HP’s Palm Buyout Goes Beyond Smartphones

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By Amy Gilroy
Fresh from its announced $1.2 billion buyout of Palm, HP hinted it wants Palm’s technology for more than just smartphones. HP, which makes 1 out of every 5 PCS shipped, plans to use Palm’s smartphone OS in many products, said HP exec VP of the personal systems group Todd Bradley in a conference call late Wednesday.
Could we see tablets, netbooks and notebooks running Palm’s webOS—famed for delivering full multitasking on a smartphone before Apple’s iPhone? Bradley seems to think so, claiming, “We see further opportunities beyond smartphones into additional connected form factors.” Through the deal, HP also gets a jump start on an app store for its products as Palm already operates a functioning app store with about 2,000 apps.
Analysts were quick to weigh in last night on the vast implications of the HP/Palm deal announced Wednesday afternoon. IDC said, “The purchase by HP is arguably the best exit strategy the beleaguered Palm could have asked for. For HP, the purchase is a modest risk at establishing a firm position in the fast growing smartphone market, acquiring an OS, and diversifying its connected mobile device strategy.”
iSuppli said any company that wants to be dominant in computing must gain a foothold in the wireless world with apps and ecommerce, which is what HP will be acquiring through Palm.
But smartphones are also an important part of the deal. Palm has a great operating system on its phones, which iSuppli says is better than the iPhone’s OS. But Palm only had a 1.5 percent share of the smartphone market in Q4 last year with little growth, while the greater smartphone market is skyrocketing, with growth of over 35 percent. The idea is that HP’s deep pockets and global scale can help leverage Palm’s technology.
HP expects to close the deal in the third quarter.
Source: CEoutlook
Photo: Palm’s Pre smartphone offers the coveted multitasking capability

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