Palm Foleo to get a second chance as a webOS netbook. Sounds like a second helping of fail to us.
I would hardly be surprised if you didn’t recognize the name Palm Foleo. In 2007, on the eve of the netbook revolution, Palm announced the Foleo, which was a small, portable notebook-like device that was designed to complement a Palm smartphone and allow users to interface with the phone using a larger screen and keyboard.
It didn’t take long for Palm to realize that there were far from enough users of their smartphones willing to pay the money and tote around a second device to actually put the Foleo into production. The product ended up as another entrant in the annuls of technology vaporware.
Pundits hammered several points home several points about the Foleo: that it shouldn't be dependent on a particular brand of mobile phone (or any mobile phone, for that matter) for its connectivity, and that its proprietary OS made it not-quite-a-notebook because it would only be able to run a limited number of apps. Although this may have translated to very long battery life and a slimmer form factor than would be possible with a general-purpose PC, the enormous outcry against Palm's design decisions made it a dead-before-arrival product.Laptop Magazine
reports that Palm is looking to resurrect the Foleo
and make it into a netbook that runs Palm's webOS. Judging by the fact that any alternate OS netbook has failed to sell well, Palm may want to rethink things again. Dell has so far been the only computer maker with a semblance of success selling netbooks running things other than Windows. Dell's Mini 10 has proven to be a reasonably popular Linux netbook.
While the success is far from assured for the product, a few details are known. The machine will reportedly use Qualcomm's slick GOBI chip that allows users to choose from a variety of mobile broadband providers with one modem. The machine is reportedly targeting a $US399 ($AU540 plus the 1.5x price multiplier that seems to apply in Australia) price point. Honestly, that sounds a bit expensive for an alternate OS machine unless Palm has some tricks up its sleeves.