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Handspring's IPO Heads for Success

Fri Jun 16, 2000 - 10:16 AM EDT - By

IPO Heads for Success

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 >>


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