Breaking: HP agrees to acquire Palm for $1.2b

28 Apr

After a couple of months of speculation about who’d acquire Palm, with HTC and Lenovo considered to be the frontrunners, HP today took everyone by surprise by announcing that it will be acquiring Palm for $1.2 billion. Palm, one of the pioneers of PDAs, encountered choppy seas when its smartphones running on its innovative webOS platform failed to deliver numbers.

“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,” HP said in a press release.

The press release also states that Palm’s CEO, Jon Rubinstein, is expected to stay back at the company. Rubinstein was responsible for developing webOS.

HP had been active in the smartphone market till a couple of years ago with its iPaq range of Windows Mobile devices but could not really make a niche for itself. We are not convinced at the moment how HP intends to garner a respectable share in the smartphone market, considering that it is already crowded with three major players – Apple, RIM and Google. It is not webOS that is crucial at the moment. Instead it would be how interested developers would be to develop apps for the platform. Still early days to pass any judgements and we will wait and watch how things pan out.

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