Tag Archives: palm

HP kills all WebOS hardware, software’s future is undetermined

In addition, HP reported that it plans to announce that it will discontinue operations for webOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and webOS phones. HP will continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward.

via hp.com

The worst part of this news is that some will read it as proof that trying to compete with Apple with an integrated hardware/software solution is the wrong approach.

It’s not the wrong approach. It’s just an approach that needs time and lots of losing quarters to work. The product needs to evolve, the platform needs to grow slowly over time. And a company like HP doesn’t have the patience for that.

I would feel bad about this, as I was a Palm customer for years, and I still feel some sort of strange kinship with the old company and with Jon Rubenstein, who I met once. I was rooting for WebOS, as a lot of other Apple fans were. But it wasn’t to be.

At the end of the day, I had never spent a dime of my own money on any WebOS product. So what right do I have to feel bad when the platform doesn’t survive?

And don’t think this is a failure of the integrated solution. The old Microsoft model of licensing doesn’t work, either. Android and Windows Phone are proving that. (Yes, Android is falling apart. Keep watching Google’s behavior over the next few months. They had one good year in 2010, and this year has all been downhill. And they know they need a change to salvage the thing.)

The bottom line is that no one has figured out how to beat Apple at this. And it doesn’t look like anyone will anytime soon.

You hear people say all the time that they want Apple to have strong competitors, because it’s good for Apple to have competitors to keep it on its toes. But that’s never really been true, has it? Apple generally just doesn’t pay attention to its competitors. Sure, they steal an idea or two from time to time, but does anyone think that notification center NEVER would have happened without Android?

And competition just for its own sake is useless. What Apple needs is WORTHY opponents, and it doesn’t have any.

Palm: ‘we don’t know what the hold-up is’ on mobile Flash | Electronista

Adobe hasn’t given any signs that it’s close to porting Flash to webOS, Palm said in an AT&T online app development seminar on Thursday. When asked about the multiple delays, a representative said that Palm didn’t ‘know what the hold-up is’ with getting it ready. Adobe itself hasn’t commented on the state of the webOS version or of other platforms.

The absence of updates on the status of Flash for webOS casts some doubt on Adobe’s plans. Officially, devices from all platforms should have mobile Flash 10.1 in the second half of the year, but so far the strongest sign of development has been a beta for Android 2.2 that, due to its nature, can only run on the Nexus One. Adobe is slated to speak at Verizon’s Droid X introduction and may have a finished version of Flash 10.1 ready for the event, but it’s unlikely other platforms will get attention.

via electronista.com

And people still wonder why Apple doesn’t trust its future in Adobe’s hands. Here we witness Adobe clearly giving WebOS the shaft in favor of Android. What would stop them from doing the same to Apple?

AppleInsider | Designer of notification system for Palm’s WebOS hired by Apple

One of the key players in creating Palm’s WebOS mobile operating system, a man who designed its non-intrusive notification system, is now Apple’s Senior User Interface Designer.

Rich Dellinger worked as the User Interface Design Architect at Palm for nearly 4 years. During his time there, he invented the WebOS notification system and co-developed the application framework used by the operating system found on Palm’s Pre.

Dellinger was also the visual designer, interaction designer and engineer of WebOS, and he created the icon suite for Palm, Sprint and other partner applications.

This is bad for HP and Palm, obviously, but great for Apple. The notification system in WebOS is one of the few things that is undeniably better than Apple’s. No argument. Flat out, 100% better.

I seriously hope a notifications UI overhaul will be a major “Tentpole” of iOS 5 next year. I was a bit disappointed that it didn’t make the cut for iOS 4.

Meanwhile, HP had better start thinking about how to retain its talent from the Palm acquisition. Makes no sense to buy the company for its IP and then let all the top minds go elsewhere.

Rubenstein on why the Pre has not been as successful as Palm would like

If we could have launched at Verizon prior to the Droid, I think we would have gotten the attention the Droid got. And since I believe we have a better product, I think we could have even done better,” said Jon Rubinstein, Palm’s CEO.

I agree with half of this statement. Palm definitely has the better product. But I don’t think an earlier release would have given Palm the “success” the Droid received, necessarily.

How successful the Droid actually was, few people know. We still don’t have complete sales figures. But it appears that at least the opening couple of months were pretty good. I still think the Droid’s audience was limited to über-geek males by the silly marketing campaign Verizon put out. But maybe they knew that audience was their best shot at any sort of success.

The Pre, on the other hand, has much more potential for wider market appeal. Women, in particular, would be much more likely to want a Pre or Pixi over a Droid, I’d guess. So if the Pre had been released on Verizon sooner, AND Verizon had developed a wide-reaching marketing campaign and put as much money behind it as it did the Droid, then yeah. I’d say Rubenstein would be right. But that’s a big IF.

I almost want to pick up a Pre, just to play around with WebOS more. If I could get one unlocked and not bother paying for monthly service, just use it via WiFi, that might be interesting.

I just hate to see Palm in this position. It has the best product to compete against Apple, but no one is buying it. It’s sort of the same position Apple was in throughout the ’90s. If Android stopped getting so much undeserved positive press, Palm would have a much better shot at making a go of it. They wouldn’t overtake the iPhone any time soon, but they don’t have to.

Palm still needs PR advice

I recently wrote a rather glowing article about Palm’s announcements at CES this week. I still agree with everything I said, including my final comment, that it was a marketing mistake to make those announcements when it did.   

Remember that quote that Apple fans love to repeat over and over again, back when Ed Colligan was running Palm? “PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.” Ed was out of a job not long after that blunder.

Well, it seems like Palm still needs PR advice in general, which is probably the downside of hiring a CEO who worked for Apple Engineering.

Jon Rubinstein, according to several accounts, said in an interview this week that not only does he not own an iPhone; he’s never even used one.

This kind of statement is dumb on so many levels.

FIrst, the likelihood that Rubinstein has NEVER used an iPhone at all is about 2%. So, most likely he’s full of crap. Not that that’s a bad thing to be during an interview. You just need to be full of crap for the right reasons.

Second, statements like this always come off as arrogant, and the last thing Palm wants to be in its current weakened position is arrogant. This reminded me so much of all those guitar players in the eighties who claimed they never listened to Eddie Van Halen. Give me a break.

Third, if your goal is to design the best phones possible, wouldn’t you at least want to know what your competition was up to? Wouldn’t you want, as a CEO, to know exactly why the experience of your phone is so much better than the competition’s, so you could talk about it eloquently during an interview? Steve Jobs didn’t just use Treos, Blackberrys, etc. before his company released the iPhone. He put up a slide during his keynote and explained exactly why they sucked compared to his phone.

Fourth, and most importantly, you handed every tech journalist the wrong headline: “Rubinstein claims to have never used an iPhone.” Instead of “John Rubinstein shows off new Pre phone, Verizon partnership at CES.” Rubinstein actually put the competition’s name into the headline, instead of his own.

Most of what Palm is doing right at the moment is a very methodical mimicking of its biggest competitor. Denying this is silly. The only thing stopping Palm from being more successful right now are the kinds of bungled PR moves demonstrated during this interview. They should pilfer a high-level exec from Apple’s PR/Marketing department as soon as possible.

So what’s the appropriate response to that question? “I played around with an iPhone for a little, though I’ve never owned one. At Palm we approach our design…” Just admit the obvious, change the subject, and move on. Doesn’t this guy ever watch politicians?