Palm Foleo Mothballed

September 5, 2007

Palm CEO Ed Colligan announced that he has mothballed the Palm Foleo.

Jeff Hawkins and I still believe that the market category defined by Foleo has enormous potential. When we do Foleo II it will be based on our new platform, and we think it will deliver on the promise of this new category. We’re not going to speculate now on timing for a next Foleo, we just know we need to get our core platform and smartphones done first.

In a previous post I mentioned that the Foleo reminds me of the HP Jornada 820 circa 1999. It still does.
Does this market category have “enormous potential” as claimed?

Well, the Foleo seems to target two types of people: 1) people on the go that currently only carry their Treo, and 2) people on the go that carry a laptop and a Treo. So the question in my mind is what added value does the Foleo provide over a “companion laptop” for the Treo? What customer pain point does the Foleo address?

In its day, the Jornada 820 had the nice keyboard, it was lightweight, and it was instant on. The stand-by feature on modern laptops is actually quite good so “instant on” isn’t a big issue anymore. Single spindle (i.e. no DVD drive) laptops can be very lightweight. Solid state drives are coming down in price but for the amount of storage required for Windows or Mac OS X the solid state drive is very expensive compared to a limited OS like Windows CE. The key to keeping the price of the Foleo down is keeping the amount of persistent storage to a minimum.

Ultimately, the Foleo tries to fill the gap when connectivity is limited. The Foleo has WiFi and Bluetooth. The Bluetooth is used as a two-way sync for e-mail/calendar/contacts between the Foleo and the Treo. You use the two devices tethered together where you have a table top (for the Foleo) and no WiFi. The Treo acts as a wireless modem while the Foleo gives you a laptop-like screen and keyboard.

So why not just write the optimized e-mail/calendar/contacts application for Windows with two-way sync to a Treo via Bluetooth? Real Windows running on a laptop?

If this market category has enormous potential for a specialized hardware + software solution then why is there no potential for the same kind of software solution running on a normal laptop that tethers with a Treo?

Would you pay for Palm SuperDesktop for Windows? Then why Palm SuperDesktop for a revamped Jornada 820 clone. I dunno.

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2 Responses to “Palm Foleo Mothballed”

  1. Payal Says:

    By 2010 年 12 月 08 日 – 00:06:54hi Johnny3GS is enough for you bsaeuce the power is less than 4, but you stay a lot of time in office, so the power is not your big problem.

  2. Will Says:

    Ppl like you get all the brsnai. I just get to say thanks for he answer.


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