Amazon tipped to buy remnants of Palm from HP

HP is clearly overcome with buyer’s remorse over its acquisition of Palm, and the future of the former mobile company and its webOS software hangs in the balance. Who will rescue it? Believe it or not, VentureBeat claims that Amazon is already in negotiations with HP to acquire what’s left of Palm.

Quoting a "well-placed source," VentureBeat notes, "HP is currently looking to rid itself of Palm as soon as possible, and that Amazon is the closest to finalizing the deal, among a handful of contenders." While the site hasn’t gotten anything resembling official confirmation, it does point out that former Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein presently sits on the Amazon board.

Amazon, of course, is fresh from announcing its Kindle Fire, a heavily customized Android tablet that’s quickly climbed to the number-one spot on Amazon’s best-selling electronics list. Snatching up Palm and webOS would give the company a mobile operating system of its own to customize at will, not to mention a team of talented folks with experience designing some pretty solid hardware. Combine that know-how with Jeff Bezos’s apparent Steve Jobs complex, and you might have a recipe for (even greater) success.

Comments closed
    • ronch
    • 8 years ago

    Pretty soon, if HP doesn’t get its act together, they’ll be like a pig chopped into little pieces and sold off to everybody. And the board members will be at each other’s throats.

    • ronch
    • 8 years ago

    Pretty soon, if HP doesn’t get its act together, they’ll be like a pig chopped into little pieces and sold off to everybody. And the board members will be at each other’s throats.

    • ronch
    • 8 years ago

    Double post. Crazy tablet.

    • spigzone
    • 8 years ago

    Interesting possibilities. If they bought Palms patent portfolio along with the OS, they would vault into the patent wars ‘untouchable’ club and be in a position to become a very potent direct competitor to Apple in the mobile market.

    Meanwhile Apples venture into starting a patent war with Samsung to shut them out of the mobile market isn’t turning out quite how they expected and could turn a lot worse if some other mega-portfolio player decided to join Samsung with an eye to forcing Apple out of the mobile market. Like Microsoft. Or Nokia. Or both.

    How’s that can of worms tasting now Apple?

    • LoneWolf15
    • 8 years ago

    Yeah, I’m still going to call HP stupid for not putting in a little effort into making their Palm assets into something really cool.

    Everything they did with Palm seems like they wanted a quick buck, when if they had spent a little of their engineering and software-development talent and a little more time, they could have had a tour-de-force. They had a real chance IMO, and they totally blew it –and they were one of the few companies large enough to have the assets to really pull it off.

      • destroy.all.monsters
      • 8 years ago

      The board got cold feet. I wasn’t paying enough attention to know if the board changed significantly in composition but these dramatic shifts in direction are all a sign that they’re clueless. Even if Hurd made some mistakes pushing him out was both premature and stupid.

      You’re right in that if they had really been willing to make a go of it dividends would have likely paid off in a couple years. They were unwilling to take losses at all. A part of it might well have been to kill whatever Hurd had his hand in just for spite. Happens in Hollywood like that all the time.

    • destroy.all.monsters
    • 8 years ago

    I don’t see the “why” in this. Perhaps for IP concerns if Apple goes attacking tablet makers the same way they are handset makers. I can’t see a reason why they’d go with WebOs though when they’ve got Android product out now (that allows for more apps than WebOs ever will).

    I keep thinking we’re re-living that long night of the living dead that the Amiga went through post – Commodore.

    Note: I do not think that HP will price Palm at anything near a sane level – thus keeping anyone from wanting it. They have to sell it at fire sale prices if they want to make a sale at all – and that requires a board that actually grasps reality.

    Best comment on the precentral article (thanks dpaus) from DrewT3: “My guess is that HP is looking to sell Palm and are only getting lowball offers. They hope that by leaking a rumor of Amazon’s interest, they will get higher bids.”

      • TheEmrys
      • 8 years ago

      If all of those patents are intact from the original Palm Pilot, it could be quite the game changer in the patent wars.

        • destroy.all.monsters
        • 8 years ago

        ACCESS owns all those and I believe that the Palm owner gets a perpetual license. However it doesn’t seem that those patents are worth very much – or at least that ACCESS is pursuing them if they are.

    • dashbarron
    • 8 years ago

    I’m cheering for better Amazon tablets, I think they could make good use of Palm if it’s cheap, and I’m interested in the Kindle Fire myself.

    But…number-one spot for electronics? This is a pre-order (and I’m assuming you can cancel these orders still) and the product isn’t actually released yet. I don’t consider it being “number-one” until mid November.

    • d0g_p00p
    • 8 years ago

    So Amazon is now going to take on the curse that is WebOS, lolz

      • TheEmrys
      • 8 years ago

      Try it before you knock it.

        • HisDivineOrder
        • 8 years ago

        Perhaps he would if there was a new device still being manufactured right now that used it. Alas, all that’s out there are the HP Touchpads on ebay for $250+ bought during the firesale. “Just like an iPad” they all say. I know because I keep an eye out for iPad’s on ebay (just in case) and every time I get Touchpads listed.

        Tons of them.

        Apparently, not many are “trying” before they knock it.

    • alphacheez
    • 8 years ago

    As an owner of a Palm Pixi Plus and TouchPad this gives me a bit of hope for WebOS. It’s a really cool OS and I’d love to see someone give it the attention it needs to succeed. The ideas behind WebOS are very good and I love the gesture controls which are sadly diluted on the TouchPad-no “back swipe” gesture 🙁

    WebOS does lack some polish, but I think it should be given a fair chance. I’m pretty miffed by what HP did dropping hardware that had just come out or was about to but it did allow me to buy my TouchPad at the discounted $150 for 32 GB.

    I used to be an Apple and Google fanboy about 4-5 years ago but I’ve been moving away from those two and recently been really liking Amazon and WebOS so I think this would be a neat combination.

    Two issues I’ve noticed recently are that Amazon has treated Android developers poorly in it’s app store and they have been having outages of it’s cloud infrastructure too much. If they can deal with those issues then otherwise I like what they’re doing with their mp3 store, cloud player/drive and Prime. I haven’t delved into their video offerings much but I plan to look at that more soon. I am also considering getting a Kindle e-ink reader from them but dislike their lack of support for epub.

      • FakeAlGore
      • 8 years ago

      Barnes & Noble’s nook Simple Touch e-reader supports EPUB.

    • oMa
    • 8 years ago

    GPU acceleration! I want to se webOS 3.0 with proper hardware acceleration, and 1 billion dollars worth of optimization. webOS with wp7 like respinsiveness and smoothness <3!

      • TheEmrys
      • 8 years ago

      You can already see that on a TouchPad. Turning off the stupid event logs and then clocking the chip back up to 1.5 ghz (where it is rated) turns it into a night and day experience. WebOS 3 is actually better than Android, in my experience.

        • Game_boy
        • 8 years ago

        Why’d they underclock it?

          • TheEmrys
          • 8 years ago

          Battery life, mostly. The stupid event logs on it were horrific. They logged EVERY thing. Check out this video for the difference in clocks:

          [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JQI6...layer_embedded[/url<]

          • Zoomer
          • 8 years ago

          They were probably trying to squeeze the last bit of battery life (not that much considering how much power the screen sucks) out of it, or they wanted to improve yield with the particular board design, or something like that.

          Or this was more of a late prototype that someone in management felt had to be sent to the production line because if it didn’t go out then, it’ll never go out. Guess it was a good move for the webOS team and everyone in general, except for HP and their shareholders. Maybe even giving a subtle finger to Apotheker.

        • oMa
        • 8 years ago

        You did not see my point. I have turned off the event logs and clocked my TP to 1.5 GHz. It is still extremely slow and buggy, and scrolls at max 30 fps (at best). My wp7 phone has half the pixel count, but packs a 2008 SoC (and it had a slow gpu at the time(compared to sgx53x)) scrolls at 60 fps allways. So does the ipad 1 and two. webOS is still crappy software without proper hardware acceleration.

          • TheEmrys
          • 8 years ago

          While its true I’ve never cared about scrolling fps, looks like its a big deal to you. Sounds like something isn’t working right.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 8 years ago

    good news for amazon bad news for hp as it descends into irrelevancy. They think they can jump into the server market that is poised to explode because of “cloud computing” all while selling off all the assets that would generate the cash to allow this pursuit to even happen. No worries they’ll just sell more stock to make up for that tightening of the old belt. But wait the stock is falling so they’ll have to really dilute their current investor pool to make up the cash and then even more people sell driving stocks lower. I don’t see an avenue in witch HP recovers sorry.

    Atleast as HP dies we’ll get some more clever amazon inventions. I wonder how amazon prime will figure into this new product that will be birthed.

    • tviceman
    • 8 years ago

    This is great news if true. I’ve opted to stick with using my palm pre phone instead of “upgrading” to see what would happen with webOS now that HP declared their worthlessness to managing it.

      • dpaus
      • 8 years ago

      I wish I could see Amazon getting into phones, but I can’t. Would love to be wrong, though.

    • dpaus
    • 8 years ago

    Perhaps more to the point, Amazon is unique among the potential suitors in having the digital content to market to mobile devices. Acquiring WebOS makes a lot of sense for them (assuming the price is right, of course).

    BTW, PreCentral has [i<]the[/i<] [url=http://www.precentral.net/hp-looking-sell-webos-amazon-looking-buy<]best graphic[/url<] for this story 🙂

      • ludi
      • 8 years ago

      Awesome find. Best part is that they even ripped on that borderline-fraudulent “you saved 38%” crap that Amazon is ridiculously fond of using.

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