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Why Apple Shouldn't Buy Palm

from the good-advice dept

There has been a lot of discussion over the past couple of years about the idea of Apple buying Palm. The two companies certainly have a lot in common. Business Week has an opinion piece, though, explaining why this would be an awful idea for Apple. The article is probably right. Palm is struggling, and it could end up dragging Apple down with it, if things don’t start getting better soon. Of course, there is the side of me that thinks that Apple could take Palm and turn both the device and the OS into something a hell of a lot cooler than what it is now (and, I’m not talking about bringing back the Newton). Though, as the article suggests, there are probably better, and less damaging ways for Apple to get themselves involved in the PDA market.

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Comments on “Why Apple Shouldn't Buy Palm”

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alternatives() says:

One word...NEWTON

Why that one word?
You would have had to have been there…..for the history that *IS* Newton. Before the 1997 Newton Inc spin-off by Gil, 5-10 ex-newton staffers left for palm. A few left for Microsoft, and a few to Psion, but if you defected from Apple and stayed in the handhled market, you left for palm. (save Steve S, who left for Be.)
Fast forward to Steve Jobs being “an advisor” to Apple. At WWDC 1997 Jobs stood infront of the developers. He said “What does Apple make?”. And the Jobs boot-lickers said “Computers!” The god-Jobs (to the boot lickers) said “What do computers have?” and the licker of boots said “KEyboards!”. Then jobs held up a Newton 2000 and said “So what is this?!?!?”. The newton developers and programmers looked at eachother with that look of upcomming doom.
(background: Sandy (the boss) was canned for ‘leaking’ that the spin-off was cancelled. “Leaking properitoy information” was the excuse.5-7 days before the public announcement of the newton cancellation.)
After Gil was gone, Newton Inc was cancelled. And, 2 weeks later, on Friday, Newton Engineers walked single file into the boss’s office and handed in their resignation. 32 of the newton staff. These staffers left for PAlm. Given Apple had no staffers for the Newton project, Apple cancelled the Newton.
A bit more background. Newton OS (called Newton Intelligence) had a 1.X and a 2.x release. 1.X had a connection method that was very simple, but effective. This method would not work with 2.0. 1.5 years *AFTER* 2.0’s release did Apple ship NCU (NEwton Connection Utilities). Now NCU had “Features” like, Synced with old software, and would only work if you had less than 2 gig of free space.
Guess who STAYED at Apple? (or would not be hired at Palm???) Yes! The Apple staffers who wrote NCU!!!
Ok, so you now have a feeling of some palm staffers. Summary: Working for Steve Jobs == BAD!
Given the past memories of “Apple under Jobs”, do you think many of the Palm staffers would STAY under Apple?
Palm under Apple means massive brain drain from Palm. These people LEFT Apple because they did not want to work for Jobs. A buy out means these ppl would leave. Apple owning Palms means Palm’s talent would leave. And Jobs, being an ego-maniac, means he can’t accpet people would quit in mass JUST BECAUSE HE’S THE BOSS!

Ed says:

Enough Already

Let me see if I remember things correctly. Palm started out on its own, got bought by USRobotics, which in turn got bought by 3Com, when then spun off Palm in an IPO (and if ever there was a more misleading use of the term Initial Public Offering I’d like to hear it). Now if perchance it does get bought by Apple, maybe Apple will get bought by somebody else and then after a while the new owners can spin off Palm again. To me, it all looks like a shell game.

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