I’ve been a loyal Palm user since 1999, starting with the classic Palm V and moving up to my current device, the Treo 650. But I’m a little worried about the future of Palm devices. In fact, I’m wondering: Do Palm devices even have a future? I ask this question for three reasons:
1. Two months before it’s released, Apple’s upcoming iPhone is seriously rewriting the rules on what a ‘smart’ phone (one that’s capable of e-mail and Web browsing as well as voice) should be. In comparison, the current Treos look like something Thomas Edison tinkered with.
2. If a recent post on Engadget is to be believed, an allegedly upcoming Treo isn’t much of an improvement over current models.
3. Even though its smart phone sales were strong, Palm’s profits dropped during its most recent quarter. And crystal ball gazers are wondering if the company will be sold.
Of course, Palm has been given up for roadkill before. And even if Palm is acquired, the Palm OS is owned by another company, ACCESS. So there could be Palm OS-based devices for years to come—they just might not be made by Palm.
But this much I do know: To keep loyalists like me from bolting, future Treos need to be a whole lot sexier, sleeker, and cooler than current models.