Palm Hands Over to HP

Contributing Editor

Smartphone and PDA manufacturer Palm, Inc has been saved following its self-enforced sale earlier this month. The situation had looked bleak after Lenovo and HTC pulled out. Pre and Pixi owners can now relax — HP has entered into a definitive agreement under which it will purchase Palm.

According to the HP press release:

HP and Palm, Inc. today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which HP will purchase Palm, a provider of smartphones powered by the Palm webOS mobile operating system, at a price of $5.70 per share of Palm common stock in cash or an enterprise value of approximately $1.2 billion. The transaction has been approved by the HP and Palm boards of directors.

The combination of HP’s global scale and financial strength with Palm’s unparalleled webOS platform will enhance HP’s ability to participate more aggressively in the fast-growing, highly profitable smartphone and connected mobile device markets. Palm’s unique webOS will allow HP to take advantage of features such as true multitasking and always up-to-date information sharing across applications.

Palm CEO Jon Rubenstein is expected to stay with the company. He commented:

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.

The deal offers significant benefits to both companies:

  • Palm will survive. They struggled to sell the critically-acclaimed Pre in a market dominated by the Apple iPhone.
  • While HP has a long-term relationship with Microsoft to provide Windows-based smartphones, the Palm deal gives them an OS of their own.

HP announced they will invest heavily in Palm’s webOS platform. We’re likely to see it appear in a range of mobile devices including netbooks and iPad-like tablets.

It’s great news for web developers since webOS applications can be written in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. There is a free SDK available for Windows, Mac and Linux and there’s less proprietary do-as-we-say approval nonsense you find on other devices!

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  • kre8iv1

    It is such a shame that Palm (originally USRobotics) has been handed off to so many different companies over the years. It seems like no one knows what to do with such a revolutionary product and forward thinking technology. I am wondering if HP will be the difference this time. If this collaboration works maybe I will get another Palm. It’s just a very insecure feeling not knowing where to get technical support for a Palm product from one day to the next. We shall see.

  • JHig310336

    As I said before, “the end Palm is near!”

    HP doesn’t really want Palm but the Palm purchase does allow HP to gain access to Palm’s WebOS platform. This is HP’s say to developing their own WebOS, proprietary touchscreen tablet, in an effort to take on the iPad. In addition, HP may us WebOS to get back into the mobile market … picture HP products tailored to mirror Apple product.