PDA News – PalmOne earnings report, RIM suit settled, Pocket Blackberry

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PalmOne reports Q3 earnings

In their third-quarter earnings report, PalmOne announced a profit of $4.4 million, or 9 cents per share, which is in line with Wall Street expectations. This is even after the $2.4 million payout PalmOne had to make to their exiting CEO, Todd Bradley. This makes the fourth straight quarter of profitability for PalmOne, a string it has maintained almost entirely on the back of its Treo line of smartphones. The Treos have grown to represent such a large portion of PalmOne’s sales that the company estimates that by June they will represent more than 50% of the company’s revenue.

Now for the bad news. During the company’s conference call, executives warned that an unnamed smartphone product they had hoped to ship in early Spring would likely slip to late Spring or Summer, citing certification and customization efforts as the cause of the delay. They were unclear on what the product was, but the most likely candidate is a version of the Treo 650 for another wireless carrier such as Verizon Wireless or T-Mobile.

Further bad news: the company slashed revenue and profit projections for the current quarter, prompting the stock to lose 15% in after-hours trading.




RIM settles patent suit by NTP

Research In Motion, maker of the Blackberry line of mobile messaging devices, has settled a long-running patent infringement suit brought by technology company NTP. RIM has agreed to pay $495 million in exchange for the unfettered rights to continue making the Blackberry devices. The suit, originally filed in 2001, concerned patents held by NTP covering the use of radio frequency wireless communication in email devices.



HTC to distribute Windows Mobile Blackberry software

Speaking of Blackberry technology. Research In Motion and Taiwan-based manufacturer High Tech Computer are teaming up to distribute Blackberry Connect software on HTC’s lines of Windows Mobile devices. HTC manufactures the majority of PocketPC phones on the market, including the XDA, MDA, i-mate, Audiovox, and Siemens brands, as well as Dell’s Axims. The deal could dramatically boost the profile of HTC’s devices as mobile messaging solutions, and alternatives to the Blackberry line of devices.



Acer settles royalty dispute with PalmSource

Acer and PalmSource have settled a royalty dispute over the former’s brief foray into PalmOS handhelds. The dispute stemmed from a five-year licensing agreement signed by the companies in 2001, in which Acer agreed to pay PalmSource a certain amount of royalties based on sales. When Acer brought an early end to their Palm OS line due to poor sales, PalmSource demanded that royalties be paid for the remaining projected minimum sales, while Acer wanted to pay based on actual sales. In the settlement, PalmSource agreed to accept the lesser payments based on units sold.




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