Should Apple buy Palm?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by str1f3, Mar 20, 2010.

  1. str1f3 macrumors 68000

    Aug 24, 2008
    Palm is now in it's last throws.

    This article now says that Palm only has $500 million in cash left and that their stock is worthless. WM7 will be coming out later this year so they will lose even more marketshare. Some investors are giving them another year before they're done.

    Apple Would have two reasons to buy Palm.

    1. Patents. Palm has a deep catalog of patents and could be very useful to own them, not only in their suit against Nokia, but to have those defensively in case of future lawsuits. Apple can never be sure that someone else, like a Nokia, wouldn't buy Palm and use those patents against Apple in their current suit. I would hope that Apple wouldn't use those patents to sue others though (like HTC).

    2. There is a lot of Apple engineers working at Palm and it would be good to bring them back to the fold rather than losing that talent to competing companies. Good engineers are always hard to come by in the Valley. I wouldn't want Rubenstein back but I would make a deal that makes him permanently retired.

    Clearly Apple does not need Palm for WebOS but Palm could prove itself valuable to any company looking to purchase them.
  2. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    I would say no.

    Patents. You might have something there if Apple want's or needs a patent that Palm has. Otherwise, Apple has it's own patents.

    Good engineers. Well, they left Apple. Why? They might not be good engineers from Apple's perspective (they are not in the fold) and that's what counts.

    To add, it would look bad, IMHO, for Apple to purchase a losing platform.
  3. YoungLew macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2009
    Apple shouldn't buy Palm in my opinion......

    As pointed out on various blogs (namely Gizmodo) it would make more sense for Google to buy them than Apple.

    If Google bought them they could merge the flashy and attractive WebOS with their (functional yet not very pleasing to the eye) Android and make the best operating system ever? maybe.
  4. Warbrain macrumors 603


    Jun 28, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    Not at all.

    Palm may have worthwhile patents to own but, honestly, they don't even have the money to fight with those patents right now or ever.

    I personally think they should just die and whither away. No one needs to buy them. Palm is one of those companies that should've died long ago.
  5. str1f3 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Aug 24, 2008
    The reason those engineers left were because Palm had an open offer to any Apple employee of up to a 20% pay increase. This is something we can all relate to and probably would've done the same. I don't think those engineers weren't too bad since I consider WebOS to be the the second best OS, in terms of elegance, out there.

    While there is a better fit for Palm at other companies, like a Nokia or RIM, there seems to be a patent nuclear war going on in the mobile space.

    Initially my reaction was no but their patents do make things a bit more ambiguous.
  6. MatLane macrumors 6502a


    Sep 30, 2008
    England, United Kingdom
    Not for this idea at all really.

    Dont think it's needed.
  7. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    What do Palm really have to offer? An ever-dwindling number of loyal customers, an OS that directly competes with Apple's own product and some patents.

    If we look at these in order:

    1) The customers will come to Apple/RIM/MS anyway if/when Palm fail. Apple's chances of converting them to the iPhone probably don't go up if they own Palm

    2) The OS is basically worthless to Apple. It's 100% incompatible with the iPhone OS and they would have to expend resources supporting that platform for a few years as they wind it down. This is just a drain on their resources. There are some cute things in the OS (the notification system primarily) that Apple might want to re-implement from scratch in the iPhone OS.

    3) The patents. These are the only thing really worth having. And Apple already have a massive pile of patents...

    I say let them die/soak up another few billion of capital being thrown at them whilst they fail. It's a real shame. Palm were very innovative and really represented a new way of doing things. But that was then, not now...
  8. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    Leaving a company for another can be equivalent to burning a bridge in that you can never go back. Depends on the company.

    IMHO, SJ views those who leave for pay increase as burning their bridges.

    In addition, the Palm OS is not the same as the iPhone OS. Hence, these folks are out of the Apple fold, both in thought and implementation.

    There is a reason that the Palm OS devices are failing.

    Additionally, these are the same folks who created an app to sync with iTunes. Then Apple broke the sync. Then Palm tweaked their app to sync. Etc.

    Don't think SJ looked to kindly upon this by "those" Apple employees.

    And last but not least, why would Apple want to support the Palm OS platform. IMHO, they wouldn't. So what is the benefit of getting the Palm OS brought into Apple? Just don't see any from where I am sitting.
  9. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Makes no sense, they have nothing that apple wants. For a company that was created on making PDAs and smart phones, they've been quite inept at doing just that. Why should apple buy a failed business?
  10. mags631 Guest

    Mar 6, 2007
    No. You also have to consider the long-term debt that Apple would assume when it would do the acquisition.

    My only assumption is that Palm doesn't happen to hold one or more patents that could pose a significant risk to Apple. Given that both Palm and Apple aren't acting that this is the case, I'm guessing they don't.
  11. DeepIn2U macrumors 603


    May 30, 2002
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    No - Palm is long dead


    Palm should've died a LONG long time ago. They remained stagnant, cannot budget properly (odd how they have so many budget apps on the old OS 5), and wasted so much R&D on 3/4 OS' and never did anything for over 5yrs!

    Besides does Apple really need those 5/6 employees that left or where let go back?

    No ... Palm made a HUGE mistake staying with Sprint & CMDA for too long.

    ONLY if Palm can design, release and ship 2 more HSPA products
  12. zap2 macrumors 604


    Mar 8, 2005
    Washington D.C
  13. zap2 macrumors 604


    Mar 8, 2005
    Washington D.C
    A business can fail for many reasons(poor ideas, poor marketing, poor management)

    Palm attractive for a buy-out most of all for their ideas(and patents of those ideas)

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