Palm, the struggling mobile device maker, lowered its guidance for revenues on Thursday, citing slower than expected consumer adoption.

The company expects 2010 revenues to be well below its previously forecasted range.  For the quarter, Palm expected sales to be between $300 million and $320 million.  Wall Street was expecting $410 million.

Palm sales struggled last year.  In 2009, for the quarters ending in November, March, and May, its revenues declined significantly year-on-year. 

During the economic recession, many firms were able to meet earnings expectations by cutting costs.  To differentiate between firms that experience real recovery versus firms that simply cut costs, investors are now closely eyeing revenues. 

News of Palm's downward revision for revenues on Thursday spooked investors ahead of its next scheduled earnings report on March 18.   Palm shares tumbled, losing 19.28 percent.   

 Thursday, however, was not the only disappointing day for the stock.  Since the debut of Palm shares at $38 ten years ago, the shares have lost over 82 percent of their value. 

Revenues for Palm will continue to struggle in the extremely competitive mobile devices market. 

From the beginning, it competed with both cell phones and laptops for market share.  Increasingly functional cell phones and smaller laptops further reduced its pool of potential customers. 

In addition, the management and employees of Palm simply cannot compete with those of Research In Motion and Apple. 

The Blackberry is a truly innovative product that changed the world and Steve Jobs is a peerless genius in his field. 

With an extremely loyal fan base and a history of success, Jobs' newly launched iPad may come to dominate the small niche between cell phones and laptops, leaving little room for Palm's current and future products.