Buyout a go-go: Huawei, Lenovo, no comment from CEO | webOS Nation

Buyout a go-go: Huawei, Lenovo, no comment from CEO 70

by Dieter Bohn Tue, 13 Apr 2010 9:32 am EDT


Yeah, we know that CEO Jon Rubinstein giving an official "No Comment" isn't normally worth a post, but given how many buyout rumors have been swirling around, at this point any statement is news. So in the interest of full disclosure, he told "We cannot comment on rumors. [...] We focus our efforts on building smartphones that put our customers like." So there you go.

In other Rubinstein news, it sounds like he's heading to France on April 27th for that SFR Palm Pre premiere party, so we're feeling pretty good about an immediate launch. The fact that Vodafone and O2 Germany are getting plussed on the 28th doesn't hurt, either.

Rumor time: Doug Kass of The Street claims (in a subscription-required article) that a 'Gnome' told him that Lenovo has walked away from a deal with Palm. Meanwhile, Reuters is reporting that Palm went looking to Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE for a possible purchase:

Huawei was approached through its investment bank sometime in mid-February for "preliminary discussions", the source told Reuters on Tuesday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the process has not been made public

Round and round we go. Anybody getting dizzy yet?

 Thanks to everybody (and we mean everybody) who sent this all in!



a go-go or a no-go?

I bet they are searching all their options as mentioned before! I wonder if we could get a preview of what to expect for software for June-July for sprint pre a.k.a webOS 1.5 or 2, what ever it is going to be.

Kudos on this article's pic.

I enjoy it immensely, as well.

Do they now embed a Pre in every brownie?

Those would be epic brownies.

Very special brownies indeed.

The way the pricing has dropped dramatically and how they desperately need to push phones into the user's hands i wouldn't be surprised if it's a "Buy a brownie Get a Palm Pre For Free" Deal.

So dizzy.

Buyouts, Lenovo, HTC, Cisco, Nova, Firefox!?!?
The news is killing me.

This article makes no sense to me at all. This comment in particular:

"Consumers don't associate Chinese brands with quality products and don't pay a premium for such a mobile phone ... Palm would be perfect for them."

So, with all the quality issues that plagued Palm today and for the most part destroyed their image, it's ok to continue that?

The issue there is perception. There is currently an association of Chinese products with being low quality that isn't necessarily true. Similarly, there's an association with American made products being well made that also isn't necessarily true (I sure wouldn't buy an american made car these days). Over time, perceptions and realities change, remember the exchange between Doc and marty in Back tot he Future?

Obviously whoever wrote that doesn't know that like 80% of the world products (excluding food are made in China). Turn any device you got and see....geeezz..

The iPhone is made in Shenzhen China.

Where's that Build Quality (TM) troll when you need him?

Ok, that pic was funny the first time. Not funny anymore, so please be more creative.

Blame Dieter. :P

I think it is amusing. No harm no foul.

Let it ride. Dont care to see Jon wearing a sandwich board "Will trade patents for food".

I would hope that if there is a buyout, that it goes to a company committed to the Palm product line. I would not want to see it go the way of the dodo.

Ya know, at first I kinda panicked yesterday morning and was thinking of returning my Pre (Plus), since I'm still within my 30 window with VZW. After lunch though, I calmed down and thought what my options would be? Going to Android? Nope, don't like the form factor of the Droid. N1 sounds like it has 3G reception problems (and no physical keyboard). A WinMo phone? Nope, all running 6.5, which will be obsolete by X-mas. Blackberry? Nope, the UI is ugly as hell.
Even if Palm only released one more OS update (1.5 for example) I think webOS would still outshine all it's competition for the next year, easy.

I've got nine days left. Here's hoping I stay brave ;)

A few months ago, I wanted out. Not sure I'd buy a next gen device yet from Palm, but they improved Pre enough to make me hang onto it. Iphone is too limited by Apple and ATT. Android, too cold and mechanical for stuff WebOS seems to do intuitively. This is the place to be. There are still some apps I need, DTG mainly, but they've added enough apps and functionality that the pluses outweigh the minuses. Touchstone, Drag/Drop media, and potential for Flash/Sling in a month or two...dont care to risk buyer's remorse for a year or more if I move. Nobody is clearly adhead of current WebOS devices for what I need.

I'm in the same boat. I just got my VZW Pre Plus on Sat. But after playing with WebOS I think it's fantastic! I have noticed a bit of a lag in the capacitive screen, (compared to the iPhone) But the TRUE multitasking is where the money is at. I'm going to use and play with WebOS as much as I can while this crazy roller coaster keeps going. Hopefully something more concrete will pan out in the near future. (within 30 days)

you want happy enden?

if the buyout is with anyone other than HTC, i'll be a sad camper. IMO Palm doesn't have the infrasture of a MS. (xbox live, zune marketplace) or Google's attractive add revenue to be profitable licensing the OS, so I see them being consumed as the only plausible solution.

When is Sprint getting plussed if everyone else is? Hell, Pre launched on Sprint, we should get some sort of love in the near future.

Huawei has recieved a BIG loan from China goverment on these days and is investing in several countries around the world.

They are one of the latest hardware China manufacturers and one of the cheapest in terms of cost for hardware parts.

IMHO Palm is changing the supplier/manufacturer of hardware.

I have seen some of their devices here and most of them are basic form factor but the OS they use looks like the first HTCs, with gloss icons to navigate on it.

It doesn

This is very bad news. WebOS will be lost forever. The Lenovo brand has zero mind share in the world of communications and it has zero cool factor in the mainstream. The name doesn't even roll smoothly off the tongue. Cisco would have been the best option IMO. Cisco has around $39 Billion cash, in the bank and they are shaping communications of future. All other will follow Cisco's lead.

Tut, Tut...we can make it work...we can help Palm keep afloat! It's all in the pronunciation...

It's "wingardium Len-OH-vah", not "len-o-VAH"!

(my apologies to Miss Hermione Granger)


Well done!

I hope your right.

On the bright side, Huawei is a Wimax supporter, so maybe we will see a WiMax WebOS phone sooner than later.

An important part of what a company like Lenovo would be buying is the brand name Palm. It may not hold as much mindshare as Blackberry does today, but when you say Palm, people think of a company that innovated some of the first PDA's and smartphones, that's worth a lot to a company like Lenovo, Huawei or even HTC. Most of these companies would likely hang onto the brand name, at least for a while as Lenovo did with the Thinkpad line.

I hope your right.

On the bright side, Huawei is a Wimax supporter, so maybe we will see a WiMax WebOS phone sooner than later.

Congrats on "that put our customers like" which is exactly how Google translated the article. That is actually not a typo!

Hmmm...given that Google is a competitor...and "Frankenstein" is potentially going to be providing the news we 'should' be reading...I'm a little suspicious of Google translations of stories when the future of Palm is being discussed!

It's a conspiracy, man! [insert image of Fillmore from the Pixar Movie 'Cars']

is there still an old 3com exec sitting on board somewhere?
That would be absolutely terrible if Huawei purchased them. Hopefully that rumor is a sick sick joke.

yeah I agree lenovo has no cool factor...

HTC's products are top of the line... But I have faith in Rubenstein to make a good decision.

Personally not a fan of HTC phones. They still have too many buttons on em. The Iphone and the pre are the only ones with one button. The pre plus takes it a step further with no buttons.
I think Samsung is very underrated when it comes to phones. Their hardware is actually impressive.
Hopefully Palm doesn't sell the company and their plan to license WebOS gets them enough revenue.

I'm getting buyout sickness...... bl... bllo...... blloooooooooooobbbwebwewjbruiehfsdnf....

Thanks precentral... Can't keep my lunch down anymore....

Palm is smart to go after Huawei as they will likey NOT kill off webOS in favor of 'sub-par' OS like Android n others. A sutor like Google, HTC, and the like will pretty much EVENTUALLY let webOS fade away...and we can't let that happen! Palm going after companies not really tangled in the smartphone OS world is a smart move...though I still believe all this is rumor & Palm is still strong enough to stand on it's own!

Here's an interesting thought... I wonder if HTC would buy up Palm for the patent protection, then sell off the Brand name and the OS to another company such as Lenovo or Huawei.

ok.. If Palm manufacturs the next HW smartphone they will have to call it "The Palm PREdsel" ... Please Palm find a hw platform that is solid & matches the capability of WEBOS!

Just change the caption of your pic. from 'Bake Sale' to 'Fake Sale'. !!! Because Palm is not up for sale. Jon Rubinstein did not come back from his retirement to sell off Palm, Inc. Period. He was brought to return Palm to its old glory. Unless he does that, he cannot sell-off Palm, Inc.

Another thought, It's nice to see that they'll be giving their patents to someone over seas.(sarcasm)

I wonder if Lenovo wanted WebOS to power the detachable part of their upcoming Skylight laptop to better compete with the iPad.

I wonder if Lenovo wanted WebOS to power the detachable part of their upcoming Skylight laptop to better compete with the iPad.

They better not sell.....seriously....

Im wondering the same thing did this article mean a go-go or a no-go?
Im more confused

I wonder if Lenovo wanted WebOS to power the detachable part of their upcoming Skylight laptop to better compete with the iPad.

Here's a guy who thinks that the acquisition of Palm by a Chinese company may actually be driven by the Chinese government. The rationale is that the Chinese government is currently in a battle with Google over search censorship. The Chi-coms aren't interested in having their emerging smartphone market dominated by the Android platform. Thus, the Chinese government may wish to de-facto acquire webOS as the best alternative to Android. How's that?

$2 or $3 billion. What difference could it possibly make to the Chinese government?

If you weren't aware, the Chinese Gov't owns the majority stake 27% of Lenovo.

I would hate to see Palm bought by a Chinese company. Everything would be driven by saving money. I work for a large test and measurement company and we sell test equipment to a lot of Chinese companies. It is all about cost, never about quality. They buy the cheap test equipment even though it isn't made specifically to do the types of tests they want to or should be doing.

I'd love to see HP buy Palm. If they really want to make a mark in the mobile phone arena, this would be a perfect acquisition. Imagine the HP Slate - WebOS Version...

Did anyone else read the title as Buyout a go-go: Huawei, Lenovo, no comment from CEO-O... Cause i sure did, and i still have a hard time reading it without the extra "O"

Huawei? Who are they? Here's their link on wikipedia:

This looks to me as good as any possibility if a buyout actually does happen. They are big, heavily invested all over the world, and known for hi-tech innovation and manufacturing.

In this case, it seems both the Palm brand and webOS would survive. That's what I care about. I want my webOS!

ZTE? Basically the same. Huge, Chinese telecom company:

Seems to me Palm is dead set on making it one way or another! How can this be bad?

a chinese company buying palm is a real possibility. A lot of chinese companies are looking to create brands.

they're growing weary of just being a source of cheap labor. They know that the brand owners make a lot more profit than pure OEM's.

uh... So I'm confused with this article. Buyouts a go. But where's anything in the article to support that besides a gnome?

"We cannot comment on rumors. [...] We focus our efforts on building smartphones that put our customers like."

Is that really an EXACT quote? Because if it is, that's some of the worst English/grammar I've ever seen from a CEO... "that put our customers like"?!?

I'm going to assume it's just a typo in the post though... I hope :)

Huawei has A long list range of products and services

what would the next company do about the patches and homebrew stuff... I wonder if they would lock it down....

It's good to have Palm bought out by a Chinese company. The Chinese are using cellphones with texting currently and are not using smartphones as of yet. If Palm can break into that market, it has billions of possible users. Not only will the OS continue to be improved, the applications will also be built in China. The more users the better. If Palm gains a large market share in China, the iPhone will be dwarfed in comparison. Better hone your Chinese Development Language skills.

Homebrews and patches should expand quite a bit, however the question is will they all get translated to English?

Maybe no comment from Rubenstein because he put the gun in his mouth & pulled the trigger, rather than face the music of what he has done to this company. There's alot of angry consumers out there and Palm has shafted a lot of people w/ these dead end devices. The OS is superior but has no backing. Hopefully whoever buys Palm will support WebOS & continue it's progresion w/ FULL support and top notch hardware.

I'm not a Jon fan, but it sure would be nice if people expressed their disfavor with him in a tasteful manor. Classless statements like yours hit home for people that have had a more difficult life your yours.

Here's a transcript from today's press conference with CEO of Palm Jon Rubinstein:

"There has been a lot of speculation, lately, that Palm is looking to be acquired, possibly by a company from China. Let me be as clear as I can possibly be - Palm is 100% focused on developing and maintaining our innovative line of smartphones as an independent company. There are no plans for an acquisition by any other company Chinese or otherwise...

Y?uy? zh?ng c?ic

It's a joke. Get it? He denies any plans for acquisition with any company in China but then he starts translating it into Chinese. I guess you had to be there.


And that's the moron quota satisfied for this thread. Please leave by the nearest exit

With money-losing Palm (NSDQ: PALM) actively looking for a buyer, HTC has admitted to Bloomberg that it is weighing the pros and cons of having its own operating system.

In a phone interview, Cheng Hui-ming, HTC

Y'know, there is no larger and more competitive cell market than Asia. They don't like the iphone - it barely sells there. But people show off their cell phones like people here show off their baby pictures.

Could a Chinese company buy it for the good OS, add a new chip to make it compatible in Asia (it looks like it's already doing well in Europe) and just push the hell out of it there?

We could go along for the ride.