Palm Pre and Pixi sales slide = stock slump

Palm's latest guidance makes grim reading for investors hoping for an iPhone killer. Seems like Pre and Pixi aren't selling well, although Palm says it has a turnaround plan. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers wonder where it all went wrong.

By Richi Jennings. February 26, 2010.


Your humble blogwatcher selected these bloggy morsels for your enjoyment. Not to mention Jeremy...    

Phil Goldstein gets fierce:

Palm ... slashed its fiscal third-quarter and full-year revenue targets, citing slower-than-expected sales of its webOS products--action that has sparked fresh worries about the company's future. ... Palm's stock ... plummeted more than 18 percent on the company's announcement.

John Paczkowski shakes his head:

This morning, [Palm] lowered its fiscal-year revenue forecast and warned of a grotesque 30 percent shortfall in its current quarter. ... Damn. ... Clearly, concerns about declining sales of the company’s webOS smartphones were well-founded. ... Which is obviously worrisome because Palm has essentially bet the farm on them.


Perhaps it’s time for Palm to start looking for a buyer, whether Nokia, Dell or someone else. [But] for Palm to be a good acquisition target, it needs to demonstrate viability, something it’s obviously having trouble doing.

Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein puts a brave face on it:

Our softer than expected performance is due to slower than expected customer adoption of our products. ... On a positive note, we expect to exit the quarter with over $500 million in cash on our balance sheet. ... The entire executive team has been working extremely hard to improve product performance, and have implemented a number of initiatives to increase awareness and drive sales.


To accelerate sales, we initiated Project JumpStart nearly three weeks ago. ... Early results from the stores have already shown improvement on ... sales week over week. ... Our goals are taking longer than expected to achieve, but I am still confident that our talented team has what it takes to get the job done.

Henry Blodget scoffs:

The Company Is Toast. ... That's the message we take away from CEO Jon Rubenstein's letter to employees.


People don't want the product. ... [It] doesn't work very well and people don't understand why they would buy it. ... The smartphone business has become a waltz of elephants, and it was always unlikely that a small standalone player could succeed. ... Palm's products had to be so obviously superior to all available alternatives that people would hear about them and seek them out.  Alas, they aren't.

Fake Steve Jobs scoffs harder:

Rubinstein, still in deep denial, actually says that Palm’s phones are the superest, bestest, most amazingest mobile phones in the whole wide world, yet somehow, curiously, “driving broad consumer adoption of Palm products is taking longer than we anticipated.”

  Amazing. Good night and good luck, you massive losers.

But Dieter Bohn throws Palm a bone:

It's interesting (and gratifying?) to see that Verizon has taken a share of the blame for the Palm Pre Plus' and Pixi Plus' poor showing. ... I can say that internally at Verizon there isn't as much enthusiasm for webOS as one would hope - Verizon employees in general are better educated on, more familiar and more comfortable with the Droid by a wide margin.


It's odd to think it, but it's still early rounds in the smartphone fight - knowing the team at Palm, they're in it for a few more rounds.

And Marin Perez is still into it:

I’m a huge fan of webOS and think it’s some of the most intuitive stuff we’ve seen since the original iPhone but I don’t know if Palm has the juice to be a significant player nowadays. ... Palm just doesn’t have the resources to compete.

  We should see a Pre on AT&T soon and I’d be shocked if we didn’t see a new, high-powered webOS smartphone within three months. I’m still hoping someone like Nokia snaps up Palm and throws its weight behind webOS..

So what's your take?
Get involved: leave a comment.

And finally...

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him as @richi on Twitter, or richij on FriendFeed, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email:

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