HP-Palm Merger

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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTR383
Case Length : 27 Pages
Period : 2009-2010
Pub Date : 2011
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : Hewlett-Packard / Palm, Inc
Industry : Information Technology / Electronics
Countries : Global; US

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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"This is either the end of Palm, or the restart it always needed. Either way, it's probably the iconic brand's last chance for survival - and Hewlett Packard's best chance for mobile relevance."1

- Jon Fortt, Senior Writer, Fortune Magazine, in 2010.

"I believe that HP has been very frustrated at trying to sell hardware using somebody else's OS and competing on low margins and not having control over the end-user experience... The Palm acquisition has the potential to rejuvenate HP's smartphone business by giving it control over both the hardware and the software of the end product and offering that same kind of control over future slate products."2

- Frank Gillett, Analyst, Forrester Research Inc.3, in 2010.


On July 1, 2010, US-based technology giant Hewlett-Packard Company (HP) announced that it had completed the process of acquiring the US-based Palm Inc. (Palm), considered the pioneer of PDAs4. By way of this acquisition, HP attained webOS, a software platform designed and developed by Palm and also Palm's Pre and Pixi lines of smartphones. Todd Bradley (Bradley), Executive Vice President, Personal Systems Group, HP, said, "With webOS, HP will deliver its customers a unique and compelling experience across smartphones and other mobility products...This allows us the opportunity to fully engage in growing our smartphone family offering and the footprint of webOS."5

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1] Jon Fortt, Senior Writer, "HP to Buy Palm: Now the Hard Part," http://tech.fortune.cnn.com, April 28, 2010.
2] Nancy Gohring, "History Shows HP's Palm Buy Can Work," www.macworld.com, April 30, 2010.
3] Forrester Research, Inc. is a technology and market research company.
4] PDA or Personal Digital Assistant was a term coined in January 1992 by John Sculley while he was the CEO at Apple, Inc. Also referred to as a Palmtop Computer, PDAs are mobile devices used as phones and also to connect to the Internet through wireless technology. PDAs have been developed further and have given rise to a new genre of devices called smartphones.
5] "HP Completes Palm Acquisition," www.hp.com, July 1, 2010.

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