PalmGear Revenues Up Sharply

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PalmGear, the world’s longest-running retailer of Palm OS software, is on a roll and it has recently announced some agreements that may lead to further growth.

Yesterday, the company announced that revenue for the fourth quarter of 2003 was up 169% over the same quarter the previous year. Ryan Wuerch the company’s president and chief executive officer, credited this to “a rise in consumer awareness of third-party applications and customer commitment to the Palm OS Handheld platform.”

New Distribution Channels

PalmGear has worked hard to find new ways to distribute software and other content.

It announced last week that it is working with QUALCOMM Inc. to enable over-the-air downloads of Palm OS applications directly to handhelds via QUALCOMM’s BREW Distribution System (BDS). Consumers with BREW Shop-enabled devices will be able to use the system to shop for and download applications, wirelessly, with no connection back to a PC. The BDS manages the over-the-air delivery, billing, and payment of software.

In 2003 the company launched operations in mainland China with headquarters in Shanghai and offices in Beijing, including a fully-localized Chinese PalmGear web site.

PalmGear currently provides the backend for PalmSource’s software store, and it recently announced a partnership with Tapwave to open a similar online store for Zodiac users, scheduled for launch in March.

A Bit of History

PalmGear was one of the first sites to make a business out of distributing Palm OS applications. However, it got into financial trouble as a result of a protracted legal battle. Though PalmGear won the suit, it spent a great deal of money of legal fees. Last year Power By Hand, LLC gave PalmGear bridge financing and took over the company’s operations, finances, development, planning, and strategic marketing.

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