OK, he didn’t quite put it that way, but that’s the message we take away from CEO Jon Rubenstein’s letter to employees explaining the company’s sales shortfall.
As we mentioned in our press release, our softer than expected performance is due to slower than expected customer adoption of our products, which in turn has prompted our U.S. carrier partners to put additional orders on hold for the time being.
So, people don’t want the product.
The next question is why.
Jon’s additional remarks provide the answers:
the entire executive team has been working extremely hard to improve product performance, and have implemented a number of initiatives to increase awareness and drive sales…
You may have also seen a growing number of Palm ads on billboards, bus shelters, buses, and subway stations—all getting the word out about Palm…
In the next few weeks, your management will work with you to make sure your priorities are laser-focused, primarily on helping to increase sales, improve product quality and differentiate the Palm product experience.
In short, the product doesn’t work very well and people don’t understand why they would buy it over the many other alternatives.
The Pre and Pixi were always Hail Mary’s for Palm. The smartphone business has become a waltz of elephants, and it was always unlikely that a small standalone player could succeed. In order to have a chance, Palm’s products had to be so obviously superior to all available alternatives that people would hear about them and seek them out. Alas, they aren’t.