What new devices can we expect from HP’s acquisition of Palm?


After various speculation and murmurings of HTC, Google, and other companies, it was officially announced yesterday afternoon that HP will be buying Palm, who had been struggling with poor sales. The $1.2 billion acquisition is set to be finalized by the 31st of July with current Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein and much of the current Palm hierarchy staying with the company. Many details remain to be worked out including the future role of the Palm branding, but so far it's looking fairly positive for the company, its future products, and the highly regarded WebOS.

During a conference call with company representatives and journalists to discuss the deal, some interesting bits of information were passed on spurring our imaginations to wonder how HP would move forwards with its new property. As it stands, it seems that HP will be supporting Palm's existing product hardware roadmap with future releases of WebOS smartphones, but more intriguingly HP emphasized its view that WebOS is a "prized asset" that it will be looking to "scale it across multiple connected devices." HP's Todd Bradley even went as far as saying that "between smartphones, slates, and potentially netbooks, there are a lot of opportunities here."


So the question now is what new products running WebOS does HP have in mind?

It seems quite likely that it will take the well-traveled tablet route, with a concluding slide during the conference call showing the HP Slate, Palm Pre, and Pixi side-by-side (above). With the HP slate taking up the 10-inch space, perhaps they are thinking of something between 5- and 7-inches to rival the Dell Mini 5/Streak. The mention of netbooks is interesting too, as it would also need to be something that doesn't steal sales from HP's existing line of traditional netbooks. Could it be a smaller ultraportable smartbook? This is all speculation but the possibilities are plentiful.

Coming back to Palm's core smartphone space, it will be exciting to see how the company competes with Apple, Google, Microsoft, etc. with HP's big financial muscle backing it up. What are your thoughts on HP's acquisition of Palm? And what products do you expect to come out of the union?

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Jeremy To

Jeremy is a former editor at Pocketables.

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7 thoughts on “What new devices can we expect from HP’s acquisition of Palm?

  • Avatar of Lindsay

    I hope they relaunch the Jornada HPC Clamshell with WebOS and a nice 6.5″ 16:9 screen….:-)

  • HP should definitely come up with 5-7 incher tablets. They will take that market easily. WebOS is great. I would prefer it over Android on that size range. They better update their App count. It’s too low to compete. About 1200 plus Apps.

  • Actually, way off on the app count.

    There’s 2078 in the official App Catalog.

    Then in the Web Distribution feed, there’s 373 apps. In the Beta feed, there’s 147.

    Then through unofficial means, there’s 474 homebrew applications.

    Some of those are duplicates between the multiple feeds, but there’s still much more than 1200.

    I expect having HP’s financial backing will help developers stick with the platform. Plus, in the next few months there should be a ton more PDK applications made available, which should help a great deal as well.

    As it is, there’s already been 50 or so games ported directly from the iPhone by Glu Mobile, Gameloft, and EA, among a few others.

  • I guess I’m off the Pre scene for awhile. LOL. Anyways, I’m talking about the 5-7 incher which needs to have it’s own or redone Apps for it’s resolution.

  • Yeah, I agree that a higher resolution device will need apps to be modified a bit… though what should help for the Mojo apps at least is that those changes should probably be as simple as a few CSS changes, hopefully.

    The PDK stuff is a whole other matter though.

  • Personally I actually think that WebOs is a better platform than android, despite android’s huge market share/app store etc. I just feel Web OS is actually better thought out and better made, i also think the memory management and multitasking kills android.

    Palm just never had the muscle to market it properly and their hardware needs work. However…with this acquisition I really hope they can push WebOs on to a load of tablets and new smart phones and make a real succes of it, they really deserve it after all the hard work they put in on it.

  • I agree. I will pick WebOS over Android any day. But Palm Hardware choice is horrible which killed them.


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