story and despite all of Roger's previous predictions that the Palm Pre was going to kill off the iPhone, the sad truth is that for several reasons it's now beginning to look like that if any smart phone is going to be killed off, it will, in fact, most likely, be the Palm Pre itself! The Palm Pre and its much praised WebOS is one smart phone that is now beginning to look like its anything but smart, at least as far as its unforgiving investors go.
Many sites, including Palm specific ones like PreCentral, are all reporting the sad news that Palm is frankly in deep trouble. Yesterday had seen almost one fifth of its stock value, for example, go straight down the drain after Palm's CEO, John Rubenstein, reported a very downbeat forecast. As of yesterday, Palm's stock was down to a measly $6.53 per share, and its market cap was hovering around the $1 billion mark. At one point the Pre sent Palm's stocking soaring to around $19, and I can only wonder what Roger McNamee is thinking now? One thing, for sure, is that, hopefully, we probably won't have to hear too much more arrogant bragging from this very annoying guy. And that's a good thing, as his boasting really rubbed me personally the wrong way.
I hate to see any company in Palm's situation, but, on the other hand, when I remember Roger's gutter-ball bragging, and when I consider how Palm basically stole, in my opinion, almost everything that was good about the Pre and WebOS straight from Apple, including approximately some 300 former Apple engineers, and the fact that they copied a lot of Apple technology, such as its patented multi-touch, and that they deliberately flaunted and harassed Apple over its iTune syncing technology , as far as I'm concerned, all I will say is that they are now simply reaping what they sowed! Ever so sad, but ever so true!
The big question now, of course, is what will happen to Palm and its cool and highly praised WebOS? Will Dell, Microsoft, Nokia or some other giant outfit buy it out and use it to compete against Apple, or will the company finally simply give up the ghost? That is, naturally, something that I personally don't or could possibly know, but obviously someone is going to snap up Palm's assets one way or the other. I'm not sure if Steve Jobs is the forgiving type of guy, and one who would buy out Palm in order to get back its former employees or any significant Palm patents, but I think it would be pretty cool if he and Apple did. The idea of Apple acquiring the very company that worked so hard to frustrate and harass it would be poetic justice don't you think?
And that's my 2 cents 4 this Friday, February 26, 2010
Palm illustration: PreCentral