Palm kills the Foleo

This is a Microsoft-centric blog, but given Microsoft’s market dominance in the laptop market and strong position in mobile I think this news is applicable here as well. Personally I thought the Foleo was a great idea in theory, but I always wondered how large the market would be for the device.

It was working against at least a few challenges. First, it was designed to integrate specifically with Treos running PalmOS. Already, that’s a limiting factor. Sure, it may work to some extent with other PDAs, but the design goal was integration with a specific model-set. Second, who owns a PDA phone, Treo or otherwise, wants to carry and ultraportable-sized laptop, but doesn’t actually already have a laptop? The Foleo’s functionality was very limited as compared to a “real” laptop. For size comparison, it wasn’t much smaller than the Dell XPS M1330. Finally, what problem is it trying to address? It lacks any sort of product differentiation that makes it a "must-have" for any given market segment.

Had the Foleo been launched, I saw it going the way of the Apple Newton. Remember that device? Maybe. Ever buy one? …didn’t think so.

-Alex

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