The $100 Million Question
Elevation Partners Agrees to Invest Additional $100 Million in Palm
For some reason Palm always seems to suffer from malicious rumours of all sorts and in the last few weeks these have included speculation that Elevation Partners (its largest individual shareholder following a $325 million investment for 25% of the company back in 2007) might be looking to sell its stake in the company as well as the fact that due to ongoing losses Palm may not have enough cash to adequately fund the launch of its new NOVA OS and (Palm Quatro ?) smartphones in 2009.
Thanks to a new cash injection of $100 million agreed by Elevation Partners yesterday for the purchase of Palm preferred shares convertible into stock at $3.25 a share as well as warrants to purchase an additional 7 million shares at that price we at least get to see some positive Palm news for a change.
Clearly Elevation’s new investment just two weeks before Palm’s “New-ness” unveiling at CES would seem to indicate a very strong vote of confidence on the part of the company that both the new NOVA OS and Palm Quatro smartphones will be “mind-blowing” as some have hinted.
In a press release, Elevation co-founder Roger McNamee stated that: "We believe that Palm is in a position to transform the cell phone industry, and we are pleased to have the opportunity to make this additional investment in the company. Palm has an industry-leading team and an exciting, differentiated product roadmap. We are proud to be associated with the company and look forward to great things from Palm in 2009 and beyond”.
At this point nobody knows exactly what NOVA OS will offer us when unveiled at CES but below you’ll find at least a few thoughts about my expectations:
- A stunning Graphical User Interface (GUI) that makes it a pleasure to interact with as well as being ultra-fast and ultra-intuitive (basically more of the fabulous Zen of Palm that previous Treo smartphones offered).
- A full multithreading OS that allows you to run multiple applications simultaneously (including WiFi, GPS and more).
- Best-in-class open source Linux components that have been optimized to provide a flexible, customizable and open operating system that makes it ultra-easy for third-party developers to create applications.
- Superb built-in applications for communications (Phone, SMS, eMail, IM, Browser), entertainment (video, music, streaming) productivity (PIM Contacts, Calendar, Notes/Memos, Tasks, MS Office Documents) information (Maps, GPS, Weather, Stocks, Calculator, RSS, Clock/Alarm), and social media (Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, YouTube, etc).
- Native over-the-air synchronization (“Cloud” sync) of the entire smartphone and also a full-featured desktop synchronization software with high-speed access to all data included on device and memory cards with full screen control and access to on-board apps and settings.
- Support for multiple application environments including NOVA OS, Garnet OS (compatible with existing Palm OS applications) and also JAVA (to run most existing mobile JAVA applications).
- Support for stylus + touch + full QWERTY keyboard interfaces with accelerometer (G-sensor) + handwriting recognition (new Graffiti).
- Support for large 800 x 480 pixels resolution displays with 256,000 colours in portrait and landscape modes with video-out port.
- Completely new one-click application installer.
Palm Secures Additional $100 Million Equity Investment from Elevation Partners [Palm Press Release]
Treonauts always feel like a million bucks…