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Apple, RIM, Google All Bid On Palm 117

imamac writes "It seems HP was only one of many bidders for the struggling Palm. The others included Apple, RIM and even Google. You may now commence speculation on why the various companies wanted Palm."
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Apple, RIM, Google All Bid On Palm

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  • It seems to me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by breakzoidbeg ( 1260428 ) on Thursday July 15, 2010 @07:04PM (#32920848)
    That Palms Patent portfolio would have been the target. Palm has been around for years, and they have a deep patent well to draw from.
  • Patents? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by levell ( 538346 ) * on Thursday July 15, 2010 @07:04PM (#32920854) Homepage

    I don't understand why Apple or Google (Or Nokia) would want Palm. At least if the main asset was WebOS - none of these companies would ditch the mobile OS they are backing in favour of it.

    So my wild arsed guess is that Palm had enough patents that the various companies thought would be useful in the court battles that are just beginning. But at the price a company like Palm would fetch - the patents must be valuable!

    It would fit with HP paying more - they get the patents and WebOS and they weren't previously backing a mobile OS.

  • Re:It seems to me (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 15, 2010 @07:31PM (#32921128)

    Not to mention they built a better phone and OS than any of their competitors.

  • Marginally Useful (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Thursday July 15, 2010 @07:37PM (#32921200) Homepage Journal

    I can see why those three would bid, but it's also clear why HP was willing to pay more - they gained something entirely new. So, they'll gain a real competitive edge from the buy, not just a fanciful IP one.

  • by CaroKann ( 795685 ) on Thursday July 15, 2010 @07:49PM (#32921320)
    I think these companies missed out on a good thing.

    Microsoft would gain the WebOS, plus some phone hardware. In Microsoft's hands, the WebOS could have been offered across multiple hardware platforms, creating a good competitor to Android. Or, Microsoft could have simply folded aspects of the WebOS into Windows 7.

    Nokia would have immediately regained a good, solid foothold in the US market.

    Sony would have gained a versatile OS to power its device portfolio.
  • by fermion ( 181285 ) on Thursday July 15, 2010 @08:16PM (#32921592) Homepage Journal
    Palm did not have handwriting recognition. Palm used gesturers to represent letters.

    What palm does has, as been mentioned, is patents. Palm, along with Apple, is practically the only independent innovator in the PDA market, which we now see fully formed in the from of smartphone, a device with was instrumental in creating.

    HP was probably a little more motivated as they have seem have set a path to growth of snapping up good hardware companies with good portfolios that can then be used to create products.

    I suspect that Apple and RIM simply wanted to cut out the competition. Google, being a young company with little wisdom, would have benefitted from the hardware experience Palm.

  • Re:BeOS (Score:3, Insightful)

    by vbraga ( 228124 ) on Thursday July 15, 2010 @08:49PM (#32921858) Journal

    From a great operating system to a shitty mobile browser, how sad.

  • by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Thursday July 15, 2010 @09:19PM (#32922068)

    MS would have killed WebOS never will they put forth anything based on linux. Their CEO called it a cancer.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 16, 2010 @12:21AM (#32923060)

    HP says that they won't make another phone, which is too bad.

    No, HP said no such thing.

    There will be more phones using webOS.

    What the HP CEO said, which was misinterpreted, was that there would also be non-phone devices using webOS: printers, pads, etc.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 16, 2010 @12:29AM (#32923100)

    if MS had bought it ... they'd release a new phone 18 months late and then kill it after a few weeks.

    if Nokia had bought it ... it'd show up as another series of phones in their product lineup and just slot in there and be noticeable only by customers who're looking for it

    if Sony had bought it, the primary future development of WebOS would be DRM-related and the future phones will be sleek and thin, but overheat easily

  • Re:It seems to me (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:24AM (#32923288)

    Case in point: Apple.

  • Re:Apple vs. Nokia (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:17AM (#32923510)

    To me, patent trolls are companies that people are companies that don't actually create any products themselves, but just hold patents and use them to extract money from companies that do create products. They are parasites.

    Neither Apple nor Nokia are patent trolls.

  • Re:Be Inc included (Score:3, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Friday July 16, 2010 @07:58AM (#32924680) Homepage Journal

    It would have been an epic irony if Apple had bought Palm and gotten the remnants of Be Inc with it.

    Where's the irony? It would permit Steve to put the last nail in BeOS' coffin, proving how great NeXTStep 11, er, OSX is. Well, to him. Seems like a natural thing to do when you're leading a cult of personality. Maybe not logical, but then "you're holding it wrong, don't hold it like a phone" is batshit insane. Regardless, it would have made absolutely zero business sense for Apple to buy Palm. Apple does not need the tech (too late to go BeOS anyway) and would not get the customers.

  • Re:Patents? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JourneymanMereel ( 191114 ) <<gro.allizgub> <ta> <ekaj>> on Friday July 16, 2010 @11:30AM (#32926708) Homepage Journal

    For the most part I like your list... but I'd swap out Android's IM support and keep webOS's client (with a couple more providers supported).

    Also, the rumor is that the PDK will enable very easy porting of iPhone apps to webOS, so I'd imagine that will help bolster their app catalog.

    I recently switched from the Palm Pre to the HTC Evo. The only things I really like about the Evo better are: the hardware (though I miss my real keyboard) and the number of apps. Android itself just isn't all its cracked up to be IMHO.

1 Mole = 007 Secret Agents