Palm CEO Responds to Engadget Spanking With Thanks

A few days ago, Ryan Block, Pete Rojas and Josh at Engadget wrote up a plan of attack for Palm and its aging Treo. Addressing problems with every aspect of the still useful but no longer glorious smartphone, it had some good points, and you could tell that they were writing it out of genuine concern. Today, Ed Colligan, Palm CEO wrote back.

He was thankful for the essay, and passed the letter on to all his executives, even though he didn't agree with all parts of it. One section of the response made me scratch my head, though. "Let's remember that it is very early in the evolution of the smartphone and there is enormous opportunity for us to innovate. We have only just begun to fight!" I wouldn't call it early, Ed, but I'd agree it's far from over. No one is arguing that the Treo doesn't work well; but much of the overarching essay's point is about the fetish factor of the phone; it's just not sexy anymore. It's time to take some risks on all levels and build a new flagship that impresses on all fronts. It's going to take a fight, but most of that is going to be internal, as you shake off the old ideas of what makes a phone great. Most of all, I'm glad you recognize that there are important thoughts in the tech blogs that you might not find in less opinionated traditional media. All in all, a nice conversation between Engadget and Palm that hopefully makes a difference. [Palm]



If one considers the penetration of the smart phone into the overall market, then it probably is "early". That said, it's pretty obvious that their previous comments a few months back about how they've had "years" of experience in making phones misses the mark completely.

They may have years of experience, but they've spent those years resting on their laurels and fundamentally doing the same old designs over and over again.

Apple, on the other hand, has changed the rules of the game, not just in the software and hardware of the phone itself, but also in terms of its integration with the desktop, with iTunes, with .Mac, third-party suppliers, and even with its stores, making the entire iPhone experience greater than the sum of its parts.

The article mentions how many aren't in the Apple "ecosystem", and that's true, but what ecosystem can Palm offer in it's place? (I could do an entire series of articles on just this aspect.)

Bottom line is that Palm could do most if not all of the suggestions in the article... and I'm not sure it would make a difference.