Palm may unveil its long-awaited new mobile operating system at the Consumer Electronics Show next month, financial analyst Avi Cohen of Avian Securities said today.
Palm officials previously cited late-2008 as a target for the new Linux-based software and scheduled a press conference for Jan. 8 at the show. “Come to CES to see all the Palm New-ness you’ve been waiting for,” its invitation states.
The news is important to fans and investors in Palm. The company was considered a pioneer and industry visionary in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but suffered poor sales and an image problem in recent years as continued to launch new hardware using obsolete software compared to rivals such as Apple and Research In Motion.
“We believe the introduction of the new OS (and likely the speculation/hype leading up to it) is likely to help sentiment around Palm shares near-term,” Cohen said in a report. “Looking forward, the next and likely more important milestone becomes the introduction of Palm’s first smartphone based on the next-gen Palm OS,” due in the first half of calendar year 2009, he wrote.
“We believe the rollout of the new smartphone will follow a similar pattern to that of the Centro, with initial carrier exclusivity in the U.S. (~3 months) before rolling out to other U.S. and international carriers,” Cohen added.
A Palm spokesperson was unavailable for comment this morning.
Palm did announce its preliminary second-quarter results earlier this month. The company expect revenues of $190 to $195 million, will reduce its U.S. workforce and will consolidate overseas offices, with the goal of saving $20 million per quarter.