Palm's CEO reflects and would've wanted shorter exclusivity with Sprint

Palm's CEO reflects and would've wanted shorter exclusivity with Sprint
Things just don't go the way they should some times, but there are always thoughts about what could've been done to steer things into the correct direction. Palm is still feeling the heat as they tighten up their belts after recent announcements about the direction their business is headed – things are just not going the way the company envisioned. Palm's CEO, Jon Rubinstein, recently sat down for an interview with Fortune where he let out some small snippets about what decisions he would've wanted to be changed to affect the outcome of their current situation. Without a doubt, Jon admitted that he would've wanted to see a shorter exclusivity period with Sprint for their first ever webOS powered smartphone. “Sprint wanted to do an aggressive launch on webOS. They were willing to invest significant marketing dollars. Now, if I sit today and I kind of roll back the clock and go, okay, now if I could have launched in October with Verizon, and done a shorter exclusive with Sprint, and the world would be completely different today, yeah, I mean, that's easy to say,” said Rubinstein. It's always easy to reflect on the business decisions that were made between Sprint, but there are still many people out there that question Palm's role in the marketing of their handsets to this point. It's not to say that releasing their handsets to Verizon would've turned things around, but the fact is that there were still some questionable moves made by Palm. Despite the long thoughts about what ifs, Rubinstein still believes that the company will be able to survive the rough road they're in and is defiant about the company looking for a takeover bid.

via Electronista

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26 Comments

1. belve14

Posts: 113; Member since: Mar 31, 2009

This guy is funny cause if this phone came out on Verizon and Sprint at the same time it wouldnt be much of a difference today other than that there would be more angry people. People would be pissed on Verizon if they bought the pre and then some months later the Droid came out. The pre was a flop I really didnt think it was going to be but its starting from the absolute bottom. Palm is trying very hard to stay in the game. In my opinion if your company sells an amazing phone like the Iphone or Droid etc....it doesnt matter what network it is on it will sell. Look at Terrible-Mobile they have really nice phones if it wasnt for that they would no longer be a company guarantee. Oh an one more thing to pay close attention to Sprint is still the number 3 Wireless company without pretty much any exclusive phone what so ever. Regardless of how people love to tear apart Sprint just keep that thought in the back of your mind. No Iphone...bb storm...droid...htc hd2...the list goes on lol.

2. BlackberryUser

Posts: 609; Member since: Jun 26, 2009

I disagree with your statement, I don't have T-mobile, but am impressed by it. A few friends have it and are VERY happy with it. Like I've said 100 times, providers are good based on coverage in the area you need. T-mobile has a good price, great phones, good voice coverage, and ok data. That said, I agree they would be in the same boat, but they would have sold more units.

4. cj100570

Posts: 204; Member since: May 12, 2009

I disagree; Verizon would've weeded out most of the issues before allowing it to be sold and they sure as hell wouldn't have gone with those ads that were initially run for the Pre. Initial impressions are everything and my 1st impressions of the Pre after those commercials was WTF?!

6. belve14

Posts: 113; Member since: Mar 31, 2009

I agree the commercials was garbage...but i dont agree that Verizon would have weeded out most of the issues that is an overstatement my friend. The only reason the Palm is a little better (and i mean little) is because Verizon got to see some issues that could be fixed

7. belve14

Posts: 113; Member since: Mar 31, 2009

The data on T-Mobile is terrible throughout the United states concerning 3g and that in itself is harmful....not to mention their coverage is terrible too in MOST of the United States lol.

11. zuno gyakusatsu

Posts: 257; Member since: Mar 16, 2010

verizon weeding out issues?? have you seen that abomination called the motorola droid? its a disaster. pages of known issues and hardware problems. i think you set your expectations of verizon a bit too high...

14. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

The title of this article is "Palm's CEO reflects and would've wanted shorter exclusivity with Sprint" That says to me that Sprint had a phone that was exclusive only to Sprint. There were long lines of people waiting for the Pre, just like there were for the iPhone and Droid. And as for the Droid being an abomination...are you serious? The Droid is the least problematic phone I have ever seen. (Except for a couple Nokia Models.) The problem with Palm is they try to often to rest on their laurels. Motorola shot out 4 other phones after they hit with the Droid. Palm makes one or two phones then tries to sit back and watch the subs flock to them. Not gonna happen. Make a wider variety of phones that can appeal to different people and maybe they will save the skins. And won't even start with Sprint. They are number 3 for a reason.

15. belve14

Posts: 113; Member since: Mar 31, 2009

They had it exclusive for like 6 months dude are you stupid? The Iphone has been exclusive forver so far and the Droid is exclusive and not going anywhere anytime soon. Yes Sprint is #3 for a reason.... examples.....poor marketing, buying Nextel, poor customer service for like 3 years, those are just some. But I have yet to see what would happen if they get an absolutely amazing phone just for their network without it touching Verizon or AT&T.

20. idiotwind13

Posts: 80; Member since: Dec 29, 2008

I work for Verizon, and the Droid is a horrible example of a phone that is a poor performer. If you look at user reviews they are overwhelmingly positive, all phones have their share of issues. If you are looking for an abomination in the A series from Moto carried on Verizon, look a little farther down the list to the A455 aka Motorola Rival. That is a prime example of a bad piece of hardware, the Droid is overall one of the better phones carried by VZW. You are correct in your assertion that VZW has and does carried phones that are junk, but you pointed to the worst possible example. That would be like saying that touchscreen phones will never succeed in the mass market and using the iPhone as an example. Epic fail for you.

22. cuddybonz

Posts: 45; Member since: Nov 06, 2009

the commercials were picked by Palm

23. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

First off, exclusivity means what it means dumbass! The fact is they were the only carrier with the Pre, doesn't matter how long or short it was for. Second, the Pre is an amazing phone, the biggest problem was they had nothing in the app catalog at launch. At a time where apps rule the cellular industry, big mistake. Third, you can come up with all the excuses you want as to why Sprint is number #3. The fact is, until they stop treating their customers like crap, they will keep losing customers no matter what phone they have!

25. jhoots

Posts: 74; Member since: Jan 13, 2010

sprint doesnt treat their customers like crap and they are extremely cheap.. i dont know why anyone would go with any other carrier. save money on the best plan in wireless with sprint who cares how many customers verizon has. IMO sprint is way better!

26. jhoots

Posts: 74; Member since: Jan 13, 2010

the reason it has failed is that the marketing is little and crappy for it, they still have little to offer in terms of apps, and a thousand google phones saturate the market every month. its hard to stay excited about palm when new awesome phones like the droid, the nexus 1, and the EVO.. i LOVE palms cards!! google by palm and take this please!! WebOS is actually quite good but if palm doesnt start moving faster by launching updated devices and keeps letting the carriers get away with not advertising the phone they may be doomed. not because the phone but because of the marketing strategy and the snail like pace palm is moving.

3. BlackberryUser

Posts: 609; Member since: Jun 26, 2009

Hopefully HTC pays attention to this comment and decides to have a VERY short exclusive period for the HTC EVO, I'd like to see an LTE version ASAP.

9. belve14

Posts: 113; Member since: Mar 31, 2009

Hopefully they dont have a short exclusive period...so that Sprint can start to be a competitor and try and rebuild instead of the almighty giants constantly taking over the market and strong arming everything. They got their own exclusive phones let Sprint have theirs lol....oh and LTE is not out oh and neither is the EVO so go get an Iphone or when the INC comes out go get that lmao

5. artz1986

Posts: 453; Member since: Mar 11, 2009

It would be cool if Palm decided to do a 3.7" touch screen for those kids wanting a bigger screen, w/ a rubberized body. And then to satisfy the hardware QWERTY fans, do an either side-sliding device w/ a nice size touch, or a refined Pixi, bumping the screen size to 3". Plus destroy w/ the marketing-by not trying to copy apple. But of course, I'm not apart of any marketing or strategic group, so I really have no say in these matters........=/

8. Rhetoric

Posts: 74; Member since: Jul 25, 2009

So Sprint is to blame? Not the terrible build quality and missing features of the release phones? Or maybe the fact that Palm had an absolutely unsettling advertising campaign? Nice job shifting the blame there, Rubinstein.

10. belve14

Posts: 113; Member since: Mar 31, 2009

LOL...you said it very well my friend

12. crappypunk

Posts: 131; Member since: Aug 15, 2009

yah I like how the pre's just randomly reboot.. Palm can die.. I wish Google would buy them and get all their patents, or even HTC

13. scottmbolt unregistered

Its not Sprint's fault Palm SUCKS!

16. scorpio85

Posts: 160; Member since: Jan 16, 2010

F*** You Rudinstein!

17. APox

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 09, 2010

The flop of the Pre has little to do with Sprint, and a lot to do with the horrible experience / build quality Pre users had. A small list of problems with the Pre: -Very little / slow application development from the start, most applications you have to pay for. -The "Oreo Effect," after you use your Pre a lot, the top part of it starts to be able to slide back and forth, it feels like it is about to unscrew itself. -If you shut the slider a little bit too hard, the whole phone reboots itself. -At the beginning, batteries were being developed that were too small, so when the phone moved a little bit the battery disconnected from its connectors and the phone shut off. -The screen itself would shatter and have this "hair-line" crack around the silver button at the bottom of the phone. -A lot of interface errors, there are complaints of an error that tells the user the "phone is out of memory and cannot open another card," even when no cards are open. -The volume and headset jack malfunction and the phone things you have a headset plugged in when in fact you don't, making it impossible to use without a bluetooth. Those are just SOME errors that I can come up with on the top of my head. Keep wearing your tin-foil hat, the dismal results of Palm sales were in result of a faulty phone with weird advertising. It was a cool idea, but badly implemented.... But don't fret, Apple is charging on with the multitasking ability that the Pre boasted about and will do the job better.

18. Vegas89

Posts: 51; Member since: Mar 15, 2010

Sprint is definitely not at fault on this one. Palm had a good idea with the Pre, but sucked at making it a reality, the thing felt like it was made of the cheapest plastic ever, the screen on it and the Pixi are way to small for multi-touch to even matter, and the lack of a sizable app market like what Android and Iphone have makes the whole webOS platform second rate. Now had they launched a year ago, things might've been different, but they didn't and now they're struggling in a battle that they're really not even part of, it's Android vs Iphone now, and we'll see if palm can survive the crossfire

19. TechSquad

Posts: 3; Member since: Apr 09, 2010

Those palm commercial were awful, it scared the kids, cause people to have nightmares. Palm, should have done a better job in marketing their brand. It represents the company and its products. Take a look at Apple commercials its something that make you want to run to the Apple store and purchase a Apple product

21. cuddybonz

Posts: 45; Member since: Nov 06, 2009

Lol if all else fails blame Sprint!!! Wow way to throw your business partner under the bus. Lol!! like Sprint is the reason you released a phone that couildn't forward texts out of the box or even to this day has a pitiful app catalog. or llike Sprint asked you to make your qwerty keyboard just perfect for a 12 year old girl. The fact is that while I personally like WEBOS the great majority of Pre users don't like they're phone as evidenced by the Customer ratings 3.8 out of 5 or a 76% 2404 reviews according to CNET. The Moment has a 4.2 the Blackberry Tours clocks in a 4.5. The HTC Hero 4.6 Proof is in the pudding Jon and Bill Cosby you aint.

24. ohenebajoy

Posts: 5; Member since: Apr 10, 2010

Palm Issues has nothing to do with sprint. Jon Rubinstein, after taking over palm didn't utilize the 100s or 1000s of patents palm had. He put together a phone with the cheapest material's the construction of the phone is not to a standard smartphone. also releasing only two phones a year dont put you in the race for popularity. Look at motorola, samsung, htc etc. they constantly releasing phones with latest technology also exclusivity dont have nothing to do with a phone. T mobile has the worst data and voice service in US and they still sell phones so that being said, sprint would have sold over a milliom pre's if the quality of the phone was high.Like whateverman said " the biggest problem was they had nothing in the app catalog at launch. At a time where apps rule the cellular industry." Jon Rubinstein leave sprint alone and go back to the drawing board and developer big capacitative screen, solid hardware and please spend some money on the geeks to develop productive apps, utilities, games etc for your next generation webos smartphone. Good luck

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