Analyst Ashok Kumar believes that Palm is already hard at work on Pixie, a lower priced follow up to the recently released Palm Pre. The Street reports:
The new phone is expected to be a candybar-shaped touchscreen device that would sell for $99, and it’s aimed directly at the cheaper Apple iPhone. Palm is working with its contract manufacturing partner Compal to have the phone available for sale in the U.S. before the end of the year to take advantage of the holiday buying season.
Talk about laughable. The new Palm Pre is going to have trouble competing with last year’s iPhone model. What makes anyone think a lower-end Pixie phone will be able to do any damage?
The reality is that the Pre has no chance of dethroning the iPhone. But as Ars Technica shrewdly points out, it does stand a very good chance of luring over a lot of BlackBerry users. If anyone should be worried, it’s RIM.
Palm didn’t hire former Apple exec Jon Rubenstein, along with scores of former members of the iPhone team, so that the company that gave birth to the smartphone could finally compete with the company (Apple) that came along and killed it. Rather, Rubenstein and his crew appear to have set out with the goal of making a post-iPhone communication device that could do what the more media-centric Apple apparently has little interest in doing, i.e., go after CrackBerry addicts, some of whom still tote two phones (a personal phone and a BlackBerry for work), and get them to ditch both mobiles for a single device that combines some of the style and media savvy of the iPhone with the messaging prowess of RIM’s enterprise-dominating mobile line.