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HTC Walks From Palm Bid, Will Lenovo Step Up? 97

MojoKid writes "Earlier in the month, it was reported that Palm was being shopped around. At that time, two of the main potential suitors were HTC and Lenovo. HTC obviously felt like the best fit. Lately, HTC has shown that it has a penchant for creating fantastic hardware, but it has to rely on Google and Microsoft for software. It seemed as if buying Palm would give HTC the power they needed to move ahead as a standalone unit, pairing HTC hardware with the WebOS mobile operating system. Apparently, that's not going to happen. Based on a new report out of Asia, HTC has declined to place an official bid on Palm, leaving Lenovo as the only other potential buyer at the moment."
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HTC Walks From Palm Bid, Will Lenovo Step Up?

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  • Re:Good on HTC (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 24, 2010 @10:46AM (#31967062)

    You must have never used WebOS or any previous Palm PDAs :)

  • by h00manist ( 800926 ) on Saturday April 24, 2010 @10:49AM (#31967070) Journal
    Do we really want more incompatible software "platforms" than acronyms in our alphabet soup? Does anyone have the courage to stand up and say "compatibility requires talk on standards"?
  • by Dr_Marvin_Monroe ( 550052 ) on Saturday April 24, 2010 @10:54AM (#31967092)

    Sure, HTC buys and OS from MS to put on *some* of it's phones. If you've been watching, that number has been dropping to zero lately.

    HTC does get Android from Google, but that's FOSS, so they are not beholden at all to Google for that...

    I've worked with the folks at HTC, they're bright and highly motivated... Any interest that they've got in Palm is NOT because they need an OS to run.

  • Palm's patents (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 24, 2010 @11:06AM (#31967144)

    Palm's patents are what perhaps would have been interesting for HTC I think, not WebOS. Android sells well.

  • Re:Good on HTC (Score:3, Interesting)

    by WrongSizeGlass ( 838941 ) on Saturday April 24, 2010 @11:23AM (#31967216)
    I don't think HTC or any other handset maker is a good fit for Palm. Portions of the Palm IP would just get absorbed into their existing products and quickly lost to the ages.

    IMHO Cisco would be a good suitor for Palm. Cisco has international manufacturing & distribution, a lot of hardware/software/networking experience, plenty of consumer & corporate products history with their own brand, Linksys and now Flip, and Palm would be a well established brand name and technology base for Cisco to branch out into the "cell phone when away from home and cell phone over VoIP while at home" tech trend that's starting up.
  • There were some speculations that HTC has interest in Palm mainly due to Palm's patent portfolio. Given the upcoming court fight with Apple, it would probably have been nice for HTC to have as much patents as possible in order to get more leverage in the case. HTC's decision most certainly comes after looking at Palm's books, and since they have decided to pass the offer, maybe this means it's not all rainbows and butterflies at the Palm HQ? Coincidentally, yet another Palm exec left (the VP of carrier marketing), and there was also a rumor that even Robinstein himself was abandoning ship (although he allegedly denied this). This all kind of points that Palm may have a very serious problem. I'm not sure what will happen if Lenovo walks away too... On the technical side, it would have been interesting to see WebOS on some of the high-end hardware HTC has released lately. On the other hand, I'm not sure that yet another OS to support is the best thing for HTC, with WM, Android, and the emerging Brew thing...
  • Re:Good on HTC (Score:4, Interesting)

    by obarthelemy ( 160321 ) on Saturday April 24, 2010 @12:18PM (#31967580)

    It seems Palm could not market water to the thirsty.

    The Palm Pilot was the first successful PDA. I'm still using my TX, because it is so reliable and convenient. I'm still looking for as good an experience with smartphones.
    The LifeDrive was everything the iPod is, minus the iTunes store, sexy ads, and "nano" option. Fatal oversights, it seems.
    The Foleo was a netbook, a couple of years before netbooks took off.
    The Treos are basically BlackBerrys without the push mail and the "pro" cachet.
    And finally, the Pre has the snazziest mobile OS to this day, but glitchy hardware, and lame ads and distribution.

    In the end, it seems to me that Palm got lots of things right, and systematically failed at key final steps. Advertising and distribution certainly, and also that extra feature that would really have made people sit up and notice that they needed the gizmos. I'll be sad to see them go, what a waste.

  • by mTor ( 18585 ) on Saturday April 24, 2010 @12:53PM (#31967814)

    Big issue with Android is that it doesn't come with patent indemnity clause so when you use it, you have zero protection from lawsuits (as HTC has found out with Apple smackdown). MS provides indemnification with their Windows 7 Mobile.

    Since HTC passed on the deal, and they actually had use for extra patents, that tells us that Palm's patent portfolio is not that strong.

  • Re:Good on HTC (Score:2, Interesting)

    by tomhudson ( 43916 ) <> on Saturday April 24, 2010 @01:27PM (#31968026) Journal

    Neither do phones really. When's the last time you saw a cell phone that ONLY did phone calls and text messages?

    1. Take fancy phone
    2. Drop in toilet
    3. Repeat until phone only makes and receives phone calls ..

    Just saying ... we have the technology to FLUSH away those extra bits that get in the way of basic functionality :-)

    I wonder how long today's better batteries and lower-power circuits would run on a "basic" phone ... maybe get a month of stand-by and a full day of talk-til-you-drop? There might be a market for that.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 24, 2010 @01:45PM (#31968160)

    WebOS simply has no momentum. I don't see any company paying top dollar for it. Furthermore, HTC would have taken on huge risk with WebOS, in exchange for dissing its current allies Google and Microsoft.

    The only way Lenovo gets involved is if the PRC decides China needs its own smartphone platform for national security reasons. This has merit but I don't see Lenovo willing to pay much. If WebOS is what Lenovo wanted--which is debatable--they could clone it easy enough.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 24, 2010 @01:50PM (#31968188)

    It's recent move toward Linux on their Pre device seem to position them perfectly to build a device like this []. For some reason, OLPC dropped support for what appears to be a killer form factor- one that matches real world printed books. Even though there have been some setbacks, probably due to the recession and technology saturation, I still think form could become a dominant affordable device. It could fullfill the potential promise of the hype behind the iPad rollout. One thing that a "book" form factor has is a left and right page. If rotated one way, the device switches the bottom page to a keyboard automatically, al-a the iPhone. Also, because it can be folded, that protects the device when not in use. The ability to customize the software makes this _way_ better than any iPad-like device. Advice to Palm, or anyone else entering this space, make sure that the device has these features:
    3G and wifi, camera, and skype compatible web cam.

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