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HP: We didn't buy Palm to be in the smartphone business

post #1 of 52
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Hewlett-Packard chief executive Mark Hurd said today his company didn't buy Palm to enter the smartphone business, but rather plans to use its technology to power "small form factor web-connected devices."

The comments, reported by ZDnet were made at Bank of America Merrill Lynch technology conference.

Hurd said HP isnt going to "spend billions of dollars trying to go into the smartphone business. That doesnt in any way make any sense. We didnt buy Palm to be in the smartphone business."

Hurd added, "and I tell people that, but it doesnt seem to resonate well. We bought it for the IP [intellectual property]. The webOS is one of the two ground-up pieces of software that is built as a web operating environment."

One of two web operating environments

Apart from Palm's webOS, Hurd likely had in mind Google's Chrome OS, which similarly acts as an extended web browser capable of running Rich Internet Apps authored in web standards. Other mobile operating systems are based on a Java Virtual Machine, such as RIM's BlackBerry OS or Google's Android; provide a conventional native environment for apps like Symbian or iPhone OS; or rely on a middleware platform like Microsoft's upcoming Windows Phone 7, based on a mobile version of Silverlight.

Focusing on a web-based operating environment, Hurd referenced the "tens of millions of HP small form factor web-connected devices" and said, "now imagine that being a web-connected environment where now you can get a common look and feel and a common set of services laid against that environment. That is a very [attractive] value proposition."

HP's comments may provide some cover for Microsoft's Windows Mobile, which appeared to be rejected by HP in favor of new Palm webOS phones. HP may likely continue to sell Windows Mobile devices, although it is not a significant vendor of smartphones.

However, HP is rumored to be working toward mobile handheld devices that use a form of the webOS, pitting them against not just Google's Chrome OS, but also Windows 7, which Microsoft has been working to install on netbooks and more recently Slate PCs (like the now discontinued one HP demonstrated on stage at CES next to Microsoft shortly before Apple unveiled its iPad).

Where will HP's webOS enter the market?

If HP is indeed uninterested in pushing into the smartphone realm, it also means there will be one less competitor in Apple's iPhone market, currently dominated by RIM's BlackBerry (in North America) and Nokia's Symbian (globally), and facing new competition from Android and potentially even Windows Phone 7 later this winter.

However, depending on what HP means by "web connected devices," webOS may show up as part of an enterprise push into mobile tablets, currently a market Apple has captured for itself. Google's tablet strategy is currently fractured between Android and its upcoming Chrome OS, while Microsoft is similarly working to find some viable mix of Windows 7 and "Windows Embedded Compact 7" (the company's most recent name for Windows CE, the core operating system underneath the Zune HD and Windows Phone 7).

Asus just announced its "Eee Pad" as a competitor to Apple's iPad, but it won't be ready until at least the beginning of 2011. Versions of the device will run either Windows 7 or Windows Embedded Compact 7. Whether HP will also enter the market with consumer-focused tablets remains to be seen, but it appears that Palm's webOS is now dead as a smartphone platform.
post #2 of 52
they'd better ramp up the SFF IAD ASAP and cover themselves with MS PDQ!


(small form factor)(internet application device)
post #3 of 52
This means WebOS tablet is on the way. One problem with that though is that Andoid and Chrome OS will come out with a tablet about the same time HP will be able to crank out their own. This may not have been the best choice for HP, but at least they can use the WebOS team to try to come up with a Sense-like UI for the Android powered tablets.
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post #4 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Hurd said HP isnt going to "spend billions of dollars trying to go into the smartphone business. That doesnt in any way make any sense. We didnt buy Palm to be in the smartphone business."

It made sense to Apple and now it's their most profitable product category. But, I'm glad to see HP isn't just doing something because others can do it.

They're well managed so I expect they will trim any fat they can and come out ahead with WebOS products. I doubt they'll break any paradigms, but that's part of HP's corporate success.
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post #5 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

This means WebOS tablet is on the way.

Maybe, but this is an incredibly stupid thing for them to say. As Apple has shown, having a large installed base of apps and developers is a big help in getting acceptance of the tablet.

HP just told the developers and customers that it doesn't want them. So by the time they get around to releasing the tablet, they'll have lost a lot of their customers.

Besides, why would it cost them billions of dollars to get into the smartphone business? I thought Palm was already in the smartphone business.
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post #6 of 52
Could be strategic FUD. They are finally learning from the master.......
post #7 of 52
HP better work on the quality of their products first. With a 3 year failure rate of over 27% for their laptops, I can only imagine that hardware will be the biggest disappointment regardless of what OS they go with. Give up HP and continue to supply Walmart with the $399 wonder boxes that I get to replace with real hardware within 15 months of purchase.
post #8 of 52
tell us something we don't know hp... yawn...

I just wonder how since you knew what piece of crap your slate was (the product of supposed intense research in you Bristol laboratory) with windows why you leaked those specs comparisons to the ipad, to profess it's supposed superiority to pc morons at engadget....

In any case nice to see the good people at hp thinking of transitioning from snake oil salesmen to actual product delivery. Too bad that when they do enter the market 80-90% of it will consist of the ipad. That's the cost of not having any balls to innovate for years on end and just sitting like ducks assembling parts and sticking in windows to them and having the cash flow in.
post #9 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

It made sense to Apple and now it's their most profitable product category. But, I'm glad to see HP isn't just doing something because others can do it.

They're well managed so I expect they will trim any fat they can and come out ahead with WebOS products. I doubt they'll break any paradigms, but that's part of HP's corporate success.

It made sense because the state of smart phones, before the iPhone, were not impressive.

Now, the world has major battles with highly competitive products.

There is only the iPad and half-ass tablet PCs to compete against and they want to be the second major entry into that space--good for HP.
post #10 of 52
This is supposedly from the same interview:

"It isn't precisely ... a smartphone play," he said in the transcript. "All the way from a purely voice product up through a smartphone capability through a tablet through a notebook ... that's where we expect to go."


I can't find the original article (at least on pcmag.com) but this is where I read that:

http://www.precentral.net/hp-ceo-we-...#comment-95031

Needless to say, the Palm/WebOS fans are quite stirred up by this, and I can't say I blame them.
post #11 of 52
they went into this much trouble acquiring palm just to rip off apple? ...
post #12 of 52
Confirms what I suspected - they bought it as a UI for their printers.

Next thing you know they will be declaring the tablet is a "hobby"...
post #13 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post

Confirms what I suspected - they bought it as a UI for their printers.

Next thing you know they will be declaring the tablet is a "hobby"...

Not just printers.
Home servers
Digital photo frames
PDAs
Tablets
post #14 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by doyourownthing View Post

they went into this much trouble acquiring palm just to rip off apple? ...

You mean compete with Apple? The big news here is that HP is trying to put some daylight between themselves and Microsoft, and they aren't running to embrace Google to do it.
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post #15 of 52
Hurd is alert enough to know that the smartphone market can't realistically support six platforms (iPhone, RIM, Symbian, Android, webOS, Windows Mobile/Phone). That's a fight they're not going to win at this time.

Palm webOS has a chance at succeeding as a tablet/handheld device OS since RIM and Symbian aren't actively competing.
post #16 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

This means WebOS tablet is on the way. One problem with that though is that Andoid and Chrome OS will come out with a tablet about the same time HP will be able to crank out their own. This may not have been the best choice for HP, but at least they can use the WebOS team to try to come up with a Sense-like UI for the Android powered tablets.

I suspect that HP/Palm can focus better than Google Android. It sounds like HP has a Tablet strategy, with hardware and OS in some stage of development... I don't see that from Google.

Balls to the wall, HP could deliver a tablet this year, in time for Christmas (consumer) and in time for budgeting (enterprise)

I like their chances!

.
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post #17 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

Hurd is alert enough to know that the smartphone market can't realistically support six platforms (iPhone, RIM, Symbian, Android, webOS, Windows Mobile/Phone). That's a fight they're not going to win at this time.

Palm webOS has a chance at succeeding as a tablet/handheld device OS since RIM and Symbian aren't actively competing.

Most markets. We are usually given 2 choices.

Its either them or us.
(and by markets it can mean anything from fast food, to political parties, to computers).

The reason for this is that after a while other companies come into the market and stir things up and decide they want a piece of the pie.

Suddenly the market is awash with choice.

But its not sustainable.

Its basic human nature that we will follow the stronger of the multitude of companies out there.

In some cases even if they do not have the greatest of intentions.

Eventually whittling it down to the 2 major players like we had before the boom.

its one of the reasons we have the Mac vs PC argument and not Mac vs PC vs Linux (x7 common variants) vs Sun vs UNIX etc etc etc
post #18 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Hewlett-Packard chief executive Mark Hurd said today his company didn't buy Palm to enter the smartphone business, but rather plans to use its technology to power "small form factor web-connected devices."

Hurd said HP isnt going to "spend billions of dollars trying to go into the smartphone business. That doesnt in any way make any sense. We didnt buy Palm to be in the smartphone business."

Holy cow..!
HP is actually have plans to use webOS..!
Hopefully they'll make webOS powered tablets with design similar to their Envy laptops, now that'll rock somebody's boat at Cupertino.. LOL
post #19 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

Needless to say, the Palm OS fans are quite stirred up by this, and I can't say I blame them.

I believe what you're trying to say is: "Palm fans", because truth to be told Palm OS is dead.. Palm has stopped supporting its old OS when the company announced the new webOS.

Yeah Palm fans should get excited about this, since it's a shame that Palm can't make more webOS powered devices other than the Pre and Pixi. With HP's cash and business prowess, there is more possibility to see webOS powered devices in the future..
post #20 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by kilimanjaro View Post

I believe what you're trying to say is: "Palm fans", because truth to be told Palm OS is dead.. Palm has stopped supporting its old OS when the company announced the new webOS.

Yeah, I meant to write 'WebOS'. Original post corrected.
post #21 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by kilimanjaro View Post

Holy cow..!
HP is actually have plans to use webOS..!
Hopefully they'll make webOS powered tablets with design similar to their Envy laptops, now that'll rock somebody's boat at Cupertino.. LOL

Envy is nice but it's too stupidly priced for average users to consider... They might as well buy a Mac with those Envy prices! WTF
post #22 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

Not just printers.
Home servers
Digital photo frames
PDAs
Tablets

For a second there I thought you were attempting a haiku
post #23 of 52
As much as I think hp's ROI in this case is suspect, it could've done worse than acquiring a reasonably quality bit of kit from Palm. What they really need (indeed the industry) is another hard taskmaster with a vision, business acumen and an environment that cultivates great ideas.

I've always had a soft spot for Palm. Must be getting old...
post #24 of 52
Nonsense.

HP understood that to differentiate themselves from the rest of the pack, they need a combination of hardware + software very much like Apple, Rim, Samsung, etc...

Unlike the PC market where they bundle Windows, HP wants to retain control of the OS in their mobile phones, tablets or any other web connected device. The PC war was won by MSFT but this emerging market is still very much up for grabs.
It will be interesting to follow now that a big player like HP is in the game.
post #25 of 52
R.I.P. Palm. From the Pilot to the early Treo's (emphasis on early), you made some awesome products! It's sad to see HP tearing apart another company with some great technologies! Another tragedy of HP's exploit of a company's purchase for short term gains.
post #26 of 52
well put
post #27 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by doyourownthing View Post

they went into this much trouble acquiring palm just to rip off apple? ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

You mean compete with Apple? The big news here is that HP is trying to put some daylight between themselves and Microsoft, and they aren't running to embrace Google to do it.

Both of you are correct..

Palm was, and still is, trying to rip off Apple on its iPhone multi-touch patent. Remember the fight between Palm and Apple when the Pre is about to be launched? If you don't, you can refresh your memory here. In order to compete with Apple in the multi-touch (aka. touchscreen) devices market, any tech companies out there including Palm have to challenge the multi-touch patent that Apple own, and the best way to do it is to 'rip it off' from Apple's iron grip.
post #28 of 52
Why would he announce this even as the cell carriers are still trying to peddle Palm smart phones? Would you buy a Palm now, knowing that it's a dead end product? Then again, it already was a dead end product even before this announcement.
post #29 of 52
Quote:
"small form factor web-connected devices."

what is a smartphone?

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post #30 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

Why would he announce this even as the cell carriers are still trying to peddle Palm smart phones? Would you buy a Palm now, knowing that it's a dead end product? Then again, it already was a dead end product even before this announcement.

He didn't say they were abandoning the cell phone market... Just that they (HP) didn't buy Palm to get into the cell phone market... Like that;s not the compelling reason.

I suspect that HP will issue a clarification, one way or the other,

.
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post #31 of 52
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Originally Posted by macdanboy View Post

HP better work on the quality of their products first. With a 3 year failure rate of over 27% for their laptops, I can only imagine that hardware will be the biggest disappointment regardless of what OS they go with. Give up HP and continue to supply Walmart with the $399 wonder boxes that I get to replace with real hardware within 15 months of purchase.

Some years ago—about the time HP laptops became attractive (visually)—HP announced to their shareholders that they were moving some focus from quality to aesthetics and appeal. I was a computer technician at the time and through years to come the quality of their products began to decrease considerably, but they sure looked much better, and they definitely sold much better. HP, along with most competitors in the PC market, is not building most of their computers to last. They are building them to sell in bulk at extremely competitive rates. If someone wants quality, they're going to have to pay a lot more. Lenovo and Sony seem to be the only mainstream providers left in the PC market who care to compete in this way. (I do acknowledge Dell's XPS/AlienWare lines, though I wouldn't care to suggest either to anybody with better alternatives.)

3 years is a pretty standard (if not, sadly, good) lifespan for a bargain-basement PC.
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post #32 of 52
http://www.precentral.net/ceos-say-d...cted-device-us

Mark Hurd attempts to clarify his previous remark (and obfuscates it in corporate-speak).

So it appears that HP will continue to pursue smartphones, although not with the singular focus that Palm itself would have brought to the task.
post #33 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by kilimanjaro View Post

Both of you are correct..

Palm was, and still is, trying to rip off Apple on its iPhone multi-touch patent. Remember the fight between Palm and Apple when the Pre is about to be launched? If you don't, you can refresh your memory here. In order to compete with Apple in the multi-touch (aka. touchscreen) devices market, any tech companies out there including Palm have to challenge the multi-touch patent that Apple own, and the best way to do it is to 'rip it off' from Apple's iron grip.

Litigation on these patents was inevitable, and is likely to be ongoing for years, with the outcomes far from certain. At this point it's pointless to argue about who ripped off who.

Overall, I see this development as a good thing for Apple. HP could build Chrome or Windows tablets, but instead they are opting to go their own way, which it seems to me is a blow to Microsoft's hopes to establish their position in this new market. Apple will do better in a fragmented market, which now seems it will have four distinct players. Perhaps we'll get to see a rerun of the development of the PC market without anyone coming into the game with a big automatic advantage. Of the four, Apple clearly (IMO) has the most experience and smarts. I like their chances.
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post #34 of 52
Apple clearly has the upper hand in this new emerging market, OSX is a huge part of its success, and iPhone OS will just cement as the standard for all else to imitate. I definitely think Microsoft is going to lose in this bracket, I mean, no one wants to use windows on their future tablets.
post #35 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by kilimanjaro View Post

Both of you are correct..

Palm was, and still is, trying to rip off Apple on its iPhone multi-touch patent. Remember the fight between Palm and Apple when the Pre is about to be launched? If you don't, you can refresh your memory here. In order to compete with Apple in the multi-touch (aka. touchscreen) devices market, any tech companies out there including Palm have to challenge the multi-touch patent that Apple own, and the best way to do it is to 'rip it off' from Apple's iron grip.

But Apple didn't invent multitouch. They just implemented it on a consumer device first. It was developed by researchers that are not Apple. If Apple patents it, and another party can prove that it was not Apple's invention, the patent is invalid.
post #36 of 52
Otherwise known as prior art.

Who owns what in multitouch is going to be resolved (or not) by many competing lawsuits over a long period of time.
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post #37 of 52
Oh I completely agree. I am just saying that you can't claim that anyone ripped off Apple when Apple cot the idea from someone else. It would be like saying that Apple ripped off Xerox with the Lisa/Macintosh or Apple ripped off Palm with the Newton.
post #38 of 52
Apple bought some of this IP when they acquired Fingerworks about five years ago.

(FWIW, the Newton came before the Palm Pilot.)
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post #39 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkeath View Post

Oh I completely agree. I am just saying that you can't claim that anyone ripped off Apple when Apple cot the idea from someone else. It would be like saying that Apple ripped off Xerox with the Lisa/Macintosh or Apple ripped off Palm with the Newton.

You seem to forget that palm was a newton developer long before they got into the hardware business. I always suspected that the pending newton spin-off got steved in the last minute, because apple was holding on to the IP as an insurance policy.
post #40 of 52
Ok I was wrong about the Newton. vv
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