Evaluating the impact of the HP Palm deal on webOS

When the deal announced yesterday is finalized, Palm will be a subsidiary of HP. If you listened to executives from HP yesterday, the company plans on “doubling-down” on webOS. The day after the big acquisition, we ask the question, “how does this affect current webOS users?”

The biggest positive coming from yesterday’s news will be the financial muscle of HP will now be driving the webOS ecosystem. If HP is serious about “doubling down” and we have no reason not believe them, they will invest heavily in development. That should translate to more developers on staff coupled with more research. For webOS to grow, HP will likely take advantage of the key players, absent Mike Abbott who left for Twitter. HP was clearly pleased with webOS, so perhaps they will simply invest and accelerate the current road map for software development. Translation: webOS users should see more updates and a more aggressive release schedule.

Developers. Developers. Developers. HP/Palm is now a big player, with plenty of case and resources. Before yesterday, some wondered if Palm had enough cash to make through the end of 2010. Developers are like any other business and they need to make choices where to allocate their resources. Even if developers preferred webOS, it might not makes sense to invest development dollars on a platform run by a financially strapped company. You’d probably look at Apple, Google or Microsoft. That’s no longer a concern. If you are a developer and you hear a company the size and scope of HP is doubling down on a mobile OS, you want in.

Have you watched a television show in primetime and not seen an iPhone commercial. Palm has ramped up advertising and the new “Life Moves Fast, Don’t Miss A Thing” is a vast improvement over the “creepy” Palm girl. That being said, all companies have a marketing budget. Once again, the financial impact of HP should be seen in more runs of Palm’s ads. More ads should translate into more customers. More customers should drive more developers. This is the vicious cycle HP/Palm will look to generate.

The mood on this website and others has been dour. Like others, we simply report on news surrounding Palm. That news has been a dark cloud hovering over the company. It’s not something that instills confidence in a smartphone buyer. There is a ray of sunlight permeating through that cloud today. There are no longer questions of whether Palm will survive and there is a renewed confidence in the platform. Confidence that comes from a big Silicon Valley company “doubling down”. Make no mistake, news over the past few weeks and months had an adverse affect on sales. Those trends won’t stop overnight, but there will be renewed confidence in the Palm brand.

Finally, it’s not clear if that Palm brand will survive. Next year, we could be talking about the new HP phone running webOS 3.0 or perhaps a webOS Pad that we theorized back in January. The good news we’ll be talking webOS. Whatever the name, we’ll still be talking webOS next year and that’s the impact of yesterday’s big news.


  1. I’ve already emailed HP to thank them for this and I suggest others do the same. I have several HP PCs and they are fantastic (especially the TouchSmart). Pair that with the Pre, which is the best SmartPhone out there and you have a winning combination.

    Long Live Palm/HP!

  2. wow this article Chris you did with great love, emotion and vision. Congrats.

    Agree, webos is the key for the success of HP/Palm. No questions or bad writers on the world will stop the avalanche of goodness for us the customers. The 4 Ps of marketing will be shown on its splendor now. :)

  3. Disclaimer: I use an iPhone.

    This is actually quite exciting. I have a few friends who have a Palm Pre and they absolutely LOVE the OS. And I’m kind of jealous of their true multi-tasking and the “swipe left to go back always on” hotkey at the bottom of the device.

    More competition is better for consumers, and it can lead to certain games being available ONLY for a specific device.

    Halo 4. Only on webOS.

    It’s interesting times for sure…

  4. Keith Sheehan says:

    I believe the word you are looking for is subsidiary, not subsidy.

  5. Christopher Meinck says:

    Thanks. Typo and fixed.

  6. HP is making a serious competition with apple’s iPad.. this is great because it just shows that it will not be soon before we will all experience a whole new level in computing, and that is touch screen tablets…

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