While HTC may have the champagne out, Palm is likely looking a little more sheepish when it comes to their recent financial performance. Despite impressive Centro sales figures – with one million of the entry-level smartphones sold since September 2007 – the company has been forced to re-examine their sales figures for the quarter ending February 28th and reduce them by $25m. Considering estimated losses had already been quoted as $31.5m for that quarter, that puts total losses at almost $57m in a three-month period. Year on year comparisons are woeful, with the same quarter last year seeing an $11.8m profit.
Palm is blaming the extra losses on the precarious state of the US debt market, which has seen the value of auction-rate securities the company holds drop by $25m. It’s also possible that, despite relatively high sales of the Centro, the fact that the handset is at the budget end of Palm’s range – generally being sold for $99 with contract – means that its profit on each device is less than if, say, a higher-spec Treo smartphone were in the same sales position.
The fact that Palm recently announced it was delaying its new range of Windows Mobile handsets until the Summer will not impress investors, and the company looks to fare worse before there’s any chance of its prospects improving.