After a lively, five-way bidding war a few weeks ago, Hewlett-Packard emerged victorious, scooping up struggling mobile phone maestros Palm for $1.2bn.
Although Palm’s Pre and Pixi handsets had been picking up positive reviews, the real jewel in the crown for HP was the handset maker’s webOS operating system.
During a conference call for HP’s second-quarter 2010 earnings yesterday HP CEO Mark Hurd revealed some of the plans in store for innovative mobile OS.
[HP will acquire Palm] in order to enhance our intellectual property…in the connected-mobility space. We expect to leverage WebOS into a variety of form factors, including slates and Web-connected printers.
With a whole series of Web-connected printers, as they connect to the Web, they need an OS…
Printer on webOS
HP has already told investors that it would “invest heavily” in WebOS tablets/slates, although we were surprised at first to see it being touted to run their printers.
Mind you, with printers proving a significant earner for HP – in the last quarter their imaging and printing division coined in a spectacular $6.4 billion in revenue, out of the total of over $30 billion – there’s an obvious opportunity for HP.
Hi tech printing
The company’s already at the forefront of hi-tech printing, with some models able to connect to the web and run apps for printing movie tickets or photos directly from the printer over the Web.
Having a unified OS running mobiles, printers and other networked devices sounds a mighty tempting proposition, so we reckon HP could be knocking out some interesting new products in the near future.