HP to make tablet PCs based on mobile webOS

1 Jul 2010

HP has confirmed it has completed its US$1.2bn acquisition of Palm and has revealed it plans to feature Palm’s webOS in a new line of tablet PCs, netbooks and smartphones.

HP today completed the acquisition of Palm at a price of US$5.70 per share of Palm’s stock.

Todd Bradley, executive vice-president of HP’s Personal Systems Group, explained the that acquisition will give HP access to Palm’s webOS platform and, in particular, a “rich portfolio of intellectual property” from the smartphone maker.

He said HP’s global scale, financial strength and Palm’s webOS platform, with products like the Pre and Pixi smartphones, would allow HP to compete more aggressively in the highly profitable US$100bn smartphone and connected device markets.

Former Palm CEO Jon Rubenstein made it clear the webOS platform will feature in future slate PCs and netbooks.

“With webOS, HP will deliver its customers a unique and compelling experience across smartphones and other mobility products,” said Bradley.

“This allows us the opportunity to fully engage in growing our smartphone family offering and the footprint of webOS.”

Rubenstein will lead the Palm global business unit within HP and will report to Bradley.

Palm will be responsible for webOS software development and webOS-based hardware products, from a robust smartphone roadmap to future slate PCs and netbooks.

“With HP’s full backing and global strengths, I’m confident that webOS will be able to reach its full potential,” said Rubenstein. “This agreement will accelerate the development of this incredible platform with new resources, scale and support from a world-respected brand.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years