Last week’s Foleo annoucement was a bit underwhelming. I wouldn’t go as far as to call it the “Folly-o”, as I’ve seen some sites dub it, but it still doesn’t seem like Jeff Hawkins ‘best idea ever’, which is apparently how he views it. I see potential there, but the product as revealed is underwhelming. Even Hawkins said that if he could do it again he’d put in a better CPU to handle video. Jeff, the product hasn’t launched yet, YOU CAN DO IT AGAIN! Don’t launch it if it has known flaws, do it right the first time. First impressions count.
Well, Palm got some better news today – private-equity firm Elevation Partners is acquiring a 25% stake for $325 million. Possibly even better news, the deal also brings Jon Rubinstein, who formerly ran the iPod divsion at Apple, in as executive chairman of Palm’s board. Fred Anderson and Roger McNamee, both managing directors and founders of Elevation, will also be joining the board. Current board members Eric Benhamou and D. Scott Mercer will depart.
Hopefully Rubinstein and bring some focus to Palm and put them back on track as a real innovator in the mobile device space. He had this to say, in a release:
“Approximately 1 billion cell phones are sold each year, and mobile computing is a category with enormous potential. This is a company with an impressive history of introducing game-changing products–it pioneered the smart phone–and I intend to help extend that legacy.”
I’ve been a Palm supported for quite a while, getting my first unit in 1998. I’d love to see more innovation out of Palm – maybe something to explain Hawkins’s view of the Foleo.