Rumor: Is Palm Going to Buy Psion?

Palm is trying to buy Psion in order to take control of Symbian, according to The Register. At least, that is the rumor on Great Britain's version of Wall Street. This comes just a few weeks after Palm was rumored to be considering basing OS 5 on the Symbian OS.

Symbian was created to take Psion's Epoc 32 OS and make it into a platform for wireless information devices. While Psion is Symbian's majority shareholder, other investors include Nokia, Matsushita, Sony, Ericsson and Motorola.

If Palm owned a majority stake in Symbian, they would have much more control over future development of the platform, which could be advantageous if Palm is indeed considering basing OS 5 on it.

Palm is in the process of developing a next-generation OS to allow the company to grow in the direction it wants to go: wireless communications. Developing their own real-time wireless platform from the ground up is sure to be very expensive for Palm, but Symbian has already done all the work necessary to implement GPRS and Bluetooth. Using their platform would free Palm to enhance the hardware and user interface, which is what it does best.

A big question in this is whether the other Symbian partners would allow Palm to hijack the OS.

As a company, Psion isn't in the best shape right now. Monday, the company's shares lost a fifth of their value after it said Motorola had pulled out of a key project to create smartphones. Chief executive David Levin said the collapse of the partnership would cut about 12m off pre-tax profits for 2001 as a result of the extra development costs and lost profits from the project. If Palm was considering buying the company, now would be the best time to do it.

Naturally, neither Palm nor Psion has any response besides, "No comment".

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a great buy

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/30/2001 1:38:48 PM #
Is there any reason Palm wouldn't buy Psion? The wireless communications work has already been done. And obviously wireless communications is the "killer app" for the Palm devices.

Palm can do some simple communications, but with this acquisition, Palm can flow seamlessly into advanced communication capabilities.

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