Platform Data Points


Congratulations on the roll-out of 2.0. Love the product and am keen to see it succeed. Interesting to see the platform guidance from the December 11th mailing. Some thoughts hopefully helpful for thinking about addressable market and where next strategy:

Palm (c.15m active users, capturing less than 1m additional units per quarter). Elevation Partners have just put another $100m into Palm and hired a number of engineers from the iPhone team. The Centrino did well, there are ambitious devices on the roadmap and a new OS. Probably down, with an outside chance of a revival in popularity.

Apple (shipped c.20m iPhone units, 7m additional units per quarter). Makes a lot of sense to roll-out PD onto the iPhone next. It's popular in California where there may be a large pool of customers, it's a growing platform and with the recent Walmart retail agreement likely to continue apace.

BlackBerry (c.14m subscribers, 2m additional subscribers per quarter). BlackBerry Storm with its touchpad might be useful with PD but the touch interface is still a leagues behind the iPhone and clunky. The conversion rate may be slow where the keypad is important for quickly firing off emails.

G-Phone (HTC sales forecast 2.5m units per quarter in 2009, 0.5m units sold 2008). Rudimentary touch input. Android platform. Probably not worth development effort just yet.

Windows Mobile (c.38m users, shipping 4m new licenses per quarter). Potentially a strong growth area as PC and laptop makers roll-out mini-book products in 2009 and the Mobile platform ultimately converges with desktop.


Staff member
Thanks - agree with you on BlackBerry, though Android I think by the end of '09 could be a lot less clunky - they're really moving along quickly development-wise. WM/desktop Windows convergence does seem inevitable (as does iPhone/OSX convergence), thanks to Atom and the rapid advances in flash memory capacity, and should be a very exciting development for handheld software.

Palm I just don't think has the engineering resources to pull off a comeback at this point - Apple / Google / RIM all have far more money and more / better programmers at their disposal, yet none of them has had an easy time with their new platform launches, and if it takes Palm a year to go from a shipping Nova device to a shipping Nova device that actually works well enough to be usable by people other than early adopters, it'll be far too late by then for them to get back into the thick of things. But certainly it'd be nice for Pleco if they did come back, since our time spent getting 2.0 working on Palm OS would seem like much less of a waste (assuming the reports I've read of Nova running ARM-intensive Palm OS 5 software smoothly prove to be accurate).