Palm’s founder Jeff Hawkins unveiled a new device today, and the response has been appropriately underwhelming. The “Foleo” is a $500 companion to your Treo; it pairs therewith and provides a full-size screen and keyboard, plus wifi, but isn’t useful on its own.
TechDirt lays it out:
The unspoken marketing message here is that users need to shell out for the Foleo on top of a Treo because the smartphone doesn’t deliver an acceptable user experience for mobile email. Palm would be far better off improving its outdated smartphones, instead of focusing on creating new (and pointless) product lines, but it’s really beginning to look like that’s asking too much of the company.
We’re pretty sure Palm has basically just announced they’re going under, just kind of subtly and relatively far in advance. So long. It’s been fun.
Dan Dickenson has more spot-on commentary:
Palm is in a desperate fight to stay alive at this point. Palm OS has languished horribly, so much so that when I got my Treo at work last year, the only significant different from the Palm V I had back in 2000 was that the Treo had a color display. Worse, the company doesn’t seem to have anyone focused on application design – the Sidekick thrashes it up and down the street for usability. If a company can’t innovate within their own product line in over 6 years, I can’t find any enthusiasm as they try and invent a new class of devices.