Monday, May 03, 2010

HP Buys Palm

We wrote recently that Palm was wobbling and that we saw little for it in the current mobile market. We blinked and in stepped Hewlett-Packard to put a relative massive $1.2bn on the table to acquire them.

Are we seeing the next change within the mobile market with just a handful of companies aiming control their market offer very closely such as Apple and the games industry players? On the other hand will we continue to see the separation of the platform and the hardware such as Google’s Android with Samsung, HTC, LG etc.

If HP now sees mobile market becoming a set of competing ‘worlds’ (Apple, RIM, Nokia) all of which own their operating platform, devices and ecosystems, then buying Palm makes sense. However if that is the logic some would suggest it’s a big gamble. After all WebOS isn’t exactly burning up the market and there is still the question of the apps store.

Is HP looking to Palm to help secure the competitive position against Apple? It has the cash to make a splash and raise awareness. It has the infrastructure to channel a range of devices. It may see that it has to compete in the emerging mobile media space before Apple and Google steal it. Does this mean that HP may be starting to move away from Mircosoft platforms?

Palm may offer HP the platform, but at a heavy price.

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