Former Palm CEO Jon Rubenstein, who has led the Palm business unit at HP since the computer giant acquired the PDA pioneer earlier this year, had a lot of interesting things to say at this weeks D: Dive Into Mobile conference in San Francisco.
First, Rubenstein said, contrary to popular belief, Palm was flush with cash” when it sold to HP. The problem was that his small company wasnt going to able to sustain itself in the long run. Most industry watchers speculated that Palm was in financial dire straits before the acquisition, which followed Palms attempted return to prominence with the Palm Pre smartphone. While receiving generally positive reviews, the Pre failed to sell nearly as well as hoped.
Second, Rubenstein told the crowd that HP had no mobile strategy before the acquisition. It only took HP a few months to unleash the Palm Pre 2 on the world, which also has failed to knock anyones socks off up to this point; however, webOS, Palms highly respected operating system that will be at the heart of a number of new HP mobile devices in 2011 such as tablet computers might be a different story. Rubenstein said past struggles do not mean game over.”
Nonetheless, the HP-Palm acquisition hasnt had a lot to show for itself just yet, leaving fans of Palm devices to wonder if the combined company will be able to be competitive with Apple and Googles Android platform, among others.