HP tried to sell Palm for $1.2 billion before open sourcing WebOS

HP tried to sell Palm for $1.2 billion before open sourcing WebOS
One last addendum to the sad tale of what happened to Palm after HP acquired it. According to a source speaking to Venture Beat, HP tried to sell Palm to Facebook for the same $1.2 billion it originally purchased Palm for.

Facebook expressed serious interest (e.g. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was at the meeting), but they understandably balked at the asking price. Palm was already hurting when HP bought them, but at the time PalmOS was seen as a solid product that just needed some capital behind it. The further shedding of market share by Pre smartphones and the disastrous launch of the TouchPad under HP’s guidance (to use the term loosely) robbed WebOS of whatever consumer engagement it had left.

By the time HP was looking to sell a company would have had to rebuild the WebOS brand almost from scratch, leaving Palm’s value pretty much equal to its IP. Palm may have some excellent patents, but not $1.2 billion worth. Had HP been willing to lower the asking price below $500 million it’s possible they could have found a suitor. Apparently they weren’t willing to do so, and it’s reported that HP representatives were almost laughed out of the building after their meeting with Facebook.

Rumors this summer also indicated potential interest in WebOS from Amazon, Samsung, and others, but it’s no surprise that WebOS wasn’t picked up by anyone at that price.

source: Venture Beat via Business Insider



1. brenner182

Posts: 29; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

lol palm

2. LewsTherin006

Posts: 140; Member since: Nov 18, 2011

HP seems to be doing a good job of killing itself. It also seems to be run by monkeys.

5. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

True that. I am still trying to understand why Facebook would be interested in webOS. (Dunno) Regardless, going in asking $1.2 Billion is a plan to fail, which it did.

6. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

give meg whitman a chance to actually turn the company around... i doubt this happened while she was in charge

3. palmguy

Posts: 978; Member since: Mar 22, 2011


4. droiddomination

Posts: 203; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

paaaaaaalm" stupid. anyways, at least they aren't run by the idiots over at blackberry. i swear, they are intentionally destroying that company! what board would allow those morons to steer their ship into a coral reef? hp at least has a chance with whitman and their pc dept. future rev from open sourcing palm software.

7. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

I wondered that as well, but the Co-CEOs own a huge chunk of RIM. If any attempt at ousting them has been made, it probably did not fare well as Im sure they have stockholding friends backing them up. RIM at least has the balls to continue to push the market, the Playbook wasn't a success but RIM isn't going to just drop the tablet market as Apple has proven it is a profitable market, and that there is more room than just for Apple, its just a matter of convincing the consumer and business clients of that.

8. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Don't worry- it will be cheaper soon. No way WeBOS gets a chance at open sourcing.

9. HTCiscool

Posts: 449; Member since: Jul 16, 2011

Ok, it isn't a bad idea to sell the OS, but to sell the OS at the same price as they bought it for is ridiculously idiotic. They don't really need 1.2 billion, they're the largest PC maker and they get plenty of revenue from their other products, most namely, printers. Leo was no good, I just hope Megan has some sense... You know, I wonder what phone CEOs of PC companies use lol

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