Palm Takes It on the Chin, Still Fighting: Page 2

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Pre success, webOS hopes

Rubenstein, a veteran of Apple where he helped create the ubiquitous iPod, would not confirm analysts estimates that 150,000 Pres have sold since launch, or that a "Pre Lite" model would be released by the end of the year to compete with the iPhone 3G, which now retails for $99.

He did, however, confirm that confirm that Palm Pre owners have downloaded 1 million apps for the new smartphone and hinted at future devices coming in the webOS family.

"We do have a great product pipeline, which I'm not going to tell you about it right now -- sorry," he said.

On the developer front, analysts have cited the slow release of the webOS SDK, due out at the end of the summer, and limited number of apps at launch, around 30, as possible deterrents to the success of the Pre.

Rubenstein responded by saying the company's "methodical approach" will pay off, and that he wanted to get developer feedback before releasing it, which could be interpreted at a veiled jab at Google's Android OS, which has been criticized for being unleashed before it was ready.

He also said the company will take some sort of social media approach to the app store.

"One of our views is as you get large numbers of apps, discovery, finding ones interesting to you becomes more and more difficult. So we hope to use a more community approach to that, I'm not getting into specifics, but you'll have to stay tuned for some exciting [news] in that area," Rubenstein said.

Developers with experience creating Pre apps predict that the community will rally around webOS as it uses building blocks most programmers are already familiar with.

Rubenstein agreed. "We've had tremendous interest in this area, we're approaching it methodically, we had 30 developers in the beginning, with their feedback we evolved the SDK, the we let hundreds in, and we're feeling good about it, and we're about to open it up to thousands, there's a lot of developers in the queue, so I don't there's an issue with a lack of interest out there," he said.

He also declined to comment on any when the webOS family of products would be released on other carriers. Sprint now has an exclusive deal to sell the Palm Pre.

Rubenstein called Sprint a "great partner," saying the carrier is doing a "phenomenal job," based on personal visits he made to stores at launch, and added that its data plans are generally cheaper than that of competitors. However, he declined to go into further detail on Palm's relationships with Sprint or other carriers.

"It's not something we talk about," he said.

Despite the positive take on the company's next steps outlined during the earnings call, at least one analyst is wary of how the bottom line will be impacted moving forward.

"While Palm delivered a good quarter on very low expectations, we remain cautious on the stock due to the lack of visibility heading into F2010," Peter Misek, an analyst with Canaccord Adams, wrote in a report issued today.

"The company offered no financial guidance and would not disclose Pre volumes in the quarter. Management would also offer no updates on other carrier discussions or new product launch plans. In addition, we believe that Pre sales are below our projections at roughly 150,000 sold to date according to our channel checks."

Article courtesy of InternetNews.com.

Tags: Blackberry, iPhone, Palm, RIM, Palm Pre

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