Why HP’s big bet on beleaguered Palm will flop

invisibleSHIELD case for iPad“Why is HP spending $1.2 billion on Palm?” Dan Frommer asks for Forbes.

“Not just to get into the fast growing smartphone industry, but to end its reliance on Microsoft Windows as the basis for its hardware gadgets,” Frommer writes. “This is an ambitious task, and could obviously have a big payoff if it’s successful. HP will invest hundreds of millions of dollars into the project, and will certainly make some noise.”

But the odds of this working are very low, and HP’s plan will probably not be successful,” Frommer writes. “The problem is that WebOS, despite its nice user interface and some nice technical qualities, is a failed platform. Consumers haven’t found a need to buy Palm devices instead of Apple or Android devices… And, as importantly, developers haven’t found a need to develop for WebOS, either. Without unique apps, there’s no reason to have a unique platform.”

Frommer writes, “So the odds are likely that HP’s big bet will be a flop, and that it’ll have to go crawling back to Windows or Android, whichever is the dominant consumer electronics platform in a few years.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Oh, goody, we get to use our new quote already: “HP’s acquisition of Palm means that not only is HP sick and tired of being stuck with and dependent upon perpetual laggard Microsoft, but, more importantly, yet another smartphone/slate PC OS will live to confuse the market. This will significantly benefit the one company that has repeatedly proven its ability to distinguish itself above all others: Apple. The more confused the marketplace, the faster customers will flock to Apple’s trusted brand and quality products.” – MacDailyNews Take, April 28, 2010, 4:45pm EDT


  1. Me thinks this is HP’s way of getting a software division. I’m more inclined to believe they are feeling the pressure in the PC business, and want to be able to offer vertically integrated products across the board, not just an iPhone or iPad competitor.

    For whatever it is worth, which might not be much, I think they want to develop an OS X competitor as well.

  2. HP or some Palm spokesperson will come up and say;

    “You know the beautiful thing: June 29, 2010, is the two- year anniversary shipment of the iPhone 2008,” (insert idiot spokesman here) said today in an interview in (pick your city). “Not one of those people will still be using an iPhone a month later.” ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  3. I don’t agree. There will be room for 3 competitors in the mobile O/S arena. Obviously Apple will come out on top, but of the 3 systems still standing Web O/S is the best choice. Windows Mobile will die a slow death and after the lawsuit dust settles Droid will be rendered irrelevant. A company like HP has the resources to build Web O/S into a decent competitor. Whether they can execute or not is the real question.

  4. And HP will have the additional expense of supporting Palm Pre and Pixie owners, at least for the duration of their two-year wireless contracts.

    HP should stop selling Pre and Pixie immediately, because they are perceived as being failed inferior products, and do whatever they plan to do with WebOS in their own unreleased products. My guess is that it will serve as the basis for the OS used in there tablet computers. Windows 7 will never cut it (in terms of efficiency) to work effectively in small mobile devices with limited performance and power resources. And I don’t see HP entering the mobile phone market, although I supposed it’s possible just to copy Dell’s moves.

    This reminds me a bit of HP’s foray into selling HP-branded iPods. They never took it very seriously, and the “experiment” soon ended (very quietly).

  5. Yup didn’t take the ‘experts’ long to see that this is a show of no confidence in what is supposed to be HP’s new bestest buddy Microsoft by being primed to show off the capabilities of Windows. Despite all that making up they have done this last few years too, obviously absence doesn’t make the heart grow fonder after all, more chairs go flying in Redmond.

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