Social Enterprise

Palm scuttles the Foleo


Palm FoleoIn a posting on the company blog, Palm CEO Ed Colligan has divulged that the Foleo mobile companion will be canceled. This comes hot on the heels of our earlier reports of rumors that the Foleo could be facing production delays.

The reason given for the scrapping of the Foleo is so that Palm can focus on creating its next-generation software for smartphones rather than be bogged down developing two independent platforms.

Colligan wrote that "Our own evaluation and early market feedback were telling us that we still have a number of improvements to make Foleo a world-class product, and we can not afford to make those improvements on a platform that is not central to our core focus."

Excerpt from the official Palm blog:

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 and focus all of our energies on delivering our next generation platform and the first smartphones that will bring this platform to market.

Analysts in general agree with Palm's decision. Jack E. Gold, analyst for J. Gold Associates told InformationWeek. "I was surprised that they canceled [the Foleo], but they never should have done it to begin with." With Palm's relatively limited resources in comparison to its larger rivals as well as being already behind in updating its smartphone operating system, "The truth is they should have had it out a year ago. They're behind the eight ball, and [competitors] are passing them by."

For end-users in general, it was more of a case of "Huh?" as noted by The New York Times. Apparently, some users have grown used to the idea of the Foleo and are even looking forward to it being launched.

Elsewhere, the responses around the Net were swift. Instead of belaboring the same points, you can read more about them for yourself:

Palm will be taking a limited charge of below $10 million dollars for this decision.

Still, the tragedy of the Foleo perhaps has more to do with its great industrial design. Also, some in the Linux community were probably eagerly awaiting the release of a light portable machine running Linux.

Were you looking forward to the Foleo?

About

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

6 comments
ksrstuff
ksrstuff

I own the Palm Treo 700p and I love palm and my Treo - I thought the Foleo was dumb. I would rather have a better screen size on the 700P and or carry notebook computer which are being designed lighter and more efficiently.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

The Treo line provides the wifi and phone functions. The Tunsgen line provides the wide screen, virtual input area and perfect physical form factor. Take the T5, add in a wifi with wpa/wpa2, add in a phone network radio, add in the camera then update the cpu/memory/battery to modern technology. The new nobless Treo is a heck of a smartphone though. I was glad they continued to provide a PalmOS based model along side the 700w line.

boguscomputer
boguscomputer

Yes, the bigger screen & wifi with wpa2 would be nice. Although I like the keyboard on the 755p. (Even though I was quite fast at Palm' graffiti and didn't think I'd want to use it.) And yes, it IS great to have a Windows alternative, not just for those who prefer reliability and speed, but also to edge wince to a better direction.

paulmah
paulmah

Were you looking forward to the Foleo?

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

It's sad that the company who originally introduced the PDA has tripped and stumbled so many times now in the market. They got it right the first try but somewhere along the line, they lost that edge. Even developing a Linux kernel based OS to replace the now very aging PalmOS was a step in the right direction though they couldn't truly carry through on it. The Foleo was even featured in the last month?s Pop Sci write-up on affordable solid state subnotebooks. I've been carrying my Tungsten T5 as constantly as my wallet. Even with the release of the E2 and Lifedrive, I couldn't justify downgrading to either newer product. I?ll continue to watch the company?s product offerings out of interest. I hope they continue to provide PalmOS based product line along side the WinCE products and can one day return to being the leader in there market space one day. For now, the last years have demonstrated that hoping for a true upgrade to the T5 will only lead to a long wait. (The E2 has fewer functions than the T5 and a slower CPU where the Lifedrive uses a spinning platter drive rather than solid state. The T5 only lacks the integrated wifi radio and has no issues bouncing around in my pocket.) I'm currently in the process of replacing all my T5 functions through program additions to my Nokia N800 tablet in addition to some "fun" functions not available on the Palm. Anyone interested can expect to see a very well cared for and accessorized (including wifi sdio) T5 on ebay soon. It?s a great device for what it does but no longer provides all the functions I want in my pocket. On a positive note; the TR readers won?t be subjected to further reiterations of my ?Palm, please make an upgrade to the T5? rant. ;) As someone else said in other news forums; ?Bye Bye Palm. So long and thanks for all the fish.?

bpsull
bpsull

When the Foleo was announced I was certainly intrigued. It seemed to offer a lot of potential, particularly as a device to fit into the gap between the power of a laptop/notebook machine and the size and portability of a PDA, something which I was particularly looking forward to. On the other hand, at least initially the only real advantage it had over my current Palm Tungsten E2 was the user interface (larger display than the E2's 320x320 LCD and full size keyboard) which would have made using certain applications, such as document editors or PDF readers, much easier. But with no guarantee about interoperability with some of the 3rd party apps I use on my PDA combined with the price tag made me some what leery. The Foleo had some real potential though, at least in my opinion.