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HP to acquire Palm for $1.2 Billion

post #1 of 118
Thread Starter 
HP announced Wednesday that it has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase struggling smartphone maker Palm in an all cash deal worth 1.2 billion.

Under terms of the agreement, HP will pay $5.70 per share of Palm common stock for a total of nearly $1 billion, or approximately $1.2 billion when Palm's debt is factored into the mix. The transaction has been approved by the HP and Palm boards of directors.

“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 Todd Bradley, executive vice president, Personal Systems Group, HP. “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 believes that its global scale and financial strength combined with Palm’s webOS platform will enhance its ability to compete more aggressively in the fast-growing, highly profitable smartphone and mobile device markets. Among the features of webOS that HP is looking to leverage are multitasking and always up-to-date information sharing across applications, according to a joint press release from the two companies.

“We’re thrilled by HP’s vote of confidence in Palm’s technological leadership, which delivered Palm webOS and iconic products such as the Palm Pre. HP’s longstanding culture of innovation, scale and global operating resources make it the perfect partner to rapidly accelerate the growth of webOS,” said Jon Rubinstein, chairman and chief executive officer, Palm. “We look forward to working with HP to continue to deliver industry-leading mobile experiences to our customers and business partners.”

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Palm stockholders will receive $5.70 in cash for each share of Palm common stock that they hold at the closing of the merger. The merger consideration takes into account the updated guidance and other financial information being released by Palm this afternoon. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of domestic and foreign regulatory approvals and the approval of Palm’s stockholders. The transaction is expected to close during HP’s third fiscal quarter ending July 31, 2010.

Palm’s current chairman and CEO, Jon Rubinstein, is expected to remain with the company.

Palm vs iPhone

Palm was one of the original smartphone vendors, but let its platform slide off into irrelevance. In 2006 the company began licensing Microsoft's Windows Mobile, a move that nearly doubled Microsoft's market share but which did little to help Palm's struggling fortunes.

After Apple debuted the iPhone in 2007, Palm's products plummeted. Over the next year, Palm hired Rubinstein, who had served as the iPod chief at Apple, along with a number of Apple engineers, resulting in the development of the webOS.

While hailed as a major competitive threat to the iPhone at its launch, Palm failed to deliver high quality hardware and was slow to finish its SDK for third party developers. The rushed competitive effort fell flat with last summer's launch of the iPhone 3GS, leaving Palm's prospects uncertain. Cloud computing failures the company suffered through last fall only made things worse.

The only hope for Palm has been the idea that an established manufacturer would buy it and continue to invest in developing its novel smartphone operating system. HTC and Lenovo were considered frontrunners, but HP's purchase makes sense given that company's failed efforts to develop a strong presence in the smartphone category.

HP is a long term partner of Microsoft, but has seen little traction for its PDAs and smartphones based on Windows Mobile. Backed with a motivated, moneyed partner, Palm's webOS may be able to gain a significant profile that will make it a serious competitor to Android, Symbian and the upcoming Windows Phone 7 in their efforts to rival the iPhone and RIM's BlackBerry.

HP has never managed a significant software platform of its own, so the departure into becoming an integrated hardware and software company like Apple and RIM rather than just another device maker licensing other vendors' software like Dell or HTC will be a new role for the company.
post #2 of 118
Excellent!

A crapware PC maker joining with a has-been smartphone company.

What half-assed products await?
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post #3 of 118
I say before the others will.. Apple is Doomed
post #4 of 118
In my opinion the object of Palm all along was to to get strong enough to find a buyer, it didn´t really have a chance against the iPhone, RIM or Nokia.

Too late to the smartphone party and a crowded market.

HP will lose on this deal, but HP is planning on taking Apple´s place in the market, so they need a phone.

I think Rubenstein knew of HP intentions working at Apple and all and why he was tapped to beef up Palm. Plus he could cockroach iTunes too.
post #5 of 118
The hybrid HP/Palm (HPalm Pre) will one day become even more bastardly child, with the way HP does their things these days!

Hopefully though Rubinstein will be allowed to pursue to revamp its product given that the palm unit will now have more resources! How about bringing that WebOS operating system to HP Slate! That will be useful, than putting that crappy-ass MSFT product. At least WebOS has been built with touch in mind, just like iPhone OS (and consequently adapted for iPad)
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Zune zucks...Flop show...then it may be too zoon to say that
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post #6 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by justflybob View Post

Excellent!

A crapware PC maker joining with a has-been smartphone company.

What half-assed products await?

Simple. 55 different versions that are nearly identical except
that every part was sourced from multiple vendors requiring
people that want a software or firmware update to Wade thru
5 bazillion (technical term) pages to find the right update that might work.

Sounds both simple and enjoyable, yes?
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Crying? No, I am not crying. I am sweating through my eyes.
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post #7 of 118
. . . and ready to run great ideas right into the ground.
post #8 of 118
Well crap... there goes any hope of continued support for my Palm Pre.
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Go Linux, Choose a Flavor!
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post #9 of 118
HP has a rather dull mobile presence and they choose to drop over a billion on a company that is a fresh arrival to the Kingdom of Dull? This can't be reassuring news for HP stakeholders.
post #10 of 118
Palm already lost some top Engineers and Execs like Michael Abbot.

Palm's under new ownership but HP is isn't the company that's going to revive them and make them compete. HP has the finances but lacks the chutzpah and marketing savvy.

A year from now when HP Palm division starts to catch their wits ...iPhone, RIM, Android and WinMob will be light years ahead.
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- SolipsismX
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He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
- SolipsismX
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post #11 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Palm webOS and iconic products

Iconic? Are you serious? This never ending chase for sensationalism is destroying the meaning of perfectly good words. Iconic my foot!
post #12 of 118
Interesting development... yet boring at the same time.

I can't see HP, even with the cash they have, likely to revive that dodo.
post #13 of 118
Well I hope HP can do more than Palm did with their OS. There is potential but poor marketing and mediocre hardware is where Palm really failed. I'm sure this is a great move for HP.
post #14 of 118
It's funny that certain niche message boards for certain fans tend to have the same quick to the punch attitude about things. Reading the Appleinsider comments here I see we have a bunch of MBA's and Strategy consultants who already know this is doomed before a single share has been bought.

HP is a $120 billion dollar company. Palm has a ton of IP and engineering talent. This is a very, very smart move for HP. They are paying straight cash.

Let's not hate before even a single device is even realized to the public. I sense some fear among those die-hard iPhone OS folks... An open tablet from HP with webOS with TRUE multi-tasking...? Wow.
post #15 of 118
The HP Slate sounds more tempting with WebOS, in my opinion.
post #16 of 118
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #17 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by daving313 View Post

Let's not hate before even a single device is even realized to the public. I sense some fear among those die-hard iPhone OS folks... An open tablet from HP with webOS with TRUE multi-tasking...? Wow.

The "true" multitasking comment made me chuckle. But like I mentioned above, the Slate sounds more tempting with WebOS vs the alternative.


And Apple fans have NOTHING to fear.... Apple has no shortage of intellectual property or talent, not to mention a stockpile of money.
post #18 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Postulant View Post

The HP Slate sounds more tempting with WebOS, in my opinion.

Yes it does! That is the first thing I thought of. Might be the first really good competitor to the iPad.
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #19 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by daving313 View Post

It's funny that certain niche message boards for certain fans tend to have the same quick to the punch attitude about things. Reading the Appleinsider comments here I see we have a bunch of MBA's and Strategy consultants who already know this is doomed before a single share has been bought.

HP is a $120 billion dollar company. Palm has a ton of IP and engineering talent. This is a very, very smart move for HP. They are paying straight cash.

Let's not hate before even a single device is even realized to the public. I sense some fear among those die-hard iPhone OS folks... An open tablet from HP with webOS with TRUE multi-tasking...? Wow.

Then you get the people that place too much emphasis on one aspect of a device (true multitasking). I think it's great that WebOS has financial backing now. Hopefully we will get to see how good it really can be. This can only be good for mobile operating system development as a whole.
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The key to enjoying these forums: User CP -> Edit Ignore List
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post #20 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Postulant View Post

The HP Slate sounds more tempting with WebOS, in my opinion.

I agree, that would be an interesting development.

This actually seems to be a relatively sensible move on behalf of both companies. Competition for Apple is a good thing, since it push them to ever greater things. In the same respect, I'm pleased Windows 7 is actually not that bad, since Apple will have to keep focus on making OSX better and better.
post #21 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Yes it does! That is the first thing I thought of. Might be the first really good competitor to the iPad.

That's the first thing I thought, too. And I'm positive HP would beat Apple's price points.

Competition is awesome. I hope HP pulls out all the stops on this one, not because I want a Slate, but because I want an even better iPad experience.
post #22 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by daving313 View Post

It's funny that certain niche message boards for certain fans tend to have the same quick to the punch attitude about things. Reading the Appleinsider comments here I see we have a bunch of MBA's and Strategy consultants who already know this is doomed before a single share has been bought.

HP is a $120 billion dollar company. Palm has a ton of IP and engineering talent. This is a very, very smart move for HP. They are paying straight cash.

Let's not hate before even a single device is even realized to the public. I sense some fear among those die-hard iPhone OS folks... An open tablet from HP with webOS with TRUE multi-tasking...? Wow.

I love my iPhone and look forward to getting an iPad. But WebOS on a tablet would make for a pretty good device. I think WebOS is every bit as good as iPhone OS and Android. They might be too late to the party, but a really good marketing campaign (and a good device) from Verizon helped Android to make a huge step towards closing the gap with iPhone OS. It's not out of the question for HP to deliver a similar feat with a good tablet device.
post #23 of 118
All this means is that a Van Gogh original just went to a dirt farmer. And he needs a new doormat.
post #24 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by daving313 View Post

An open tablet from HP with webOS with TRUE multi-tasking...? Wow.

Don´t forget Flash support too!


In my opinion Mac users are a bit upset, they were looking for a open Mac tablet with decent storage so they can tweak on it and innovate.
post #25 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPoodOverZune View Post

How about bringing that WebOS operating system to HP Slate!

That is an interesting idea.
post #26 of 118
I wonder if hp will really be committed to webos. If they come out with winmo7 phones, then we will know the answer is "no".

My guess is that they do come out with a windows phone.
post #27 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpotOn View Post

Don´t forget Flash support too!


In my opinion Mac users are a bit upset, they were looking for a open Mac tablet with decent storage so they can tweak on it and innovate.

You mean the minority-group of tech-heads that are perpetually out of touch with the market? Yes. They want all the benefits of OS X, but with Microsoft's business model.
post #28 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

I wonder if hp will really be committed to webos. If they come out with winmo7 phones, then we will know the answer is "no".

My guess is that they do come out with a windows phone.

I imagine you're right.

WebOS based device? When they're releasing a Tablet running Windows? Are they suddenly going to play both sides of the street now? That's a risky job, even for a whore.
post #29 of 118
Amen!
post #30 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpotOn View Post

Don´t forget Flash support too!


In my opinion Mac users are a bit upset, they were looking for a open Mac tablet with decent storage so they can tweak on it and innovate.

I'm a Mac user, and perhaps I'm in the minority, but I care nothing about flash. In fact, click2flash was a godsend. The idea of an HP slate running WebOS sounds fantastic as opposed to running Windows.

To be honest, that's why I never owned a netbook - because they came pre-installed with Windows.
post #31 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by daving313 View Post

It's funny that certain niche message boards for certain fans tend to have the same quick to the punch attitude about things. Reading the Appleinsider comments here I see we have a bunch of MBA's and Strategy consultants who already know this is doomed before a single share has been bought.

HP is a $120 billion dollar company. Palm has a ton of IP and engineering talent. This is a very, very smart move for HP. They are paying straight cash.

Let's not hate before even a single device is even realized to the public. I sense some fear among those die-hard iPhone OS folks... An open tablet from HP with webOS with TRUE multi-tasking...? Wow.

I wouldn't judge too quickly yourself. A lot of the people here have been in the tech business since computers were invented and know enough about the players to make such quick judgements.

On paper, you may be right about HP and Palm and their chances, but the first thing that popped into my head was "HP, where technology goes to die."

HP has a history of squandering IP (in my opinion), and a corporate culture that's almost poisonous to innovation.
post #32 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

I wouldn't judge too quickly yourself. A lot of the people here have been in the tech business since computers were invented and know enough about the players to make such quick judgements.

Coulda fooled me. It seems the average user off the street is just as tuned in to what "just works" (both technically and stylistically) as some of the "experts" on these boards. More often that not the experts have been wrong.

HP has a history of perpetuating boredom and serving the Microsoft Universal Licensing racket. HP's laziness in consumer tech is plain for all to see. An unimaginative dinosaur looking to buy success. What else is new.
post #33 of 118
Over on Precentral.net, they are already crowing about how Palm can now copy the iPhone with impunity due to patents and cash. They are also drooling over the WebOS, iPad knock-off. Go check them out and see what the Palm community has devolved into.
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post #34 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Coulda fooled me. It seems the average user off the street is just as tuned in to what "just works" (both technically and stylistically) as some of the "experts" on these boards. More often that not the experts have been wrong.

I think you two are talking about different things. Prof. Peabody is referring to people with a long history of detailed technical knowledge of these companies, while you are referring to the average person who has a personal history with a company's product. For example, years of reading and digesting achievements and financials from tech companies v. a person who likes or dislikes a tech company's products based on past purchase experiences.
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post #35 of 118
They deserve each other! They'll both be out of business within 5 years!
post #36 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by justflybob View Post

Excellent!

A crapware PC maker joining with a has-been smartphone company.

What half-assed products await?

Yeah.

Ironically, both Palm and HP were "top of the heap" in mobile products (each at different times with diff. products) and both managed to squander the lead they enjoyed through colossally bad management decisions.

Personally, I hope they fail. I like WebOS and Palm, but HP can go jump off a cliff for all the headaches they've caused me in the last few years with their horrible printers. Also as an ex iPaq owner, I have a box of very expensive iPaqs (plus accessories), I'd like to throw at them.
post #37 of 118
HP's idea of innovation:

http://www.engadget.com/2010/04/19/h...-the-wild-meh/

Doesn't look too good for Palm.
post #38 of 118
so when apple and hp were married before and hp started (tried to) selling hpods it was like the old saying. "marriages are made in heaven and divorces in hell"

ergo, if hp couldn't cut the mustard with apple, it surely makes a palm venture look iffy at best.

btw, hpods might be collectors items now. i'm checking ebay.
post #39 of 118
I hear HP firing-up the chainsaws in preparation to chop this company into pieces and only keep the delectable parts to itself. Palm is officially bye-bye and its about time.

If I ever come across a resume with experience as a Palm manager, I'll make sure the door hits their backside on the way out. Palm had so many opportunities and was such a jewel of the tech sector in ages past. Their demise was due mainly to hugely incompetent management and the screwing of their dedicated developer base. I will not miss them one bit.

So sad a story.
post #40 of 118
At least Bono will be happy.
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