ZDNet's government tech blogger, David Gewirtz, wrote himself quite an exegesis on Palm this morning . It was pretty decent fodder to help answer my question: Will HP's purchase of Palm hurt Android? After all, although Palm has done poorly in the smartphone market of late, HP is selling devices of various sorts left and right. HP seems able to compete in just about any market it enters on price, if nothing else.
David's article paints a pretty bleak picture of the prospects for HP and Palm finding success in this market. Jason Perlow sees the HP-Palm marriage providing some potential competition in the tablet market whose sole occupant is currently Apple, but in terms of handsets, Android and Apple remain the ones to beat.
However, even if HP-Palm isn't much threat in the handset business, what will that mean for a market where Android is about to really break out? Although HP's marketing muscle, cash, and growing enterprise ecosystem might be enough to make Palm take off, I have a feeling that Palm's assets will contribute to a mobile enterprise niche rather than any real threat to the inroads Android has made in a variety of markets. As Larry Dignan pointed out,
More likely, HP will make Palm an enterprise play and look to threaten RIM with mobility. HP can make Palm devices a part of the IT stack [HP CEO Mark] Hurd is pushing.
Competition is never a bad thing and whatever product(s) the HP-Palm marriage beget will only push Android developers to create better enterprise Apps. HP has obviously found a lot of success in both consumer and enterprise spaces, but I think it's pretty safe to say that Google will continue to have its Android sights set on Apple rather than HP. Android and Apple's iPhone OS are just too good and WebOS just has too small a developer base to matter anymore, even with HP's financial backing and brand behind it.