BREAKING: HP is to acquire Palm for $1.2 billion or $5.70 per share.
It’s perhaps no surprise that Palm’s been bought – a sale has been on the cards – but nobody that I know of, me included, had considered HP to be in the mix. That said, upon reflection it seems quite a good fit.
First up, the companies’ cultures (and brand) have a good chance of being compatible. Both are US-based, have their roots in Silicon Valley, and are strong brands in North America. HP obviously has much leverage globally too.
Best of all, HP clearly values Palm’s relatively new webOS and unlike other potential buyers isn’t soaking up Palm purely for its patent portfolio. Engadget reports that HP is “doubling down” on webOS and has mentioned Internet tablets and other mobile devices along with smartphones. This is excellent news as it’s webOS that most excites me about Palm’s future…
On that note, HP says it will keep Palm as a separate business unit within the company and that Palm’s current chairman and CEO, Jon Rubinstein, is “expected to remain with the company.”
And finally, and this is crucial, HP should be able to provide Palm and its brand with the marketing dollars required to compete with the likes of Apple, BlackBerry, Nokia etc. and says that building relations with the largest carriers around the world is a priority. Marketing budgets and carrier relations I believe are not unconnected.
Palm is dead.
Long live Palm.