Palm Releases Treo Pro; Jon Rubinstein Charged With Company’s Turnaround


imagePalm (NSDQ: PALM) released the Treo Pro yesterday, a new handset which the company hopes will resurrect the brand as it faces stiff competition from Research In Motion and Apple (NSDQ: AAPL). The unlocked device will sell directly to customers for $549 in the U.S., starting later this year and next month, carriers in Europe will offer it for free or up to $589 depending on the length of a user’s contract. Immediately following its release, analysts said the device competes on functionality, but not price. It has to be $250 or less, according to Global Crown Capital analyst Pablo Perez-Fernandez, Bloomberg reported. “The only way they’re going to turn the ship around is bringing to market compelling products that are competitively priced,” Perez-Fernandez said.

The financials: The company has a lot to reverse. Recently, it has been successful at boosting revenues through strong sales of the inexpensive Centro phone, which costs $99, but at such low prices, margins have not improved and losses continue.

Fix-it man: Yesterday, The New York Times took a look at the man charged with conducting the turnaround — Jon Rubinstein, Palm’s executive chairman, who believes he can bring Palm back to those glory days of the PalmPilot. Rubinstein’s resume includes a stint at Apple, where Steve Jobs asked him to lead the hardware engineering division when Apple was suffering from financial losses and the Mac

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