Will RIM, Nokia, And HTC Sink In The Same Boat Palm Did?
A new report on Barron's takes a look at whether Nokia, RIM, and HTC will be able to rebound at the same time. Barclays Capital Wireless Analyst Jeff Kvaal doesn't mince words, he says "no, for all three".
The reasoning behind Kvaal's statement is that both Palm and Nokia saw their stock prices rise significantly before major product launches. Nokia experienced this with their N8 smartphone in 2010 and Palm's stock rose significantly ahead of the launch of the Palm Pre in 2009. As the saying goes, what goes up must come down and Nokia and Palm's stock were true to that saying. HTC fared a little better for a little longer, its stock went up in 2010 due to the success of Android but began its steady decline in 2011. The common theme is none of these companies were able to sustain the value they received post launch.
Palm stole the show at CES in 2009 when it unveiled the Palm Pre running webOS the company's next generation mobile OS. The Palm Pre received three awards at CES. CNET and CES picked the awards and it was the first time in history that all three awards were given to the same product. It was given the "Best in Show" award which is given to the best overall product at CES, "Best Cell Phone/Smartphone" award, and the "People's Voice" award.
Things were looking great for Palm in the months leading up to the release of the Palm Pre. The tech world praised Palm not only for the design of the Pre but more importantly webOS, the mobile OS the Palm Pre ran on. It really looked like Palm was going to give Apple and the iPhone a run for the money. Unfortunately, all of the awards and praise couldn't sustain the momentum Palm needed to become a major player in the smartphone world again. Palm ended up being acquired by HP and soon after it killed webOS smartphones, tablets, and relegated webOS to open source, renaming it Open webOS.
Nokia, RIM, and HTC are now facing the same uphill battle Palm faced. We can only hope they don't end up in the same boat Palm sank in.