Palm News - Q1 Fiscal Year 2009
Palm Releases Latest Financial Results With Record Centro Sales + 1 Million Unit Sales Milestone + Verizon Treo 800w + AT&T Treo Pro + NOVA OS + New ‘09 Devices
Yesterday’s Palm Q1 2009 Earnings Call provided a number of interesting comments and information from CEO Ed Colligan.
For starters, Palm continued to improve its performance on a quarter to quarter basis but Colligan acknowledged that “As encouraging as our August quarter was, we are still solidly in the midst of a transformation, with some significant hurdles yet to come.”
Leading the positive news is the continued popularity of the Palm Centro which drove record sell-through. Palm also crossed the 1 million unit sales mark this quarter (up 49% from a year ago) for the first time in its history (see chart above).
During this past quarter Palm has:
- Introduced an unlocked GSM version of the Centro and announced the availability of Google Maps for mobile with My Location on the device,
- Launched the Centro with a number of new Latin American carriers and introduced it in Puerto Rico and New Zealand, making it available in approximately 30 countries around the world
- Introduced the Treo 800w for Sprint, which was the first business smartphone shipped by Sprint that supports their high-speed EV-DO Rev A network
- Recently launched the Treo Pro to great acclaim in international markets.
It’s evident that overall sales of the Centro will likely plateau in the coming months but the popularity of the Sprint Treo 800w will shortly (possibly next month) be followed by the Verizon Treo 800w. The Treo Pro will also launch with Telstra in Australia this month and Europe next month with O2 and Vodafone who will be providing some strong subsidies and thus offering the phones for free in some markets.
Treo Pro Launches
Clearly it’s the “Super Hot” Treo Pro (now available to pre-order and shipping in just a few days on September 23) that is the most likely to help change Palm’s fortunes. It has already garnered great reviews in markets around the world and as I’ve mentioned before the form-factor, sleek design and hardware (WiFi, GPS, 3G and more) is so good in fact that I’ve actually now made the decision to make it my new smartphone of choice after quickly overcoming any past reservations that I had about Windows Mobile.
More importantly, although the Unlocked Treo Pro clearly appeals to a large number of people (40% of Treonauts according to a recent poll) there are others who are desperately waiting for this latest smartphone to become available with subsidies on a US GSM carrier such as AT&T. In this respect, it was refreshing to hear Palm CEO Ed Colligan discreetly confirm that “carrier supported versions” of the Treo Pro were indeed planned for the US market (before the end of the year).
Growing Senior Palm Team
Separately, Palm also continues to revamp and grow its senior management team by attracting some of the best people in the industry. This quarter Palm named Jeff Devine as Senior Vice President of Operations (Jeff joined Palm from Nokia where he served as vice president of Global Customer Logistics and will nowl focus his efforts on developing a best in class supply-chain model). Palm also bolstered its Windows Mobile team with some great new hires from Microsoft and Motorola. And Teri Klein has also joined Palm as Vice President of Investor Relations from Disney.
Next Generation Devices & New Palm Platform
Finally, there is also the hugely critical matter of Palm’s new NOVA operating system. Here Palm continues to focus on the seamless integration of software and hardware which the company believes will “emerge as the most important differentiator of smartphones and will ultimately determine who succeeds and who gets left behind”.
Even though the smartphone market is getting increasingly competitive with Apple’s iPhone, RIM’s Blackberry, the Motorola Q and Google’s forthcoming Android this same market is also “exploding” with incredible annual growth forecasts of 50% to 60% for the coming years – thus providing Palm with plenty of revenue growth opportunities. In this respect, Palm confirmed that its highly anticipated new platform development (NOVA OS) is firmly on track to be completed by the end of this calendar year and that next-generation handsets will become available in the first half of calendar ‘09.
If Palm’s forthcoming NOVA OS proves to be as good as it’s rumoured to be and that the company develops new smartphones (possibly named Quatro ?) in line with its latest ultraslim, ultrasleek and full-featured Treo Pro then I certainly feel that Palm will have absolutely no problem once again winning the minds, hearts and more importantly wallets of millions of Treonauts, Centronauts and Quatronauts. I can’t wait to see what the company has in store for us.
In the meantime, here are a few links to help you further enhance the overall experience of your current smartphone:
Treonauts are always breaking records…