When Palm issued a release announcing lowered guidance and sales expectations for this year, Jon Rubinstein didn't even try to cushion it, admitting, "driving broad consumer adoption of Palm products is taking longer than [he] anticipated." OK. Now what? UPDATED
The implication of "longer than expected" is that success will come if everyone just waits long enough. But to say something like that in February of 2010, over seven months after the Pre launch, three after the Pixi launch, and weeks after a by all counts anemic launch for their barely differentiated Verizon counterparts is to tacitly admit that there's a serious problem. If Palm's current lineup doesn't have momentum now, it never will—and their investors know it.
For Palm, this leaves two options: either build a new product—something they may not be able or positioned to do—and hope it's a wild success; or sell out. So who's buying? BusinessInsider throws the regular suspects on the table—RIM, Nokia, Dell, HP—but they seem chosen because they'd be interesting buyers, not because they've shown any real interest. Hey, wouldn't it be neat if Nokia or BlackBerry absorbed webOS, so they could both have truly modern, user-friendly smartphone operating systems? Yeah it would! Someone should tell them.
This leaves Palm with nothing to do but wait: to die; or to be saved by a hero it hasn't even glimpsed yet, and that probably doesn't exist.