HP Purchase of Palm and its webOS Completed. Now What?

There are a number of corporate buyouts that never made sense to me:

– Sprint buying Nextel
– Microsoft buying Danger
– SUN buying MySQL

I’m adding HP buying Palm and its webOS to this list.

HP Completes $1.2 Billion Acquisition Of Palm, Plans webOS Slate PCs And Netbooks

HP’s plan, apparently, is to position webOS as the mobile platform for a line of devices ranging from smartphones to slates (tablets) and netbooks. The rationale for this, I’m guessing, is because Palm’s webOS competed so astonisingly well against the iPhone. So, it should demolish the iPad market. Right? Oh wait! Did the Palm Pre sell that well against the iPhone? How about against Android?

Yes, this line of reasoning does not seem to hold up well. HP is a hardware company. They have been doing this for a long time and, for the most part, doing it quite well. They did quite well with their line of Windows Mobile products starting with the Jornada and, later, the iPaq (after buying Compaq). They would probably be better served by building well-designed and reasonably priced Android-based mobile products.