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Handspring's IPO Heads for Success

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

Why Handspring isn't Palm

Why Handspring isn't Palm

  • Fruit Flavored Coloring -- Macintosh started it, but everyone is cashing in on it - technicolor appliances. As computers integrated into more and more of the professional and social world midnight grey became boring. The consumer wanted something with a little flair that would set them apart from the 'kid next door.' The choice of 5 different, primarily semi-transparent colors caught the consumer's and industry's eyes - and hasn't let go yet.
  • Expandability -- In case you didn't notice your Handspring features a Springboard slot.
    • The Palm's usefulness is limited by its form. Even the Palm VII which features wireless internet access and webclipping, is relatively limited in its audience. Realistically speaking, who can justify the cost of a Palm VII? Users who get lost continually, or have to know what time "Die Hard" is playing on TV. . . in Guam. The concept of being able to check stock prices continually, read the news, or avoid traffic sounds great, but is somewhat distorted by the question of: Who really has to do these things, or has the time and presence of mind to do these things?
    • The Palm series is designed to be in the board room, not the classroom, art studio, or construction site. The Visor on the other hand can be expanded to work in any industry with an existing or created Springboard module. The GPS module that three manufacturers are working on, can be used by home inspectors to create highly accurate land surveys, and the usefulness for delivery people, hikers, sailors is obvious. The eyemodule can be used in so many industries that to list them here would be ridiculous, but to name a few - doctors for before and after photos, construction foremen to record the progress of the job, police officers at a crime scene, insurance workers to document their work. An MP3 player and recorder for everyone. Communications tools (Landline, Cell Phone, and true wireless modems) to report back to the central office. Every industry has been, will be, or can be affected by the introduction of the appropriate Springboard.
    Why will this make the difference? A company is only as good as the marketability and salability of its goods and services. Which do you consider a better investment: an organizer that is just an organizer or an organizer that can expand to aid in the performance of almost any job on the planet and costs half the price? As we'll see later on the consumers came to the same conclusion and good sales means a good company.
  • Outsourcing -- Handspring does very little of their own actual production work. Their software development is relatively limited since they license the software from Palm, and much of the production is outsourced to other producers. This brings down the actual money spent by Handspring in producing the product. By limiting their actual employment of individuals Handspring can chose the cream of the crop for the positions they do keep in-house.

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