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PalmOne's Colligan: "We Want to be the Largest Mobile Computing Company in the World"

PalmOne CEO Preaches to the Faithful

“We don’t want to be the largest handset company,” said PalmOne CEO Ed Colligan in remarks to about 1,000 developers at the recent PalmSource conference in San Jose. “We want to be the largest mobile computing company in the world.”

Colligan is riding a wave of optimism at a company that has seen its stock price settle in the $28-30 range (representing a market cap of about $1.4 billion), rising from below $10 as recently as early 2004. PalmOne’s sales are poised to reach well in excess of $1 billion when the company’s year ends on May 31, and the company has been profitable over the course of its last fiscal year.

His remarks came at former sister company’s PalmSource’s developer’s summit, at which PalmSource CEO David Nagel confirmed his resignation, and an agreement was made between the two company’s for PalmOne to license PalmSource OS. (PalmSource’s stock price has been in steady decline recently, losing about 75% of its value since mid-2003.)

Ed Colligan

PalmSource develops Palm OS, and PalmOne concentrates on the hardware end of the market. Defining exactly what this market is what Colligan addressed. “It’s said that the PDA market is going down,” Colligan noted. “But no, it’s that the handheld market is exploding.” Both Palm companies have their roots with 3Com, and were originally known for the PalmOne Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs).

But over the past few years, Palm OS has found itself in a battle with Microsoft and others for software platform supremacy across a variety of devices, a battle that Nagel said PalmSource is winning by noting that “we’ve gained share (over the past year) against the bad guys.”

Colligan, for his part, noted his company’s emerging Treo devices, which compete against RIM’s Blackberry for customers who need Internet and Web access along with a digital phone in a very small device. “There are 651 million business users of e-mail,” he noted. “And today, only 2% of them use a Blackberry or Treo. So we we have 638 million people to go.”

New PalmOne Treo 650

Colligan sees enormous opportunity in these masses, and outlined trends and opportunities as follows:

  • “Everything is going digital,” he said, with devices such as new-generation camera phones amplifying this trend.
  • The evolution of high-speed digital networks will enable widespread use of these new devices
  • “E-mail and messaging are the killer apps” of handheld devices, he said, “and Web access is the killer app on Palm devices."

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.

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