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HP and Palm: How To Waste a Billion Dollars

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  • Palm
  • Hewlett Packard
Last response: in News comments
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May 1, 2010 12:32:11 AM

Crap, a drop in the bucket compared to Trillions the Fascists in DC have wasted so far.
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-23
May 1, 2010 12:33:39 AM

I thought RIM is the biggest in smartphone industry.
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9
May 1, 2010 12:45:59 AM

regulasCrap, a drop in the bucket compared to Trillions the Fascists in DC have wasted so far.


do people not understand this is a tech site which has international readers that like to stay on topic about the article. go off topic somewhere else.
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21
Anonymous
a b α HP
May 1, 2010 12:46:22 AM

This guy needs to visit precentral.net and its forums and see for himself how much Palm is really worth.
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2
May 1, 2010 1:00:01 AM

Grammar police ENGAGE!

Quote:
Palm was always able to reanimate itself, thanks to a complex company and license structure that no one on the outside really can understood.


Should be "understand", if present tense, otherwise get rid of the can. :-P

I kinda like the acquisition to be honest, it has potential.
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4
May 1, 2010 1:03:34 AM

One thing the article seems to be missing is that this is a bet, not a certainty. The biggest way to lose in the market is to never gamble. If it doesn't work, HP loses 1.2 Billion. Big deal. It's nothing. And they won't even lose that much, as the patents alone could sell for some money.

There's a huge potential upside, way more than 1.2 Billion. HP is a huge company, with enormous resources, and when you give them some good technology and a very strong patent portfolio, you have some big opportunities.

Keeping them part of the computer division makes sense, since phones are computers, and every generation gain more features and functionality of the PC. No doubt HP sees that integration of technologies could have some benefit.

Also, phones don't carry huge brand loyalty. Does anyone doubt HP can make a phone that will appeal at least to 10% of the market? Or even 5%? I don't. It's a huge market, and you don't need a huge market share to make money. HP has such enormous resources they can build a viable structure for the phone quickly, albeit with minor problems, and produce a competitive product.

I think HP did the right thing. Taking risks so you can grow is part of vitality and life. Being too afraid to belongs under the category of pathology.
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14
May 1, 2010 1:26:43 AM

I know a way to waste a trillion dollars... Elect Obama!
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-15
Anonymous
a b α HP
May 1, 2010 1:50:03 AM

their only problem is the lack of vision.
my 2 cents: get microsoft on the wagon and kick apple's butt. then, and only then can you tackle google's android and start gaining market share.
I could also be so wrong, so don't take my word.
whatevs
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1
May 1, 2010 2:19:39 AM

Bruceification73I know a way to waste a trillion dollars... Elect Obama!


Right Damn Obama!

and Bush had nothing to do with it.

Please keep all political BS of this site its not Politico its Tomshardware.
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-9
May 1, 2010 2:25:41 AM

I never said Bush had nothing to do with it. I simply implied that Obama has wasted a lot of money. And he has.
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-15
May 1, 2010 2:53:32 AM

Bruceification73I never said Bush had nothing to do with it. I simply implied that Obama has wasted a lot of money. And he has.


To be honest, I'm not American, but I'm pretty sure it's the big advisors who have the real sway in how the US' money is spent, and the president is just the guy to blame everything on.
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-9
Anonymous
a b α HP
May 1, 2010 3:58:46 AM

actually this acquisition might turn out not bad if they handle it correctly

i would reason that HP inserted palm into the PC division because they want to leverage their hardware for the palm device, as the author mentioned having a kick@ss OS is not good enough, remember HP acquired the ipaq PDA device from Compaq, they just need to convert one of these things into a phone device, palm can concentrate on refining the webOS augment this with HP corporate muscle in the guise of HPux (auguably one of the most robust corporate implementation of unix) and they may well be onto a winner, it's not going to overthrow either iPhone or android overnight but it may produce a competitive device, in fact if i were to hazard a guess, HP could well be lining RIM up in it's sights....
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1
May 1, 2010 5:34:37 AM

This article seems to be quite wrong about market share. Not that I know anything -- I don't even have a smartphone. So I googled and the first thing I found was this:

Looking at the latest figures, three month averag market share ending 2010 Feb 10:

- RIM has about the same market share as Apple, Google, and Palm combined. So much for being third.

- palm has 5.4% share (and dropping, but not insignificant)

The Hype Machine really pumps Apple and Google, and reality may follow, but it isn't there yet.

From the little I know, the actual Palm Pre sounds like a reasonable device. Being a techie, I'm always surprised how little that matters.
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7
May 1, 2010 6:50:08 AM

Dang, and to think I ALMOST got a Palm...phew!
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-2
May 1, 2010 7:04:01 AM

I disagree, if Palm has so many patents and HP had a lot of resources, think of the combo... unlike others like Apple trying to sue over things they think they invented, Palm has real patents to a lot of the smart phone tech, and HP has lots of money... so if they wish to pursue they can go on a sueing spree and win as they really do have the patents to back them up... OR demand royalties... Palm was in the red and could not do such things on its own (not effectively that is) but now they can.

I would say watch out MS, and Apple and even Google...

besides HP might have a better edge over RIM in the market IMO, that would push them into third or near third place :p 
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2
Anonymous
a b α HP
May 1, 2010 12:16:35 PM

Personally, I think the purchase is a brilliant move. HP already have some smart phones based upon their iPAQ devices...and frankly, they suck. Another aspect is that they are beholden to Microsoft because they use "Windows for Phones" (Whatever MS is calling their embedded OS this week). With Palms new phones, they have a device that is based upon Linux, something that HP really loves because they have full source, and they don't have to pay a dime to Microsoft for it! Also, HP has a great deal of internal experience with Linux. With the Palm's version of Linux, they now have one operating system that will work on everything from their Superdome Supercomputers all the way down to hand-held devices. And *that* is where the real story is!
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May 1, 2010 12:55:15 PM

All of you with the political jabs: there is a forum section called 'Politics' if you want to discuss that stuff!
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2
Anonymous
a b α HP
May 1, 2010 1:32:06 PM

I don't think that the Palm acquisition is about smart phones at all. It's about competing with the Apple iPad. HP axed the Slate because Apple raised the bar to a level where HP realized that a Windows-based tablet was a non-starter. That's why they put Palm under their computer devision.

However, my belief is that WebOS is no match for iPhoneOS or Android.
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-5
May 1, 2010 1:43:48 PM

HP had always been an engineers company. For a long time their products were geared pretty specifically toward engineers. Their products were sparse and functional. This is sort of the problem I see with their acquisition of Voodoo, that deep down, the companies had vastly different "feels" that don't equate in the scheme of one another's ethoses. I think in a similar way, they'll probably have trouble even making a handset people like. What appeals to people when they buy a handset/smartphone is different than going out and buying a scientific calculator because it uses RPN. And in all honesty, I don't think given their pedigree, that they're going to be able to make a smartphone that will have placement. But There is a strategic value to their acquisition...The ipad has shown that there is an even more weird marketplace for portable devices than people probably expected.

Let's be honest here, the ipad is a really weird fish. And people carry the things around like they were a phone/netbook/laptop, they have a big exposed screen, a danger to itself in that way, they're an awkward size for a portable device, small but not small enough for a pocket. The point is, that it's weird, of marginal use, and people buy the things. Yes it's apple, and yes they can sell any of their wares to any of their devotees, but It also shows that people like little gadgets. (We already knew this I hope). Clunkier and weirder the better probably.

Even though any sane person has gotten fed up the the gadgetry at this point, There is a need for some of the stuff, and people are quirky. Palm's acquisition does have some potential value, if they're smart enough not to enter the smartphone market, and go instead to something more in the direction of smaller-than-a-laptop mobile devices. A small sleek OS for devices like that could be a goldmine. Provided they don't put themselves directly in conflict with apple.
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May 1, 2010 6:12:37 PM

I can't but help wonder if this acquisition is why HP decided to kill off its Slate tablet, or at least the combination of a tablet and Windows 7 with a touch based layer added to it.
Using Palm's WebOS for this device would make much more sense, result in far greater battery life and be faster than the Atom they were going to use while at the same time let them use a 'slower' processor.
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1
Anonymous
a b α HP
May 1, 2010 6:40:34 PM

Personally I think HP makes things by committee, everything gets jammed in and let others work out the details. Looking at HP computers or printers in the stores there is alot to be said for fit and feel of the product, there just isn't the pride/love that needs to be...a kind of a good enough, lets get on to the next project mentality. It is how I see their products.
How this would work with Palm? It would go with not giving enough resources, lots of goals and tight deadline that would be pushed back with underwhelming overall design because that was what they had to settle for with the resources given.
How they could win? Give resources for a tight simple (but flexible) design for people to get their hooks in. Up the complication and improve for the same price. Keep the team compact and solid and adding employees as it grows. Give tight deadlines and improve it as intel and others do to leapfrog with design hardware, every year update hardware, every year update software, every 6 months either hardware or software will be upgraded with known stuff that will be in it and worked on in a known schedule. Keep it tight and simple yet flexible.
Probably what will happen will be to throw random engineers at it under a responsible manager, this will probably fail.
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May 1, 2010 7:20:25 PM

Just roll out some classic PDA's...Palm OS 6 (with full back compat for OS 3/4/5 apps), wifi support, multitasking, and all that simplicity we loved of the good 'ole days. Then integrate a phone somewhere down the line.
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May 1, 2010 7:58:12 PM

Apparently, the author and many of its readers have not spent a good amount of time using the Palm WebOS. The hardware is the easy part for HP, and they'll probably keep the WebOS, which is an amazing portable platform.
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2
May 1, 2010 8:12:02 PM

Wow, another ignorant article with most of its facts completely wrong. Did you just paraphrase someone else's inaccurate and negative commentary without checking any facts whatsoever?

Or.. is this some kind of crybaby fanboy thing where you have some favorite company and it happens to be in competition with Palm/HP?
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2
May 1, 2010 9:29:24 PM

"Can a non-existent brand revive a dead brand?" - If its nonexistent why in my hick town (under 2000) is there over 10 people I'v personaly seen with WebOS phones?

I honestly agree with spoofedpacket, your looking at this in horribly negative tones. HP has expresed no interest in the current phones instead they what to stick WebOS on everything they make LINK Hp is most likely looking not only to use Palm and WebOS as a springboard into the phone market but also to use WebOS on a tablet device.

Its not about the 1.2 billion its about the 5-10-100billion they can make. You failed to do any research and as a result 3/4 of your article is opinion only.
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May 1, 2010 9:55:01 PM

keegandoomfire"If its(sic) nonexistent why in my hick town (under 2000) is(sic) there over 10 people I'v(sic) personaly(sic) seen with WebOS phones?"

Do you have any other anecdotal evidence to contribute?
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May 1, 2010 11:02:32 PM

"Let’s be realistic. Today’s smart phone market is being divided between Apple and Google, with Nokia and RIM figuring out who will be third." ummm come again? Have you seen what the Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, Germans, French, Italians, etc etc etc are crazy about? You should have done more research for this story, and certainly should have been clear exactly which 'market' you're refering to.
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May 1, 2010 11:52:34 PM

[
lamorpaDo you have any other anecdotal evidence to contribute?

yeah, stop being nonconstructive and contribute yourself... If you don't have something to add then please don't troll.

With palm launching on ATT soon we will have one more Carrier with WebOS phones, And as omnimodis pointed out WebOS has been very popular in open-minded countrys.
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May 2, 2010 10:14:25 AM

Palm... will pretty much die inside the HP Collective.

Voodoo is very much dead. Check out the site, nothing new since last fall with "discontinued" products with vista, core2. Click on community... nothin. news, out dated. Not even "sorry, we're dead" page. :(  Oh well, they got paid.

Even HP's own voodoo site... dead" http://www.hp.com/voodoodna

What is left, is the HP Envy which is based off the voodoo design.

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-1
May 2, 2010 2:31:09 PM

Nokia, third? Haha is all I'll say.
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1
May 2, 2010 4:26:48 PM

This better not be the reason why Slate is getting scrapped :( 
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Anonymous
a b α HP
May 2, 2010 7:35:54 PM

This is a very lazily written article that's tough to take seriously.

There are a number of very noticeable grammar mistakes in the first couple of paragraphs, and all the "arguments," presented are wishy-washy and, again, lazy.

To quote but one example, "even HTC reportedly wouldn't buy Palm." Why is the word "even," in that sentence? Is the author trying to imply HTC are so desperate they should have jumped at the chance? And even if that were true, which it clearly isn't, why should that matter if the discussion's about the strategies behind the acquisition?

Clearly this writer had a very limited approach to this article and it's easy to see how poorly written and constructed this "argument," was going to be early on. Continuing with the article, the points given either didn't make sense (perhaps due to the poor grammar in places) or badly thought out, or both.

This is a lazy, dull, insipid, terribly researched and poorly written article.
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3
May 2, 2010 9:43:34 PM

What, on earth, are you talking about???

Let’s be realistic. Today’s smart phone market is being divided between Apple and Google, with Nokia and RIM figuring out who will be third.

Nokia sells MORE smartphones in one QUARTAL, than Apple sells in one YEAR.
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1
May 3, 2010 4:31:53 AM

duckmanx88do people not understand this is a tech site which has international readers that like to stay on topic about the article. go off topic somewhere else.

I totally understand where you're coming from. However, have you noticed that there is a COMPLETELY different list of comments for each language you choose? I find it incredibly bizarre. I just discovered this about a month ago.
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0
May 3, 2010 6:49:55 AM

Nexus52085I totally understand where you're coming from. However, have you noticed that there is a COMPLETELY different list of comments for each language you choose? I find it incredibly bizarre. I just discovered this about a month ago.

Since the article was way sub par for a THG article I'll participate in the more interesting off topic discussions like everyone else. I think it's fine there's separate comments by language. I can't read Chinese or Hindi anyway.
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0
May 3, 2010 7:28:22 AM

Not sure if this can be called a waste of $1.2billion, but the patent portfolio is very well worth the cash, I think.

On a sidenote, I did not enjoy the Pre at all, even though I tried it out. Too plasticky, cramped keyboard and small screen.
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0
May 3, 2010 1:31:38 PM

whilst not agreeing that HP made QUITE so big of a blunder, I would like to thank Wolfgang Gruener for another awesome article. If these keep coming, I am one happy reader :) 

(not that I mind most of Jane's articles...I just slyly avoid them -NOT because she writes badly, but because her content is...abysmal...at best- MOST of the time)
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-2
May 3, 2010 1:34:34 PM

jenesuispasbavardNokia, third? Haha is all I'll say.

Nokia and Sony Erikson (or how it's spelled) account for something I would estimate at 80% of all phone sales in denmark - not unlikely they'd be third in the smartphone marked. Due to pricing of the htc models (the only real alternative) you can truely only pick a nokia phone, or a samsung with nokia os, if you need more than just a phone with a camera and mp3 player in it (sony phones)
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May 3, 2010 1:37:17 PM

Btw I like how the article ends by explaining who the heck wrote it. Should be applied to all articles by 'guest writers'
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May 3, 2010 2:31:46 PM

"Today’s smart phone market is being divided between Apple and Google, with Nokia and RIM figuring out who will be third."

Citation Please.

http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/201...

According to each link of the first page of a search, RIM is still way ahead in first place, Microsoft is a solid third and Nokia isn't even showing up.
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1
May 3, 2010 2:39:21 PM

Why is Tom's posting articles from people who haven't done a single bit of research or fact checking? (This only applies to the US)
http://assets.bizjournals.com/story_image/850021-0-0-1....

Apple actually lost a tiny bit of the Smartphone market share in February. While nothing of significance, it completely undermine's the author's point.

While Apple gained again in March, their current gains are nothing compared to Google's, nor does Blackberry show any decline from being #1, with a small, but steady increase in their share:
http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/201...

If we want to go with Wiki's info (which has also been confirmed within other articles found on the web):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smartphone

Symbian is by far and away the #1 Smartphone.

What is this guy smoking and why are we posting his articles on Tom's Hardware, if he can't even be bothered to take 2 minutes to research what he's saying? It took me less than 5 minutes to find all of the information above. Disappointing. This one is even worse than his "Games coming to Macs, whether you like it or not" tripe.
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0
May 3, 2010 5:24:43 PM

You don't get it do you. It is about using the operating system on an Ipad type device. Remember the Pre is a multi-tasking monster and the I-pig pad can't really do more than one thing at one time. Do they pull it off? Who knows but I would love to see a HP styled palm OS pad soon.
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May 3, 2010 7:08:12 PM

When I was 13, I owned a second hand Palm IIIxe, and I think that it still is one of the best e-book reader ever made, besides the PDA functions it had. It had 8Mb of memory that was erased after the 2 AAA batteries ran out (that would take 1 month anyway), but come on, that was the available technology of the end 90's. The screen couldn't display images very well, 11 screens made a page of a book in iSilo and I couldn't read pdf files, but the lcd screen was much more confortable than the one I find in my current Samsung Galaxy. Of course that Amazon Kindle has some improvements (4Gb of memory, 3G and an unnecessary big screen), but also has drawbacks like the price tag of $300 and short battery duration (that is not AAA). If the old Palm III had evoluted, we could have today an excellent PDA/e-book reader for less than $80 that would fit in your pocket.
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May 3, 2010 8:05:25 PM

I think the executives at HP just *might* be smarter than the author here.
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May 3, 2010 9:01:48 PM

FAIL. I think the problem is that HP has never really stood out as a brand that sells anything but printers. Yes...they have been making workstations but that is a relatively small market. As soon as I see an HP computer I think "Compaq" and "proprietary".

Now picture an HP logo on a phone. Really? and the Palm OS on the phone to boot? I think the smarter move is for them to use the patents and completely kill the Palm OS. I just don't see how much they could have improved any of it. I used to own the Palm Treo. It worked but man was I glad to get rid of it for an iPhone. I never blinked once. To me that spells disaster for HP. The Palm experience is easily forgetable. It should stay forgotten!!!
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May 4, 2010 7:53:43 AM

kansur0FAIL. I think the problem is that HP has never really stood out as a brand that sells anything but printers. Yes...they have been making workstations but that is a relatively small market. As soon as I see an HP computer I think "Compaq" and "proprietary".Now picture an HP logo on a phone. Really? and the Palm OS on the phone to boot? I think the smarter move is for them to use the patents and completely kill the Palm OS. I just don't see how much they could have improved any of it. I used to own the Palm Treo. It worked but man was I glad to get rid of it for an iPhone. I never blinked once. To me that spells disaster for HP. The Palm experience is easily forgetable. It should stay forgotten!!!


True claim if by workstation you mean those 'workstation' branded computers. But they're delivering very many compaq lowend systems for places like this where I work. Just last year we bought almost 500 cheap intel dualcore systems with 4gb ram and onsite support ($500 per system)

HP is only recognized for printers and laptops, but they're making most anything computer related really. I'm sitting with a 24" hp monitor here. The best monitor I've ever seen in fact. And most of our servers are hp as well. They've got a marvelous blade system for bigger businesses, and smaller pizza servers for smaller businesses. And hp makes a lot of nice cheap digital cameras as well as a ton of other stuff. They're just not known for it.
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Anonymous
a b α HP
May 4, 2010 3:27:35 PM

"kansur0
FAIL. I think the problem is that HP has never really stood out as a brand that sells anything but printers. Yes...they have been making workstations but that is a relatively small market. As soon as I see an HP computer I think "Compaq" and "proprietary".

Now picture an HP logo on a phone. Really? and the Palm OS on the phone to boot? I think the smarter move is for them to use the patents and completely kill the Palm OS. I just don't see how much they could have improved any of it. I used to own the Palm Treo. It worked but man was I glad to get rid of it for an iPhone. I never blinked once. To me that spells disaster for HP. The Palm experience is easily forgetable. It should stay forgotten!!!"

not spent much time in the corporate world have you, to say workstation is a small market is like saying the Atlantic is just a small pond, the reason why RIM has such a commanding lead is because of the corporate world, and unlike consumers, the corporate market has a guaranteed turn over, that is the corporate will always upgrade their machines to the newest and best, it also means every worker that requires one will get a workstation. HP is a strong brand in the corporate environment because their works stations are robust and reliable, if they can carry that over into a corporate smart-phone, then Mr Job's iPhone is just small fry. As for WebOS, well it's based upon linux, strangely enough the same platform that Android uses, but HP may have an advantage in that they have HPux, one of the best corporate implementation of unix, plug all that learning into WebOS and we could well see something geared towards the corporate environment that could threaten RIM's dominance. Once they stitched up the corporate market they could move on to the consumer one....
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May 4, 2010 10:37:23 PM

What's held Palm back from greater success is money. Period. Money to develop webOS more quickly, money to push out new hardware iterations more quickly, money to promote more heavily. HP brings financial resources, along with distribution and manufacturing resources, that Palm could only dream of.

webOS is arguably the best mobile OS on the market, and even with Palm's struggles has some very, very good apps available. The Pre and Pixi, while getting a little old in the tooth, have been very good devices that are a joy to use. Put webOS on a higher end device (coming), bring it up-to-speed (coming), and put it on a few tablet formats (according to HP, coming), along with HP's strength in cloud computing and with some of their own media and other IP that's been sitting on shelves, and I think folks will be surprised at just how well HP Palm does over the next few years.

I suggest that anyone who doubts this acquisition spend a little time actually using a webOS device, and then come back and tell us if you agree with this article.
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