HP CEO: 'We didn't buy Palm to be in the smartphone business' | webOS Nation

HP CEO: 'We didn't buy Palm to be in the smartphone business' 358

by Dieter Bohn Wed, 02 Jun 2010 7:39 pm EDT

HP's CEO Mark Hurd spoke today at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Technology conference and his words may bode ill for those hoping HP will help catapult Palm and webOS back into the thick of the smartphone battle.

Hurd reportedly said that HP isn't going to 'spend billions of dollars trying to get into the smartphone business; that doesn't in any way make any sense.'

To add insult to smartphone injury, Hurd continued '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 assume that by 'not resonating well' Hurd simply means that the message he's trying to get across isn't being heard. That message: HP seems most interested in using webOS on 'tens of millions of HP small form factor web-connnected devices.' That confirmed what we already knew, that HP is thinking 'bigger' about what kinds of devices they want to use webOS on. We are also confident that HP's love affair with the idea of putting webOS on a tablet will happen. But this sudden disdain for smartphones gives us some serious pause - 'cause smartphones are what we love and giving that market short-shrift hardly seems like doubling-down on webOS.

No need to panic just yet, webOS-faithful, but it's starting to look like HP doesn't share our conviction that a decent foothold in the smartphone space is a prerequisite for building the developer and platform ecosystem necessary to make any mobile OS a success.

Maybe the reason Hurd's message isn't 'resonating' is because the idea of HP abandoning webOS smartphones is so off-key that people don't want to hear it?

Source: Between the Lines on ZDNet, thanks to Bob for the tip!


Interesting commentary here:


"I mentioned in my post on the Palm purchase that Hewlett Packard has a history of making a mess of the companies it buys, saying: "The $25bn acquisition of Compaq in 2002 was a farce, the iPaq horribly neglected and the 2006 purchase of Voodoo has transformed a once radical PC maker into such a generic range that its frustrated owner Ravi Sood quit the PC sector altogether."

Maybe this is why we saw a mass exodus of executives after the HP acquisition. Usually a sign of frustration since they know what's coming before we do...

Want to see Palm smartphone to get its proper attention from HP? Send a comment to HP CEO Mark Hurd! It's very easy! Go to the HP website link for submitting comments to him. I did. Hopefully HP will listen to us!


Guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens. Worse comes to worse, I'll probably jump to Android. However, I'm going to wait a while to see what happens after the HP/Palm merger.

And for all those moving to EVO, good luck making it fit in your pockets.

Goodbye palm, i am no longer waiting for what is next, i love webos, hate the hardware (same old song and dance, right?) why would developers ever create apps for the device now? great hardware and updated software would really compete in the market, and instead the are going to create an "i-maxipad" opponent.

seems like there is a reasone apple is innovative and HP is just the largest tech comp. in the world

I'm going back to Nokia if this bullcrap continues.

This is all I have to say to the CEO of HP: You are a world-class asshole.

I mean come on! You have an excellent phone OS that is ALREADY suited for phoned,you don't need to patch it up for new form factors,and instead you go for printers and tablets? Tablets are nice, but I want webOS phones too! Why did Palm accept this deal? HP clearly has no buisiness sense. I feel betrayed, honestly,and now I'm angry. If this is the company who owns Palm and has all the leverege on them... We're all fucked.

bummer. they should of mentioned this yesterday so i could of returned this phone before the end of my 30 day trial period.

makes me wonder what the investors will say. if this hurts h-pre stock, investors may gripe also.

Now what am I going to do with all of these new Touchstones I just scored at Radio Shack on the cheap?!

Regarding the article,


Regarding the rest of the lunacy that is the comments here...one question?

Did this announcement somehow disable card view? Did your FB and Twitter apps suddenly stop working? Does that announcement now stop you from pausing N.O.V.A to take a call, look up a restaurant, and send a text before returning to the game?

I always "LOL" when people act like bad news suddenly removes the 'awesome' from their favorite product.

WebOS kicked azz before the announcement and...*gasp* it STILL does!! ;) (bunch of fair weather people I swear. lmao)

No, none of that changed, and webos is a great platform today. What this does is to destroy incentive for anyone to develop for the platform. It demonstrates to me that the CEO of HP does not understand why Iphone OS and Android are successful. They both have a strong consumer fan base, HP just crapped on the webos consumer fan base.

Dude, after reading your post I ran over and looked at my phone. Guess what? Cardview stopped working. my FB and Twitter apps are gone. I can't pause a game to place a call now, either. I can't seem to send a txt, either. I won't be able to test the restaurant app until tomorrow because I've already eaten dinner.

If I hurry, I'll be able to get to the store and buy a new phone before the CEO of HP wakes up and finds out that the lemmings have all run in to the sea.

Oh, wait. I had the phone turned off. I hit the power button and all that stuff is working again. Sorry to alarm you.

People, do you hear what you all are sounding like???

That is true, our phones will still work.... I plan on using mine for sometime yet. But on the other hand I am the type of person that likes to play with and buy lots of apps. If the writing is on the wall I am hesitant to continue spending money on apps for WebOS as it would possibly be wiser to move to a new stable platform and spend money on it instead. Not to mention there may NOT be new apps for WebOS. But I am going to hold of and see what happens... But while people may be over reacting a bit, I also understand where they are coming from.

I never liked HP and I never will, specially after this! I hate all of these big companies CEO's!! So sad yet again someone else hard work is being taking away and used by some dumbass for their own benefits. Fuckem all.

What a moron, lets not buy palm and webos to compete in the same space as apple and google, lets use webos on fraking toasters! So much for holding on to any developers.

And here I was thinking about buying HP stuff... I'll hate them forever if they back stab us, the palm customer, like this.

good, that should put and end to all the jackasses that start threads at the forums about stupid shit.

what a smuck how do people like this guy become ceos he should be cleaning toilets at hp.anyway just made up my mind going to evo ,love web os but after reading this article I'm taking my hp printer and trowing it in the garbage never buy anything hp again I hope that when the share holders vote against hp so someone else will take over hate this f..... Bye bye hp .

This will all be over in 24hrs when Sprint releases the "HTC EVO 4G".
Sorry but I'm done and so are Palm Smartphones.

after the take over there will be no more palm ,what a shame this fuck needs a good smack in the mouth for just mentioning the word palm.and those smucks at palm that said business as usual ye right what a bunch of fakes at least be upfront be a man.i hope that in the near future hp will go bankrupt you never know things change look at the roman empire.

Put a fork in WebOS... It is done. 16 months till my next upgrade. I will probably go Drod. In the meantime I expect few ff any software updates for this thing and developers to jump ship. (Thet already were) The only remaining hope wiill be home brew....

Put a fork in WebOS... It is done. 16 months till my next upgrade. I will probably go Droid. In the meantime I expect few if any software updates for this thing and developers to jump ship. (They already were) The only remaining hope will be home brew. The only thing doubling down is the keyboard on this thing!

Well, if Palm/HP get out of the smartphone business, I'm moving on to Windows Phone 7. At least that has some sexy. No stale android for this guy if I can help it.

I'm a lost for words! I was really looking forward to a new WebOS smartphone. I guess when the iPhone comes to Sprint, I'll be getting that instead. Thank you douchebag CEO of HP! You screwed the pooch on this one! You can have both a smartphone and a tablet duhh!

from ZDNet

Hurd wants to position HP as an IT utility company that can appeal to CIOs looking to get the CEO off his back.

I want to be positive...but this is whats happening.


Well, that confirms it I guess. The end of Palm and the end of WebOS, an it is a real shame. I like some of the Android hardware but the OS needs to mature a bit more, so I'll stick with the iPhone and upgrade the Sprint to a Blackberry. I'll wait a couple of more days but I think it is the end for these two. R.I.P. Palm, and I hope HP who still sells an iPAQ smart phone (the Glisten) loses all sales. Also, I have been a big HP printer supporter; pro-photo printer, all in one, fax/printer/phone, and a deskjet, that's four and it is the end, I'll probably go Cannon now.

This is so funny, I hope everyone (loyalist) learned their lesson and now realize it is now time to head for the the life boats before the the ship(Pre/pixi) sinks. I'm glad I wasn't dumb enough to wait for Palm to come out with a new phone and went ahead and pre order my Evo.

This is so discouraging. I have been a Palm user for just about as long as Palm has been around. AT&T is my only option for Palm products up here in Alaska, so I have been impatiently waiting for the Pre to be released by them--which it finally was about two weeks ago. Just a few days ago, I got my long-desired Pre to replace my Centro. And now I hear this news from HP. So very discouraging. Why are we the only ones who get it?

If Hurd doesn't clarify this immediately, and do so to allay our fears (not enrage them), then maybe WebOS's dad (who now works for Google) can make some of that WebOS-like magic happen with superior Android hardware. It will have to be changed enough to avoid lawsuits from his former employer, but recapture the zen.

Hmmm... Maybe THAT's why he left?

If the CEO's is trying to stop devs from developing fro WebOS and keep people from buying WebOS products he is a genius. Otherwise he is an idiot. The biggest supporters of development and purchasing are Palm fans. I am am thinking if they forget the roots of WebOS they will loose a lot of backing from customers and devs. Making portable computer devices and not be thinking of smartphones is just stupid. WOW!!! I hope they still support Palm working in the smartphone field. Not sure what I will get if they are not making more phones. I just know that I may not support HP anymore.

ANT that just fucking grand i finally get a phone i like with an OS i like and this shit happens last time I invest in something like this from now on out i am only going to buy from established company's that are not trying to come back from the grave plam has been the undead for a while now.. I hope they leave palm intact and they still pump out new products we will see what happens but i just may hop on the EVO band wagon

So HP went from a customer for life to maybe never a customer again in one monologue. My pockets aren't big enough for a tablet. I have no need for an HP toaster, coffee maker, hair dryer, massager, or whatever they want to put out if it cant text, make calls and fit in my pocket. That better be a misderecting statement or they will lose my sales on all their products.

Screw the Android. And screw the Iphone. WebOs is the only way to go multitasking done the right way. But I blame palm for it's failure. Why the **** would you put a phone on the market with out 1. A vertual keyboard that acually works(sorry hombrew I just hate that I can't backspace on the web), 2 not have a have a horizontal keyboard instead of this baby one. 3. No landscape mode for most of there stuff I mean it's like they wanted to fail. Maybe Palms CEO was hit on the head as a baby or maybe they just wanted a government bailout or something. Either way if HP stops making WebOs phones than I well refer to them as Huge Panzies not Hewlet Packerd. Oh and yeah I no I can't spell get over it. :)

I wonder who wants to write apps for an OS, that only runs on tablets and printers. And a tablet without apps will be dead soon. If they don

Jon Rubinstein just got punk'ed!

This is the worst buyout ever. Palm, you can still get out of this!

Or maybe not. Now I have the option of sending a tweet from my coffee maker. With latte!

Seriously, we don't NEED HP to be in the smartphone business; they got all the fine people at Palm for that. They just need to make the sound investment for those fine people to continue doing their fine job.

Jon Rubinstein just got punk'ed!

This is the worst buyout ever. Palm, you can still get out of this!

Or maybe not. Now I have the option of sending a tweet from my coffee maker. With latte!

Less than 30 hrs left and I will drop this Pre like its hot and I won't look back.

the first day it was confirmed that hp wanted palm everyone was saying how great that was I just smacked my forehead and said oh god don't let them f this up . Of course I have been boycotting hp for years because I fix computers and I see the crap that they build alot hp's are the computer I have to fix the most . Even if he misspoke and meant they are not buying palm JUST to be in the smart phone business it still shows they are not gonna fully support palm and how pissed are you right now if your company lays you and 9000 other workers off right before they spend hundreds of millions of dollars for a company they don't really care about

the last comment from my palm pre I will now be assimalated and join the borg errrrr I mean droid thanks to htc for being my only hope

I don't understand what is happening to HP?? I mean I got news that HP will buy palm very soon before few days and suddenly they are making new announcement. I think HP people are pretty confused what to do or it might be the possibility that HP people can't figure out where they can get more profit. Poor HP!!
clip mp3 player

For all of you with the "who cares" opinion:

As a developer, I can't continue webOS development efforts if I don't have the feel that I can get returns from it.

Currently, webOS developers are smartphone developers. If HP plans doesn't include smartphones, there is no room for us, until HP creates itself the neccessary space where we could be in. That's why is neccessary a clear statement about smartphone right now.

With this statement, all we get is: "future products that will not be smartphones". We can't develop for inexistent (future) products, and they're pushing us out with "no smartphones".

So, if this is exactly true, and webOS stops being a smartphone OS, don't expect new apps from Newness Developments. When the "next big thing" (note the sarcasm here) hits the street, I'll take a view to the space for improvements they let to us.

Wanna get inside HP CEO Mark Hurd

ZDNet: Hurd said that the company isn


Please post this link in the forums.

I have 10 months left on my term and i am now on my 3rd Pre. O2 have told me i can change to a Blackberry Bold 9700 or a HTC HD2. I think that as the UK would not get a new webos device for a fair few months IF one is announced anyway so i am going to take o2 up on their Blackberry offer and wait and see what happens.

With the new iphone out in a few weeks and Android phones creeping up on Apple HP would have to come up with something pretty good to compete hardware wise and from what was said yesterday it appears that is not going to happen.

Does anyone know if Palm is going to stay Palm or just be consumed by HP? If they are still to be called Palm, maybe just maybe HP will give them enough to compete in the smartphone business but not enough to take it over?

Maybe he will let Palm do their thing which is make smartphones.

Am I the only one who reads this as "we aren't using palm for our smartphones" which means that palm will still develop as palm?

I like the way people have gone "I'm not getting a webos phone". Come on, wait for clarification

That's what I was saying in my comment, maybe he is going to leave Palm alone and let them do what they want.

Hey if developers leave it leaves room for me to grow - lol

Let's look at the BEST case scenario: Even if Palm still want to be in the phone business, HP just tainted the water. If Palm introduce a new webOS phone, people will look at it suspiciously. "Hmmm. Was this already in the pipeline? I hear HP wants out of the smartphone business. Probably not worth my money." Bad, bad move.

Here's the webcast of the session:


If you listen at about 28:30 he gets into it. You will hear the quote. If you continue into it, he does talk about millions of "hp small form factor devices" including smartphones. He says they aren't going to spend "Billions" (his emphasis), he says they'll be "disciplined about it". (about 30:11)

I think others are right you will see a correction or explanation soon.

Yeah, certainly looks like all we have to look forward to is a bunch of very mediocre, slapped together, not innovative hardware from HP.

I am beginning my mindset switch over to Android, though I am not getting rid of my Pre, which I still think is the best mobile OS out there right now.

Statements like this just chill the entire WebOS ecosystem. What developer is going to want to write and create apps for WebOS now, realizing that the platform is nowhere near high on HP's priority list.

I guess HP really just wants us to somehow print an email from our crappy smartphone on their WebOS printer wirelessly.

Oh well, Palm, it was a nice 18 month run. I have enjoyed it.

I think in his mind he is thinking "we already are in the smartphone business" so that isn't why we bought Palm. They have those iPAQ phones (I have never seen one in the wild.) That is probably what he meant. They obviously bought Palm for WebOs and it's ability. I'm sure they will be placing on everything possible. Palm has a large enough base market that it would be foolish not to build on their costumer base.

I believe the WebOS concept and UI will be ported over to Android.

A sprint rep told me that Palm will release another device on sprint at the end of the year. So I'm gonna wait. If they don't I'll keep my Pre until something appealing hits the market. Come on Palm.

I haven't read all the comments, so don't know if anyone's grabbed this quote from Cult of Mac, but it bears thought:

"While Apple and Google battle it out in the smartphone arena, perhaps HP is playing it smart after all, and trying to position itself to be ready to pounce in the post-smartphone future which iPhone and Android create."


I'm sure (hope) HP will clarify Hurd's statements soon.

Keep your panties on ladies and gents Palm and webos is not going anywhere, Palm will continue to make webos phones its just that I will not be waiting for it to emerge.

I have 12 hrs to go before i'm free of the Pre which has become the laughing stock of the smart phone world.

Mark Hurd NEVER said that there would be no more WebOS smartphones...

A popular bloggger "thought" he said that and everyone else in the blogosphere picked up the story.

Next time, shouldn't you confirm with HP before you publish misinformation like that, or do you really care??