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Devices/smartphones

HP to Buy Palm for $1.2B

After weeks of speculation, Palm Inc. 's suitor has been revealed: HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) will purchase the handheld pioneer for $1.2 billion in cash.

That amounts to $5.70 per share, as HP said in its announcement late Wednesday. Palm's shares had closed at $4.63, so the buyout price represents a premium of more than 20 percent. The transaction has already been approved by both companies' boards.

HP says the deal will allow it to "participate more aggressively in the fast-growing, highly profitable smartphone and connected mobile device markets." The firm says that Palm's WebOS will give it complex mobile capabilities, such as multitasking, right off the bat.

There have been rumors that Palm has been looking for a buyer for weeks now. HP, however, wasn't generally listed among the favorites to nab the PalmPilot pioneer. Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498), and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. had all been named as potential suitors. (See Huawei Linked to Possible Palm Bid.)

HP actually has a mobile-device line, in the form of Windows Mobile-based PDAs and business handsets under the iPAQ brand. These devices, however, have never really captured the public's imagination in the way that the Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone or Palm Pre have.

HP is also facing more competition from computing rivals in the mobile space than it has previously. In addition to Apple's giant strides into wireless, Dell Technologies (Nasdaq: DELL) has its own Android phones coming to market now. (See AT&T Offers Dell's First US Android & More.) The acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 4:38:02 PM
re: HP to Buy Palm for $1.2B

Seems like everybody is a winner in this. I like what I've seen of the WebOS user interface and experience. Things should get interesting when they couple it with HP's hardware - phones and maybe netbooks and tablets too.

joset01 12/5/2012 | 4:38:01 PM
re: HP to Buy Palm for $1.2B

I'm not 100% convinced, its good news for existing Palm users. I think the jury is still out on how well HP will use the new technology under its wing. It had a good run with iPaq but never managed to make the brand anything but a niche product line.

stevedc3 12/5/2012 | 4:38:00 PM
re: HP to Buy Palm for $1.2B

Interesting timing! I had written this just hours before HP announced regarding Cisco being a Palm buyer 

<h2 id="posttitle_17571407">The Enterprise Tablet - Why Cisco May Buy Palm</h2>

I think HP's purchase makes sense for similar reasoning as Cisco - i.e a tablet (albeit a consumer one). This is not for the handset business...

Gabriel Brown 12/5/2012 | 4:37:59 PM
re: HP to Buy Palm for $1.2B

Ah the iPAQ... I had one for review back in 2002. It was one of the first GPRS connected SmartPhones. Running Windows CE and on&nbsp;Vodafone's GPRS network, IIRC.


I remember showing it to Light Reading Founder, Peter Heywood, and how I could IM Dan Jones (and see his AIM status) in New York from a pub in London.&nbsp;That was impressive back then.


What might be the equivalent "wow" app today that will be mass-market in eight years? Maybe some of the Augmented&nbsp;Reality stuff?


&nbsp;


&nbsp;

Garci 12/5/2012 | 4:37:42 PM
re: HP to Buy Palm for $1.2B

I had the original iPaq, and it actually still works. It's certainly dated by today standards, but I even used it for a long time with a bluetooth gps and TomTom software in it.


It was one of the first "triple radio" devices (GSM / WiFi / Bluetooth)... Loved the thing, though it was nowhere near "pocketable" and instead was relegated to a "mainstream audience"-killer holster ...&nbsp;


One of the killer apps, though, was indeed, adding friends to msn messenger while in a club.. or showing off pics from a flash memory or downloading them from the web.. Though pocket IE was horrible.


I used to blog a lot through it as it had an add-on external keyboard which made typing quite ok.. almost at the blackberry level.


I use it today as a music streamer through wifi... and as universal remote control with the built in ir transmitter.

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