Smartphone maker Palm’s (PALM) future is mostly hinging on one thing: That it’ll find a large audience for a new, top-secret mobile platform, led by former Apple (AAPL) executive Jon Rubinstein.
Palm tells Reuters that the OS is still on track to be released this year, with the first device for sale in the first half of 2009.
Too late? In a gloomy note about Palm, Global Crown Capital analyst Pablo Perez-Fernandez brings up a good point:
“Palm has the right strategy,” he writes in a damning note about Palm, as quoted by Barron’s. “Unfortunately, we believe the company is about two years too late, and Nova is likely irrelevant against Apple’s mobile OS X, Android, [Nokia’s Symbian] S60 and Mobile Windows. Is there room for yet another mobile OS? Will developers take resources away from Apple or Android to work on Nova? We do not believe so.“
Of course, if it’s awesome, it should attract a following. There’s still plenty of growth left in the smartphone market.
But one more factor working against Palm: No built-in market. Unlike Apple’s iPhone app platform, which already worked on millions of existing iPhones when it launched in July, Palm’s new platform probably won’t work on old phones.
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