If anyone was hoping that Palm’s financial problems would lead to a less cluttered mobile operating system market — you are out of luck.
HP (NYSE: HPQ) was resoundingly clear this afternoon during a conference call discussing its $1.2 billion acquisition of Palm. It intends on investing heavily in the webOS platform, and more broadly into the mobile devices market, which it calculates is worth more than $100 billion.
HP did not say how much it will be investing beyond the acquisition, but plans to bring the webOS platform to multiple form factors including phones, slates, tablets and netbooks. The pitch from Todd Bradley, HP’s EVP of Personal Systems: “Together HP and Palm (NSDQ: PALM) can make a powerful combination. With a long history in Silicon Valley, our values and vision are consistent and complimentary. Together, we can move forward and coupled with our scale global reach and investments in ecosystem, we expect to see solid growth, compelling, connected mobile experiences.”
HP, which has barely been participating in the mobile-phone space for the past few years, could be a viable contender when taking on such large and dominant brands, such as Nokia (NYSE: NOK), Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) and others. It said that one out of five PCs shipped around the world comes from HP, or in other words, two per second. It clearly will be bringing that scale to Palm, which had been too small to move quickly.
When asked why HP decided to buy its own operating system, rather than rely on Microsoft’s Windows or Google’s Android, Bradley said the market was just too big to pass up. “Our breadth of products between smartphone slates and netbooks is an enormous opportunity for our customers,” Bradley explained. “It