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RIM Blew Potential Palm Purchase, Apple and Google Also Involved

Andy Vandervell


RIM Blew Potential Palm Purchase, Apple and Google Also Involved

HP buying Palm might be old news now, but details leaked to Business Insider concerning the bidding war for the company make fascinating reading.

According to a "source familiar with the negotiations", RIM had the deal practically sewn up having come in with an original bid higher than HP's eventual purchase price. "{It} had to work incredibly hard to blow it," claims the source.

The source goes on to claim Apple was also seriously interested in Palm, predominantly for the company's copious collection of granted and pending patents. Moreover, Apple reportedly was prepared to continue funding Palm's own operations - an unlikely scenario, it seems.

Apple's interest drew in Google; however when RIM reduced its original offer after more diligence work, HP swooped in and took the prize. It's kind of like eBay auction sniping, just with lots more money. Perhaps RIM simply forgot it was following the auction?

After the lukewarm reception its Blackberry OS 6 video received, perhaps RIM is regretting its decision.

Did RIM make a mistake? Tell us what you think.


Business Insider


July 16, 2010, 10:13 pm

I don't think Google will be too disappointed. They still got Palm's main UI guy, and saved themselves $1.2bn in the process...

The Doctor

July 16, 2010, 10:25 pm

Just because RIM didn't end up buying Palm didn't mean that they lost out. For the deal to make sense they have to have some eventual upside and it could be that after re-running some of their own forecasts for integrating Palm into their operations they decided that their original offer was too generous. Just like eBay, bidders can get carried away and end up hideously overpaying for something.

Personally, I think RIM probably made the right call. Most of Palm's value was in its software and patents (let's be honest, it certainly wasn't sales revenue...) HP had/has very little presence in the mobile market and would have found that Palm provided a skill set it didn't posess. RIM, on the other hand, would have been duplicating almost everything to the point that the smartest thing for them to do would be to strip out the IP from Palm, a few key employees and shut everything else down.


July 17, 2010, 4:35 am

I would have loved to see Palm devices continue to be on the market, simply because they are the darlings of the geek world - they are nice toys indeed!

I don't know whether HP will allow any Palm-branded mobile devices to grace the world anytime soon, but i hope so.. The Apple deal would have made people happy if they were serious about letting the Palm operation continue, but we know Apple is gunning for top spot so they would have been looking over their shoulder somewhat, unless they locked down certain capabilities of the OS, which would defeat the purpose of the whole deal..

Dunno to be honest - each deal had its ups and downs, but RIM lost out the most as they really could have grown wings with a WebOs-centric approach to software engineering..

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