Daily Dispatch: Palm, Flextronics, Apple, Virgin

Last Updated Jun 4, 2007 4:22 PM EDT

  • Palm will sell a 25 percent interest in the company to private equity firm Elevation Partners. Palm has struggled under increased competition from Microsoft (with its Windows Mobile operating system) and Research in Motion's Blackberry, so the move is intended to make the company more competitive in the smart-phone and mobile computing sectors. Jon Rubenstein, who ran Apple's iPod division, has already been tapped to join the company as executive chairman.
  • Flextronics, the contract electronics manufacturer that builds Microsoft's Xbox and mobile phones for Sony Ericsson, will buy competitor Solectron to narrow the sales gap with larger rival Hon Hai Precision Industry. The deal combines two of the largest manufacturers in the industry, cutting production costs and increasing product offerings.
  • Apple announced that its long-awaited iPhone will go on sale June 29. Analysts expect initial availability of the phone to be limited due to production challenges. This may increase the buzz surrounding the device, but it may also hurt iPod sales, since some iPod consumers may choose to wait for the iPhone.
  • Virgin Atlantic is the latest airline to offer business-class only flights between the United States and Europe, entering an emerging market segment that's also home to competitors such as Silverjet, Eos, MAXJet, and l'Avion. Such services offer an upscale flight experience to business travelers who are frustrated with the increased security hassles and longer travel times on international flights.