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HP: A Transformational Deal for the Mobile Market

New HP Logo HP held an conference call with investors and analysts on the Palm acquisition. In the call Todd Bradley, executive vice president, Personal Systems Group, HP laid out the motivations behind the transaction. Mr. Bradley remarked that it represents a "transformational deal for the connected mobile device market" and he gave a few details and hints about HP's plans for the future of webOS.

Mr. Bradley made a point to highlight that webOS lends itself to additional mobile form factors and he stressed the benefits of owning the entire mobile experience. He said that HP sees opportunities in other mobile form factors and market segments for the platform. In specific, larger slate style devices were mentioned a number of times as well as "potential netbooks." He remarked that HP had gone through the due diligence to confirm that webOS would be able to support such future products. When pressed in the Q&A he declined to give any sort of timeframe or potential product roadmap.

"between smartphones, slates and potentially netbooks represents an enormous opportunity to our customers. We believe that this is a very, very early stage market."

-Todd Bradley

On the business side of things HP expects most of Palm's leadership to remain with the company. HP will leverage its financial strength and global reach to help realize the full potential of Palm's mobile operating system. Execs also remarked that HP will be bringing more resources into Palm which it expects to run as a separate business unit. Investments in R&D, sales and marketing will likely be given priority once the deal is approved. HP will also leverage much its own technology, scale and relationships on future hardware and component deals.

HP Palm Acquisition Slide

HP Palm Acquisition Slide

HP Palm Acquisition Slide

Full Presentation Slides

HP Webcast Link (Transcript, Slides, Archive)

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good news

rpa @ 4/28/2010 3:20:05 PM # Q
I was expecting a buyer that could deliver WebOS over multiple platforms and thought it would be Lenovo. HP is even better as they are solid in engineering and global reach.
Reply to this comment

The Revenge of hp

mikecane @ 4/28/2010 3:27:26 PM # Q
In looking at the wikipedia entry for hp, I was reminded that Steve Wozniak once tried to convince them to put out the first Apple computer.

This is their chance to correct that huge mistake.

Damn, this is going to be so incredibly interesting!!

webOS vs. Android is going to be a battle to the death. Apple will remain, but Android is now in real danger.

RE: The Revenge of hp
painted_dog @ 4/28/2010 5:29:53 PM # Q
..really ? Android to be given a run for its money by WebOS ??

..sorry i must respectfully disagree unless WebOS gets licensed. But don't think HP-Palm will look to license it (& more or less give it away for free like Android is). They now have their own OS, they will keep it & nurture it like Apple does for the iPhone/iPad OS. Its HP's dream to make everything HP they have to get in every nook & cranny & have their own drivers & blah, blah, blah.. [don't get me wrong every Co wants its own thing] .. but i feel that HP hurts itself by getting into needed to have its printing software installed, etc, .. just give me the driver & let me deal with the rest.

Palm & WebOS will be good for them, they will get to start early to make the 'world' (as they see it) HP (& Palm).

& i agree HP purchase of Palm is probably one of the best things to happen to Palm, they will be a good fit for all that HP does, they can have links to HP camera, printers, digital photo frames, slates, netbooks, etc. HP will have their own microcosm...

..but they will not be a threat to Android. (At least outside of HP) .. Android's biggest threat as i see it is Google itself & how it will or will not commit to the platform. Sure for now its 'Hot' & hopefully as all the playing fields level out they will continue to support it properly. Apple will be Apple & do what it does. Microsoft will be itself & get there (Windows phone 7 is a good step in that direction & as they more & more synchronize their efforts (XBOX, Win Phone 7, Win 7, Office, Zune, etc) they will be more & more mainstream too (mobile devices i mean)). RIM i think has enough of a head start & long enough claws that they'll be around & a force to recon with for quite some time. Nokia .. well it will be interesting... i know the rest of the world is Nokia (Symbian & non smart phones) but to really play in the 'smart phone' mobile computing area, they really need to get it together. Maybe Symbian ^3 is it, i'm not sure, but i think they really need to get behind 1 solid system & push. They can do it, they know how, they just need to commit (IMHO).

..but you are right this is going to be interesting.

-painted dog

RE: The Revenge of hp
atrizzah @ 4/28/2010 6:13:03 PM # Q
This is definitely a new lease on life for Palm, the company that just won't die. If HP licenses WebOS, then it will definitely be a threat to Android. But I think what they really want to do is make an iPad competitor, and WebOS is definitely the platform for that
Peace Out
Alan
RE: The Revenge of hp
pmjoe @ 4/28/2010 6:24:48 PM # Q
Android's biggest competitor is Chrome OS. Google sees both as mobile operating systems, but underneath they are quite divergent. Personally, I think Google has dug themselves into a hole that will be difficult to resolve, unless they make it possible to run Android apps in Chrome OS.
RE: The Revenge of hp
jca666us @ 4/29/2010 4:45:24 AM # Q
This deal will only pan out if HP doesn't water down their product line with webos and windows 7 devices.

RE: The Revenge of hp
nastebu @ 4/29/2010 5:57:34 AM # Q
how does Google make money off of Android?
RE: The Revenge of hp
mikecane @ 4/29/2010 6:31:16 AM # Q
>>>>unless WebOS gets licensed.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. No.

RE: The Revenge of hp
rpa @ 4/29/2010 8:15:05 AM # Q
"a battle to the death" is pretty dramatic....we're only talking about cell phones here!

Compare the mobile phone sector with Apple, RIM, Windows Phone 7, Android, Nokia's S^3/Meego, WebOS and various peripheral players to the PC market where you have essentially WINDOWS and a niche market for Apple. Even if this field shakes down to 3-4 viable OS's, it is still an improvement over the PC sector as more competition will benefit consumers.

RE: The Revenge of hp
mikecane @ 4/29/2010 3:22:29 PM # Q
>>>Apple, RIM, Windows Phone 7, Android, Nokia's S^3/Meego, WebOS

Apple: Major
RIM: Corporate.
WinPhone 7: Vapor.
Android: Google-only -- and look where Nexus One got them!
Nokia: Puhleeze. Stop being silly!
webOS: Can grab Apple haters, RIM haters, and newbies.

RE: The Revenge of hp
jca666us @ 5/1/2010 6:49:16 AM # Q
Interesting meeting between HP & Palm executives:

http://tinyurl.com/264cauw

RE: The Revenge of hp
mikecane @ 5/1/2010 8:13:45 AM # Q
Ha. But really, everyone acts like Palm doesn't have new things we haven't seen -- same for hp. Everyone thinks only Apple can create things now, apparently.
RE: The Revenge of hp
jca666us @ 5/1/2010 9:21:56 AM # Q
But really, everyone acts like Palm doesn't have new things we haven't seen -- same for hp. Everyone thinks only Apple can create things now, apparently.

I don't think anyone believes only Apple can create things, but then again you like at something as simple as the ipad - executed perfectly.

Palm has another opportunity with HP; hopefully they don't blow it.

Reply to this comment

looking forward to the HP Slate with webOS.

pmjoe @ 4/28/2010 6:31:29 PM # Q
HP may have a winner here, and this definitely puts them in position to compete with the iPad.
RE: looking forward to the HP Slate with webOS.
jodihansen @ 4/28/2010 7:59:54 PM # Q
Yes, I'd like to see a HP Slate running WebOS. I have been planning on getting an iPad 3G but now I could even wait and see what happens. I hope to hear some rumors of a Slate running WebOS before the end of May when the iPad is to be released in Australia, actually make that before the 10th May when pre-orders go on sale.
Reply to this comment

Can't wait for a WebOS slate

jimn367 @ 4/28/2010 7:05:36 PM # Q
I absolutely cannot wait for a slate or netvertible with WebOS.

As with other deals, I am willing to bet all of the recent announcements were just going through the motions and this deal has been brewing for months.

I think the only reason this was sprung was the fact that all of the negative press and the impact to current/future sales. I think just HPs backing will step up presence at the big carriers.

I hope the fruits of this union come faster than the MS pink phones from the old Danger group.

Reply to this comment

WebOS + HP hardware?

Adif @ 4/28/2010 8:17:16 PM # Q
HP tc1100 + multitouch screen + WebOS? I wonder what that would be like.
RE: WebOS + HP hardware?
mikecane @ 4/29/2010 6:30:55 AM # Q
Frikkin TOO HEAVY!
Reply to this comment

M$ Licensing?

2klbs @ 4/29/2010 3:48:31 PM # Q
'anyone willing to venture their take on the news that Microsoft extorted (err, "negotiated") a license deal with HTC over the IP associated with Android's LINUX base?

MS has years of history of complaining they have a stake in LINUX and want to get paid for it.

Sure, HTC has a couple of obvious points to compel (or "encourage") them into such an agreement (not wanting to alienate MS whom they still manufacture devices for, and their already potentially tough fight with Apple), but doesn't this pose a risk to WebOS in that it shares the same kernel with Android?

Perhaps MS didn't go after Palm before this becasue they didn't think they had much to gain, but now that HP is potentially covering the cost of such a fight and/or license revenue, does it change the game?

RE: M$ Licensing?
mikecane @ 4/29/2010 5:01:10 PM # Q
Who is left domestically as MS's biggest Windows customers? hp and Dell.

We've already seen Asus hardball MS on XP pricing to replace Linux on netbooks.

So, I really don't think MS is in any position to try to push around hp. The same hp that also offered a Linux alternative on its netbook too.

RE: M$ Licensing?
2klbs @ 4/29/2010 5:09:08 PM # Q
That's a good point, but thinking aloud:

With HP having something to lose too if they put their eggs into the WebOS basket, or even if they want to maintain multiple OS options, they might as well license friendly than drain treasure in an IP litigation.


Not "Pre-verted", nor Android Assimilated, BB Bummered...

RE: M$ Licensing?
mikecane @ 4/30/2010 9:18:15 AM # Q
I bet hp's existing licenses with MS already cover anything HTC just did.
RE: M$ Licensing?
SeldomVisitor @ 4/30/2010 2:23:01 PM # Q
MSFT said today they are not interested in bidding for Palm.

Reply to this comment

Hey, you stock/finance wonks!

mikecane @ 4/29/2010 3:58:44 PM # Q
Palm just gave some execs some stock or options or something to stick around.

What's their payday now based on the hp acquisition?

RE: Hey, you stock/finance wonks!
SeldomVisitor @ 4/29/2010 5:02:03 PM # Q
They have to wait two years.

Palm and HPQ filed a bunch of useful filings with the SEC - read them.

RE: Hey, you stock/finance wonks!
mikecane @ 4/30/2010 9:18:44 AM # Q
>>>Palm and HPQ filed a bunch of useful filings with the SEC - read them.

Who, me? That's YOUR job, dammit!

Reply to this comment

Possibilities, good and bad...

treo007 @ 4/29/2010 5:35:27 PM # Q
For me, the biggest potential win for Web OS and consumer choice is that developers may now get on board Web OS in droves, and be willing to stick around (I wonder if Data Viz for instance wishes they'd waited an extra day to make their announcement on ceasing Docs to Go development for Web OS?). Web OS's biggest shortcoming when compared to iPhone, or even Android, has to be the limited selection of apps.

That said, the proof for most developers will be in the pudding. HP has often been slow in bringing concept hardware to the market ready stage (the Slate being a great example). I think the first HP Web OS devices need to start rolling out by the end of the year. I don't know that that will happen however.

In the meantime, tons of iPads keep being sold, and a slew of Android tablets are just around the corner. Web OS showed up too late to garner the attention it deserves. Here's hoping that the same won't be true in the emerging battle ground of tablet devices. If HP doesn't get any Web OS momentum going though, look for them to step up Windows development.

I'm also concerned that, now that Palm isn't making the hardware decisions any more, we may start to see some inefficient designs. I have nothing against expanding choices, but something like the physical qwerty accessible in portrait mode was pioneered in some respects by Handspring, and it has been a hallmark of Palm smartphones since that time. I would hate to see something like that go the way of the dodo, just because a couple engineers at HP love their soft keyboards or horizontal qwerty.

HP has never, to my knowledge at least, owned it's own operating system. It will be interesting to see if they know how to handle it. Could be a huge culture clash. Something that usually ends in disaster.

RE: Possibilities, good and bad...
BaalthazaaR @ 4/30/2010 6:05:05 AM # Q
treo007 wrote:
HP has never, to my knowledge at least, owned it's own operating system. It will be interesting to see if they know how to handle it. Could be a huge culture clash. Something that usually ends in disaster.

They have never owned their own idiot on the street OS. They own HP UNIX, Tru64 UNIX, Tandem NSK, VMS, etc to name a few (the last two being acquired by Compaq before HP acquired them).

RE: Possibilities, good and bad...
treo007 @ 4/30/2010 7:24:07 PM # Q
True, although I think those two things (the OSes you mentioned and idiot on the street os) are two totally different things. Doesn't mean it can't be done well, they're just going to have do it right, yet do it somewhat fast.
Reply to this comment

Microsoft drops the Courier project!

Fake Jeff Hawkins @ 4/29/2010 8:50:15 PM # Q
http://tinyurl.com/2a658u3 *


Amazing.

And yet the Zune is still alive...


*Check out who wrote that article! Snicker.

RE: Microsoft drops the Courier project!
Fake Jeff Hawkins @ 4/29/2010 9:14:34 PM # Q
The Courier is the one eBook reader concept I actually would have bought (sorry iPad). Sad to see Microsoft again shelving one of the few good ideas it's had in the past 5 years.

Every so often I take stock of the form factors of the devices that I use regularly and try to decide if it's time for a change. I *would* have liked the triad of Centro, Courier and X200. If a decent PalmOS emulator arrives for Android, I now might move to just HTC EVO and X200. And if iPhone 4G is impressive I might do Centro, iPhone 4G (or new iPod Touch) and X200. Damn Microsoft!

FJH

RE: Microsoft drops the Courier project!
jca666us @ 4/30/2010 3:46:39 AM # Q
All Courier was at this point (from what we have seen) a series of videos.

Nothing substantial; the technology isn't there to produce a Courier device yet.

Maybe in a few years.

RE: Microsoft drops the Courier project!
Fake Jeff Hawkins @ 4/30/2010 6:29:27 AM # Q
the technology isn't there to produce a Courier device yet.


Do you really believe that?

The ONLY things that could have been a problem are battery life and cost. The parts - from processor to screen - are a trivial exercise.

The Courier is the first new design I've seen since the smartphone that is significant:

- PC
- Laptop
- PDA
- Smartphone
- Courier (dual screened folding tablet)

The Courier is the design that will allow computers to finally replace books everywhere. If Apple can morph an iPad into a similar form factor and get decent handwriting and speech recognition engines, they will create another revolution more significant than the iPod and iPhone combined.

FJH

RE: Microsoft drops the Courier project!
jca666us @ 4/30/2010 11:51:05 AM # M Q
battery technology - not there yet

screen technology - low power display tech needed - not there yet.

form factor looks intriguing but who knows if it's viable? mocked up videos don't mean squat.

RE: Microsoft drops the Courier project!
Fake Jeff Hawkins @ 4/30/2010 7:43:31 PM # Q
The Courier's problem was PRICE. $299 netbooks and $499 iPads have forever changed what the average Joe expects for their money. The Courier devices would have had to have been heavily subsidized to have sold at competitive prices. Microsoft will now probably try to brute force Windows 7 into convertible netbook tablets (reasonable compromise) and hope that newer mobile processors don't bog things down too much.

I'd love to see Fujitsu come out with a dual screened Tablet PC with solid state hard drive, a high end mobile processor and a decent battery. Add ritePen, Evernote, Office, Windows Speech Recogniton and create a multitasking MONSTER. Unfortunately, the Walmart types and trailer trash drooling over the iPad could never afford caviar like a dual screened Tablet PC, so vendors pandering to the lowest common denominator will continue unabated.

FJH

RE: Microsoft drops the Courier project!
gmayhak @ 4/30/2010 8:52:14 PM # Q
"Unfortunately, the Walmart types and trailer trash drooling over the iPad could never afford caviar like a dual screened Tablet PC, so vendors pandering to the lowest common denominator will continue unabated."

I'm pretty sure you're trolling for this response FJH so... you're so full of shit!

Gary
Tech Center Labs

RE: Microsoft drops the Courier project!
Fake Jeff Hawkins @ 4/30/2010 10:09:57 PM # Q
Gary, Gary, Gary. Don't let me have to tell you what you can do with your TaleLight!

iPad is for easily manipulated Hale-Bop Apple Cultists. Trailer Trash with money, but trailer trash nontheless.No doubt you'll disagree, since you sell iPhone/iPad apps. So be it.

iPad makes little sense. Add a thin keyboard and USB slots to it, a Foleo-style user-(relatively)accessible battery and fix the WiFi (and printing?) issues and then maybe we'll talk. Maybe. Who the hell wants to lug around a laptop-sized device with no keyboard? Seriously. An HTC EVO paired with a decent Samsung netbook makes infinitely more sense in my books.

FJH

RE: Microsoft drops the Courier project!
hkklife @ 4/30/2010 10:18:38 PM # Q
Fake Jeff Hawkins wrote:
An HTC EVO paired with a decent Samsung netbook makes infinitely more sense in my books.

I'd go with an Asus or Acer 11.6"/12" CULV machine instead of an anemic Atom-based netbook but that's just me...

But yeah, when you can have 800x480+ resolution (especially what Apple's got cooked up for iPhone 4, huh?) and 4"+ screen on a smartphone, I would honestly start to question the usefulness of a tablet.

P.S. I think Apple's going to piss off a lot of middle-aged soccer moms/milfs/executive types with iPhone 4. 960x640 on a screen SMALLER than what all prior iPhones have employed? Thats just asking for eyestrain and seems like a strangely Palm-esque move. The dubious new "feature" of higher pixel density may put off a lot of FJH's trailer park types used to the coarse, chunky, and easy to read ~160 DPI of the 320x480 iPhones.
Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->Verizon Moto Droid + Verizon Palm Centro

RE: Microsoft drops the Courier project!
Fake Jeff Hawkins @ 5/2/2010 11:28:47 AM # Q
I'd go with an Asus or Acer 11.6"/12" CULV machine instead of an anemic Atom-based netbook but that's just me...


I agree - I use a 12 inch Lenovo tablet, but it costs 5 times the price of a netbook. The Average Joe won't appreciate the difference between the Lenovo and the cheap netbook.

FJH

RE: Microsoft drops the Courier project!
jca666us @ 5/2/2010 5:21:34 PM # Q
I think Apple's going to piss off a lot of middle-aged soccer moms/milfs/executive types with iPhone 4. 960x640 on a screen SMALLER than what all prior iPhones have employed?

Whoever said the screen of the 4g will get smaller??

Thats just asking for eyestrain and seems like a strangely Palm-esque move. The dubious new "feature" of higher pixel density may put off a lot of FJH's trailer park types used to the coarse, chunky, and easy to read ~160 DPI of the 320x480 iPhones.

Why would that put anyone off? if anything, the fonts on the 4g will be sharper and easier to read.

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