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Silicon Alley Insider reports that it has spoken with a source close to the negotiations that ultimately resulted in HP acquiring Palm earlier this year. According to the source, Apple was very interested in acquiring Palm, primarily for its intellectual property, but was outbid by HP.

Even more interestingly, the source claims that Apple was interested in keeping Palm's business intact, possibly in order to challenge Research in Motion in the market of consumers focused on smartphones carrying hardware keyboards.
Apple was mostly interested in Palm's huge library of intellectual property and patents. And unlike some other bidders, Apple even seemed committed to funding Palm's operations, perhaps to challenge RIM's dominance in the keyboarded segment of the smartphone industry, our source says. (There's a bunch of problems with this idea, such as the idea of Apple supporting two rival app platforms, but that's what this person says.) Ultimately, Apple didn't bid high enough, while HP offered an amount the board couldn't say no to. (Recall that Steve Jobs tried to buy Palm years ago in its first life, too, when it was owned by 3Com.)
The source also shared a couple of other interesting pieces of information, including claims that Google expressed initial interest in Palm, primarily because it thought Apple might be interested, but backed off because it didn't know Apple was actually putting forth a bid. Additionally, Research in Motion initially had the highest bid for Palm and was close to sealing the deal but lost out when HP increased its bid.

Palm, which featured a number of former Apple executives and engineers on its team, faced off against Apple on a number of fronts, with Apple even resorting to veiled threats against the company over multitouch functionality and other features in Palm's webOS. The companies also sparred over iTunes syncing, with each side issuing multiple software updates to alternately enable and disable the Palm Pre's ability to directly tap into users' iTunes libraries to load media content.

Article Link: Apple Reportedly Placed Bid to Buy Palm, Was Outbid by HP
 

japanime

macrumors 68020
Feb 27, 2006
2,295
2,712
Japan
Would have been an interesting acquisition. It does make one wonder, though, whether Apple really is ultimately to move away from "traditional" computers (desktops and larger laptops) and become strictly a mobile-computing company.
 
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rmatthewware

macrumors 6502
Jul 22, 2009
493
126
I need a "Meh" option for rating. I mean, a story that may or may not be true about how Apple didn't buy a company isn't very intereting.
 
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3583582

Suspended
Jan 6, 2009
163
0
It's a good thing IMO that none of the companies already in the phone business got Palm. I still doubt that HP won't screw up..but I'd be happy if they didn't.
 
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rmatthewware

macrumors 6502
Jul 22, 2009
493
126
I think the reason Apple wanted Palm was to keep away from Googles or even HTC hands :D

Because Google or Apple needed a crappy phone to replace their own phones that are doing just fine.

The Palm phone was a joke from the start. "Hey, let's make a phone that requires you to hack into iTunes to sync anything. Brilliant!"
 
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maturola

macrumors 68040
Oct 29, 2007
3,863
1
Atlanta, GA
Because Google or Apple needed a crappy phone to replace their own phones that are doing just fine.

The Palm phone was a joke from the start. "Hey, let's make a phone that requires you to hack into iTunes to sync anything. Brilliant!"

It's not about the Phones.... It about Intelectual property and Engineers (most of them actually apple's former Engineers)
 
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macus3r

macrumors regular
Aug 30, 2005
105
28
A-A-A-A-ACQUISITION WARRIORS 2010!
for MBAs, by MBAs

**Launch LBOS and commit capital funds to buy out your opponents!!!
**EXCLUSIVE Financial Analysis and Data Modeling attacks!
**NEVER BEFORE SEEN LEGAL DEPT CHARACTER!!!!

app available on the app store and the android market!!!
 
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macus3r

macrumors regular
Aug 30, 2005
105
28
HP buying Palm spoiled Palm I think... unless HP comes out with its dick swinging Palm tech hard in the next 6-12 months... let's see what happens.

game's on.
 
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vincenz

macrumors 601
Oct 20, 2008
4,271
155
I think they got what they wanted anyway with the Palm guy who was behind notifications for webOS.
 
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millar876

macrumors 6502a
May 13, 2004
697
37
Kilmarnock, Scotland UK
did palm not kinda buy/pinch a load af apple tech when apple sold off all the newton stuff, like grafiti handwrighting recognition and a couple of other bits and bobs?
 
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na1577

macrumors 6502a
Jan 20, 2008
899
87
I'm glad this didn't go through. WebOS has a chance to thrive under HP, an opportunity it wouldn't have had if Apple had acquired Palm.
 
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lllll

macrumors regular
Oct 23, 2009
161
0
Apple never wanted Palm in the first place. They only went to bid so that Apple rival would waste money on a dying company thus unable to compete with Apple in the long run because they wasted billion of dollar buying Palm.
 
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macus3r

macrumors regular
Aug 30, 2005
105
28
Apple never wanted Palm in the first place. They only went to bid so that Apple rival would waste money on a dying company thus unable to compete with Apple in the long run because they wasted billion of dollar buying Palm.

Good point. This would have been a shrewd move... but what if palm accepted? WHAT IF?
 
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locust76

macrumors 6502a
Jan 23, 2009
678
75
Had Apple bought Palm, they might have also acquired a clue or two about proper antenna design.
 
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kiljoy616

macrumors 68000
Apr 17, 2008
1,795
0
USA
I think the reason Apple wanted Palm was to keep away from Googles or even HTC hands :D

Research in Motion is way more problematic for apple, they make nothing, just do patent trolling. At least Google and HTC make something, which means there can be mutual respect for patents attacks, but imagine a very very small company that makes nothing, but sues non stop. :rolleyes:
 
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deconstruct60

macrumors G3
Mar 10, 2009
9,774
2,157
According to the source, Apple was very interested in acquiring Palm, primarily for its intellectual property,
....
pieces of information, including claims that Google expressed initial interest in Palm, primarily because it thought Apple might be interested, but backed off because it didn't know Apple was actually putting forth a bid.

Both Apple and Google could been making a play to keep the price for Palm going too low. If RIM could have bought Palm for a very cheap price then they'd both have more issues. Likewise if Apple gets Palm's IP for discount prices ... that doesn't do Google any good. A bit short sighted of Google not to include RIM in that mix but probably had better rumblings about Apple sniffing around. However, RIM doesn't have the "stacks of gold" that Apple has so harder to get them worked up into a bidding war. In the end, RIM did blink.

If HP , RIM , and Google had balked and either didn't or put in super low bids Apple could have walked off with stack of IP and talent for relatively little money. I doubt it was one of those two platforms move alluded to in the quote. There are lots of players giving fake tells at the table in one of these.


P.S. If the A,B,C, D company descriptions match up ... RIM is blew it big time. They had the whole thing wrapped up and then went Scrooge McDuck and got nothing. It also points to that it was more to fact Google was only interested in patents perhaps more so than just mimicking Apple. Google didn't want to go full time into end product handset business . There is no big upside for them to do that and even less so with the number of units Palm was shipping.
 
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