tbd if the market will support two IBMs…
When the TouchPad launched, and subsequently floundered out of the gate, Apotheker had what he needed. He landed Autonomy and it was set. HP wasn’t going to be the next Apple. They were going to be the next IBM.
Not IBM, the PC juggernaut, mind you — IBM the company that cut loose the PC hardware division and focused on data and enterprise. That’s what so jarring about today’s news: HP just did a full stop and then a 180 before our very eyes. Apple and IBM both resurrected themselves in recent years, but each did it in opposite ways. The Apple plan didn’t work for HP, Apotheker decided. He now clearly believes the IBM plan will.
Something else to consider: when HP bought Palm for $1.2 billion last year, the world was a different place. These days, companies are paying $4.5 billion for a group of patents. Google is paying $12.5 billion for Motorola, a large portion is which is also for patents. Along with Palm and webOS, HP got Palm’s 1,500+ patents last year, as they emphasized to us at the time of the sale.
If those patents are as important in the mobile space as some believe, they alone could be worth more than the $1.2 billion Palm sale price now. If HP can flip those for north of that price, the whole acquisition won’t look like nearly as much of a disaster as it does right now.