Uncommon Wisdom

Apr 30 2010   2:34PM GMT

HP to buy Palm: Move could create powerhouse player

Tom Nolle Tom Nolle Profile: Tom Nolle

A dark horse (sort of) emerged in the saga of Palm; HP announced it will buy the troubled handset player. This is an interesting development, one that suggests that HP has truly grand designs to be a broad-based competitor to Apple.

The deal would make HP into the broadest-based technology company in the market, broader than Apple or IBM, and it would also create what could be a real powerhouse play in consumer electronics evolution. At a stroke, it puts Apple, Google, Microsoft, and even RIM on the defensive. If (as we deem likely) HP uses this to create a much broader ecosystem, it threatens IBM and Cisco.

By increasing the competitive pressure in the mobile market, HP creates a new risk for Ericsson and Nokia. We think a very broad mission for the deal is likely, given HP’s clear intention to create cross-product symbiosis within its lines. There will most surely be major counter-moves now that this deal is out. One reason it will cause chaos is that there are so many directions and implications depending on just what HP does next. We’ll have to wait and see but not much detail is currently offered on their plans.

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