In a conference call that followed its announcement that it was buying Palm, HP outlined some of the reasons for the purchase. In a nutshell though is the understanding that it now has the chance to completely reboot its mobile strategy and become relevant in this market again.
First, there are its plans for webOS itself. HP will invest more into webOS research and development once the acquisition is complete to extend its presence into new areas beyond smartphones. Describing it as a “world-class” mobile platform, HP indicated that it plans to offer it on other types of devices, including slates, tablets, and netbooks.
Then there is Palm’s collection of patents. Again, HP should be able to extend many of these patents into different product lines to differentiate them from those of competitors. They may also prove useful in patent cross-licensing deals or as insurance against potential lawsuits from competitors.
With the deal expected to close in late July, it will take some time for HP’s new mobile device strategy to emerge. It will be a while before we know if HP can return Palm to its heyday.
HP also confirmed on the call that it does not have any plans to ditch its current partnership with Microsoft on Windows Phone 7. At least for now…