HP's purchase of Palm could lead to WebOS tablets, netbooks

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
In addition to entering the smartphone market against the iPhone, HP's acquisition of handset maker Palm could allow the PC maker to expand the WebOS mobile platform to tablets and netbooks to compete with Apple's iPad.



During a conference call about HP's acquisition of Palm Wednesday, Todd Bradley, executive VP of HP's Personal Systems Group, said that there are "a lot of opportunities" with the purchase. Namely, he said, HP could use the WebOS mobile operating system as a touchscreen interface for new hardware such as a tablet or netbook.



Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein and Brian Humphries, HP's senior VP of Strategy and Corporate Development, spoke with Joshua Topolsky of Engadget Wednesday, and revealed that HP plans to "double down on WebOS," which is considered the "prized asset" of the acquisition. The two reportedly mentioned the scalability of WebOS, implying that HP plans to bring the platform to multiple hardware form factors. HP even said it has already tested WebOS for its scalability.



In addition, Rubinstein said he believes the financial backing of HP will give Palm the opportunity to compete directly with mobile rivals Apple, Google and Microsoft. "I don't think HP would do this unless they were willing to make the kind of investment necessary to win," he said.



Palm turned heads in early 2009, when it surprised the tech industry by introducing the Pre smartphone and its brand new WebOS. The Pre and its new operating system were released in June 2009, and were met with mostly positive reviews, particularly for its card-flipping multitasking.



Earlier this year, as the tech industry was buzzing over Apple's then-unannounced iPad, HP introduced its forthcoming "slate PC" at the Consumer Electronics Show. That multitouch device, scheduled for release later this year, runs on Microsoft's full-fledged Windows 7 operating system.



HP revealed on Wednesday that it will acquire Palm for $1.2 billion. The struggling smartphone maker had sought a buyer in recent weeks as the company was set back significantly by poor device sales.



In February, Palm's stock plummeted after the handset maker decreased its third-quarter projections dramatically, citing lower-than expected demand for its smartphones. At the time, Palm reduced its sales forecast from between $1.6 billion and $1.8 billion to between $285 million and $310 million.



Palm's struggles came as the company failed to compete with Apple's iPhone, which has continued to produce record quarters with escalating international sales. Palm's Pre was originally limited to Sprint in 2009, but expanded to Verizon in 2010 with the Pre Plus and Pixi Plus. Earlier this year, Palm announced plans to bring Web OS devices to AT&T's network as well.



In addition to the WebOS platform, HP's purchase of Palm also gives the PC maker an entrance into the smartphone market, where rival Dell has planned a number of new devices. Dell's Android-powered Aero smartphone will be released on the AT&T network in the U.S. soon.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 73
    maccherrymaccherry Posts: 924member
    HP doesn't have the managerial will to turn webOS into a BDO(BIG DADDY OS). And that is what it will take to be on even a netbook with any real functionality. Also, there is the issue of compatibility with other platforms.

    Give me a break!!!!!!!!!

    Speculate until the cows come home!!!!!!
  • Reply 2 of 73
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,744member
    HP lacks the talent, vision and drive to exploit this opportunity fully.
  • Reply 3 of 73
    easy288easy288 Posts: 80member
    I would not be the first one to underestimate CEO Hurd. He turned around HP, grabbed PC market share back from Dell, and HP profitable again.



    We will just have to wait and see.
  • Reply 4 of 73
    ochymingochyming Posts: 474member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    HP lacks the talent, vision and drive to exploit this opportunity fully.



    ? HP cannot be Microsoft little boy forever it has as much potential as Microsoft.

    Sony were is your head?



    In Europe SONY is much more known than Apple or Microsoft, but they are stuck i do not know where, and i am sure Sony does not know either.
  • Reply 5 of 73
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,928member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    HP lacks the talent, vision and drive to exploit this opportunity fully.



    My guess is that there are individuals within hp who have these things, but not senior management.
  • Reply 6 of 73
    chronsterchronster Posts: 1,894member
    HP is doomed.
  • Reply 7 of 73
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,580member
    A WebOS netbook just seems like a bad idea, unless they significantly enhance it beyond just being what it is now, make it much less touch dependent, but the idea of dumping Win7 and producing WebOS tablets ought to cause some serious anguish in Redmond.
  • Reply 8 of 73
    bartfatbartfat Posts: 432member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chronster View Post


    HP is doomed.



    Yes, unlike Apple
  • Reply 9 of 73
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,271member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    A WebOS netbook just seems like a bad idea, unless they significantly enhance it beyond just being what it is now, make it much less touch dependent, but the idea of dumping Win7 and producing WebOS tablets ought to cause some serious anguish in Redmond.



    HP just hasn't developed the ecosystem to make this a success. Google has search & Google Docs among other thing. Apple has OS X iPods ipads & more. HP will have to acquire more companies and start taking more risks if they want to succeed.
  • Reply 10 of 73
    str1f3str1f3 Posts: 573member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ochyming;


    ? HP cannot be Microsoft little boy forever it has as much potential as Microsoft.

    Sony were is your head?



    In Europe SONY is much more known than Apple or Microsoft, but they are stuck i do not know where, and i am sure Sony does not know either.



    This is a good move by HP. It's always better to control the hardware and software. It's funny how many are now choosing this method instead of a ton of manufacturers under one OS.



    Sony's problem is that they're lousy at making software. Even if they bought WebOS, I'm not too sure they would even know what to do with it.
  • Reply 11 of 73
    bullheadbullhead Posts: 493member
    I thought HP was M$'s best pal? Sure M$ must not like HP doing Palm OS...
  • Reply 12 of 73
    sacto joesacto joe Posts: 742member
    I agree - this is a good move by HP. It will take time, of course, and Apple, Google, and Microsoft won't be holding still in the interim. But over time, it could at least get HP's paddle in the water.



    The most interesting aspect of this is that they'll need to pretty much abandon Microsoft to do this, which will actually help Apple and Google in the near term.



    Apple has REALLY stirred up the ant hill!
  • Reply 13 of 73
    I find it interesting that HP keeps buying failing companies. Did they not learn from Compaq?
  • Reply 14 of 73
    postulantpostulant Posts: 1,270member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    HP just hasn't developed the ecosystem to make this a success. Google has search & Google Docs among other thing. Apple has OS X iPods ipads & more. HP will have to acquire more companies and start taking more risks if they want to succeed.



    I think it would succeed simply because it's an alternate to Windows. There are many who absolutely adore Windows, then there are others who would rather place an appendage in a meat grinder than have to live with anything attached to MS.



    Palm has a loyal base as does HP. Throw some innovation into it and price the thing cheap enough and they may fly off the shelves. Heck, I'd buy one to play with.



    Ecosystem? Who needs a stinking ecosystem? Just kidding! I suspect it will connect wirelessly with HP printers, hard drives, and cameras - those are fantastic selling points for a lot of people. Throw in Palm's wireless charging pad and the ability to sync wirelessly with your computer, and we have a new ball game, captain.
  • Reply 15 of 73
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by xebeche View Post


    I find it interesting that HP keeps buying failing companies. Did they not learn from Compaq?



    Whose value included Digital and Tandem ... for their cash cow, long-term corporate and government maintenance renewal contracts (not synergistic, nor innovative, just pillaging to improve cash flow).
  • Reply 16 of 73
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,271member
    Looks like the HP Windows 7 based Slate may never see the light of day





    I say good. HP needs to grow a pair and stop hanging on Microsoft's nads.
  • Reply 17 of 73
    postulantpostulant Posts: 1,270member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    Looks like the HP Windows 7 based Slate may never see the light of day





    I say good. HP needs to grow a pair and stop hanging on Microsoft's nads.



    Thanks for sharing.... And I agree with you.
  • Reply 18 of 73
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,271member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Postulant View Post


    Thanks for sharing.... And I agree with you.



    I worked solely around HP product lines for the last 4 years. I must say that I'm glad that HP stepped up and decided to get in the game. Yes it's going to strain their relationship with Microsoft but this mobile market is too lucrative to sit on the sidelines.



    HP should make some strategic acquisitions in support of this. Yes ..I mean hit CTRL C and develop an HP iLife.



    They've got Snapfish for photography and some other stuff they can piece together. Give everything a nice unified UI and tie it in with WebOS as much as possible.
  • Reply 19 of 73
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by str1f3 View Post


    This is a good move by HP. It's always better to control the hardware and software. It's funny how many are now choosing this method instead of a ton of manufacturers under one OS.



    Sony's problem is that they're lousy at making software. Even if they bought WebOS, I'm not too sure they would even know what to do with it.



    I agree with you. HP still has a lot of talent and money. If they can leave the Palm 'division' alone, there could be some surprises. But that's a big if.
  • Reply 20 of 73
    Many of the Palm Engineers are from Apple and many of them also worked for Be Inc. on the BeOS.



    These guys and gals are very bright and experienced engineers and they have taste when it comes to user interfaces. Be Inc. came out with some nice tablets with very nice UIs running the BeOS in the early '90s.



    I don't think HP + Palm can beat the iPad but they will sure give iPad a run for its money.

    They will keep Apple on it's toes and that's a good thing.



    Time will tell.
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