Palm Cans Foleo (For Now)

Illustration for article titled Palm Cans Foleo (For Now)

We just got word that the controversial Palm Foleo has been canceled "in its current configuration."

Advertisement

I know, I know, you're terribly upset, all five of you who defended the offbeat mobile companion when it was introduced last May. In a message on the official Palm blog, Palm CEO Ed Colligan wrote:

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.

In case you are worried about the Windows Mobile platform, Colligan did mention something:

We will, of course, continue to develop products in partnership with Microsoft on the Windows Mobile platform, but from our internal platform development perspective, we will focus on only one.

The point is, the company will focus on the new Palm OS—as seen in recent leaks—and Colligan acknowledges that killing the Foleo program means that the company takes a $10 million hit.

Advertisement

As much as I personally looked forward to test-driving one, we applaud Palm's courage in making this tough decision. But no, you can't borrow 10 million dollars from us. [Official Palm Blog]

DISCUSSION

The problem is that the Foleo was supposed to be a cell phone companion. They got it all wrong IMHO, except that it may have been useful to a small market of people with that particular need. Laptops are already largely displacing desktops as the computer of choice for many people, and the next generation will be even thinner, lighter, and more powerful. Watch for the ultraportable that Apple is going to ship soon, for instance. As for mobile phones, they are already prototyping some with integrated projection devices, although you could imagine producing a small foldable screen and keyboard unit with a dock to achieve exactly what Foleo tried to achieve but without adding a CPU and yet more synchronization in there... more like a combined input/output convenience accessory than yet another "machine". Laptops and mobiles phones are slowly converging, and we surely don't need some bastard device like the Foleo, that is not even ahead of its time IMHO. Apple is clearly doing it right with its MacBook and iPhone lines, both with versions of Mac OS X that will keep on converging too. Well, just my 2 cents.