Palm and Hewlett Packard announced, today, that HP will be purchasing Palm for approximately 1.2 billion dollars (US). The announcement follows approval by both boards. HP announced its intention to run Palm as a business unit inside of HP and to develop and market a wide range of products using the webOS. This indicates products like a whole raft of smartphones, tablets and, possibly, netbooks. Palm’s current CEO, Jon Rubenstein, is expected to stay on with HP.
With the deep pockets and marketing might of HP and the innovation that Palm brings, I’d look for some pretty spectacular products coming from them. Imagine the HP Slate running webOS. Talk about a killer device. It *COULD* give the iPad a run for its money. The prospect of some of HP’s beautiful handhelds running webOS is also exciting. One does have to wonder, though, that, given HP’s relationship with Microsoft, which devices will get Windows Phone 7 and which ones get webOS.
HP is planning to release devices using Android as well and have indicated that that will not change.
This is a great move on both HP and Palm’s part. HP has never been considered an overly exciting company and Palm just does not have the resources they once had. In today’s market, you need both deep, deep pockets and a flair for both design and function. Apple pretty much ruined the Smartphone market for companies like HP with the iPhone. Prior to iPhone, the most exciting phone on the market was Motorola’s Razor, which wasn’t even a Smartphone. You had the RIM devices which were cleaning up in the enterprise and eating Microsoft’s lunch. You had a modest success with the Centro, but nothing spectacular. Windows Mobile was just awful and languishing. Along comes Apple and the iPhone and showed them all what people thought they wanted. And it worked. Now, people expect touch, app stores and nicely designed products. And to beat Apple, you need something far, far better. Pre COULD have been that device, but lack of resources and bad timing pretty much did the device in as an iPhone ‘killer’. Now, with HP, there’s no excuse for Palm not to blow Apple, Rim and Microsoft out of the water.