Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Questions About the HP-Palm Deal

Here are a few questions HP buying Palm that I have:
  1. When will I see Pre 2?!
  2. What is the future for WebOS?  
  3. Will WebOS find itself on other mobile devices like smartbooks and tablets?  If so, how soon?
  4. HP's slate has not been well received from the looks of things.  Can WebOS be the answer?
  5. How will HP position itself and WebOS against the rest of the field that is different from what Palm has already done and succeed?
While we've got many questions about the deal, the fact that HP bought Palm does say a lot about the mobile market in general. 
  • HP doesn't want to play second fiddles to WM7 or Android.  It certainly doesn't see Windows 7 as a viable platform for the tablet market given the iPad competition.
  • WebOS promises to offer more in terms of mobility for the tablet and other mobile devices.
  • HP doesn't want to be left out of the mobile war.  With Palm, it entered the market is a big way.  Catching up and, in some cases, surpassing players already in the arena.
  • iPad is a threat.  More specifically, Apple's mobile strategy is a threat.  Palm was dismissed by its competitors as a threat.  HTC, Dell, Lenovo, and others saw nothing of value that Palm can offer them.  HP was not even in the mobile market as a serious contender.  But with HP/Palm, now we've got something people need to pay attention to.
  • HTC seems happy with Microsoft's patent deals but really in bed with Android.  HTC doesn't see WM7 as a major game changer.  HP probably doesn't either.  
  • Dell, Lenovo, and others did not pick up Palm. Same reason as HTC.  Android is the future.
What HP needs to do:
  • Assure the millions of loyal Palm fans (or is it mere hundreds of thousands now) that it intends to go forth with innovations and investments in WebOS.
  • WebOS gets another chance to establish itself in the market.  This time, time and money isn't going to be an issue.
  • Investors need to be patient and not have lofty expectations.  Palm has a lot of issues to resolve but the resources of HP should help immensely.
  • Quickly bring to market products.  HP may need to go out and buy other mobile companies with products and services to complement WebOS.
  • It needs to streamline.  WebOS and nothing else.  No Android or WM7.  The Slate will run Windows 7 but quickly release another one with Tegra 2 for the tablet and possibly Snapdragon for the smartphone.  
  • Deal with everyone and anyone in the wireless services.  
  • Possibly even license WebOS.
What do you think?

More at Engadget, Business Insider, Reuters, HP Press Release

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