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Palm’s Q4 Sag Is Only the Preparation for Upswing

With all the rave reviews about the Palm Pre, one may be confused as to why Palm faced a hard-hitting fourth quarter, with losses amounting to $105 million. Despite the drastic deficit, stocks rallied on Wall Street, jumping a full 16 percent after the news release from Palm’s investor conference. Sprint Phone

The seeming disparity of results is obvious when you realize that the Pre, Palm’s trend-setting new smartphone didn’t hit the market until a full nine days after Palm’s fiscal fourth quarter ended. Once June 6 rolled around and the new Palm Pres hit the market place, the coffers began to refill. Within mere days of the June 6 launch of the Pre, Palm sold nearly 100,000 devices, causing Jon Rubinstein, CEO of the company to comment that he “couldn’t be happier” about Palm’s success. After the launch “sales were the highest of any device in its history,” claims the Wall Street Journal.

The battle is not over for Palm. Though the forecast looks good, Palm must be ready for fierce competition from Apple and Google for its piece of the profit in the already-crowded smartphone market. As Rubinstein prophesied, “We have more to accomplish, but the groundwork is laid for a very promising future here at Palm. Our senior management team is capable, motivated and focused on execution; there is a large group of developers waiting to build great applications for Palm webOS; and we have a new product pipeline that we think will set a standard for the industry.”

Although few are prepared right now to give Palm the hubris of saying that their products have set an industry standard, as Rubinstein anticipates, the company has nonetheless caught the attention of the technology community, and we’re all watching their next move.

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