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HP Businesses Cellphones Handhelds The Almighty Buck

HP To Buy Palm For $1.2 Billion 271

Posted by timothy
from the I-like-money dept.
necro81 writes "Palm, Inc., which has struggled in recent months after making a splash with its Pre smartphone, will be bought by HP, the world's largest computer maker. The deal has been approved by both companies' boards, and should be wrapped up this summer. HP will get Palm for about $5.70/share (about 20% above today's closing price), or about $1.2 billion. That's a pretty good deal, considering that in the months following the launch of the Pre on Sprint's network, Palm's share price topped $16. But marketing blunders hindered the Pre's more widespread adoption on other carriers, and the company's very existence has recently seemed in doubt."
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HP To Buy Palm For $1.2 Billion

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  • by xanthos (73578) <xanthos@to k e .com> on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @04:28PM (#32022060)

    Finally a decent OS to run on the SuperDomes!

  • by Lev13than (581686) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @04:31PM (#32022110) Homepage
    Great - does this mean we'll have to make all our calls using RPN?
    1234 555 212 1+ DIAL
    I know it's supposed to be more logical, but it just seems so confusing...
    • I still have my HP48G from circa 1993 and still use it from time to time. But I stopped carrying it in my brief case when the m48 app for the iPhone was released. They have a skin that is the iPhone calculator with a stack and RPN which is brilliant if I'm not having to do complex scientific or financial work.

      I also have their business calculator that I needed for one test in college. Only thing the HP48 wouldn't do: modified internal rate of return.

    • Great - does this mean we'll have to make all our calls using RPN?
      1234 555 212 1+ DIAL
      I know it's supposed to be more logical, but it just seems so confusing...

      I had a HP 48GX calculators with RPN for years when it broke down I bought a HP 50G and just assumed it had RPN. For a while after I fired it up for the first time I was a afraid I had wasted my money until I figured out that you can change the thing from the default infix mode to RPN. I've gotten so used to RPN that I can hardly use infix calculators any more.

    • by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @05:27PM (#32023002) Homepage

      Great - does this mean we'll have to make all our calls using RPN?
      1234 555 212 1+ DIAL
      I know it's supposed to be more logical, but it just seems so confusing...

      You won't have to do it in RPN ... you will, however, have to adapt to HP making yet another random variant on the layout of the keyboard as HP plays "spin the wheel of keyboards". It won't be QWERTY, but it might be QVELTI.

      I swear, I have never seen two HP keyboards with the buttons in the same place -- and, sometimes they have buttons I've never seen before. I mean, seriously, I've seen HP keyboards where the left-shift key was the size of a penny with a completely redundant "\" + "|" key to the right of it when there was already one of those in the usual place above the "enter". What the hell??

      There really needs to be a law about making up new keyboards layouts for no good &*^%*(*&*%# reason.

      • by kestasjk (933987) *
        I'm on an HP laptop and don't notice any difference from my lat desktops/laptops. Maybe things like the delete key in a different spot but that always varies from manufacturer to manufacturer
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cmacb (547347)

      Actually that will be great! We can finally get rid of those parentheses we put around the area code.

  • Doomed (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gyrogeerloose (849181)

    If the direction the quality of HP printers is heading is any indication, say goodbye to Palm.

    They used to be the best. Now, I wouldn't touch one.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Say what you will but HP is one of very few that actually fully support Linux. Not long ago I got one of their new multifunction inkjets and it works across the board with Linux (wireless printing, wireless scanning, everything) and I didn't need to do anything special to make it work. Good luck getting that anywhere else.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by gyrogeerloose (849181)

        Say what you will but HP is one of very few that actually fully support Linux

        Okay, I'll give them that. I guess I'm mostly dismayed by how far HP has fallen over the years. At one time, a person could count on anything he bought from them to be a good product, probably the best available. Beginning with the Carly Fiorina era, though, it's been all downhill for them. They don't even make all that great built-like-a-brick-shithouse test equipment that they built their reputation on anymore.

      • by penguinboy (35085)
        The driver situation has gotten much worse over the years. It used to be the case the HP Printer == PCL. Now they sell lots of "WinPrinters" that follow no particular standard.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Abcd1234 (188840)

      If the direction the quality of HP printers is heading is any indication

      Yes, because god knows the only thing HP makes is printers, and therefore printers are the perfect barometer for how Palm will fair under their auspices...

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by AuMatar (183847)

        It is pretty much all they make. Its half the revenue of the company, and they sold all the interesting shit off as Agilent more than a decade ago. Now its crappy printers, crappy PCs, and some services to big businesses.

        • by CdBee (742846)
          Agreed. HPs laptops have never been reliable enough to endow their maker with any reputation for quality. They must have earned it on their office/network equipment.... (oh, and the Jornada PDA range)
          • by kestasjk (933987) *
            My HP laptop is fine, no better or worse than Dell. Also cheap HP printers are a nightmare, but the more expensive ones are much better.
        • by Khyber (864651)

          That's all you see. HP still makes tons of things, even medical equipment. My x-rays were taken using an HP piece of equipment.

          www.hp.com/go/medical

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          This is flat out incorrect

          In January 2010 HP's revenue = 31.1 B

          The breakdown by business unit is as follows:

          Enterprise Business (Services/Storage/Servers): $13.9B
          Personal Systems Group (Notebooks/Desktops/etc): $10B
          Imaging and Printing: $6.2B

          The printing segment composes less than 20% of HP's total revenue.
          • The printer division, however, accounts for just short of 50% of the total profits (a bit over $1 billion in Q2 2009). There are two sections that make the profits at HP: services and printers. The Personal Systems Group - the group that Fiorina tried to bolster through the acquisition of Compaq - was about 1/3 of either the Printer and Imaging or the Services group. And the Services group is that large only because of HPs recent acquisitions of EDS and Mercury Interactive.

            So yes, HP is basically printers a

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by aliquis (678370)

        .. right, they also make printer accessories.

    • Re:Doomed (Score:5, Funny)

      by athakur999 (44340) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @05:57PM (#32023404) Journal

      On the plus side, it means they'll sell the new Palm phones for practically nothing!

      However, replacement batteries will cost $100. Also, they can't be recharged and the one that comes with the phone will only last you about 10 minutes.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by aliquis (678370)

      That is a problem everywhere, I feel the same about girls born 1979, Amiga, Ericsson, ..

    • by hitmark (640295)

      and here i had the impression that they had improved...

  • Return of the iPaq? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jacks smirking reven (909048) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @04:32PM (#32022142)
    Smart move if HP is thinking about getting back into the phone business. They probably threw the idea around and came to the conclusion that they'd be another also-ran if they just pushed Android/WP7 sets (Especially since thats the move Dell is making)

    As a Pre owner I would be glad to see WebOS on some adequate hardware, and in a tablet form as well.
    • Pre Plus is the adequate hardware.
    • ... They probably threw the idea around and came to the conclusion that they'd be another also-ran if they just pushed Android/WP7 sets (Especially since thats the move Dell is making) ...

      Android also has a new business risk since it is a Google brand. When making that build-or-buy decision you want your partner to be non-controversial, you don't want your company to be collateral damage in another company's fight with the Chinese government. Fair or not, just or not, Google is a riskier partner than they used to be. This is not the only factor to consider but it must have been part of the Android decision.

      --
      Perpenso Calc [perpenso.com] for iPhone and iPod touch, scientific and bill/tip calculator,

  • by jdastrup (1075795) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @04:33PM (#32022160)
    I wondered why at first, but then figured out that HP can let Palm and its products die completely, while making money with the patents alone.
    • by rdean400 (322321) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @04:37PM (#32022232)

      The press release makes clear that HP intends to continue with webOS. In the press conference, they say they're intending to go forward with Android and Windows Phone gear as well.

      Expect new webOS products (not just phones, but tablets as well).

      • by jarrettwold2002 (601633) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @04:42PM (#32022328)

        tablets with webOS would be slick as all hell.

        • Think about it, HP isn't run by some CEO that can reject to have World's de facto plugin just because he personally hates it.

          Flash+Firefox core+open OS that does do everything a laptop would do would be the true killer thing. It isn't coming from a no name company either, it is HP who has real big prestige both at home and enterprise.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ProppaT (557551)

          Tablets with WebOS WOULD be slick as hell. My only concern is form factor. If they leave palm in control of form factors, etc. then I have no worries. But when is the last time that you saw an HP laptop with good stylings or, at very least, a form factor that makes sense? I don't trust HP with intelligently designed products. I think this is part of the reason why everyone really hoped that HTC would snag up Palm. HTC actually learns from their mistakes.

          The best thing that can come out of this deal fo

      • by Prien715 (251944)

        Is there business mantra "Focus on everything?"

        You can't have 3 product lines of phones/tablets on totally different architectures and expect to succeed without separating them out as brands...and even then, it's not clear what's to gain.

      • by mgblst (80109)

        What the fuck does the press release have to do with anything? Do you think that they can't outright lie in a press release? Where have you been all these years?

    • by sootman (158191)

      They could, but they're announcing very publicly that they won't. [hp.com]

      "Palm's innovative operating system provides an ideal platform to expand HP's mobility strategy and create a unique HP experience spanning multiple mobile connected devices."

      I would love nothing more than to see HP return to its old greatness and produce great products. I love my iPhone and plan to get an iPad but it is, believe it or not, physically possible for other companies to do good things too.

  • Maybe HP Can put out some better hardware with Android OS now.....

    • Re:Android... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by LWATCDR (28044) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @04:52PM (#32022470) Homepage Journal

      Why?
      WebOS has a better UI than Android does. And yes I am an Android user my wife has a Pre. WebOS is a good OS that had a STUPID SDK for a long time. They have fixed that and will soon offer access to the camera and mic which should help even more.

  • As a Pre owner, I find this a relief. I was worried Palm was just going to fade away.

    And I'm glad the buyer has no existing smartphone business, so WebOS will be its sole platform.

    • Re:A relief... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TheRaven64 (641858) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @05:01PM (#32022622) Journal

      I was worried Palm was just going to fade away.

      Yup, now it's going to enjoy the same level of long term success as the Alpha, OpenVMS, Tru64...

  • HP still around? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Eggbloke (1698408)

    HP, the world's largest computer maker.

    HP are still that big? I haven't seen one of their products in years.

  • I was like "yay Palm survives". Then I thought about it, why is HP getting into the cell phone market? It doesn't make sense.

    • by rdean400 (322321)

      They were in the phone business, but lacked a compelling product. The press release says that buying Palm gives them what they need to compete.

    • by tgd (2822)

      HP (in the form of Compaq) created the smartphone market.

      They're still one of the largest WinMo phone manufacturers.

      • by mgblst (80109)

        Fuck off, they didn't start anything. They brought the big guns to the table with the first Compaq iPaq, but there were plenty of other WinMo phones release at exactly the same time, and they weren't the first smartphones.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by tgd (2822)

          Fuck off, they didn't start anything.

          You might want to ask your doc to up your meds ...

  • I wonder why... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by monoqlith (610041) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @04:38PM (#32022258)

    It's amazing the effect that one [youtube.com] creepy [youtube.com] girl [youtube.com] can have on a share price.

    Seriously. That last one is the worst. Using a phone is like the transmigration of souls?

    Boo. In fairness, it's not the girl's fault at all.

  • by plover (150551) * on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @04:39PM (#32022260) Homepage Journal

    By "marketing blunders", do they mean Palm's "The Most Pale Woman in the World" campaign? Because I've gotta say, she really didn't sell me on a Palm, or anything else.

    She looked more like an extra from the Lord of the Rings (generic elf maiden #38) than a spokesmodel for a technical product.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by gyrogeerloose (849181)

      By "marketing blunders", do they mean Palm's "The Most Pale Woman in the World" campaign? Because I've gotta say, she really didn't sell me on a Palm, or anything else.

      Agreed. That's got to be one of the worst ad campaigns ever--worse than Microsoft's abominable Bill Gates/Jerry Seinfeld ads, even. Palm should have gone after their ad agency and demanded a refund.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by rxan (1424721)

      She looked more like an extra from the Lord of the Rings (generic elf maiden #38) than a spokesmodel for a technical product.

      I thought I recognized her.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Mordaximus (566304)

      Just for reference sake, her name is Tamara Hope [imdb.com]. She's actually quite pretty.

  • Release loads of nice phones with WebOS, lots of different form factors and at a good price.

    WebOS is a great OS, it is the hardware that sucks at the moment.

    • The Pre Plus is a nice piece of hardware. I came from a WinMo5 XV6700. Using my Palm Pre Plus is like heaven in comparison.
  • Buying it back... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Hobbex (41473) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @04:42PM (#32022308)

    Since HP already own 3COM, who spun off Palm in 2000 (with a first day valuation of something like 30 times what they are paying for it today), one could almost say that Palm is being bought back after 10 (not so happy) years as an independent company.

  • If IBM were to buy HP+Palm, it would be the ultimate congolmerate of once-great companies.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mgblst (80109)

      Palm messed up a long time ago. They had the initial momentum, a great product, but then they failed to add anything to hardware or software for years, while iPaq and their kin came over and owned the higher end.

      Palm owned this space, and messed up big time, when they could have ruled it all.

  • A1 to Buy Canola for $1.4 billion
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @05:01PM (#32022628)

    Facepalm

  • Now that Carly Fiorina isn't around to fuck HP any longer, it's now girlfriend is it's Palm.

  • Hopefully... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by aodash (776554)
    HP won't pull an Oracle - ruin Palm the way Oracle has ruined Sun.
  • New name (Score:4, Funny)

    by adenied (120700) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @05:50PM (#32023302)

    Perhaps their new name should be HPalm3Compaq.

  • No (Score:3, Informative)

    by Dunbal (464142) * on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @05:53PM (#32023338)

    HP BOUGHT Palm. Shares of PALM are no longer traded on the NASDAQ as of market close today. If you were short, you owe a lot of money...

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by NiteMair (309303)

      Which is why they're still trading in after hours (for as much as $5.94/share last I checked)... and the deal won't even be finalized until July 31st.

      Even then, there's already a class action lawsuit being setup to investigate the "speedy" sale and Palm's fiduciary duty to its shareholders:

      http://www.zlk.com/palm.html [zlk.com]

      I wouldn't be so certain this is a finalized deal quite yet...

  • I guess it was the 'shirts' that decided Palm's handwriting recognition was 'too valuable' to license...idiots. The time for using that had seemed passed, and nowdays with touch-screen oriented smartphones, it sounds like a good idea, again.

    This sounds silly; but I STILL have a couple of Palm 5's around here. When I was a security guard, I could actually watch a line for activity, while writing on the Palm, without worrying about it being readable. I *SO* prefer it to the number-pad texting; it's so much fa

  • Watch out, Microsoft employees! Flying chair hazard!

  • by Shag (3737) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @06:29PM (#32023822) Homepage

    Does my memory fail me, or is HP the company that couldn't even do a decent job of selling iPods, the handheld-electronics equivalent of crack-covered pancakes?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by vaporland (713337)
      Well, after Apple sold HP a load of iPods, they lowered the price so that HP was stuck selling at the old price, or the new price at a loss... that was a classic RDF execution....
  • They're going to revive BeOS!

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