HP nabbed Palm for innards, not smartphones

HP has hinted that despite acquiring Palm, it hasn’t got any plans to move into the smartphone market.

Yesterday CEO Mark Hurd said the company won’t “spend billions of dollars trying to go into the smartphone business; that doesn’t in any way make any sense. 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.”

He said Palm’s IP would allow HP to have a “common look and feel” to the range of internet devices it sells.

HP won the Palm bidding war in late April beating Lenovo and three other unnamed companies to the post. It is thought the company paid out $1.2 billion dollars.

However this statement by the company will upset one or two WebOS fans, which depended on HP to bring the popularity and gain some solid marketshare for the software that ran on Palm smartphones. That doesn’t matter because there are only one or two WebOS fans. It is thought that because HP has shown a lack of commitment to this operating system, developers may not continue to write WebOS apps.

We contacted HP to see what it made of this fears. HP told TechEye: “We believe webOS can become the backbone for many of HP’s small form factor devices, and we expect to expand webOS’s footprint beyond just the smartphone market, all while leveraging our financial strength, scale, and global reach to grow in smartphones.” So, exactly the opposite of what the CEO reckons.