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Palm Pre passes one million app downloads

Jun 26, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Despite posting a $105 million fourth-quarter loss yesterday, Palm saw its stock rise on strong early sales of its Linux-based Palm Pre phone, which has sold 150,000 units, according to reports. Meanwhile, Palm Pre users have already downloaded one million apps, says eWEEK.

The $105 million loss, or 78 cents per share, was based on a fiscal 4Q ending May 29, before the launch of the Palm Pre. The loss was over twice that of Palm's $43.4 million loss for last year's fourth quarter, says Forbes.

Palm sold 351,000 smartphones last quarter, accounting for about $86.8 million in revenues, says the story. Sales of the Treo Pro were said to have suffered due to Palm customers waiting to purchase the Pre.

Despite the losses, premarket trading this morning was brisk, with shares rising $1.62, or 11.6 percent, to $15.64, says Forbes. By 11AM Eastern, the stock ticker read 15.85.

According to an eWEEK story by Michelle Maisto, citing figures from media analytics firm MediaLets, eighteen days after launch, the Palm Pre crossed the 150,000-unit mark in sales. MediaLets was also said to have reported that Palm Pre users have so far downloaded apps at a rate far greater than that of the Apple iPhone has in the first few weeks since the new iPhone 3G S went on sale.

Downloads from the Palm Pre App Catalog have passed the one million mark, running at an average of six-plus apps downloaded per device and 33.3 downloads per application, says the story. This is said to be 26 times as many apps per user as seen with iPhone users. At the same time, the story notes that Apple has 16 times the number of apps available and 26 times the number of devices.

Apps needed

As a dark horse in the smartphone race, Palm is counting on a flourishing app market to drive sales. In this, the company is not only following Apple's lead, but also that of the Google-sponsored, open source Android, which has enjoyed brisk downloads of a fast-growing collection of apps. Yet, while Android so far boasts about 5,000 apps, most of which are written by third parties, only 30 WebOS apps are currently available, says eWEEK.

Meanwhile, the tools for building WebOS apps won't be available until the end of the summer, adds the story. As a start, however, Palm has posted WebOS source code on its OpenSource Palm site, here.

Also this week, principal Android handset maker HTC introduced a new "Hero" phone, which offers a customizable "HTC Sense" UI. To a certain degree, HTC Sense adds some of the synergistic, unified messaging features offered by the Pre's well-received WebOS platform. Yet, the current version of Android lacks the underlying multitasking support of the Pre and its WebOS, which drives much of that synergy.

In a statement issued with the earnings report, Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein appeared to speak with some justification when he said, "The launch of Palm webOS and Palm Pre was a major milestone in Palm's transformation. We have now officially reentered the race. We have more to accomplish, but the groundwork is laid for a very promising future here at Palm."


The eWEEK story on Palm Pre app downloads may be found here. The Forbes story on Palm's financial report should be here.


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