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  1.    #1  
    Palm could license webOS if Lenovo drops out
    Chinese PC maker now most likely bidder as HTC and Huawei reportedly back off

    CAROLINE GABRIEL

    Published: 26 April, 2010

    http://www.rethink-wireless.com/prin...rticle_id=2935

    Rumors continue to swirl about who might step up to acquire Palm, with Lenovo ousting HTC as the new hot favorite. However, there is an increasing likelihood that nobody will bid for the handset maker, and its CEO Jon Rubinstein is clearly examining his options for that eventuality - which seem to revolve around creating a licensing business for its webOS software platform.


    WebOS is very advanced in terms of the new wave of open web operating systems, heavily geared to cloud-based models and browser-as-OS standards like HTML5. However, it has limited developer or user uptake so far and may not be sufficiently ahead of the market to prove indispensable to a third party. Android is better supported in the Linux camp; Symbian is going open source with a major revamp; LiMO provides an alternative for those wanting to avoid one-vendor alignment; even among the more modern breed of mobile web platforms, several heftily supported systems are coming up behind webOS, notably MeeGo from Nokia/Intel and Google's Chrome OS.


    However, webOS is certainly the asset that gives Palm differentiation, and Rubinstein told an interview with the London Financial Times that he is open to licensing it, and that he remains confident Palm can survive without being acquired. "I believe Palm can survive as an independent company," he told the FT. "We have a plan that gets us to profitability." As usual with these plans at Palm, there were no details forthcoming, though the former Apple executive said work on new handsets was "fast and furious ... we do have a strong pipeline of products in the future."


    He also hinted that Palm needed to reduce its over-dependence on its home market, where Apple and Android are strongest and there is less patience for alternatives. "We're planning on sticking around. We want to broaden our distribution and our footprint in Europe," he said in the interview."I think one of the things that investors should think about is that we provide real differentiation in a very crowded market." Last week, Palm announced it had launched its Pre Plus and Pixi Plus handsets in France, with Vodafone joint venture SFR, and in Germany with Vodafone and O2.


    On webOS, he told MarketWatch: "If there's an appropriate strategic relationship or business deal that makes sense to us, then of course we would licence webOS because obviously the more scale we get the more the benefit there is to us." That has rather sad echoes of the decision that probably set Palm on its path to ruin, when it spun off its previous operating system, PalmOS - also a trendsetter in its day, and with a fiercely loyal developer base - into a separate firm, subsequently sold into obscurity under the wing of Japan's Access Technology.


    This time, the possible suitor for Palm and webOS comes from China, in the shape of PC maker Lenovo, which recently sold off and then reacquired its mobile phone unit, and pledged a major push into the smartphone market. It has launched a family of Android devices called LePhone and could look to kickstart its progress by buying up Palm. According to Reuters, Lenovo's interest is "serious" and it could pay about $1.3bn, but the news agency also reports that two other possible Asian acquirers, Huawei and HTC, had decided not to proceed.
    Please Support Research into Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain and Spinal Injuries. If You Suffer from These, Consider Joining or Better Yet Forming a Support Group. No One Should Suffer from the Burden of Chronic Pain, Jay M. S. Founder, Leesburg Fibromyalgia/Resources Group
  2. #2  
    It would be great to have WebOS on different devices. Like sony did with palmOS and Clié.
  3.    #3  
    Quote Originally Posted by boucles0 View Post
    It would be great to have WebOS on different devices. Like sony did with palmOS and Clié.
    Hi, all, that works for me, take care, Jay
    Please Support Research into Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain and Spinal Injuries. If You Suffer from These, Consider Joining or Better Yet Forming a Support Group. No One Should Suffer from the Burden of Chronic Pain, Jay M. S. Founder, Leesburg Fibromyalgia/Resources Group
  4. cgk
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    #4  
    Licence it to who? Who would want it when they can get aboard the android juggernaut for the low low cost of... nothing...
  5. cooknn's Avatar
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    #5  
    I just wonder how many takers there would be seeing that Android is free.
    Dave Cook | Fort Myers, Florida | Palm pre | Touchstone | Vaja iVolution Deco
  6. jp75's Avatar
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    #6  
    They should develop a decent doc editing app package and market webos to corporate users. There's still market share to be stolen from RIM that Apple hasn't taken yet. Android seems to be focused on being an entertaining phone to play with for the casual smart phone user.
  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by jp75 View Post
    They should develop a decent doc editing app package and market webos to corporate users. There's still market share to be stolen from RIM that Apple hasn't taken yet. Android seems to be focused on being an entertaining phone to play with for the casual smart phone user.
    Good Point
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by CGK View Post
    Licence it to who? Who would want it when they can get aboard the android juggernaut for the low low cost of... nothing...
    htc, sony, dell, and just about anyone else who makes android phones. Sure android is free, but there's lots of android devices, and a limited amount of people who want them. So you make your android device and try to get some market share, and release webos, and try to get sales there to. I think they should go with sony, because sony sells well in europe, palm doesn't.

    the same reason htc makes windows, and android at the same time.
  9. #9  
    I've made the same arguments regarding "free android vs paid webOS", however, will the current patent issues cause android to cost companies to utilize android?
    Everything's Amazing and Nobody's Happy

    Treo600 --> Treo650-->PPC6700-->Treo700P-->Treo755P-->Treo800W --> Touch Pro-->Palm Pre --> EVO 4G
  10. #10  
    Highly doubt that this would work out well.

    As already mentioned, if you'd have to pay to license webOS, and you get Android for free why bother.

    Besides that, even if someone did, licensing wouldn't add enough money to keep the company afloat. It'd just mean that people would buy less actual Palm hardware, which mean they might actually end up losing money on something like that.

    Using the Clie example from back in the day, every Clie sold means that there'd be one less Palm product sold.

    And we can see how profitable licensing alone was for a company like PalmSource.
  11. #11  
    doc editting + webOS good thing. Love to see it on one of those Dell phones!
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by jp75 View Post
    They should develop a decent doc editing app package and market webos to corporate users. There's still market share to be stolen from RIM that Apple hasn't taken yet. Android seems to be focused on being an entertaining phone to play with for the casual smart phone user.
    You don't understand RIM and Blackberries. WebOS without security like RIM is meaningless.

    Question, Palm could not sell enought product to stay independent, Why? People in the street couuld careless about WebOS on phone. The best hope for WebOS is a tablet, not a phone. It would be an uphill battle against Android, Iphone, Rim and the future Win Mobile 7. Why would HP bother when there is a better chance with a WebOS Tablet.

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