back to article HP agrees to buy Palm for $1.2bn

HP has agreed to buy beleaguered handheld maker Palm for $1.2bn. The two companies announced the deal with a press release Wednesday afternoon, and they plan to hold a joint conference call with analysts and stockholders later in the day. HP has agreed to purchase the company behind the Pre smartphone and its webOS at a price …


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  1. eric_h


    Can't remember the last time I saw a iPaq or a Palm being used by anyone...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Predictably, a fanboi shows up

      FWIW, I have one: it's a Treo 680 that's about 4 or 5 years old. Got it from my company when we adopted Treos because user testing showed they were preferred to BlackBerry's offering of the time. Good touchscreen, pretty ruggedly built (I drop it constantly and it's still not dead), very good integration with Exchange through GoodLink, nice button size for typing. I like it (although I am just about to change it for a Nokia E61 'cos they're free and my contract is up). I had the Treo 700 on Win Mobile and that was a disaster, though.

    2. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

      I still have my

      Tungsten T3

      1. Steve Adams

        T3... mmmmmm

        I loved my T3.

        When it gave up (battery died) I went for a TX (which had better specs and built in wifi) but wasn't as nice as the T3 with the lovely slidey-case-thing. :-)

        I finally (after a long wait and keeping of the faith) gave up on Palm and went Android (Hero) last Autumn. It seems Palm gave up on me (& other Palm customers/loyal supporters) when it kept making devices with silly little keyboards.

        Now.. An updated T3 in 2008 with


        Graffiti (I know the issue/problem of capacitive vs resistive screens)

        a phone built in

        backward compatibility to PalmOS

        that would have been great.

        Shame tho. I don't see the HP bail-out achieving much.

        Why don't they adopt Android instead?

        What's Palm got that they want to spend a billions $s on?


        1. Kamal Hashmi

          What best replaces the PDA-ness of a Palm now...

          So does the Hero fully sync with multiple computers?

          I've been using Palms since '98 - it very effectively replaced my bulging filofax with it's scribbled notes/appointments and out-of-date addresses. What I really liked was that it would sync everything with both my home and work PC so if it was nicked I could recover all the data.

          I was very tempted by the iPhone but I discovered it wouldn't sync notes at the time. Now I believe you can only sync with one PC. Has it got better as a PDA Palm replacement? I don't give a shit about the games or beer&fart applications...

          Anyone got any real experience with any of the other smartphones - do they work well as PDAs with full sync with multiple PCs?

        2. Anonymous Coward

          Just a guess...

          "What's Palm got that they want to spend a billions $s on?"

          I am guessing some valuable IP patents, they don't want the likes of Apple, Google or MS getting their greasy mitts on!

  2. Neil 7
    Thumb Up

    Good move by HP in terms of hardware

    As they gain a cache of useful IP and a respected hardware brand to boot.

    However I can't help thinking the world already has enough mobile operating systems as it is, and so I just don't see the value in WebOS over the longer term.

    If HP want to become a player in the mobile space they should go with Android, MeeGo or even Windows Phone. If they stick with WebOS, they'll be a niche player in the US with barely any presence in the rest of the world.

    WebOS is an interesting UI built on top of Linux, but it's not worth $1.2bn. If HP like the WebOS UI so much they should port it to run on top of another OS (preferably MeeGo) and collaborate on the development and direction of that OS along with Intel, Nokia and dozens of other companies rather than spend vast amounts of time and money doing their own thing.

    1. Eddy Ito


      "WebOS is an interesting UI built on top of Linux, but it's not worth $1.2bn. If HP like the WebOS UI so much they should port it to run on top of another OS (preferably MeeGo)"

      MeeGo is Linux so if they would like I'm available this weekend to do the port... for a reasonable fee of course. I'm sure I could dig up a couple of guys to get started on the Android port right in this forum. Heck, it might even be possible to merge the three with a proper number of ales.

  3. MacRat

    HP Product Changes

    HP to put WebOS on printers.

    Will discontinue phones.

  4. Daniel B.

    Dump iPAQs, keep Palmphones with webOS

    I'd like to see HP dumping the crappy WinMo stuff. Especially now that Windows Phone 7 is coming, which sucks donkey balls.

    WebOS at the very least has PalmOS/GarnetOS backwards compatiblity, and there are still some apps out there for that OS.

    Palm should live on, it wasn't that bad, was it?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      win mobile 7 sux?

      and just how would you possibly know this? pls post pics of your phone with this mysterious os along with details of which features exactly are dissatisfying to you.

  5. maajka

    It's good

    webOS is a nice thing and it would suck to see it go down like UIQ.

  6. InITForTheMoney

    WebOS on slate?

    I think we'll see WebOS on future versions of the slate as well as on phones, it wouldn't surprise me if the slate line, MP3 players, personal media players and the Palm products were all put in the same division with WebOS as the OS for all of those devices, it could even go as far as PVR style appliances or other forms of home entertainment appliances.

    HP actually has the cash, the buying power and the manufacturing relationships necessary to be a credible player in these markets, it's actually quite shocking how much HP actually owns, if it bought in a music store and player app like realnetworks or napster it could get a slice of the iTunes and app store success, not the whole cake, but a nice enough slice.

  7. Not Terry Wogan


    Whoops! Palm's board and shareholders must be laughing themselves to sleep! HP have vastly overestimated Palm's value.

    Unless I've missed something, the major assets Palm holds that anyone would be interested in are webOS and the Palm brand itself. Both valuable in the right hands, but hardly worth $1.2bn. Divide that number by five and they could have got a good deal and a fair price.

    I wonder how much Windows Phone 7 has got to do with this? Perhaps HP are in a panic because they want to sell handheld devices to the corporate sector, but the looming Windows Phone 7 seems to be chasing consumers at the expense of support and functionality corporates are looking for.

    1. Raumkraut

      Patently obvious

      I guess you're unaware of Palm's patent portfolio then.

      Remember that Palm were at the forefront of hand-held computing when it was just beginning, so they hold some pretty fundamental patents in the area. If you want to make a smartphone, for example, Palm (now HP I guess) is one of the companies you will have get a patent license from.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    File under life is strange...

    It would appear that every company I've sent my resume to/interviewed with since late 2008 has been bought out... PA Semi -> Apple, Intrinsity -> Apple, Palm -> HP, even my recent application to ARM was followed shortly by rumors of an Apple buyout...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up


      Can you send your CV to Adobe and Microsoft then?

  9. PushF12

    HP will tarpit Palm and WebOS

    HP/Compaq/Digital is a company that stifles and sedates products. I'm not saying that WebOS is good, but its irrelevance is confirmed. The smartphone market has condensed to three platforms: Android, iPhone, and Wince.

    I'm still bitter that Carly killed some of my favorite divisions. They bet on Itanium instead of Alpha (which became the AMD64 chip), the whored their printer division, and they portal-ized AltaVista.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: HP will tarpit Palm and WebOS

      Maybe in the US, but those of us outside enjoy more choice, even though Series 60 on Symbian's UI is a bit clunky these days.

      I can't see another mobile OS harming things, in fact it's an incentive for the others to improve (look at the effect the iPhone had on the competition).

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Oh poop

    Last time I ever buy anything from Palm then - HP will subsume and destroy the IP just like they have done for all the other companies that they've Borged.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't underestimate the value of Palm

    People have no idea what companies have up their sleeve! Everyone was quick to write off the 3COM acquisition as a strange one for HP but digging deeper it looks like a very shrewd move. This could be the same. HP has a negligible presence in the smartphone market currently, Palm's OS has some very neat functionality but has been marketed terribly. It's quite scary the breadth of HP's portfolio. A lot of people might have expected them to gradually withdraw from the Smartphone market and they then seek to bolster their position. It also stops it falling into the hands of the likes of Lenovo who were rumoured to be sniffing round as well.

  12. Mage Silver badge



    WinMob is less than 8% and Symbian > 40%

    in USA RIM is up there with iPhone and Android. Windows Mobile has dropped in USA from over 26% to less than 7 % I think.

    There is also an attempt to launch two new platforms: Samsung's Bada and Nokia/Intel Meego

    We have 8 significant phone platforms (there is also Brew and various other Linux versions apart from Android/Meego etc). Win CE/ Windows Mobile is Dying. The WebOS has been making no traction.

    HP are backing the two bottom of market OSes. What next? Support for Bada?

  13. Thomas 4
    IT Angle

    Unexpected move

    I really expected Palm to end up being bought out by Huwaei(?) or or another Chinese company rather one of the major players like HP. I have fond memories of my Tungsten T3 and my first PDA, an iPAQ 3870. Merging the two together would have been really cool a few years back but in this day and age I'm not sure if it can make a comeback. It certainly won't make a dent in the consumer section, Apple and Android have that wrapped up but it might have a place in the hearts of nostalgic IT managers looking for a RIM alternative for business.

    Above statement may have glaring errors and a demonstrable lack of understanding about corporate IT.

  14. Sean O'Connor 1

    HP rubbish software

    Maybe they just want Palm's software developers (who are obviously very very good) to replace their own (who write the worst, clunkiest, sub-shareware software I've ever come across every time I buy one of their printers or scanners)

  15. Ascylto

    HP eats Palm

    "Palm can survive as an independent company" - Rubinstein, last week.

    He should head up a Political Party in the UK!

    If I were an HP shareholder I'd be looking to locate the hills!

  16. Anonymous Coward

    Money just lying around eh?

    Good to see HP had another massive pile of free cash lying around during these "difficult times" that mean no pay rises for employees of HP for over 2 years now, even on promotion.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Lot's o' cash for some things...

      Let's see - $1.2B for Palm, plenty of cash for Hurd and other EVP bonuses, but employees are still stuck with a 5% pay cut from last year???

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Get your facts right

        The 5% pay cut for the last tax year has been paid back to employees as a lump sum which was not committed at the time it was implemented so fair play to HP!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    "HP has agreed to buy beleaguered handheld maker Palm for $1.2bn."


    “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.”

    The smartphone market is indeed large, profitable and rapidly growing if your device is called iPhone. Advances in mobility are indeed offering significant opportunities for iPhone developers but how HP intends to be a leader in this market is anyones guess? Love it, hate it or don't care about the iPhone everything else just isn't the same. It's going to be a very long time before iPhone begins to lose share to anything else.

  18. Sly
    Thumb Up

    *Takes note on palm Zire*

    8 years old and still tickin.

    Have a Treo 600 also, but the GSM transceiver is starting to get buggered. The PDA part works great though.

    All Palm needs right now is good marketing... something that HP almost knows about (I say almost because their executives tend to screw that up PR on a regular basis).

    I for one am looking forward to potential products.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Before they get married...

    ...will they insist on a Pre nup?

  20. Gil Grissum

    Welcome back Palm

    Had a Handspring back in 2000. Moved on to a Palm Zire and then the Tungsten E. Last Palm was the Centro smart phone. Gave that up just this February for a Black Berry Curve 8310 that doesn't play or stream any video (My old Centro did that with ease). HP keeps Palm alive and gets a Web OS based Smartphone onto AT&T's network (PRE PLUS or better), I will move on to an HP/Palm Web OS Smartphone at my next upgrade cycle, next February. The only reason I don't have a Palm PRE is because I'm on AT&T and they don't have the PRE PLUS but it ever shows up and that's it for the BB.

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