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Rumor: Dell May Buy palmOne?

Rumors floating around wall street that Dell is interested in a takeover of palmOne sent stock shares of palmOne higher in trading yesterday.

The uncorroborated rumor was posted in a note on the stock site Briefing.com. It stated, Dell (DELL $35.78 +1.3%) rose after Banc of America raised its rating to Buy from Neutral. DELL has started offering companies a zero interest lease for PCs. There were rumors floating around of a possible Dell takeover of PalmOne (PLMO $18.21 +12.5%), which is certainly feasible and a deal would create synergies for both companies.

Shares of palmOne were up 12% in trading wednesday based on the news.

Thanks to Gaurav for the tip.

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The AXIM is a Pocket PC

dws90 @ 5/6/2004 10:44:05 AM #
If this were true, what would happen to that?

This doesn't make sense.

RE: The AXIM is a Pocket PC
JarJar @ 5/6/2004 10:59:47 AM #
Dell isn't married to Microsoft. They are willing to sell whatever products are profitable, and they wouldn't object to selling both PPC and Palm platforms.

That being said, I don't think this rumor is true because it isn't Dell's style as another writer has commented.

RE: The AXIM is a Pocket PC
hoodoo @ 5/6/2004 11:16:26 AM #
But maybe they are married to MSFT.

If Dell takes out Palm, this would conveniently eliminate the PPC's main competition, and avoid anti-trust issues which would occur if Micro$ bought out P1.

Dell could let P1 continue for a while, then shut it down based on limited profitability. Then PalmSource's main customer would disappear, and voila, no more Palm economy.

But, hey, maybe I'm just feeling cynical today. :)

RE: The AXIM is a Pocket PC
JonathanChoo @ 5/6/2004 1:10:59 PM #
Dell is however married to Intel and could mean getting XScale based Palm PDAs could fall in prices due to Dell's purchasing power (having to buy XScales for both Axims and Palms). I wonder what this would mean to TI then. Anyway, Dell is not my favourite computer company in the World. Of the three laptops I owned (Inspiron 7000, 8100 and 8200) all of them breaks down in 3 months. European service being the worst and Malaysian service being the best (they even sent a technician to my house to fix the laptop but that was in 1998 - I doubt they would do such a thing today).

Side note: I do hope Dell starts selling AMD Athlon64 desktop processors soon. Personally I don't care since I build my own PC but people deserve a better choice and the A64 is the best in its class.

--
Psion 5> Vx > m505 > N770C > T625C > NR70V > e310 > T/T > HP h2210 > T/T3 & h4150
StarTac 75 > T28m > T39m > T68m > T610 > T630

RE: The AXIM is a Pocket PC
Gekko @ 5/6/2004 2:00:04 PM #
>"Of the three laptops I owned (Inspiron 7000, 8100 and 8200) all of them breaks down in 3 months."

Sounds like user error. I don't think Dell would be #1 in sales and have so many repeat customers if your implication of poor quality was true. I've owned many Dells and they've all been rock-solid.



RE: The AXIM is a Pocket PC
cbowers @ 5/6/2004 3:58:51 PM #
"Dell could let P1 continue for a while, then shut it down based on limited profitability. Then PalmSource's main customer would disappear, and voila, no more Palm economy."

Only short term pain. With PalmSource separate now, it's getting to the point (as recent Gartner numbers if believed may well indicate), that unless PalmOne does a radical turnaround, letting them remain as the sole general purpose PDA company hurts the palm economy more than it helps. It would be the final thrust PalmSource needs to open up the platform to certain current PocketPC licensees that shouldn't have been turned down in the first place when they initially came calling to the PalmOS camp. While I'm no huge fan of Dell, I'd have to support this eventuality. I've long said, the North American PalmOS market needs fresh, large licensees for the general PDA segment, and the counter has always been that it would hurt PalmOne. I've always said, so be it, but this move would seem to appease both camps. It's just that Dell wasn't exactly the licensee I was thinking of. Still, it'd be better than what we have at the moment. So I'm in... Where do I pre-order my PalmOS 6 Dell. At least Dell along with most PPC licensees understands what full featured, non-crippled general purpose PDA means.

RE: The AXIM is a Pocket PC
cbowers @ 5/6/2004 4:06:48 PM #
"Sounds like user error. I don't think Dell would be #1 in sales and have so many repeat customers if your implication of poor quality was true. I've owned many Dells and they've all been rock-solid."

Oh jeeze. And the original Zire wouldn't have sold in as many numbers if there weren't as many dim AOL users in the US.

The common factor between Dell and Zire #1 sales spots in purely price. Not best value for the dollar (that takes a little staring into the future, and actually pondering a purchase).

Dell does make some good stuff, but like anything you've got to pay a lot more for it, and it's not the stuff that's going to sell in large volumes to a wide consumer spectrum.

I'll concur with the previous poster, that longevity, robustness, upgrade and repairability are generally all below their peers for a lot of their product lines. My companies been more than discontented with Laptops and desktops from Dell, as have others I've done work for. And I won't personally go that route again, but on the flip side, I'm still glad they're there, and they're the right tool for certain jobs. You just need to need a bit more due diligence with your dollars.

RE: The AXIM is a Pocket PC
cbowers @ 5/6/2004 4:06:48 PM #
"Sounds like user error. I don't think Dell would be #1 in sales and have so many repeat customers if your implication of poor quality was true. I've owned many Dells and they've all been rock-solid."

Oh jeeze. And the original Zire wouldn't have sold in as many numbers if there weren't as many dim AOL users in the US.

The common factor between Dell and Zire #1 sales spots in purely price. Not best value for the dollar (that takes a little staring into the future, and actually pondering a purchase).

Dell does make some good stuff, but like anything you've got to pay a lot more for it, and it's not the stuff that's going to sell in large volumes to a wide consumer spectrum.

I'll concur with the previous poster, that longevity, robustness, upgrade and repairability are generally all below their peers for a lot of their product lines. My companies been more than discontented with Laptops and desktops from Dell, as have others I've done work for. And I won't personally go that route again, but on the flip side, I'm still glad they're there, and they're the right tool for certain jobs. You just need to need a bit more due diligence with your dollars.

RE: The AXIM is a Pocket PC
ronpro @ 5/6/2004 5:37:45 PM #
This would suck, If you've owned a high-quality PC, you would know what poor quality a Dell is. I've always owned IBM thinkpads. I just bought a Dell, because I wanted to save a bit this time and this thing is so flimsy feeling. The fan is annoyingly lound (never heard the fan on my thinkpad. The DVD drive is also so loud it's pathetic. I'm very unhappy with this purchase. Should have listened to experience.

Why does Dell do so well in number of sales...? One word. Marketing.

RE: The AXIM is a Pocket PC
TooMuch @ 5/6/2004 10:44:29 PM #
"Where do I pre-order my PalmOS 6 Dell"

...code named "Brick." Yes, on both questions. Cheap? Oversized?

Dell "quality"; manufacturing to a pricepoint
;-(( @ 5/6/2004 11:40:56 PM #
"Sounds like user error. I don't think Dell would be #1 in sales and have so many repeat customers if your implication of poor quality was true. I've owned many Dells and they've all been rock-solid."

Oh jeeze. And the original Zire wouldn't have sold in as many numbers if there weren't as many dim AOL users in the US.

The common factor between Dell and Zire #1 sales spots in purely price. Not best value for the dollar (that takes a little staring into the future, and actually pondering a purchase).

Dell does make some good stuff, but like anything you've got to pay a lot more for it, and it's not the stuff that's going to sell in large volumes to a wide consumer spectrum.

I'll concur with the previous poster, that longevity, robustness, upgrade and repairability are generally all below their peers for a lot of their product lines. My companies been more than discontented with Laptops and desktops from Dell, as have others I've done work for. And I won't personally go that route again, but on the flip side, I'm still glad they're there, and they're the right tool for certain jobs. You just need to need a bit more due diligence with your dollars.


Don't be so snotty, IT-boy. The original Zire was actually a fair value for what it offered its target market. People that bought it got a small, light, cheap device that stored contacts memos and to do lists pretty well.

Dell's quality (hardware + tech support) seems to have nosedived in the past three or four years, though. I think they now have a lot of hardware manufactured overseas (China?) and it feels like junk. When I look at the quality construction of my old Dell 266 MHz Pentium (still works great, zero problems in six years, absolutely silent, monitor is one of the best I've ever seen) to newer desktops, it's obvious where they've cut corners to save money.

I'm surprised about the complaints about their laptops though. Are their high end laptops made by a better manufacturer?



Freedom of speech, baby. Gotta love it,

RE: The AXIM is a Pocket PC
JonathanChoo @ 5/7/2004 4:12:59 AM #
>"Sounds like user error. I don't think Dell would be #1 in sales and have so many repeat customers if your implication of poor quality was true. I've owned many Dells and they've all been rock-solid."

Excuse me, I do take care of my laptops properly and I am not entirely dumb in computers.

Things like key popping up are well known problems and should not have happened in the first place. CD-ROM, Modem and battery problems plagued my experienced with those laptops. My brother has an Inspiron 4xxx series and the first 6 months, Dell had to replace the batteries on his laptop because it kept failing. There was even a recall of his laptop (in which they kept his laptop for 2 weeks in order to rectify the problem) because some of the batteries on the series were known to have exploded! Since his warranty has expired, even after three battery replacement, he has been left with a battery that only lasts 15 minutes. Pathetic.

The only reason why they are so successful is because they were the pioneers of direct selling to consumers, that's all, and was once they represent good value of money for the technology. Now, there are many more direct selling companies who put customer first instead of bumping them around. For quality laptops, I rather stick with Toshiba or IBM.

--
Psion 5> Vx > m505 > N770C > T625C > NR70V > e310 > T/T > HP h2210 > T/T3 & h4150
StarTac 75 > T28m > T39m > T68m > T610 > T630

RE: The AXIM is a Pocket PC
JonathanChoo @ 5/7/2004 4:28:35 AM #
"I!'m surprised about the complaints about their laptops though. Are their high end laptops made by a better manufacturer?"

The three laptops I have were all manufactured in Taiwan although one was assembled in their factory in Penang, Malaysia and the other two assembled in Eire. They have been manufacturing laptops in Taiwan since 1997/98. Anyway Dell does not make computers, all they do is just like most PC companies do on IBM clones - assemble PCs.

I believe most of the new laptops are made by Samsung.

--
Psion 5> Vx > m505 > N770C > T625C > NR70V > e310 > T/T > HP h2210 > T/T3 & h4150
StarTac 75 > T28m > T39m > T68m > T610 > T630

RE: The AXIM is a Pocket PC
HandyMan @ 5/7/2004 12:48:29 PM #
I can't believe I see "Toshiba" and "quality laptop" in the same sentence. We used to use Toshiba laptops, but floppy disk not reading was a common problem. Then there's often mysterious software incompatibilities.

In any case we repalce all the Toshibas with 200 Dell Inspiron. I can tell you that the lower end models from Dell are also crap (mboards die). We talking about trying IBM next.


RE: The AXIM is a Pocket PC
elo @ 5/7/2004 1:48:21 PM #
I know several companies that have standardized around Dell machines, despite being very unhappy with Dell's quality and reliability. They buy these things because they are dirt cheap, not because they last. Whether Dells were better at one time, I can't say, but if the purchase is an individual one, I would always recommend spending a bit more money to get something like an IBM ThinkPad or an Apple PowerBook. Problems are possible with any system, of course, but both of those brands use premium parts (Dell does not) and both have a *much* lower incident rate per product sold than other makers.

With regard to a buyout of PalmOne, I think it could be a good strategic move for Dell. My guess is that the Dell name would register more than the PalmOne name with customers, because Dell is much better known and PalmOne's name is (in my opinion), clunky to say the least. Dell would instantly become the flagship in the entire Palm segment. If anything, I would expect Dell to then fold its PocketPC line into the Palm line, instead of the other way around. It could work.

RE: The AXIM is a Pocket PC
batmon @ 5/7/2004 9:10:17 PM #
I also agree DELL will do a better job then Palm themselves. DELL has very strong sells, they spend tons of money on TV commercials, flyers, mail orders, email promotions, etc etc... I don't see any other computer company spend this much money on advertisement.

However, do you think DELL will sell Palm in stores? So far no DELL products been sell in stores...


Not Michael Dell's style...

Gekko @ 5/6/2004 10:50:36 AM #
DELL is a lean, mean, efficiency machine. Dell makes very, very few acquisitions. They don't make big business moves that don't make sense. I don't see what PalmOne brings to the table that Dell or one of its vendors can't already do better.



RE: Not Michael Dell's style...
maxism @ 5/6/2004 10:56:41 AM #
They want the Treo. That is something they don't have and they don't spend much money on R&D so they rather buy their way into the smartphone market.

RE: Not Michael Dell's style...
Rome @ 5/6/2004 10:56:42 AM #
Dell spends very little on R&D and engineering, while PLMO is much more creative and innovative. I really don't see this happening. The cultures are just very different. IMHO, this merger will actually hurt the "palm economy."

RE: Not Michael Dell's style...
gavinfabl @ 5/6/2004 11:02:11 AM #
PalmOne becomes DellOne

Zlauncher 3.62b, Tungsten TT3.
RE: Not Michael Dell's style...
Gekko @ 5/6/2004 11:02:42 AM #
Michael Dell Q&A

Are you beefing up R&D to make your consumer products more unique, or is it more the case of using your distribution muscle?
We have 3,600 folks in our R&D division and spend half a billion dollars a year, similar to the amount Apple spends. We don't think percentage of revenue is a good measure of success in R&D. We look at it as--what do we need to spend to accomplish what we need to accomplish?

But you feed off Microsoft and Intel R&D.
Our strategy for development is different than Microsoft's or Intel's. Those are ingredient companies. We're a computer systems company. We have a higher return on R&D than any other computer systems company, about five times the profit for every R&D dollar spent. A lot of companies say they're better than us because they spend more on R&D. What are they better at? A lot of the R&D spending is actually spent to protect things that are proprietary, of no benefit to the customer. We only do the kind (of R&D) that benefits the customer. We don't try to reinvent things that other companies have (invented).

What have you done specifically on the R&D side that you're proud of?
We've made products easier to use and service. We've innovated in time-to-market. Who had the first color notebook powered by batteries? It's Dell. There's this misnomer that companies that spend more on R&D are somehow better and more successful, but there isn't a lot of data to support that.

If you look at innovation, it doesn't just occur in the lab. Comdex is the place you go to show things that nobody knows what to do with, because they haven't found a market yet. We don't develop things nobody knows what to do with. We develop things people want to buy--and buy in volume. Innovation can occur in supply chain and logistics, manufacturing and distribution, and sales and service. We've made computing products far more affordable. If you look at the cost of computers 20 years ago versus now, we've caused the whole industry to get more efficient.

How do you see your role in terms of design? Would you rather let someone like Apple take the lead?
We spend about as much as Apple in R&D. Just because we sell a whole lot more doesn't mean we're bad. I thought that was part of the objective.

We haven't been a superacquisitive company. We like to grow organically and will probably continue to do so. That doesn't mean we eliminate the possibility of acquisitions, but I wouldn't hold your breath. We're very happy with the growth rate of our organic business. We've got this goal to grow to $62 billion in revenue. We're well on track for that.

http://news.com.com/2008-1001-5110303.html



RE: Not Michael Dell's style...
mashby @ 5/6/2004 12:56:59 PM #
Dell tends to do a "plug in play" approach to their computing devices. PPC comes ready to install versus the Palm OS method in which the licensees roll their own. I may be oversimplifying, but you get my point.

The end result is that Dell has less costs in supporting PPC than they would Palm OS. If there's a hardware problem, then they'll fix it, if it's a software problem, then take that up with Microsoft. This model is true in either the desktop, or handheld space, so it wasn't hard for them to add PPC to their roster of product offerings.

So I don't see how Palm OS fits into this model. If they were to acquire PalmOne then they'd have to keep all the staff, etc. in order to provide the necessary resources to release new products, etc.

It just doesn't feel like a good fit based on Dell's past business practices, but what the hell do I know? I'm happy if I can pay my car note and Dell is trying to "organically grow" their business to 62 BILLION! LOL :D

Michael T. Ashby
Director
InterPUG
http://www.interpug.com

RE: Not Michael Dell's style...
treo007 @ 5/6/2004 2:13:17 PM #
"They want the Treo. That is something they don't have and they don't spend much money on R&D so they rather buy their way into the smartphone market."

I think you're right. That device is actually getting some real traction in the market. I didn't think there was any way with it being so honking big, but I guess I was wrong.

I think this rumor's got legs as well. If it didn't, Dell would be denying, denying, denying it as we speak.

RE: Not Michael Dell's style...
VastheGreek @ 5/11/2004 4:26:19 AM #
If this happens....Im moving to pocket pc !!!

---========---
IIIxe -> TT

http://www.outwar.com/page.php?x=2137049

PalmSource

4s @ 5/6/2004 1:02:27 PM #
So PalmSource, would still be a separate company?

<><
RE: PalmSource
mashby @ 5/6/2004 1:04:36 PM #
If Dell acquires pa1m0ne, then yes, PalmSource would remain a separate company. However, if they acquire Palm, Inc., then they would acquire BOTH pa1m0ne and PalmSource.

According to the rumor, it's pa1m0ne that they're interested in.

Michael T. Ashby
http://www.mashby.com

RE: PalmSource
dorelse @ 5/6/2004 1:42:14 PM #
There is no "Palm, Inc." to purchase...it doesn't exist anymore.

If they buy PalmOne, they only get the PalmOne product line, which does not include PalmSource, who makes the Palm OS.

If they want both, they'd have to buy both, but the rumour only speaks of PalmOne, so they're supposedly only interested in their PDA/Treo products...with the emphasis heavily on the Treo side, I'd speculate.

RE: PalmSource
mashby @ 5/6/2004 3:04:00 PM #
I sit corrected. ;)

For some reason, I still thought there was a Palm, Inc., but you're right there isn't.

http://www.palmone.com/us/company/pr/2003/102803a.html

Michael T. Ashby
http://www.mashby.com

RE: PalmSource
JKingGrim @ 5/6/2004 5:27:38 PM #
According to the rumor, it's pa1m0ne that they're interested in.

If the rumor is true, and Palm is really is interested, would that mean DELL would continue to make POS handhelds? That could be good. If however DELL ended the POS line, that would make me very angry. I'd grab a zire72 and hold on to it as long as I can. Perhaps until either SONY or PPC get legit (don't flame me for saying that. I just don't like them).

RE: PalmSource
acaltabiano @ 5/6/2004 10:05:23 PM #
PalmOne only makes hardware. If dell were to buy it, they could not end the POS. They would have to acquire Palmsource. Thus, if Dell bought and terminated Palmone, we would simply have to buy another companies hardware implementation of the POS (a la Sony), Which might not be such a bad thing.

If palmone were not around, as the biggest name in this market, it might entice other companies to hop on board. And, it would also force Palmsource to court more licencees in order to stay afloat. could spark some innovation. Could give the Zodiac and Garmins and whatnot a leg up for free!

RE: PalmSource
amike @ 5/10/2004 5:28:29 AM #
P1 defines concepts and plan of its PDA, but doesn't build them...
P1 is not "only hardware!" You've forgotten:
- PalmDesktop (PC to Mac...),
- API and drivers
- java machine before Palmsource...
- and the whole softs add-ins...

Dell/PalmOne not a good fit

Foo Fighter @ 5/6/2004 2:43:44 PM #
In my opinion it doesn't realy make much business sense for Dell to acquire PalmOne. If Dell truly had it's sights set on grabbing a mobile company, it would be Reasearch In Motion or Good Technology. Hey! There's an idea. Maybe I'll start spreading rumors that Dell is acquiring Good? You heard it here first!

-------------------------------
Contributing Editor, http://digitalmediathoughts.com
Editor, http://Pocketfactory.com
RE: Dell/PalmOne not a good fit
hkklife @ 5/6/2004 3:38:11 PM #
It wouldn't surprise me if Dell has been quietly gearing up a spin-off or separate arm devoted to software/R&D. Make a couple of high-flying acquisitions--Good, RIM, POne,etc and you suddely have stable footing in the smartphone market and some nice developers to build tools to run on those smartphones. I doubt the rumor is true but if it is, Dell could keep POne around as a lean, mean hardware manufacturer for the next 2 years or so and quietly roll them up into the Treo/Dell Smartphone line. Yes, it'd mark the end of a 10/12 year rollercoaster ride by Hawkins and the gang, but at least Dell has the $$ to push the platform for all it's worth.

However, given the rumors that Toshiba is exiting the handheld biz, that leaves HP & Dell as the only big boys standing in the PPC camp. No way Dell's going to give up their spot as the #2 PPC manufacturer.

I'd personally really like to see Panasonic come onboard with a "toughPalm" ruggedized Palm OS line with a featureset out of the stone age. Toshiba would make a nice Palm licensee as well but they have their notebooks to keep them busy. I'd not be surprised if Garmin bows out after one more iQue (if they aren't planning to already after the current model runs its course).

RE: Dell/PalmOne not a good fit
cbowers @ 5/6/2004 4:21:04 PM #
"However, given the rumors that Toshiba is exiting the handheld biz, that leaves HP & Dell as the only big boys standing in the PPC camp. No way Dell's going to give up their spot as the #2 PPC manufacturer."

Nore would they have to. There are several PalmOS licencees that are also PocketPC licencees. Samsung, Symbol, Lenovo, for starters, and previously Acer.

"I'd personally really like to see Panasonic come onboard with a "toughPalm" ruggedized Palm OS line with a featureset out of the stone age."

Symbol, and Acceca, and to a lessor degree Alphasmart are already doing ruggedized Palm's with some pretty dated feature sets (as well as some unique one's).

"Toshiba would make a nice Palm licensee as well but they have their notebooks to keep them busy."

Not that they haven't found the time to bring innovation to the PocketPC camp (first WiFi integrated into a general purpose PDA in either the PalmOS or PocketPC camp). Rumor also says they were previously rebuffed when they came knocking. Apart from their service complaints (like that's not already more than common with Sony and of late PalmOne though), I'd be pleased to see them join the PalmOS fray.

Even if you just took to full featured-ness today of hardware from Dell, Toshiba, and HP, and put that in a PalmOS device, it'd shake things up, nevermind what's yet to be released.

Our OS deserves better hardware.

RE: Dell/PalmOne not a good fit
hkklife @ 5/6/2004 5:47:31 PM #
Addendum:

By "featureset out of the stone age" I meant a feature set that's at least equivalent to a T|T2. Think of the success of the ruggedized Nextel handsets.

Color + wireless + ruggedized= The holy grail of the Palm market

RE: Dell/PalmOne not a good fit
cbowers @ 5/6/2004 6:12:50 PM #
"By "featureset out of the stone age" I meant a feature set that's at least equivalent to a T|T2."

Oh, purhaps early bronze age then.

It better not happen

vesther @ 5/6/2004 8:15:45 PM #
Bad move, Dell Computer. PalmOne is an innovative company focusing for the interest of us, the Palm-Powered Users. If you want a Smartphone, then find someone else. Leave palmOne alone, Dell Computer.

If this happens, it's more likely that Dell could be charged for anti-trust violations. In addition, Massachusetts is still trying to point out that Microsoft broke their promises (because one of my cousins tried to purchase a computer without Windoze, Gateway said OK, but only if you are willing to purchase it for a higher price).

Anyway, Dell better not buy out PalmOne or else they shall be sued for anti-trust litigations plus Microsoft will also have to be charged as well alongside Intel.

A Palm-Powered Handheld is the bread and butter for many people. Without a Palm-Powered Handheld, your progress is all for naught.

RE: It better not happen
LiveFaith @ 5/6/2004 10:51:09 PM #
The Treo line of thinking seems most plausible for a reason, but the PalmOne name is worth $omething too. Maybe my tongue-in-cheek prediction last fall is coming to fruition after all!

Check out this photo to see what I mean ...
http://www.churchoflivingfaith.com/images/t3-os6.jpg

BTW, Dell has already been selling Palms for years. And alongside the Axim's, even now, I believe. Maybe "innovation" is not their bread and butter, so PalmOne could fit the bill? Hmmmm?

Pat Horne; www.churchoflivingfaith.com

RE: It better not happen
elo @ 5/8/2004 11:02:54 AM #
Vesthory,

I don't see any antitrust problems here. Please explain how you believe such a buyout would violate the antitrust laws.

elo

RE: It better not happen
RhinoSteve @ 5/13/2004 5:19:42 AM #
Manfacturing in China is a poker game. You need to get the cards you want without showing your whole hand.

Any higher volume run of an extablished product is fine. However, never expose all of your IP to one overseas manufacturing outfit. I have seen segmented subassemblies done specifically so no one CM had all the pieces for a product.
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