HP buys Palm, webOS will live on!

HP buys Palm, webOS will live on!

Summary: 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.

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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.

Topics: Hewlett-Packard, Mobility

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6 comments
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  • WebOS will live on? That's a HUGE assumption.

    And not very realistic.
    No_Ax_to_Grind
    • Live, WebOS, Live!

      At least it's not being shunted off to AsiaPac!
      WebOS Slate... that's my next buy.
      Olderdan
    • It's not huge, and it is realistic

      What, would you suggest, is the reason HP spent
      this kind of money? They spent $1.2 billion to
      shelve webOS? Why, did webOS threaten HP's
      smartphone market share?

      HP has not been mysterious in their intentions
      thus far. They have made nary a mention of the
      Palm hardware - Pre and Pixi are not coming up
      in the conversations at all. What is coming up
      is webOS and HP's strengths that can address
      the hardware needs.

      While the market may simply refuse to reward
      the deal, I don't think there's much value in
      throwing out "that's a huge assumption" without
      some reasoning as to why.

      HP is a solid company with respected
      technology. It has global brand value,
      distribution, credibility. It has survived in a
      way that many other previous big names (Compaq,
      Digital, Wang, to name a few) have not. And
      instead of taking time to try to develop their
      own brand new OS, they've just acquired the
      best mobile OS available right now (and
      arguably the best mobile OS period).

      So, I don't think it requires any stretch of
      imagination to see that webOS has a future.
      Mated to the right hardware configuration,
      there's plenty of room for competition in the
      enterprise space. Palm was the first enterprise
      smartphone platform, and its buggy instability
      left the door open for RIM to establish a new
      standard for reliability. Hats off to RIM, but
      Blackberry is not a very inspiring product
      outside of getting email for work.

      Furthermore, technical professionals
      (engineers, architects, doctors) need input
      dexterity that a stylus provides that fingers
      cannot. Bringing back pen input (not
      necessarily for writing recognition, but for
      filling out forms, or sketching in the
      field, or doing things that require pinpoint
      accuracy) is one area that would speak to a
      space that current OSs do not. There are plenty
      of professionals still using Palm OS 5 devices
      precisely because they need precision input of
      a stylus. This is just one example of a
      direction HP could pursue and do well in so
      doing.

      HP has rightly recognized that RIM and Apple's
      success is in part due to controlling their own
      seamless software/hardware environment. HP's
      hardware mated to some webOS flavoured OS would
      provide decent competition. Don't forget, iPad
      IS "a Mac", and some people just prefer to see
      the world through the PC lens. HP's laptops and
      desktops still have their fans, and
      handheld/mobile devices with HP's own flavour
      of OS would absolutely have a place.

      Bottom line is, if HP is right and the
      smartphone (forget HP tablets or whatever else)
      market is potentially $100 billion worldwide,
      even a 5% market share of that would be $5
      billion, which is a 400%+ ROI.

      Nothing wrong with that.

      http://nontechietalk.blogspot.com
      Non-techie Talk
  • But maybe not only in smartphones!

    Just read an article that says HP has more plans for webOS than
    just phones. This probably means that the HP Slate may run
    webOS, not Win 7. Sorry MS fans, but it sounds like HP "gets it"
    about tablets--a "mobile" OS, not a full-blast, bloated version.
    Userama
    • I wouldl buy a HP web OS tablet

      I own a pre and am very happy with the software and the multitasking. It suffered from poor hardware and not enough apps. I hope HP can use this opportunity to get their slate product to work for general consumers as well as for business uses. It needs way more apps but Web OS has the advantage of working with HTML5, JavaScript, flash and CSS. I would buy a slate with Web OS if it was a great hardware product. good luck HP you need to act fast and get more apps up and running.
      dkositsky
  • What does WebOS have that Android doesnt?

    It must havve something otherwise Hp could just use Android for their OS.

    Heck people are more excited about upcoming windows phones than they are about anything Palm has done.

    To me it is a lot of good money spent on bad things.
    otaddy