HP and Palm, Inc. today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which HP will purchase Palm, a provider of smartphones powered by the Palm webOS mobile operating system, at a price of $5.70 per share of Palm common stock in cash or an enterprise value of approximately $1.2 billion. The transaction has been approved by the HP and Palm boards of directors.
The combination of HP's global scale and financial strength with Palm's unparalleled webOS platform will enhance HP's ability to participate more aggressively in the fast-growing, highly profitable smartphone and connected mobile device markets. Palm's unique webOS will allow HP to take advantage of features such as true multitasking and always up-to-date information sharing across applications.
I guess I'm happier about this than I would have been if Palm had been sold to HTC or whatever Red Chinese company was rumored to be interested in it. I still would have preferred Microsoft to have picked up Palm, but so long as WinCE and Windows 7 Mobile are clogging up the works in Redmond, I guess it wasn't really in the cards. Palm and HP could be a very, very good match, quite aside from the fact that HP has a ton of money and Palm doesn't. It's not impossible that HP might port the WebOS onto their netbooks, which could be very, very interesting in that adding phone features to a netbook would make the iPad look even more like a badly engineered POS than it already does. We'll see what happens, I guess.