Handpring, Inc. is set to begin public trading early
next week. The company's status has changed rapidly in the less than
two years it has been incorporated. Incorporating initially as JD
Technology in July 1998, the company changed its name to the now familiar
Handspring, Inc. in November of the same year. By March 2000 the
company was already ready to go public, even though distribution of their
product had only started about 6 months earlier.
Since Handspring emerged on the PDA scene the company
has been closely watched. Taking many non-traditional moves in marketing,
production, design, and the all around running of the company has made
many skeptical to the company's potential for success. Initial problems
with filling orders, complaints of previous Palm owners that the Handspring
is not as resiliant to the elements as their old Palm, and the never-ending
search for Palm case that holds a Visor well led to the development of
many non-traditional support forums for Visor owners. Discussion
boards formed, Visor owners invaded Palm newsgroups, manufacturers scrambled
to modify their products to work with the hottest thing since IR Beaming,
and developers jumped on board trying to become the manufacturer of the
Springboard everyone needed.
In the midst of the Handspring Hype 3Com
decided to issue a spinoff stock for the Palm
Organizer and OS. The results of this help to ensure the success
of the Handspring IPO. Issuing the Palm stock amidst the Handspring
ambush on the PDA market was horribly scheduled. The challenger was
on the horizon and gaining fast. The familiar David and Goliath scenario
would soon ensue, and everyone was placing their money on David.
Considering Palm's failure to perform, and the recent
volatility of the market, especially for tech firms, skeptics wonder if
Handspring can really shine. Handspring has done so well from the
start because the people in charge know what is going on and how to time
and plan events well. Despite this, comparisons to Palm are inevitable
and should be welcome.
Why Handspring isn't Palm >>