Palm for sale; would you buy them?

April 12, 2010: I just read that Palm is seeking a buyer. Moments like this always raise the question for me, "If I had the money, would I buy Palm?"

Of course the logical response to that question is "What would I do with them if I owned them?", or more precisely, "How would I make money off my purchase?"

(I was going to write more here, but rather than offer my own opinions, I'll just leave it at that.)

Palm Pre and Pixi shipments

If it helps in making your decision, Reuters reports that Palm shipped 960,000 smartphones in the February quarter, but only 408,000 of those were shipped to consumers ... I assume that means there are 552,000 Palm smartphones sitting on store shelves somewhere. (By contrast, Apple was reported to have sold 7.5 million iPhones during the most recent quarter.)

What happened to Palm?

In a related story, PC Magazine has a short article titled, "What happened to Palm? Five industry pundits weigh in." It's a nice read, with very widely ranging opinions.

As for my opinion on what happened to Palm, they just came out with their systems way too late. If you're going to come late to a competition, you better be bringing a game-changing device with you. If not, why would consumers and developers switch to your product?

HP plans to buy Palm

April 28, 2010: Another (long-lost) article showed that HP plans to buy Palm for $1.2B. I don't know about the purchase price, but if you are HP, and want to get into the smartphone market (I had no idea they sold phones based on Windows), this seems like a logical move. Well, building smartphones based on Android seems like another logical possibility, but this is interesting.

Long term, I expect the smartphone market battle to come down to Android and the iPhone, similar to the Windows versus Mac battle of the 80s and 90s, but with this buy, the Palm WebOS keeps breathing, and of course the RIM/Blackberry guys aren't going away.