Palm Cancels Foleo, Sees Sense

But not enough sense to rule out a redesigned follow-up...

It was perhaps the single most ridiculous major product announcement I have seen this year (reasoning here, so it is with great joy I tell you: Palm has scrapped the Foleo.

Palm CEO ED Colligan was the man brave enough to stick his head above the parapet issuing an almighty U-turn on the (quite frankly daft) June quotes from Palm founder Jeff Hawkins that the Foleo was “the most exciting product I have ever worked on”. *Cough + Choke*

Colligan writes on the company blog: “In the course of the past several months, it has become clear that the right path for Palm is to offer a single, consistent user experience around this new platform design and a single focus for our platform development efforts. To that end, and after careful deliberation, I have decided to cancel the Foleo mobile companion product in its current configuration and focus all of our energies on delivering our next generation platform and the first smartphones that will bring this platform to market. We will, of course, continue to develop products in partnership with Microsoft on the Windows Mobile platform, but from our internal platform development perspective, we will focus on only one.

Praise be, the drugs are clearly wearing off (or kicking in?).

Unfortunately however Colligan, perhaps more in hope than expectation, hinted there will be a re-thought successor: “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.”

Personally, I’d suggest this is just a face saving exercise and potential smokescreen to hide what was an utter disaster of a product that should never have gotten off the drawing board. Besides the Foleo name has too much bad press attached now to consider further investment.

How much was that investment? $10m. Probably worth it to save the Palm brand image though…

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