HP Buys Long Suffering Palm Brand For $1.2 Billion

Business & Tech News: PalmPilot

Before the iPhone, even before the Blackberry, there was the PalmPilot. On the cutting edge of technology and in the pocket of every suit back in the late nineties, Palm Computing pioneered the Personal Digital Assistant (PDAs). Though the company has found moderate success as of late in the smartphone market with their Palm Centro and Pre models, their weak market share is indicative of the shortcomings that have plagued the company for some time now, including 11 straight quarterly losses and huge inventories of unsold phones.

Computing giant Hewlett-Packard hopes to change all of that. In an announcement made today after the closing of the stock market, the company broadcast its plans to acquire the struggling phone maker for a whopping $1.2 billion. This decision caused more than a few raised eyebrows, with the combination of HP's nonexistent presence in the smartphone industry, Palm's miniscule share that they bring, and the stiff competition that they now face against Apple and Research In Motion Ltd. (makers of the Blackberry).

HP bigwigs at least put on a brave face for our benefit, as executive vice president Todd Bradley quotes, "Palm's innovative operating system provides an ideal platform to expand HP's mobility strategy... Palm possesses significant IP assets and has a highly skilled team." He also hints to CBS News of a great expansion in Palm development with an equally great financial investment. Already HP has supposedly received "enormous interest" from partners about future potential. Additionally, Palm's CEO Jon Rubenstein is "very excited" and, for now, plans to stay with the company.


HP is a no-show in the smartphone market till now but they had a great set of PDAs just a few years ago.

Acquiring Palm gives HP a ready-made smartphone business and all of the IP and patents that comes with Palm.

It's worth noting that the latest Palm phones have been well received if somewhat overshadowed by the latest android and Apple offerings. If HP can get better carrier uptake for the phones they could do very well against the rebooted windows mobile lines.