Palm smartphone shipments drop 62%

Palm posted a wider net loss in its fiscal fourth quarter, showing that even though the Pre and its new webOS platform have been launched, the smartphone maker is not in the clear yet.

The company reported a $105 million net loss applicable to common shareholders in the quarter, wider than the net loss of $43.4 million it had in the year-ago quarter. The loss was narrower than expected, however.

Palm had total revenues in the quarter of $86.8 million, down 71 percent from the $296.1 million it posted in the year-ago quarter and down from its $90.6 million revenue total for the previous quarter. The company shipped 351,000 smartphones during the quarter, which is a 6 percent increase compared to the fiscal third quarter, but a 62 percent decrease on a year-over-year basis. One bright spot: As the Palm Pre launched June 6, and Palm's fiscal fourth quarter ended May 29, sales of the smartphone were not included in this quarter's earnings report. However, Palm said that demand for the Pre was exceeding expectations.

"We're successfully ramping supply to meet demand that is strong and growing," Palm CEO Jonathan Rubinstein said on a conference call, referring to the Pre. Analysts are expecting that with Rubinstein at the helm, Palm can refocus on innovation. Rubinstein took over the CEO spot from longtime Palm player Ed Colligan earlier this month.

The company did not release any official sales figures for the Pre. Sprint, the exclusive U.S. carrier of the Pre, has said it will release more sales details when it reports its second-quarter earnings next month. Analyst estimate that Palm has shipped around 150,000 Pre units so far. The company's App Catalog for webOS reached 1 million downloads, according to the mobile analytics and advertising company Medialets. 

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