Palm has lost it, and I mean totally lost it. What the hell are they thinking bringing a product like this to market? As I read about the announcements at the WSJ D event I came across the Palm announcement. I rushed off to learn about it - maybe they had reinvented the smartphone, perhaps their OS, or maybe something else that would have been newsworthy. What I found was a worthless sub notebook sized "thing" that doesn't do anything unless you have you have paired it with your SmartPhone. I say thing because the device is utterly useless on it's own, it can't do much unless you have synced it with your phone. I honestly don't know who does their market research but they need to be fired. Lets start with the basics:
First, when do people use their SmartPhone? Answer: When they are standing in line, sitting on an airplane before takeoff or landing (or sneaking a peek during the flight), walking to lunch, driving their car, or sitting in meetings that have gone too long. What do all these things have in common? It's all time that is considered "reclaimed time" that would have otherwise gone wasted if it wasn't for some convenient pocket sized device that they could fiddle with in one hand while doing whatever else they were doing.
Second, why do people have a SmartPhone? Answer: To carry their info and remain connected to the world when on the go, these people are road warriors who are not interested in adding anything to their carry on bag because it's already full enough. They are always looking for ways to make their SmartPhone do more so they don't have to carry around a laptop or really anything larger than their phone. If there was an easy way for a sales guy to run PowerPoint presentations off their phone, they would.
Third, where is the pain this device is solving? Answer: there is none. Is it hard for me to write out long e-mails on a treo or stare at pictures of other peoples kids? Yeah, maybe. Am I going to go buy a 500 dollar device to make it easier? Hell no.
Fourth , who's going to shell out the cash for this thing? Answer: No one. This device is targeted at business customers and no corporate IT group is going to buy this thing for their people. Why should they when they have already been issued a laptop and SmartPhone, what more do they need. No geek is going to be caught with this thing either, it's too limited in it's capabilities and anyone caught with one is most likely going to be made fun of. Road warriors are not going to shell out a dime for this thing either, its just going to clog up their travel bag. So that leaves the consumer market, are they going to buy this thing? Nope, they are perfectly content texting each other using the dial pad, much less do they have a SmartPhone.
So lets recap. The Foleo solves a problem that doesn't exist for a market that would rather use their SmartPhone for everything and all other times their laptop or desktop and no corporate IT department is going to acquire these things for their users so my guess is about 2 of these things are going to be sold and those 2 people are going to be laughed at for shelling out 500 dollars on this thing and not a cool new iPhone like everyone else.
Palm, what happened to you? You were once a great company, a source of innovation, but this is just pathetic. I declare Palm dead and think they have 6 to 12 months to live before the company collapses.