Bono - BlackBerry man, Palm investor | webOS Nation

Bono - BlackBerry man, Palm investor

by Derek Kessler Wed, 22 Jul 2009 5:29 pm EDT


Sir Bono of Dublin draws a striking contrast in his choices in the mobile arena. First up is Bono, a founding partner of investment firm Elevation Partners, which has sunk more than $400 million (20% of Elevation’s $1.9 billion portfolio) into resurgent handset maker Palm, Inc. And then there’s Bono, the lead singer of record Grammy-winning rock band U2, which is currently performing all across Europe as part of their 360° tour, which is heavily sponsored by Research in Motion, maker of the popular BlackBerry line of smartphones. And let’s not forget, Bono pushed Apple gear - remember the red and black U2 edition iPods? - before hooking up with RIM.

As Dan Primack of peHUB Wire opined, “[Bono] might as well take out a fullpage ad in USA Today, saying: ‘If you’re going to switch to a smart phone, don’t bother with the Palm Pre’.” But we have to look at this from the point of view of the two Bonos. While they may be the same person, they’re involved in two very different businesses. U2 Bono is concerned about promoting his concert tour and albums, and RIM’s deep pockets and BlackBerry recognition make them an easy choice. Elevation Partners Bono, on the other hand, is concerned with return for his investment. And in that arena, Palm is definitely the place to be: over the past year Palm shares has been up nearly 170% and RIM is down about 35% (after bottoming at almost 70% loss).

Deep down, we secretly hope that Bono is investing some of those easy BlackBerry sponsorship dollars into Elevation, who in turn could reinvest them in Palm (though yeah, we know, Palm may not need any more cash from Elevation).   Because then RIM would be investing in the future of smartphones Palm.

Thanks to Rasen for the tip!