Palm (PALM) is on the brink: Its Treo smartphones, once leading the industry, are bulky and outdated. Upstarts like Apple (AAPL) and RIM (RIMM) have zipped past. And it’s burning cash.
But that’s OK! None of that will matter if its new smartphone platform, dubbed Nova and headed up by former Apple exec Jon Rubinstein, is a hit.
Palm, which has been promising to unveil the platform this year, will do so next month instead, Jan. 8 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
BusinessWeek: While Palm has protected its plans with Apple-like secrecy, Rubinstein and others say the goal is to create products that bridge the gap between Research In Motion’s BlackBerry devices, oriented to work and e-mail, and Apple’s iPhone, oriented to fun. “People’s work and personal lives are melding,” [Palm CEO Ed] Colligan says, adding that Palm is aiming for the “fat middle of the market.”
Won’t be easy, but we won’t write it off until we’ve seen it. Meanwhile, Palm will have to deal with at least one unknown variable on Jan. 8: The new goodies Apple’s Steve Jobs will have announced just two days prior during his annual Macworld keynote.