What happened to Palm Inc

The history of Palm Inc.: to the New Economy and back

Sometimes you lose the feeling for what is happening downstairs. As early as January 2000, a device called the "Blackberry Wireless Email Solution" from the unknown manufacturer RIM was named "Product of the Year 1999". Who? Blackberry?

In April 2000 Microsoft presented its revised "CE 3.0" operating system, called "PocketPC". This time the attack should succeed.

At the end of 2000, the house of cards in the New Economy collapsed. The shock waves of the high-tech stock market crash travel around the world. The yuppies have to save, and when it comes to the acid test between mobile phone and handheld, the palm usually falls off the back.

But the real killer of the Palm comes from the north. With the Canadian Blackberry, Palm had simply overlooked a megatrend: the fascination of users with ubiquitous e-mail. Just as Palm owners in the in-café "Noah? S New York Bagel" on University Street in Menlo Park used to send each other electronic business cards via infrared with childlike joy, now seasoned managers sit in conferences, airport lounges and even at home Bed and answer every unimportant email. A new status symbol is born. Because of its addictive nature, it quickly got the nickname "Crackberry" away. Today, market researchers from Gartner say, RIM is number one in pocket computers with a market share of 21.4 percent - ahead of Palm with 18.6 percent. Birthday parties can be a bit smaller.

Ed Colligan is waiting for his plane to New York at the airport in San Jose, California. He flies for a little private satisfaction. To celebrate Palm's birthday last Wednesday, he is allowed to ring the opening bell of the Nasdaq computer exchange. He had to watch the legendary IPO - he was still in exile at Handspring. Now he is the boss at Palm: At its low point in 2004, Palm took over the competitor and brought the slain founders back on board - a joke in history

They had responded to the Blackberry in good time with their "Handspring Treo". It is now called the "Palm Treo", sold around two million times in 2005 and has also had a Windows operating system since January. The Treo is supposed to replace the old Palm devices and build on the golden age - so that the next big birthday tastes like Silicon Valley again.