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Palm’s Turnaround Formula

Posted on Friday, Jan 19th 2007

With the iPhone announcement, we enter an era when all the other smartphone providers need to now sit up and define their own clear positioning and path forward. With Steve Jobs working his PR machine, and the media lapping up the show and tell, it is imperative that Palm, for instance, decides where it goes next.

So, in the same vein that I have written about Yahoo’s turnaround formula, let me sketch a hypothesis for Palm, which I also think could have a bright future ahead.

Let’s start with where Apple and the iPhone will never go: Business Applications.

And by this, I mean the non-email types of applications. I mean the heavy duty business applications. SAP. Webex. I mean CRM, PLM, ERP, MRP. I mean mission critical. This is one place where business users need to go, and an alliance between Palm and the enterprise application eco-system could well be the way to get there.

Apple is and will always be a consumer electronics company, so the enterprise segment opportunity will remain wide open. I strongly believe, this is Palm’s best bet going forward.

The other opportunity for Palm is to build devices that are “killer” application specific, but focused on the billions of “new” computer users. I spoke about this opportunity earlier here, and fantacised about Steve Jobs taking a crack at this. However, realistically, this is not an opportunity that Apple will go after. However, Palm could build a “Micro-Finance Phone” in collaboration with CitiBank, and go after the Fortune At the Bottom of the Pyramid.

Further Reading:

* iPhone’s Competitors: Synthesis
* Palm Changing Hands
* iPhone’s Competitors: Palm
* Palm: Stop Missing Obvious Opportunities
* Palm gets Rubinstein
* Palm’s Fate
* iPhone and the Future of Palm

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[…] Palm’s Turnaround Formula […]

Sramana Mitra on Strategy » Blog Archive » iPhone and the Future of Palm Friday, April 27, 2007 at 8:16 AM PT

[…] In my previous posts, I have talked extensively about Palm’s future in the face of competition from iPhone. In a nutshell, I’ve maintained that Palm either needs to come up with something impressive in the …. […]

iPhone Competitors: Palm - Sramana Mitra on Strategy Thursday, August 9, 2007 at 8:14 AM PT

[…] On Palm: “The hype around iPhones has put the spotlight on smartphones and Palm seems to have benefited from it as shown by the record high sales in the Q4 2007 of 750,000 units, a 43% increase compared to the previous year. … Overall, I am bullish on the convergence device market, and if Palm can get a couple of Linux based hit products out with Rubenstein’s strong execution orientation, (something Palm has consistently lacked so far), it still has a great brand to market them under. … In a nutshell, I’ve maintained that Palm either needs to come up with something impressive in the ….” […]

The Law of Mobility » Blog Archive » Sramana Mitra on iPhone/AT&T competitors Monday, September 3, 2007 at 10:06 AM PT

[…] Eric would help us understand the history of Palm, and perhaps, assess its turnaround prospects on which I have written extensively. Overall, in the convergence device category, I still think Palm has a great opportunity ahead, IF […]

Eric Benhamou : The Saga Of Palm (Part 1) - Sramana Mitra on Strategy Wednesday, September 12, 2007 at 6:59 AM PT