Apple and Research In Motion reportedly tried to buy Palm before Hewlett-Packard (HP) won the rights to the smartphone pioneer, according to a report.
We had previously known that there were other bidders for Palm but sources definitively told Business Insider that Apple and RIM were major suitors. The report said that Apple offered up to $600 million and could have been willing to fund Palm in a potential bid to hurt RIM in the enterprise market. Apple reportedly also wanted Palm’s wealth of mobile patents, probably to give it more ammunition against companies like HTC.
As for RIM, I thought there were a ton of natural synergies for a Palm purchase. Even though the company has BlackBerry 6 on the horizon, I don’t think this is enough to be compelling in a world with the Apple iPhone and Google Android. RIM could have taken the beauty of webOS and marry that with its back-end expertise and strong hardware skills to offer products that appeal to the mainstream while still keeping the corporate crowd happy.
Google also reportedly sniffed around Palm, mainly as a way to one-up Apple. Nokia was also nowhere to be found in a Palm deal, as it apparently thinks MeeGo and Symbian are enough.
The IntoMobile team also thought HTC would be a good purchaser for multiple reasons. This would give it the patents necessary to go toe-to-toe with Apple and I would have loved to see what the Sense UI team could have done with its own full-fledged operating system. Additionally, you wouldn’t have had the hardware issues we saw with the clunky Pre is HTC was pumping out webOS phones.
In the end, the $1.2 billion that HP offered was too much to pass up and I do think it will be a great fit down the line. Now, let’s see some new webOS phones and tablets, HP.
[Via Business Insider]