Speculation on a possible Palm buyer has ranged from Lenovo to HTC to RIM and more. We can now put that all aside and thank the mobile gods that HP is buying Palm for a reported $1.2 billion. As a Palm webOS fan myself I have to say I am rather excited about the news since there is now a large company behind Palm and it looks like webOS will continue to be supported for years to come.
In looking through the press release we can see that webOS will be the OS of choice for HP in the smartphone market, which is the real strength of Palm at this time. Todd Bradley, executive vice president, Personal Systems Group, HP, stated the following:
Palm’s innovative operating system provides an ideal platform to expand HP’s mobility strategy and create a unique HP experience spanning multiple mobile connected devices said .And, Palm possesses significant IP assets and has a highly skilled team. The smartphone market is large, profitable and rapidly growing, and companies that can provide an integrated device and experience command a higher share. Advances in mobility are offering significant opportunities, and HP intends to be a leader in this market.
HP has made some decent smartphones in the past, but they have been based on Windows Mobile and unless HP is moving to Windows Phone 7 that line is dead. HP still does have a couple of Windows Mobile smartphones that are pretty decent, in terms of hardware. I really liked their iPAQ lines back in the day and even their fairly recent iPAQ 910 was a good device with an aging OS. I think HP can work to come out with some solid hardware running webOS and as I said I am very excited about the future of webOS.
It looks like it would have been a great time to buy lots of Palm stock a few weeks ago as current Palm stockholders will receive $5.70 in cash for each share they hold at closing. The transaction is expected to close during HP's 3rd quarter ending 31 July 2010.