Friday, June 05, 2009

Who will acquire Palm ... and the Pre?

As a long-suffering and occasionally joyful iPhone user, and as scarred and bloodied Palm-era road-kill, I'm very happy that the Palm Pre is receiving first class review coverage. Yes, Pogue and other reviewers are keen to praise the underdog, but this is a genuine achievement.

It's also a desperate Hail Mary pass -- and the goal is not corporate survival. The iTunes hack (the Pre forges iPod credentials) and the expected severe product shortage are just two early signs of how badly Palm is limping now.

I'm with Blodgett ...

The Palm Pre Will Bomb (PALM, AAPL) - Henry Blodgett

.. The smartphone game has become a waltz of elephants, and Palm is just a Jack Russell terrier.  In the US, the smartphone war is between Apple, RIM, and, to a lesser extent, Google.  Palm can yip a bit and run around nipping at the others' feet, but it's too late to become one of the big dogs.

One thing Pre does do for Palm is turn it into a more attractive acquisition candidate.  We doubt Apple, RIM, or Google would buy it, but there's always Nokia, which is nowhere in the US smartphone market...

Nokia is everyone's number one guess for the soon-to-be home of the Palm Pre. I'd wonder about SONY and Samsung -- neither company can afford to surrender the computer infrastructure of the next 15 years.

I also wouldn't write off RIM. It's difficult to describe how badly the BlackBerry OS sucks. Yes, I know it sells well in the consumer market, but that's because most consumers are clueless. I don't think that's going to continue. If RIM's only strength is Exchange server they're in trouble.

So my choices for the future home of the Pre are Nokia first, RIM second then SONY and lastly Samsung. Dell is a wildcard. Any other lists out there?


Unknown said...

I don't think the Pre will *bomb*. But yes, too late, sadly. Sadly. I am still going to get up early and go over to the Sprint store in Brighton - I'm very excited. Then we see next week what treats Apple has in store.

Unknown said...

oh, and they do need to get the developer platform working. But I think addressing that is top on the list.

Palm would be a good acquisition for Nokia.