“We didn’t buy Palm to be in the smartphone business.” Those were words the of HP CEO Mark Hurd as he spoke to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch technology summit on Wednesday. Going further, Hurd said that theory that HP was going to throw money into developing new smartphones featuring webOS “doesn’t in any way make any sense.” So why on earth did HP buy Palm? Patents. Owning the rights to webOS and Palm’s treasure trove of patents means HP will easily and affordably be able to create a unified experience across the “tens of millions of HP small form factor web-connected devices” including but not limited to printers and tablets. Here’s the quote in its entirety.
“We didn’t buy Palm to be in the smartphone business. And I tell people that, but it doesn’t seem to resonate well. We bought it for the IP. The WebOS is one of the two ground-up pieces of software that is built as a web operating environment […] We have tens of millions of HP small form factor web-connected devices […] Now imagine that being a web-connected environment where now you can get a common look and feel and a common set of services laid against that environment. That is a very value proposition.”
Anyone else have the feeling some poor soul in HP’s PR department is at this very moment slaving over a statement that goes something like this: “HP is very committed to the development of webOS-based smartphones”?