When Palm launched the ‘Foleo’, I was aghast over the idea. While smartphones are convergence devices, aimed at reducing the number of things a person needs to carry to be connected, the Foleo goes against the grain. To make it even worse, at 2.5 lbs and with its 10″ display, it easily pokes into compact notebook size. Meanwhile its grossly underpowered foundation meant it couldn’t use Youtube properly. Essentially, it was a $599-$100MIR failure to happen.
Yesterday, Palm’s CEO, Ed Colligan, scrapped the entire project before a single production sample shipped to customers. Citing costs of supporting two different platforms (Foleo does not run on Palm’s future Linux-based OS) as well as less than enthusiastic market reaction to the Foleo in its present form, Mr Colligan announced the cancellation of the project along with a $10 million charge. Not exactly pocket change to Palm, but I agree with the CEO, short term pain for less long term pain. The only thing I wonder about is why it took them so long to come to the conclusion that the Foleo would be difficult to sell. After all, they are nearing the shipment date.
Through the hubbub of activity, I also noticed the rather curious method of breaking such important news. It was delivered on Palm’s blog, written by the CEO. There’s no mention of the cancellation in Palm’s press centre at all. Does Mr. Colligan believe in the more intimate setting of a blog? Or perhaps he wanted to make the announcement more personal in nature, due to the outcry by people, like you and I, across the web?