D-Day Approaches for Palm

The wait is almost over, Palm (Nasdaq: PALM  ) investors. The much-anticipated Pre smartphone is set to ship on June 6.

How fitting. D-Day 2009 marks Palm's re-invasion of the market it may as well have created. Within weeks, we'll know whether the Pre is a mighty enough weapon to recapture the market share Palm has long since ceded to Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) iPhone, Research In Motion's (Nasdaq: RIMM  ) BlackBerry, and Nokia's (NYSE: NOK  ) N-series smartphones. Early evidence hasn't been encouraging.

Nor is history. Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) hasn't exactly overtaken the market with its Android phones. The Big G's current partners -- Taiwan's HTC and T-Mobile, notably -- sold their 1 millionth G1 handset in April, several months after its release.

So far, only the iPhone and the BlackBerry have inspired the gotta-have-it cravings that carrier Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S  ) is hoping the Pre will provoke.

The timing could help. Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference runs June 8-12, two days following the Pre's launch. Mac watchers are expecting, among other things, a new iPhone operating system, a first look at whatever Apple plans in answer to netbooks from Dell (Nasdaq: DELL  ) and Asus, and an appearance by CEO Steve Jobs. Getting ahead of the fray should give Pre a fair shot at obtaining momentum. 

Apple and RIM, an invasion is in the works. Dig the trenches, set the barbed wire, clean the guns, and prepare the press releases -- this is the battle we've been waiting for.

Brrrrring! It's related Foolishness calling:

Apple is a Stock Advisor selection. Google is a Rule Breakers recommendation. Dell, Nokia, and Sprint Nextel are Inside Value recommendations. Try any of our Foolish services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers had stock and positions in Apple and Google and a stock position in Nokia at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. The Motley Fool is also on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. The Fool's disclosure policy salutes you, Mr. End of the Article Disclosure Reader. You, sir, are a Real Man of Genius.


Read/Post Comments (9) | Recommend This Article (3)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On May 19, 2009, at 4:06 PM, AZ123 wrote:

    For us Palm shareholders...all I can say is thank God way more people follow Jim Cramer than this anti-Palm, hateful e-news letter! lol

    Cramer says buy Palm and his calls usually drive up stocks he makes positive calls on.

    You folks are part of that negative propaganda machine designed to weaken stocks through hate and false information.

    Thanks for nothing. You're all a bunch of haters over at TheFOOL.

  • Report this Comment On May 19, 2009, at 4:17 PM, TMFMileHigh wrote:

    Hello AZ123,

    Thanks for the note.

    >>You folks are part of that negative propaganda machine designed to weaken stocks through hate and false information.

    Such as? You're welcome to your opinion, of course. But given the extreme irony of your note -- "Thanks for nothing" -- examples of where we could improve would be helpful.

    Thanks again and Foolish best,

    Tim (TMFMileHigh and @milehighfool on Twitter)

  • Report this Comment On May 19, 2009, at 4:18 PM, catoismymotor wrote:

    The above comment sounds to me as though it was made from a place of fear. And what typically causes fear? You can provide your own answers.

  • Report this Comment On May 19, 2009, at 5:17 PM, Rg2scribe wrote:

    Palm needs what America, herself, needs now and going forward: A comeback. Both are on their knees and vulnerable currently. The only way either is going to resurge is to innovate its way out of their respective slumps.

    There are many who say Palm is too late to the market-relevance party, a once-respected originator of PDA wizardry who lost her way, lost her paranoia with regard to the competition, and fell victim to value migration. Does this sound a bit like America's story?

    They both lost their fear. And fear is a powerful driver of excellence.

    Steven Jobs, as great as he is, has fear in abundance. The perpetual, ever-evolving pace of tecnological change necessitates that technology companies constantly look over their shoulder while keeping a keen eye to market leadership. Fact is, no one or two companies should dominate a market (APPL, RIMM), where consumers are deprived of the innovation of their brethren, of competition.

    I love APPL products, and RIMM products, and various others, because the competition among them makes them all better--and we, consumers, the better for it. I love Palm, probably more for its story, its underdog position, more than anything.

    As an investor, I'm cautious to remove emotion from an investment decision; therefore, I don't want to invest in PALM based on sentiment, but with logical, having-researched-the-numbers common sense. Yet, still, I'm rooting for the "little tech that could" as a metaphor for America herself.

    I want GM and Chrysler to make breathtaking, emotive, roadworthy vehicles again (like Ford is doing with the 2010 Taurus and Fusion hybrid). Like PALM, many have said the door has closed on the American carmakers, their market relevance and American consumer trust evaporated--while China and India et al salivate at the prospect of ever-increasing world-markets share.

    Everyone's at liberty to be partisan consumers, to patronize a favored brand or company. But when some actually "root" for the demise of a home-grown American company such as a PALM--the many jobs and tax base the company represents--it's an interesting commentary, no?

    Surely, the market rewards innovators, deft managers, superior companies, and the market will have its say on PALM; does it have the chops to compete with the behemoths? Perhaps, perhaps not.

    For sure, it has the audacity to try.

    I'm pulling for PALM not simply for my inconsequential investment in the company (no matter what it does, I won't get rich). I'm pulling for it vicariously as I'm pulling for America herself.

    We need our companies to compete and succeed, all of them. When China or India become the dominant players on the world market, that's not good for America, no? Just as when AAPL or RIMM become the dominant forces . . . .

    PALM needs what America needs right now: A Comeback. I'm pulling for both.

  • Report this Comment On May 19, 2009, at 7:09 PM, AZ123 wrote:

    Here's a specific helpful tip:

    Don't use a very limited survey, months before a product's release, as the basis of an article in order to formulate a negative thesis against a company.

    Tim Beyer's "PALM'S PRE: DEAD ON ARRIVAL?" used a survey of just over 4,000 people to predict that Palm's new phone would fail. He also showed clear personal bias against Roger McNamee's overly-boastful comment, showing that Mr. Beyer uses very limited data in a constantly changing market and unleashes negative, personal feelings in order to attack Palm.

    Read the numerous negative comments posted by many of that article's readers and you'll see I'm not alone in my belief. Based on all of the FOOL's negative attacks against Palm, the FOOL clearly uses this forum to spread negativity against Palm.

    I hope my first paragraph suggestion helps!

  • Report this Comment On May 19, 2009, at 9:57 PM, TMFMileHigh wrote:

    Hello AZ123,

    Thanks for criticism but I think it's unfounded for two reasons.

    First, I didn't predict that the Pre would fail. Never would I have included a question mark in the headline were I making a prediction. Instead, I was questioning a thesis using numbers reported elsewhere and corroborated by further comment. Of course the market is the ultimate arbiter of such things. I hope that Palm does well with the Pre.

    Second, this ...

    >>Based on all of the FOOL's negative attacks against Palm, the FOOL clearly uses this forum to spread negativity against Palm.

    ... is silly.

    My writing here is news analysis and investment opinion. You may disagree with the thesis or choose to ignore the numbers but "negative attacks" these are not.

    More broadly, please understand that as Fools we do not sit on the sidelines. Rather, we offer actionable advice based on what we observe as investors. That means we will at times be spectacularly wrong, as I may be in questioning whether the Pre will be the huge winner that fans seem to believe it will be.

    So, again, thank you for commenting but I stand by this story and the one before it. Only through neck-risking calls do we improve as investors. We Fools just happen to make our calls public.

    Foolish best,

    Tim (TMFMileHigh and @milehighfool on Twitter)

  • Report this Comment On May 20, 2009, at 12:28 AM, AZ123 wrote:

    Hi Tim,

    You opened your April 14th article with this: "Palm's (Nasdaq: PALM) Pre smartphone, feature-rich though it may be, appears doomed."

    You added the question mark to cover your butt, however, the question mark, followed by your opening "suggestion" still provides an argument towards failure for Palm.

    That's fine if it were your opinion. However, you back up this "suggestion" by using a very small survey, months before the Pre marketing campaign kicked in, to attempt to convince your readers that the Pre, based on a small sampling of folks, "appears doomed."

    I'm sorry, but that survey result, combined with your schoolyard taunt of McNamee is what shines a light on negative bias rather then objective analysis.

    Nowhere does the article cite Palm's large debts or any kind of technical analysis. It's just a hatchet job of limited information coupled with overzealous opinionating.

    Your own words give away your negative bias:

    1) Palm's (Nasdaq: PALM) Pre smartphone, feature-rich though it may be, appears doomed.

    2) Today's Pre isn't as buzzworthy as yesterday's iPhone.

    3) The iPhone was bigger than AT&T; the Pre is apparently smaller than Sprint.

    4) But with well-heeled, well-funded competitors, it looks to be a whole lot more like Calista Flockhart's waistline during awards season.

    5) Too bad neither is enough to make good on McNamee's hopeful prediction. Not by the numbers we've seen so far.

    I invite Fool readers to revisit the article and judge for themselves.

    You wrote a negative opinion article without any technical analysis and relied on a small survey from several months back to "suggest" that Palm and the Pre will fail.

    It was an article based on your opinion. Just admit it and let's move on, shall we? I know you're a good guy deep down.

    I just feel that these sorts of articles; more opinion than fact, become part of the negative propaganda thrown out there, whether intentional or not.

    I expect better than hubris from The MotleyFool...

    Take good care.

  • Report this Comment On May 28, 2009, at 8:22 PM, AZ123 wrote:

    5/28: Palm said the device's operating system, webOS, also allows Pre to synchronize with iTunes, Apple's popular music software, so users can easily transfer music, photos and video to their phone.

    5/28: Verizon, the No. 1 U.S. mobile service, will offer Pre in "six months or so," company Chief Executive Lowell McAdam said during a conference webcast.

    5/28: Randall Stephenson, the chief executive of AT&T, the No. 2 U.S. mobile service, said during a conference on Wednesday that his company would also like to sell Pre.

    Just goes to show that you folks render judgment before knowing all the facts...

  • Report this Comment On May 28, 2009, at 8:22 PM, AZ123 wrote:

    5/28: Palm said the device's operating system, webOS, also allows Pre to synchronize with iTunes, Apple's popular music software, so users can easily transfer music, photos and video to their phone.

    5/28: Verizon, the No. 1 U.S. mobile service, will offer Pre in "six months or so," company Chief Executive Lowell McAdam said during a conference webcast.

    5/28: Randall Stephenson, the chief executive of AT&T, the No. 2 U.S. mobile service, said during a conference on Wednesday that his company would also like to sell Pre.

    Just goes to show that you folks render judgment before knowing all the facts...

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