We have known for some time that Palm has been in trouble, partly because of Verizon's poor marketing of the Pre and Pixi smartphones. After searching for a buyer and being turned down by everyone, including the manufacturer of their devices, HTC, HP has stepped up and purchased the struggling handset maker for $1.2 billion.
HP feels that Palm has a lot to offer the company who has had nothing but bad luck in the competitive smartphone market. Todd Bradley, Executive Vice President of HP's Personal Systems Group said,
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. 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.
Palm's executive team seems to be excited about this acquisition as well. Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein said,
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. We look forward to working with HP to continue to deliver industry-leading mobile experiences to our customers and business partners.
The idea with HP's acquisition is to take the existing Palm brand and expand its offerings into the tablet PC market and possibly even small desktops. With the addition of webOS to the HP family, HP's upcoming slate PCs will be able to be run by webOS instead of Windows 7, allowing for the price to be lower while not sacrificing multi-tasking, multi-touch or any other major features customers will be expecting.
There's a possibility that HP may have just bought a $1.2 billion toy, or they may be about to revolutionize the mobile connected device market. Either way, only time will tell.