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Palm’s Third Quarter Sales Drop 29 Percent

Smartphone maker Palm has released financial results for its third fiscal quarter of 2010…and the numbers are not encouraging. Although the company reported that it shipped some 960,000 smartphones to distributors and retailers in the quarter ended February 26, it actually only sold 480,000 smartphones during the same period. The number of units shipped is actually a year-on-year gain of 23 percent, however, the number of phones sold represents a 29 percent decline in sales. The disappointing numbers fall a few weeks after Palm warned investors that sales to consumers from mobile phone operators were lower than what the company had expected.

“Our recent underperformance has been very disappointing, but the potential for Palm remains strong,” said Palm chairman and CEO Jon Rubinstein, in a statement. “The work we’re doing to improve sales is having an impact, we’re making great progress on future products, and we’re looking forward to upcoming launches with new carrier partners. Most importantly, we have built a unique and highly differentiated platform in webOS, which will provide us with a considerable—and growing—advantage as we move forward.”

Palm’s revenue for the quarter actually beat its forecasts: the company brought in $350 million. However, that actually translated to a less of $22 million—and the impact of its falling stock price were excluded, Palm’s loss for the quarter would have been over $100 million.

Palm was the first company to successfully market PDAs, and was a major player in in the early smartphone market; however, the company has been betting its life on devices built around its new webOS. Although webOS has generally been well-received—despite an arms race with Apple over Palm devices that identify themselves to iTunes as if they were iPods—Palm has not been able to generate stellar sales in the face of competition from BlackBerry, Apple, and Android-based devices.

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Geoff Duncan
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Geoff Duncan writes, programs, edits, plays music, and delights in making software misbehave. He's probably the only member…
Poor lil’ fella: The Palm Pre is only $10.50 on eBay
palm pre on ebay

Bargain hunters on the look out for a top-of-the-range smartphone at a knockdown price had best head over to eBay, where a brand-new flagship device has just been put up for sale with an astonishing 86 percent discount on the retail price. It’s SIM-free, unlocked, sealed in its box, and there are plenty to go around.
If this sounds too good to be true, sadly, it is. The offer is incredible, or rather it would have been if we were still living in 2009. Why? Well, the catch is, the phone is the late Palm Pre.
A UK retailer, clearly a master of the Dark Arts, has cast a spell to raise legions of long buried smartphones from the grave. Its warehouse brimming with zombified Pre phones, they’re being sold for a mere £50, or about $80, through its eBay clearance store (one American used sale has a "Buy it Now" price of $10.50). That’s considerably less than the original £380/$630 cost, but there’s no telling what these undead phones will do when they get hungry.
Fittingly, the ad reads like an obituary. Palm? Dead. WebOS? Also dead. Palm Synergy, funky multi-tasking “cards,” and slide-out QWERTY keyboards? Dead, dead, and very dead. However, while we snigger about the quaint old phone, it’s easy to forget that more than one of Palm’s ideas built into WebOS were ahead of their time, and are still being hailed as big-new-things today. Extensive gesture controls for example.
So, who’s up for buying a Palm Pre for half the price of a Motorola Moto G? Phone collectors? Stubborn fans who refuse to let Palm and WebOS rest in peace? Hipsters wanting to shun the controlling world of Apple? People who regret not getting one when it was new? If you fall into one of those categories (or, like me, just enjoy messing around with smartphones) and have access to a UK shipping address, you can snap up an 8GB Palm Pre here. Just don’t blame us if it starts growling “Dataaaaaaa,” and all your contacts and emails disappear.

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Why LG acquired WebOS and what it means for the future of Smart TV

The Internet is abuzz over news announced at Mobile World Congress 2013 today regarding LG Electronics' acquisition of WebOS from Hewlett Packard (HP). The topic is getting a fair amount of traction, partly because the struggling mobile operating system hasn't made headlines in a while, but also because CNET apparently broke rank by publishing news of the acquisition before it was supposed to and is drawing heat over the mistake. 
But in the rush to get the news out as soon as possible and revel a bit in the missteps of the competition, Internet news outlets have neglected to take on perhaps the most obvious question surrounding the acquisition: Why? 
First, here's a recap of the news: LG scooped up WebOS from HP, including the source code, documentation, websites, and all of the intellectual property and patents that came with it when HP acquired Palm in April 2010. LG's stated intention is to incorporate WebOS into its Smart TV platform - but why would it want to do that?
LG's Smart TV platform showed significant improvement in 2012. Some of LG's sets even made the top of our list of the best smart TV platforms for cord cutters, thanks to intuitive menu layouts. Why, then, would LG want to snatch up the flailing, dated mobile operating system platform that has been the bane of HP since it was acquired, and integrate it into an already successful platform? We contacted John I. Taylor, Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications at LG Electronics, to see if he could shed some light on the deal. 
According to Taylor, one of the key interests LG has in WebOS are some of the people that come with it. "[There's a] tremendous amount of talent in the WebOS organization," he says. "LG has made offers for them to become employees of LG Electronics to develop software for LG Smart TV." Taylor went on to explain that WebOS will be at the core of its new Silicone Valley lab. 
So it would seem that LG's next-generation of smart TVs won't necessarily look like a throwback to the 2009 Palm Pre. It's the team of WebOS developers that LG really seems to be after - a team that can assist LG in making a pivotal transition in the way Smart TV works. According to Taylor, LG intends to move away from its existing app-based platform to a web-based platform. That's where WebOS's cloud-based technologies - also now owned by LG - will come in particularly handy. It is possible that, by moving things to the cloud, LG's Smart TVs will require far less processing power, ultimately lowering cost and setting a new bar for the industry. 
We can expect some facets of LG's Smart TV platform to stick around, however. Taylor indicated that LG's Magic Motion Remote won't be going anywhere, adding that WebOS was particularly well-suited to work with LG's Wii-style remote control solution. 
Though it is highly unlikely that WebOS will ever make it into LG's smartphone line (LG is tucked deep into bed with Android at this point), Taylor did indicate that the company intends for WebOS to make its way into other LG products, including its Smart Appliances. 

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Happy birthday Safari! Thanks for changing everything
Safari is 10 apple browser

Ten years ago, Apple CEO Steve Jobs surprised the Internet world by unveiling Safari, a new desktop Web browser. Apple's goal was to provide a fast and simple, yet first-rate, Web browsing experience for the Macintosh. Apple has since added new features, but amongst Mac browsers Safari has always had an edge for behaving like a Mac app – and often leading the pack for sheer performance.
Still, for many Web users Safari is an also-ran. It was never more than a distant third to to Internet Explorer and Firefox, and then a distant fourth with the ascendence of Google Chrome.
Safari's biggest impact over the last ten years isn't reflected in usage statistics; rather, it's in WebKit. WebKit is software that displays Web content. Apple created WebKit for Safari, but now it's everywhere, including Google Chrome, Android devices, and almost everything Apple. Through WebKit, Safari has played an enormous role moving mobile devices away from the lame Wireless Application Protocol (WAP)-driven "mobile Web" to making smartphones and tablets full-fledged – and soon to be dominant – players on the "real" Web. As weird as it sounds, if you've used the Internet from a smartphone or tablet, you probably have Safari to thank.
How did that happen?
The Olde IE Days

Safari got its start back in 2001. Apple was shipping Internet Explorer as the default Web browser in Mac OS (Yes young one, there was once a Mac version of IE) but when Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1997, he worked out a complex patent-sharing and settlement agreement with Microsoft. One part made Internet Explorer the Mac's default browser for five years.
The so-called browser wars between Netscape and Internet Explorer were in full swing. Microsoft's deal with Apple was a victory for Redmond, but was also a long-term problem for Apple. The Internet was becoming a big reason people used computers, and Apple believed the Web was only going to become more important. The five-year agreement meant Apple was ceding a central aspect of the Mac experience to Microsoft. Microsoft didn't own the Internet, but was infamous for its "embrace, extend, and extinguish" strategy to competitors. (That strategy had helped kill Cyberdog, an earlier Apple browser.)
Then, as now, Apple preferred to control its own destiny, designing the Mac experience from the hardware on up. Switching to someone else's browser in five years could just be an exercise in choosing a lesser evil, so Apple began work on its own Web browser long before the Microsoft agreement ended.
"I don't remember a deadline at first," wrote a former Safari engineer who didn't want to be identified, "but [Safari] was moving fast and by summer [of 2002] the team was aware of that date."
As soon as the agreement expired, Apple unveiled Safari and had a free beta ready to download. By June 2003, Safari hit version 1.0 and Internet Explorer for Mac was history; by October, Safari was the Mac's default browser.
The Fork In The Road

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