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Apple to Buy out Palm? 331

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i-can't-imagine-why dept.
JFlex writes "According to a story over at Personal Computer World 'Speculation that Apple plans to buy handheld maker Palm has been revived by a call from two leading Palm investors for the company to be put up for sale, according to the local paper of both companies.'"
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Apple to Buy out Palm?

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  • by daveschroeder (516195) * on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @11:59AM (#14669810)
    ...the Infinium Phantom will be released next month!

    (Seriously...this "Apple to buy Palm" rumor has been going on forever...)
    • by cabjf (710106) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @12:08PM (#14669887)
      But then again, so has the "Apple to switch to Intel" rumor.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @12:00PM (#14669820)
    If Apple could make a Newton / Palm hybrid, it'd be the ultimate PDA.
    • by Feneric (765069) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @12:18PM (#14669983) Homepage

      I think there's some truth to the parent post. A single PDA that merged the best features of both the Newton and the Palm could be really slick. While I'll assume that most people reading this are pretty familiar with the Palm and what it has to offer, I recognize that the Newton may be a bit more of a mystery. I blogged a bit about what the Newton has to offer in 2006 [blogspot.com] elsewhere and won't repeat it all here.

      The Newton has actually been mentioned on various news sites [osnews.com] a lot lately, due largely in part to the recent Worldwide Newton Conference [newtontalk.net] but also because of recent advances like the Einstein project [kallisys.com] and the Newton book reader for Firefox [newtonslibrary.org].

      I'm personally hoping that maybe some of its innovative user interface ideas get carried over into other projects. Obviously Apple's current Ink tablet handwriting recognition system is a direct port from the Newton. Less obviously perhaps is that its Dock removal animation is, too.

      • by David Rolfe (38) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @11:38PM (#14674813) Homepage Journal
        I'm personally hoping that maybe some of its innovative user interface ideas get carried over into other projects. Obviously Apple's current Ink tablet handwriting recognition system is a direct port from the Newton. Less obviously perhaps is that its Dock removal animation is, too.

        I've made this comment before (to jcr in fact). If Ink is a direct port from the Newton, they broke it along the way. I have bugs filed (if you could search them) the describe this. I'll give you the short version first: Pull out your tablet on your Mac, write the word 'Rosetta' in cursive (and as typical for most writers, cross both Ts at once). On a Newton MP 2100 it will correctly translate this to 'Rosetta' 100% of the time for me. With Ink it gets translated to 'RoseHa' 100% of the time. Somewhere between Newton's 'Rosetta' handwriting recognition and OS X's 'Ink' recognition, they forgot how to 1) understand cursive, 2) learn user handwriting, 3) allow training of the recognizer, 4) allow the insertion caret to be used for punctuation, 5) correctly understand editing gestures in (almost) all cases -- ever try to join a broken word with Ink?.

        For completeness sake, let me include that old bug report (which includes a snippet from a thread jcr and I had going about Ink's flaws compared to the Newton): https://bugreport.apple.com/ [apple.com] Problem ID: 3828160 (this bug is still marked "Open")

        06-Oct-2004 02:53 AM David Rolfe:
        Steps to reproduce:

        Write the word "Rosetta" crossing both Ts at once.

        Expecteed Results:

        As opposed to the expected "Rosetta" appearing in the Ink Window (or current text field, instead a result similar to "RoseHa" will appear.

        Workaround:

        Write slowly, and unnaturally. Avoid mixed-printing. Never use cursive.

        For more information, I provide this summary from a conversation with an non-Apple (third party) OS X developer. I outline other bugs and missing features below. Especially, THE LACK OF A PUNCTUATION POP-UP ATTACHED TO THE INSERTION CARET IN THE INK WINDOW. Would it be appropriate to file that as another bug/feature?

        ----
        I certainly have not spent as much time training Ink [compared to the time spent using the Newton MP2100, which I use as a baseline for comparison]. For one, it doesn't have the quick interface to teach a misrecognized word (you know: double tap, select correct guess) even in the 'Ink Window' where they try to emulate the Newton environment. Second, clicking on the caret in the Ink Window doesn't give a punctuation pop-up like the Newton, which makes punctuating things written in Ink a CHORE; good thing Apple doesn't make computers without keyboards these days... Otherwise your punctuation would he half-assed as it tries to guess whether something is a period or an accidental tap. Finally, Ink in 10.3 doesn't supply some training app like the Newton's prefs, the closest option is specifically adding words to a list that it frequently gets wrong, or that it can't dictionary guess. This list doesn't even learn (i.e. it doesn't automatically populate with a list of words that the recognizer knows it had a low confidence score on).

        I know Ink is an afterthought -- Apple can't seriously consider Ink to be a 'solution' as it stands today. I'll give it two things though - the scribble sound it plays while you write sure is cute and it's fun to be able to include doodles right into iChat. However, you could not use an iBook, feasibly, without a keyboard, and get the same range of functionality as a heavy, 10 year old MP 2100.

        I know again I'm coming off like some kind of freak -- but really, the Newton could tell when you crossed two Ts at once, and that chokes Ink in OS X -- so whatever changes they made since its [Rosetta's?] implementation on the ARM and the PPC they broke it.

        I mean seriously JCR -- do you have both [an MP and a tablet equipped Mac]? Can you

    • by cookiej (136023) *
      It would certainly be an amazing twist. Jobs "Steved" us Newton users by stopping the spinoff of Newton, Inc. and then killing the platform by reassigning most of the engineering team back to Apple -- several of whom quit and went to work for Palm as they were ramping up for the first real Palm handheld.

      So. If Steve is truly ready to acquire Palm, I guess he's forgiven John Sculley (Newton was Sculley's 'Next Big Thing').

      I'd love to dust of my old NewtonScript manuals. Bring on the Soup!
    • by cp.tar (871488) <cp.tar.bz2@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @12:57PM (#14670349) Journal
      Newton or no Newton, I feel this is great.

      Palm is - at least from where I'm standing - being pushed out from the market.

      This is therefore probably good for both Palm and Apple... it's just that I probably won't be able to afford one of those.

      *sigh*
  • How to kill a good product.
    • Actually Apple will probably put some sort of a mobile OS X on it. In my oppinion, palm os is dead, dying and burried. The most usefull products they give are their windows based toys. *gasp* I voted for windows.

      Apple will do it correctly if they bring in a pocket PC product. They are not the leading seller of MP3 players for no reason, they did it right when others didnt.
      • by Zigg (64962) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @12:13PM (#14669938)

        Palm is already working a new version of Palm OS with Linux as the kernel, effectively creating their own "OS X" story. Whether they'll be as successful as OS X is remains to be seen.

        • But how important are the BSD underpinnings of OS-X for the overall success of OS-X?
        • Palm is already working a new version of Palm OS with Linux as the kernel, effectively creating their own "OS X" story.

          I don't see that as being a very good idea. Linux (the kernel) is a fast-moving target with constantly changing abilities, features, and APIs. (No comment on the moving ABIs.) For something like a new Palm OS, Palm really needs a stable base that won't require them to redo a lot of work, or suddenly and unexpectedly shift directions because of a major kernel change.

          Palm could always fork L
          • Yes, you've got to wonder which decade Palm will release it. After taking a big lead in the mid to late 90s, they seem to have been moving slow motion ever since.

            As for rewriting in Linux - does that mean their current Palm OS is such a dead end that they can't evolve it? It's hideously expensive to rewrite software from scratch and a lot of companies will fail in the process. Look how long it took Microsoft to make NT acceptable. They were afford to run two product lines in parallel until NT was able t
            • As for rewriting in Linux - does that mean their current Palm OS is such a dead end that they can't evolve it?

              Yes. I've developed for it before, and it's got cruft coming out of its ears. It was designed around the idea that a device would never have more than 8 Megs of RAM, and that the controls/screen would be fixed in their design. In addition, memory is partitioned into small "databases" with explicit record sizes. These databases are the only thing keeping the data separate. If something goes wrong, one database can easily overwrite another. No MMU exists to prevent this.

              Other issues include:

              • Applications are identified by 4 byte codes.
              • Databases are associated on those same 4 byte codes.
              • Libraries are non-existant, and have to be hacked into the OS.
              • Large memory areas are handled by bank-switching, putting limits on where executable code can run.
              • Large programs or data sets cannot be loaded into memory because of the bank-switching. They usually need to be constantly swapped out.
              • The graphics facilities are primitive, representing the hi-end of portable technology in the mid 90's.
              • Lack of libraries and program designs tend to result in large amounts of duplicated code.
              • Poor acclimation to network facilities, due to its original design as a "satellite" device rather than a wireless portable.


              There's more, but those are just off the top of my head.

              It's hideously expensive to rewrite software from scratch and a lot of companies will fail in the process.

              My best suggestion would be an emulator. Given that a new OS would be able to take advantage of the greater speeds of modern ARM processors, most software could be run under a port of the current desktop emulator that developers use today. Performance critical software would do best to port, but new versions have always been an issue for them anyway.
              • by iamacat (583406) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @01:51PM (#14670869)
                Huh? Bank switching? Palm has a flat memory space. You can unprotect all the databases with MemSemaphoreReserve(true), do your dids and do MemSemaphoreRelease(true). The only catch is that blocking system calls like sockets or waiting for user events do not work while the semaphore is locked. If you need memory blocks > 64K, just use FtrNew.

                While the OS is kind of primitive, writing, testing and publishing a small program for the original 68K devices used to be much easier than for WinCE or QTopia PDAs that existed at the same time. There is a nearly-perfect hardware emulator, Metrowerks supports C++ exceptions unlike embedded VC++ and on-device debugger is perfectly usable even over the serial port. It's too bad they decided to go with the hideous Eclipse/cygwin based thingy for native ARM development.
              • by hackerjoe (159094) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @03:45PM (#14671972)
                As for rewriting in Linux - does that mean their current Palm OS is such a dead end that they can't evolve it?

                Yes. I've developed for it before, and it's got cruft coming out of its ears.
                That's true for Palm OS 4. Palm OS Garnet (the first version of the ARM OS) lifts a few of those restrictions, but it's still pretty much a hack.

                But PalmSource has been working on Palm OS Cobalt, their next gen OS, for the last few years. They actually had a preview ready at the Palm Developers' Conference I attended in 2004: it has next-gen databases with a built in sql-like query language, next gen PIM applications, threading, real process separation, berkeley socket networking, well-thought-out security model, etc. It is a Real OS.

                You've been able to get an emulator and tool suite since that conference: if you want, you could develop a new Cobalt app today.

                The problem? No hardware. Since PalmSource didn't have a hardware division anymore, they couldn't force anybody to actually use the OS, and Palm opted short-sightedly to stick with Garnet.

                Thus, the move to Linux, to make the platform more attractive to phone manufacturers. But keep in mind it's just the underlying kernel that's Linux: on top, everything is Cobalt, both to the user and the developer. The advantage is that phone makers can reuse more of their existing software infrastructure (drivers, etc.) if they've been developing Linux phones.
        • Palm Source is working on Palm OS.

          Palm Source isn't owned by Palm. It's owned by a Japanese company whose name I can't remember.

          Palm don't own their own OS these days.
        • Palm One sold off Palm Source (the OS division) to a Chinese company. The newest Palm One product, the Treo 700, runs Windows Mobile.

          As much as I love the Palm product (I've been using Palm devices since the Palm Pilot Pro), they're quickly being edged out by the cell phone market, they still dont have synchronization on 64bit Windows systems, and synchronization on OSX is nowhere near as integrated as everything else that uses iSync and hasn't been progressed for quite a while.

          In short, they aren't in a go
      • Knowing Apple it will sync elegantly and seamlessly with my desktop, even using .Mac to keep everything in harmony when I'm away from base. Bluetooth will mean I only need to walk near my desktop and it syncs. I will be able to use it as an extension of iLife when connected to the internet, using .Mac and WiFi to seamlessly pull photos and audio over the internet.

        Dream-sounding I know. But nobody else has even managed to get MP3s syncing sensibly, so if anybody can do it Apple can.
    • Palms used to be good products in the 90s and up to about 2002. Now, the PalmOS 5 is quite old, and it shows. Unstable, single-tasking, outdated interface. I recently bought a LifeDrive: wow, 4 gigs, bluetooth and WiFi in a single Palm device, that's sweet! But no. The bitch is nearly as crash-prone as Windows 98 in a good day.

      Now, there is an independent effort [hackndev.com] to port Linux to it, and I (not being quite the programmer I'd like to be) await eagerly for its conclusion, so I can use at least a decent OS on t
  • BeOS (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    So does this mean that the BeOS will be under the ownership of Apple as well?
  • No. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Tweekster (949766)
    well the headline asked a question, I answered it. because my answer has just as much authority as the wild speculation in the article... I honestly think the writers of these "xyz is gonna buy out abc" articles have a big dartboard with the names of various companies and they play madlibs to come up with "content"
  • by denis-The-menace (471988) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @12:06PM (#14669872)
    According to a story over at Personal Computer World [two leading Palm investors have created the]Speculation that Apple plans to buy handheld maker Palm [in order to drive up the stock price before they dump it and make loads of $$$.]
    • Right on.

      How does Palm investors want to sell Palm to Apple become speculation that "Apple plans to buy handheld maker Palm"...?

      I don't see Apple having any desire to acquire Palm. Steve Jobs' obsession with style and the holistic approach of complete solutions doesn't seem compatible with the nuisance of acquiring a new platform and having to dilute its efforts in the audio/video market.

      Sure, the Palm investors would love to sell the company to Apple; after all, the PDA market share has been decreasing. I
  • by sg3000 (87992) * <.moc.cam. .ta. .cilbup_gs.> on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @12:06PM (#14669873)
    Too bad the article isn't working for me.

    Considering the previous technology leading position of the Newton MessagePad back in the late 1990s, and the fact that Steve Jobs killed it (calling it a "damn scribble pad"), coupled with changing demographics due dramatic shifts in the paradigm of handheld computing, if this actually happens I believe I speak for all former Newton owners, when I say WTF??

  • Why /. Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mythz (857024)
    This was already on digg a while ago, has no factual basis, and is the result of reporters that have nothing to write about resorting to these 'what if' articles.

    I thought the /. difference is that it wouldn't expose its readers to these higly vapourous 'fairy articles'.
    • Re:Why /. Why? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Golias (176380)
      I thought the /. difference is that it wouldn't expose its readers to these higly vapourous 'fairy articles'.

      Have we reached the point where "you must be new here" comments can be shorthanded as "YMBNH"?

      Slashdot is a news digest and discussion forum which the editors prefer to run like it's a cute little personal blog, rather than one of the most popular news sites on the Internet. There is no formal criteria for what does and does not get selected.
    • I thought the /. difference is that it wouldn't expose its readers to these higly vapourous 'fairy articles'.

      Nope. Techdirt [techdirt.com] makes that claim, not /.

      /. is just a "News for Nerds. Stuff that Matters." site. There's an implied "or" between those sentences. Slashdot is for fun and conversation, nothing else.

  • Good idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ZachPruckowski (918562) <zachary.pruckowski@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @12:08PM (#14669888)
    Apple could jump back into the market with the Blackberry struggling/in limbo, and offer the sort of solution they're famous for - one which somehow integrates all parts of the product's chain. They could stick Safari on it, and have it synchonize histories and emails with the home iMac/mini, as well as having some sort of iDisk related fun (which will have to drop in price).
  • Apple's Ipod boom can hardly be sustained unless it can head off competition from PDAs and smartphones that can pack music players along with a host a other functions.

    This can go both ways. I don't see any reason why Apple couldn't start putting some of those "other functions" into the iPod. Brand recognition is huge part of having a successful product, and, with the iPod brand, Apple has built a strong foundation.
  • by Coutal (98822) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @12:08PM (#14669893)
    These come to mind:

    * BeOS/BeIA code: no idea how relevant it is today, but could still prove worthwhile.

    * Palm-sized device expertise: maybe some of the knowledge and technologies palm has could go to make an even-better iPod. (can't wait to see that).

    * Application Base: maybe we're going to see an app translator?

    * Synchronization software: maybe newer iPods will need to sync apps and documents too. might want to have access to well-established code for that.
  • by AVee (557523) <slashdot@@@avee...org> on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @12:10PM (#14669908) Homepage
    I must admit to not being completely up to date with the whole BeOS saga. But afaik the last company to own BeOS was Palm. And yes, I know about yellowTAB's ZETA, but they never claimed to actually own any of the BeOS code.

    So it might just be it's not palm, but BeOS they are after. Which might fit into the whole Apple X86 thing.
    • I'm not sure that Palm owns any of the BeOS code anymore. Palm is surviving hardware part of the Palm, Inc. Formerly known as PalmOne. The software part became PalmSource, which was bought by ACCESS.

      So Apple being Palm would get them a bunch of hardware. I don't think Apple needs their hardware.
    • aside from the fact that Palm doesn't own PalmOS or BeOS any more, what the heck would Apple want with BeOS? Apple specifically went with NeXT instead because it was a more mature, developed technology. BeOS was pretty slick when compared with the Mac OS and Win32 systems of the time, but it's been stagnant for most of this century. i used BeOS for a long time, on three platforms, and there's nothing i miss from it now.
    • What exactly do you think Apple would do with BeOS if they had them? I mean, seriously... OS X is already better than BeOS was in its heyday and even if it weren't, it would probably be a ton quicker to re-implement BeOS technologies rather than somehow backport them.
  • by AKAImBatman (238306) <akaimbatmanNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @12:13PM (#14669928) Homepage Journal
    I'm rather suspicious of this story, in part because I don't see Palm adding much value to Apple. When the Palm Pilot was popular, the fact that so much could be fit in such a small device was nothing short of amazing. It was also a useful little tool for all kinds of data organization. But now? Palm's OS is older than the hills, designed for hardware limits that no longer matter. Palm has been using bits of trickery to extend the limits of their OS, but at the end of the day they just need something new that takes advantage of modern, low-power hardware.

    Another problem is that Palm has been about as phlegmatic as you can get when it comes to promoting their market. If they were like Apple, they could have sewn up the electronic book market years ago. Instead, they seem content to allow the rest of the market to make half-hearted attempts at producing solutions. That just isn't going to work. If Palm wants to grab the e-reader market (a market for which they are extremely well suited), they need to follow Apple's lead and grab the bull by the horns. Since they show no signs of doing this, I see nothing but signs of decline for Palm.

    If Apple wants to enter the handheld market (again), I see them developing a new device with a high-resolution, high-pixel density screen. They would then try to add the ability to show documents are precisely as possible, utilizing scaling algorithms. (Many books and documents suffer if their layout is changed a la Acrobat Pocket.) These features could be easily built into a new device OS by Apple engineers rather than trying to overhaul the aging Palm OS.

    They would then market it with a new "catchy" Apple brand like "iHand" or "iBooklet", and either integrate it into a new eBook/Portable App section of iTunes, or develop a new iTunes-like app.

    So given this scenario, where does the Palm value come in? The name? Nope. Apple would want consistent branding. The OS? No way. Palm is so full of cruft I swear that the developers are ready to shoot it. The device designs? Never. They're way too far behind the curve.

    So I think I'm going to go with "rumor" on this one.
    • by Cujo (19106) *

      You're probably right. The current market cap of PALM is just under $2G, si figure Apple would pay around $3G to buy it up, for a company expected to make about $100M in profit over the next year. That's easily affordable for AAPL, but a 3% annual ROI isn't worth the trouble unless they have some IP AAPL, really, really wants. The Treo? Maybe, but I don't see it.

      • by Cujo (19106) * on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @12:25PM (#14670050) Homepage Journal

        So, the market doesn't believe the rumor either

      • Maybe they want BeOS? :)
      • a 3% annual ROI isn't worth the trouble unless they have some IP AAPL, really, really wants


        Apple is clearly having second thoughts about their decision to purchase the inferior NeXTStep instead of BeOS, and are now seizing their opportunity to switch to the OS they should have used in the first place. This also explains their switch to Intel chips, as BeOS R5 runs better on Intel...


        (this post close captioned for the humour impaired: :^) )

      • You're probably right.

        <Rodney-McKay>I am? ... I mean, of course I am!</Rodney-McKay> :-P

        That's easily affordable for AAPL, but a 3% annual ROI isn't worth the trouble unless they have some IP AAPL, really, really wants.

        I agree. Jobs has never shown signs of minor empire building. If he purchases a company, it's because he wants something from them. Otherwise he just a) leaves them alone or b) contracts out for their expertise. (Much like how the iPod was originally designed.) Or in other words,
      • Palm, the hardware folks (not the PalmSource OS company) do have something that Apple needs. Relationships with the cell companies. Making a phone is not that big of a deal for a large consumer electronics company. Managing the relationship with Verizon, T-Mobile or ATT is something that take lots of time to get right. Don't expect to see an Apple branded Treo. Paml Inc makes nothing, it is all outcourced. Marketing hannels and relationships can have a higher resale value that physical plant. Expect
    • by feranick (858651) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @01:22PM (#14670583)
      Here the situation: Apple is looking (it's not a secret) in penetrating the smartphone market. They experimented with Motorola, but didn't seem to work well. The Treo would be Perfect for Apple (Jobs praised the Treo some time ago).

      Palm on the other end has a great device (the Treo) and some farily good ones (the high end PDAs, such as the Tungsten TX). The weakest link is currently the OS. It seems that they are hanging around using a bit of everything. PalmOS in its current version (5.4) is a dinosaur, patched to make it running modern applications. Palm does NOT own PalmOS, being developed by PalmSource, a separate coumpany own by the Japanese company ACCESS. Palm has no control over PalmOS. THey have the 700w running windows targeting consumers. They would like to use Linux too. basically they have no direction, developing a new OS wouldn't go into a device before 2-3 years. Palm would gain A LOT from Apple. An OS to start with, either a scaled down version of MacOSX, or a scaled up version of whatever OS inside an iPod.

      It's a win-win deal, that should have been done long ago!
         
    • So given this scenario, where does the Palm value come in?

      Strong existing relationships with all the US wireless telephone companies.

      I think that about covers it.

      (ok, Treo-related know-how and patents too)
  • by MrFlibbs (945469) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @12:17PM (#14669968)
    This is perhaps the most elegant summary of the Newton's limitations I ever read:

    Q: What's 2 + 2?
    A: Farm
  • Also, for all their vaunted style, the latest Apple notebooks look like antiques beside the latest pen-driven Tablet PCs.

    No shit. The latest Dell notebooks would too. Apples vs oranges people. Geez.
  • by Kefaa (76147) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @12:17PM (#14669977)
    Other than a full license to Graffiti, there is little for Palm to offer. Don't get me wrong, I own a Palm Pilot and am probably one of the few left who love it.

    However, I can easily see Apple producing a product of superior technology with as good an interface, based on the iPod. In fact, my iPod supports full motion video, gigs of data, and a simple interface. Start adding features and you face the Palm conundrum: How do you change the interface to a vastly successful product, and keep your customer base?

    Part of Palm's other dilemma was its success. I have had the same Palm Pilot since it came out five years ago. It does everything I need, it syncs to my desktop, keeps outlook happy (oops that may be an Apple issue), and allows me to handle the things I want to. It will be interesting to see if iPod suffers the same issues.

    If you want to make me a happy camper - make an iPod version with a nice 4" screen, support for palm like applications (notebook, address book, calendar, etc.) and support Ebook formats. Then provide a truly open development environment. One of the great things about palm was how many 3rd part applications were available because Palm wined and dined independent developers. But that means you (the platform owner) do not control everything on your platform.

    Such a tool would allow me to hold my videos, books, and all the last things my palm does today. But none of these require palm to provide.

    But wait -- what about the phone? Forget it. While some people do use the phone to replace the palm, most never do much but store phone numbers. Further, people are used to a phone being replaced every two years - for free. That is a market that pays for itself in the marketing of minutes. Not a good place to play.
  • by solios (53048)
    Let's see.

    Apple has:

    1. Style.
    2. Newton OS / Handwriting recognition / IP - all recognized as lightyears ahead of anything (at least back in the day).
    3. The BeFS dude.

    Palm has:

    1. BeOS IP.
    2. PalmOS / Handwriting "recognition" that "works" nothing like the Newtons (vastly inferior).
    3. Not much else.

    What use would Apple have for Palm, exactly?
    • What use would Apple have for Palm, exactly?

      Brand recognition in the PDA world, PDA devs, and marketshare.

      That said, I seriously doubt this is going to happen or that the reasons I mentioned would be enough for apple to buy palm.
    • by mmkkbb (816035)
      Didn't the Newton switch to using Graffiti (as in what the Palm uses) as its native handwriting recognition software before it was killed?
      • by solios (53048)
        Got me. The Newton got whacked before my time.

        I don't see why it couldn't have offered both. :P
  • by Kohath (38547) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @12:21PM (#14670016)
    This is not news. "Apple buys Palm" is news. Speculation that Apple might buy Palm in the future is not.

    The news business used to be about reporting things that actually happened.
    • Re:Not news (Score:3, Interesting)

      by TubeSteak (669689)
      This is not news. "The U.S. bombs Iran" is news. Speculation that the U.S. might bomb Iran in the future is not.

      The news business used to be about reporting things that actually happened.

      /You see how rediculous your statement is?

  • I heard they had to grease some palms to get a piece of the pie, but it was a golden idea any way you slice it.
  • Why buy a loser? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by tknn (675865)
    That would be stupid purchase. Palm is a loser company with barely anything to save. PDA sales are relatively flat and if Apple wants to enter the market they could license Symbian or develop their own smartphone OS.

    I agree that phones will eventually own the music player market, and probably even the P&S camera market also. Apple would be foolish not to evaluate its choices, but I would choose a platform that is more focused than Palm on smartphones over PDAs.

    The phone market is super-intense and super
  • BUT... (Score:2, Funny)

    by frankcow (925500)
    will it run windows mobile???
  • If Apple wanted to try and break back into the PDA market (which I think would be a poor strategic move, but I could be wrong), then buying out Palm might be a way to speed up their development. But, does Apple really want to be associated with - and have responsibility for - the existing Palm product line, from Zires to Tungstens to Treos? I think the answer there is an emphatic NO. I think that, if Apple were to develop another PDA, it would be a real slick product that would have very little in common
  • The fact of the matter is that a Treo is a very expensive phone no matter how you look at it. The cheapest one is around the same price as a high end iPod even with a new cell contract and carrier subsidy. On the surface that would mean a substantial revenue source for Apple if this were to come to pass. BUT every single person I know that has a Treo or other smartphone of some sort (BB, Windows Mobile, Nokia Communicator, etc) already has an iPod. For current customers that's not a big deal and for the mos
    • domain knowledge around smart phones, and existing relationships with contract manufacturers and carriers.

      Don't discount this. The area of cell phone manufacturing seems very closed to entry by new players. You need licenses and such to even start playing with prototypes and you need to work with each of the spectrum holders that you want your device to be comaptible with. Clearly it is in Apple's interest to begin making some devices that can natively work with the existing wireless telephone networks w
  • by stoicio (710327) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @12:33PM (#14670115) Journal
    Wow! Great news.
    Maybe they will dump OSX and make a 64 bit version of BEOS!!!!
    YAY!!!!
    We all knew Jobs couldn't keep his hands off BEOS. ;)

    (I'm being levitous)
  • by Dutchmaan (442553) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @12:38PM (#14670165) Homepage
    It's comes up from time to time, "Apple is going to buy Palm!" "Apple is creating a version of their OS to work with Intel chips!" .. . . err.... uh.... hmmm.
  • by hkb (777908) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @12:39PM (#14670168)
    As an annoyed PDA (and Mac) user, I'd love to see Apple develop a full-fledged PDA -- preferably something along the lines of a Tungsten C with bluetooth and wi-fi.

    I still use my Palm T|C but its definitely showing its age with no other alternative in sight. WM2003SE was crap, and WM5 is still crap. It is neither reliable nor big on usability.

    Give us something, Apple. I believe you're the only hope for something in this arena that "just works".
  • Palm has been going down the drains for many years now. Too bad - I like my Palm Pilot. Maybe getting bought by Apple will save the platform...
  • The PalmPod (Score:2, Funny)

    by Lockelator (874494)
    It's a rumor, but wouldn't it be great to have a palmpod? http://www.pdafrance.com/img/pdanews2004/ipod1.jpg [pdafrance.com]
  • After Cisco is done buying out Nintendo AND TiVo. The only problem we will have after this is those pesky flying pigs, and getting the heat turned back on in hell.
  • by Ranger (1783) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @12:49PM (#14670290) Homepage
    Cool, they can combine the Newton with the Palm and use Apple's exploding battery technology. Introducing NAPalm. Burn different!
  • How bizarre. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AugstWest (79042) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @12:57PM (#14670344)
    That's really weird, as I was walking to work this morning I was wishing that someone would take Palm from it's current state of elegant crashiness and do something wonderful with it like apple did going from os9 to osx.

    I doubt it's true, but it would be nice.
  • Rokr (Score:3, Insightful)

    by HaydnH (877214) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @01:10PM (#14670472)
    Well we all know what a farce the Rokr was - a limited music playing phone to avoid eating in to iPods profits. If Apple buy Palm what will they do with phones like the Treo which can play MP3's? Will they remove the headset jack??
    • Re:Rokr (Score:3, Insightful)

      by King_TJ (85913)
      Apple won't have to do squat with phones like the Treo.... The MP3 capabilities on one suck, to put it mildly. It has issues playing anything in a high bitrate (like 192bit), and you have to buy a special adapter just to use normal headphones with it. Out of the box, it doesn't have enough memory to store more than a few songs. You have to buy a memory card for it (after forking out all that money for the phone to begin with), and it's very SLOW syncing music into it.

      I have a Treo 650 and I like the pho
  • by gone.fishing (213219) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @02:30PM (#14671298) Journal
    Apple is sitting on a boatload of money and has a couple of hot products that will continue to show amazing growth for the near future at least. Like the Sony Walkman before it, the iPod line is an industry leader that can command a higher price than it's immitators.

    The Palm products look like a good match for Apple. Like the iPod they are personal, portable devices that litterally define the niche they fill. They don't exactly compete with the iPod but are technological cousins that could be combined into a killer product.

    Having said that, I'm not so sure that Apple needs Palm. Why would they? They have a partnership with Motorola where their product is already married to a phone which incorporates many of the most necessary features of the Palm devices! It seems to me that it may be a smarter move to work with Motorola to come up with a product that is one thrid cel phone, one third iPod, and one third PDA. This would cut their risk in half and would be far less expensive than buying another company outright. The only downside would be that they would have to share revenue with another company. I'm not even sure that would be so bad, the Motorola production capability combined with the Apple marketing savy may mean they could sell far more units than if they tried this on their own.

    So, while Palm may look like an attractive pickup, once you got into bed with her, maybe the excitement wouldn't be there (and you would certainly offend your current partner.) Maybe staying in the marriage that you already have is a better option although far less exciting.

    I don't know all the angles to this. What I do know is that the Apple managment has been savy enough in the past to recognize opportunity and also understand their market far better than anyone else. This is the primary reason why they are where they are today. Anyone else who has followed the path they did would have fallen in one too many potholes and been burried. Apple is still in the race. This tells me buy or no-buy, they will make the right decision.

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