Palm Lays Off More Staff

Struggling PDA and smartphone maker Palm Inc. has reportedly laid off as many as 200 employees from its U.S. workforce, after the company reported its fifth consecutive quarterly loss. Sources within the company indicate Palm will also be trimming staff from its international operations in a move to cut costs and improve its financials as it struggles to bring new Windows Mobile products to market.

Palm reported having just over 1,000 employees in August of 2008; the company previously laid off 250 employees at the end of 2007.

Palm shares have taken a beating in the U.S. stock market—along with nearly everyone else, admittedly—over bleak general outlooks for a swift economic recovery, and concerns over how the company will be able to execute it’s long-simmering turnaround. Despite CEO Ed Colligan’s assurances the company is “preparing to launch a new platform that will usher in a new era at Palm,” industry watchers are dubious the company will be able to compete with RIM’s BlackBerry line, a spate of Windows Mobile devices, and even Apple’s iPhone, which has gained surprising traction, particularly among small businesses.

Palm is due to announce results for the current fiscal quarter (which it will mark as Q2 2009) on December 18.