Thu, Apr 29th 2010 2:48am
It's been rumored for several weeks now that Palm was up for sale, with a number of different companies supposedly taking a look at it, but news has come through now that HP has picked it up for $1.2 billion. Palm's business has been running downhill for a few years now; its worldwide market share has fallen from 3.5 percent in 2005 to 1.5 percent in 2009 -- despite the relatively warm welcome its Pre device received. The Pre was the first Palm phone to run its latest operating system, WebOS, which was supposed to help the company compete in a revitalized and highly competitive marketplace against the likes of Android devices and the iPhone. But that hasn't yet happened. The Pre (and the following device, the Pixi) hasn't grabbed significant market share, which compounds Palm's other problem: lack of a strong developer community for WebOS. That is actually sort of ironic, given that an older incarnation of Palm was probably better than anybody in the mobile space at cultivating a huge and loyal developer community, back in the days of Palm OS. So if scale and a lack of developers are the two biggest problems holding Palm back, does the HP deal actually do anything to help solve them? Maybe that's looking at the situation the wrong way: perhaps the point of this isn't for HP to fix Palm, but for Palm to bring something more to the table for HP. Like 1,500 patents.
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