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Might not PALM be a budding gorilla? It has a proprietary open architecture with a large surrounding value chain.

An interesting question that was also raised by TMF Gibson in Breakfast with the Fool

Palm Pilots seem to be gaining wide-spread acceptance. And they have managed to create a value-chain that would make them the leader in the hand-held electronic PDA. But TMFGibson also askes "Would you carry a PDA if your cellular phone provided all the same functions for less money?"

Interesting question which raised a few in my mind.

Is the Palm Pilot going to be killed by the next discontinuous technology? I.e. Digital handsets combining voice and data transmission?

Would you rather browse the web, take notes, consult your to do list, schedule, etc on a (relatively) big screen? Or on the tiny ones that are currently offered by Nokia, Motorola, et, al?

What is the possibility that Palm's operating system would be licensed to the affor-mentioned handset makers? That would certainly open the handsets to an existing value-chain of software, and allow Palm to reap royalties forever.

I am admittedly ignorant of the direction this technology is moving. Are handset makers in a chasm with competing standards for an OS to run applications? Will one emerge as the standard all the pragmatists latch onto? Is Palm positioned to accept the role as handset OS Gorilla?

Or is this just one of a bunch of companies to put into a basket until bowling alley phase?

Obviously a subject that requires some serious DD.

I think as a consumer I'm going to invest in both a handset and a Palm Pilot. But then I might be described as a first standard deviant in the technology adoption life cycle.

And my first VCR was a Beta Hi-Fi deck . . .


Disclaimer: Long on CSCO, MSFT, QCOM, SUNW, INTC, JDSU, ORCL, NOK, SEBL, ARBA, CRA, YHOO, and AMGN - but not (yet) on PALM

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