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Tuesday
Sep042007

Palm Foleo is Dead

foleo.jpgMy buddy Michael Ashby shared the news with me that the Foleo is dead:

In the course of the past several months, it has become clear that the right path for Palm is to offer a single, consistent user experience around this new platform design and a single focus for our platform development efforts.

To that end, and after careful deliberation, I have decided to cancel the Foleo mobile companion product in its current configuration and focus all of our energies on delivering out next generation platform and the first smartphones that will bring this platform to market.

Maybe the iPhone launch and success had an impact? Maybe the adrenaline rush from an impending death has imparted a wonderful focus?

I was worried about Palm and the Foleo when it launched, so I'm happy to hear this news. But apparently not everyone is happy about the decision:

I know there will be disappointed folks who were looking forward to carrying a Foleo for all their mobile computing needs. I am certainly one of them.

Dissapointment for the few people who would actually purchase an oddball sorta-kinda-laptop-handheld-thingamabob, running an odd operating system, that is.

But never fear faithful few! The Foleo is not completely dead, just sleeping! There are already dreams to revive the Foleo, running the new platform from Palm:

Jeff Hawkins and I still believe that the market category defined by Foleo has enormous potential. When we do Foleo II it will be based on our new platform, and we think it will deliver on the promise of this new category.

I'm glad to see Palm has regained some much needed focus on their rapidly shrinking smartphone business. I hope they can shed excess distractions and come up with something new to delight their customers.

I really hope they can do it before Apple releases iPhone v2, v3, v4, v5...

Related Links
Foleo, we hardly knew ye (Michael Mace)

Reader Comments (4)

As a Treo 700P user I wholeheartedly agree with your last statement about Palm shoring up their smartphone business. However, I still think there is a market for small and cheap linux-based laptops (small at first but with potential for growth). I will probably pick up the 7" or 10" Asus Eee PC when they hit the market this fall.
September 4, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterScott
I suppose there is a market for anything, the question was sustainability, at least right now. Foleo seemed like a device in search of a purpose to me � and I had concerns if there was enough of a market for a not-quite laptop/not-quite pda device running linux for $500.

I'm not knocking the developers at Palm tasked to make it happen, it seems more of a vision and focus thing, that I'm pleased has been decided upon.

Hopefully it's not been decided too late, because creating new, compelling things takes years of effort. I wonder if Palm had spent that 10 million and countless man-hours of development time on the next=gen smartphone, they might be in a better position than they are.

Hopefully they can hang on and come up with another home run.







September 4, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMike Rohde
Yeah, it seems as if the iPhone caught them off guard. It will be interesting to see what the Centro is like. I also agree that $500 is too much for the Foleo, but so is $600 for a smartphone (glad I got mine for a lot less). If the whole mobile companion idea can stay below $300 (or, rather, X% below the cost of a low-end laptop) then I think it would have a much better chance at sustainability.
September 4, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterScott
Read Michael Mace's brief commentary:

http://mobileopportunity.blogspot.com/2007/09/foleo-we-hardly-knew-ye.html

Looks like Palm was gonna have a separate Linux for Foleo and Treo, really hard to do. So beyond the hardware receptivity, Palm would have killed themselves trying to maintain 2 code bases � 3 if you also consider Windows Mobile! Yikes!!
September 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMike Rohde

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