Rumor Redux: Nokia expressing interest in Palm | webOS Nation
 
 

Rumor Redux: Nokia expressing interest in Palm 41

by Derek Kessler Fri, 13 Nov 2009 6:03 pm EST

Nokia N97 (with webOS)

Wall Street is at it again, with the rumor again circulating that Finnish smartphone maker Nokia is interested in buying Palm. The news, as well as Sunday’s impending launch of the Palm Pixi, drove up shares of PALM $0.95 (8.30%) in the day’s trading, closing at $12.40. The jump ended a less than stellar week, with Palm stock up 9.54% from Monday. During the same one-week period the NASDAQ technology exchange was up 2.62%.

Analysts have been generally positive on the Pixi and believe that it will sell well like the Centro before it. Unlike the $150-$200 range in which the Pre competes; there are few true contenders in the $100 bracket in which the Pixi will launch.

As some analysts have pointed out, it would make little sense for Nokia to be looking at Palm. Nokia just launched their flagship N900 handset with the brand new Maemo operating system. Maemo has been a rather significant investment for Nokia and is expected to power more and more of their smartphones over the stalwart Symbian OS.

Additionally, while Nokia has not done well in the United States, and are loosing marketshare overseas, globally Nokia is still the dominant smartphone maker, easily overshadowing Apple and Research in Motion in terms of sheer volume. While getting a better foothold in the USA is a goal of Nokia’s, to do so by purchasing Palm would be a multi-billion dollar venture.

With 142 million shares on the stock market and another 1/3 of the company owned by Elevation Partners, at today’s 12.40 closing price purchasing Palm would easily cost at least $2.7 billion. Factor in future earning valuations and a takeover bid could easily balloon to close to $4 billion. While Nokia has that kind of money (last summer they sunk $8.1 billion into buying Navteq), Palm would require further significant investments in marketing and development and it would take several years before Nokia would see any profits from the acquisition.

Is Palm for sale? Probably not, but as with any company if somebody were to make an offer there’s a price where Palm’s board would have no choice but to say yes (lest they face the wrath of angry shareholders). Based off of most analyst predictions and price targets, the purchase price of Palm is going to keep going up, so if somebody were to buy Palm, the time to do so would be now.

Thanks to spectre686 for the tip!

41 Comments

Not going to happen.

"there are few true contenders in the $100 bracket in which the Pixi will launch."

yah...xept teh iphone

hasnt att been selling the $99 3g iphone for a while already?
and rumor that it will sell 8gb 3GS iphone for $99.

It sucks that Palm is struggling as of late. While other devices are reaching maturity, Palm seems to be having a hard time (it takes a while to mature anyways, but the market is preventing them).

Some errors on Palms end thou.. their lack of capability of production has limited them so they can't gain any market share, and they're exclusive deals with the wrong carriers (Sprint, Bell.. not sure about O2)

Hopefully the Pixi will give them a decent boost for now, this way they can develop a solid Pre 2 or whatever that will make or break the company after webOS has matured a bit.

Palm is long gone, this is Orange corporation. It's ex-talent from Apple, doing what Jobs and ATT would not let them do with the iphone. Palm was a methodical progression from early PDAs to advanced capable smartphones. They coddled and supported their customers through each progression. There were no bridges between Garnet and Nova, no thought about how to carry customers forward to an enhanced platform. Now, you don't compare Treo to iphones, you compare Apples to Oranges. RIP Palm. WebOS may be our future, but if not, it will be because someone outdid Orange, and we will be richer for the experience.

yea ok

That would be exceptionally odd. I'm a Pre owner, but I think Palm has already died, and what we're experiencing now is just the rotting carcass.

They had a shot, but weren't able to keep up and get WebOS running well enough to compete. Palm can't even get access to the hardware (specifically the microphone) into the SDK (which means no voice recorder, no video recorder, no voice dial, no voice launcher commands, no voice GPS...) and they *still* aren't utilizing the GPU at all and so the device feels sluggish as hell.

The N900 and Droid have both hit the market the Pre is yesterday's news and the Pixi (which has also taken so long to release, and has gone from being feasible as a $100 phone to not being worth anything above "free with contract") is not going to drive development.

Given that I can't think of any reason Nokia would be interested in buying Palm. They're not even worth a couple million to shove out of the way (they're dying fast enough on their own).

The sad part of this will be the loss of the way WebOS multitasks. A lot of other mobile OSes do it now, but WebOS still has the best interface. ...Sadly that's *all* WebOS has going for it, and there's no point to great multitasking if you can't do 95% of the things you'd expect to do with a smart phone.

webOS has more than Cards going for it.

1) Use of HTML/CSS/JavaScript in applications.
2) Great devices (the Pre and Pixi are winners, period)
3) Synergy (far ahead of the curve)
4) Built on open standards (Linux, Java VM), making it easy to produce a greater ecosystem of devices than PalmOS had.
5) Maturing quickly and correctly (poised to deliver GPU support by the Verizon launch in January)
6) Notifications (totally unmatched)

I'm sure webOS 2.0 will send these strengths into the stratosphere.

I don't know what you've been smoking, but Palm is far from dead. WebOS is maturing at a good rate and the platform is growing. As a long time Palm user I am well pleased with the Pre. Is it perfect? No. Are there features that need to come to the platform? Of course. But this bleak view that you are promoting is not a true picture.

I can't stand when people make blanket statements. You need to name specifically the 95% of things this phone cannot do. And while this is not exactly a negative article it does highlight the fact the grass isn't exactly greener on the other side http://www.cnet.com/8301-19736_1-10395863-251.html?tag=TOCmoreStories.0

You realize that microphone access and GPU utilization could be less than a month away. It's just a software update, which Palm can make available without releasing any new hardware.

Everyone likes to talk like Palm is either dead or the next big thing. As usual, it's somewhere in between. If this were 6 months ago, I'd probably agree that Palm had a tough road ahead of it. Now, it's growing faster than anyone else, going from one product in one country a couple of months ago, to multiple products at multiple price points in multiple countries.

The Pixi is already only $30. If it goes to "free with contract" will be a great thing. That will mean widespread adoption on just a price/feature standpoint. Widespread adoption will mean more interest from developers, which will mean more applications, which will help feed the sales of those looking to upgrade to more flagship devices like the Pre or whatever the Pre encore is.

It will be good for both brands if the merger will happen.

I don't think so...

The Palm and Sprint duo, have sold roughly 1.9 million Pre's. That is not a fail.

We, (or I) need to keep supporting our American Assets. Such as,

Palm
Sprint
At&t
Clearwire
intel
Cisco Systems

Where is this 1.9 million coming from? I have not seen such a claim.

But I'm 100% with you on supporting American companies. I'm not sure why people would rather give money to HTC, Samsung, Nokia, etc.

if you work for the right people, you can understand "the big picture"

Your halfway their, I think. It's nice to see someone intelligent in this community. Thanks for that.

+1 to that. Its great to see our slightly offbeat, homegrown webOS devices stand out and garner praise amongst the sea of also-ran KIRF Slabphones from overseas.

Palm has a new Zen. Any merger would risk spoiling it.

wow gamble6x...strong words. Makes me wonder why you're even on this site?

Homebrew. The only thing that makes the phone basically usable. Great people who have tried really hard to prop Palm up. Sadly, even with all the community support, Palm just couldnt' cut it, and I really believe it's now too late to save them (even if they got their act together by next month).

Palm needs to embrace PreCentral and Homebrew apps/ Preware Patches.

I think every phone should be shipped out with "precentral" on the bookmark page.

I am so glad I found this site, It makes me sad that so many Pre users are running around with a "virgin"/(no patches) Pre.

But I think Pre needs to recruit some more programming help, to faster push out their updates and finally enable the Pre to its true potential.

Especially the voice recording and voice related options.

a Nokia made WebOS device. Oh, yeah I'd snatch up one in a heartbeat!

It's "losing", not "loosing". You may now return to your regularly-scheduled article.

I think palm will end up doing very well. When it ends up on verizon it will out do droid. The form factor of pre and pixi is just too attractive and very functional especially for women; It just needs a few more tweaks to the os. Video record, virtual keyboard, gpu acceleration. It will give blackberry a run for its money.

Don't be so quick to assume because its coming to Verizon it'll automatically sell bucket loads...also, keep in mind the iPhone Mini is also coming to Verizon next year - so, unless Palm gets its act together in a heartbeat, its window of opportunity is closing-in exceedingly fast.

i think pre is the best smart phone bar none,its new and growing everyday,give it time,learn with it ,its going to be around for a long time,as a previous nokia owner,god i hope not.long live palm and pre,and thier future phones.

I think the Pre is better than the iphone in multiple ways..

i.e. the Gesture Bar Area, multitasking with ease, etc.

Only big things it needs IMO, is voice and video recording. Which if I am not mistaken, it has the hardware necessary, just needs software..

I have a Palm Pre and love it, but.....
Nokia has always made solid phone -same w. Moto, but I've never been a fan of either companies OS's. I think a Nokia phone with WebOS would be pretty freaking sweet. I'd be in.
Palm devises were great and were the standard barrer for a long long time but they waited too long to update/take on the Blackberry/iPhone market.
Palm had a chance to be the leader in the netbook market with the Foleo but they didn't make a great phone to go with it, they made it for a line of phones that was already showing its age badly. With that said, I think they should re-design the Foleo and throw WebOS on it and get into the subsidized netbook market like Dell and Sony are doing and make it a kick ass add on for Pre/Pixi.
Basically just become a really good software company -I mean hell, do most know that Motorola made Radios and TV's before beepers and cell phones? Wouldn't hurt for Palm to evolve

mmmm I don't know...
I had the 6680 and N95 and as soon as you loaded them with some videos, photos, sms/mms messages they became slower than a snail on speed !!!

I also had 3 sony ericsson phones that for no apparent reason just died on me. I went to bed and they were working - Woke up and the back light was on and nothing else. Ok I cant fault their 2yr no hassle warranty and they repaired the units for free. However after the same fault happened 3 times on 2 diff phones I lost my faith there too.

Samsung/Moto/LG still have to come with a nice "usable" gui in my opinion anyway.

HTC with mobile windows? Blah !!!

Black/Blue/Straw-berries should only be fruits and do not have half the functionality of the Pre.

Droid is a possible threat but competition is always healthy.

Apple is up their own a$$ being control freaks.

To be honest I do not think that Palm are no where near dead. However I do agree there are several issues that need to be addresses before Xmas. If 1.3.1 is out at the end of this month, I would like to se another release before Xmas with more fixes.

I do agree with the comment that every webOS device should come with Preware. If it wasn't for Preware I might have ditched my second Pre.

Palm's financials, while not profitable, are improving dramatically; good cash flow, cash on hand, and a dramatically improving debt position are all signs that Palm is far from dead. While Nokia may be looking at Palm with interest, I have a hard time believing that it would be a good fit. Nokia doesn't really need WebOS; they already have a rubust OS in Maemo (the reviews of which have been positive afaik) and their problem in the US market has much more to do with their resistance to carrier subsidies, which they could easily remedy by...taking carrier subsidies.

I personally think that Microsoft would be a better match. Palm and MS already know how to play nice together, and the phone market is an area that MS has already invested in, but has yet to see any return. After the whole T-mobile/Danger disaster, I could easily see MS firing the whole lot, and buying out Palm to take over the whole thing. The only bug in that ointment that I see would be what to do with WinMo, and can they stomach becoming part of a wide open open-source oriented operation. (which we all know is where the future of this market is at.)

Homebrew is the only reason I am still around Palm...... so many basic things that we had 3-4 yrs ago just wouldnt exist if not for those homebrew heros....as it is I hate having to justify the sluggish-nish of the PRE compared to the iPhone....Palm should really honor those guys for keeping them from bleeding diehards like us who just couldnt wait anymore for stupidly simple things that are still not on the phone as standard....please please please Palm....get it together!

Look, I know it seems like a long time but 5 months have barely passed since the Pre came out. Within those 5 months, Palm has another phone ready for launch in just 1 just from today. Don't know about you but I feel a lot of people need to stop bi***ng about Palm. At the least, give them the remaining of 2009. I believe Palm has no plans to stop anytime soon.
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A little fact I learned in my statistics class: When people are happy with their product (in this case company), they tend to just appreciate the product but most don't take their time to write about how good it is. The few people that actually have a bad product or expect more are the loudest and tend to shout out how terrible the product is and hence those opinions are very biased.

Nokia N97 + webos = world domination

All you people and your video recording. Why? I use a video camera all the time, but not my cell phone. My last cell had video recording and I used it exactly never. So for me there is no reason to add it. If they get flash and visual voice mail, I will worship my phone. Its all I need. I installed Preware and found nothing on there I needed. Well maybe the Themes. Back to the topic. With Nokias domination of the word market, palm only wishes they would get bought out. Web OS would dominate the world in two years. THe Palm phones would be forgoten.

Oh crap our stock is hitting the tank again! Lets leak out a buyout rumor to get some points back!

Exactly what I was thinking somewhat like the news making up stories to report and talk about.

I truly dislike doom and gloom comments...if you don't like the food your eating then close your mouth and find another place to dine. My Pre Rocks and I love what it already provides and look forward to future patches/updates even if they come a little slow for some.

Actually, I just figured out, those posting negative comments probably love their Pres and don't want to loose what they found so valuable.

I'm staying and am looking forward to what the future of WebOS will bring.

Keep up the great work Palm.

I think Sony should buy Palm... make the PSP GO and Palm Pre have a baby.... Now think about that

that's funny! Lol! I was thinking along similar lines when I made my post, only I was thinking MS and the Zune.

Nokia buying Palm is a great idea. I love palm. I've been a Palm fanboy for years. But I think if Nokia buys Palm, it's not a defeat for Palm, it's a win. I wish I could buy Palm stock right now, that's for sure.

It's sad but Palm squandered so much for so long. I love Palm, but historically they've taken the lead and squandered it. Now there's a new team, a great new phone. Great technology. The exciting thing is that as the Android platform starts to mature, Palm OS is just taking it's first steps.

Really, why does everyone think this company is dead? It may sound crazy, but as long as Palm remains profitable, it doesn't really matter if webOS phones remain niche products with a small following. Even if all the doomsayers are right, the simple fact webOS existed will force the other OS's (OS X, Android, etc.) to evolve and everyone will have better phones. The pre is an awesome piece of technology, I love mine, but it's just a phone. Why does everyone take anything negative personally, especially iPhone users? Or where did everyone get their degrees in economics and crystal balls? I mean if I could see the future like everyone who says Palm is dead, I'd play the lottery. :)

Nokia is a dying fat cow. Take that. They were never my favorite brand, their phones are looking cheap, every moron had a Nokia back in the days...I went with SonyEricsson, they lost it. Apple is a benchmark. WebOS is doing pretty good, without the dying fat cow. No I want Videorecording and I want a decent calendar and mail app. Why? Because the hardware is capable of doing it and I like gadgets.

Palm is doing fine, only because the homebrew heros! Now can the Palm indoor devs straighten things out quick.

WebOS works and the concept with a to me decent keybord is what I call serious.

Nokia has to find other ground...for curing the dying cow.