HP: Palm buy not about smartphones

When Hewlett-Packard ponied up US$1.2 billion for struggling smartphone maker Palm, it was widely seen as a speedy way for the PC and enterprise services company to get in to the burgeoning mobile device market.

Not so, HP CEO Mark Hurd said Wednesday. At the Bank of The united states Merrill Lynch expertise conference Hurd said his company has broader designs.

He told the audience that HP did not “spend billions of dollars trying to go in to the smartphone business; that doesn’t in any way make any sense,” according to a ZDNet document.

“We didn’t buy Palm to be in the smartphone business. And I tell people that, but it doesn’t appear to resonate well. They bought it for the IP. The WebOS is one of the two ground-up pieces of application that is built as a Web operating surroundings…We have tens of millions of HP small form factor Web-connected devices…Now imagine that being a Web-connected surroundings where now you can receive a common look and feel and a common set of services laid against that surroundings. That is a value proposition.”

From the moment HP said it was obtaining Palm, the company has been speedy to point out Palm’s appealing IP portfolio, and has talked mostly about its designs for WebOS, which so far include a tablet and Web-connected printers.

Not until Wednesday had somebody at HP so vehemently downplayed the smartphone part of the equation, which definitely begs the query of what HP designs to do with Palm’s hardware business.