HP CEO: “We didn’t buy Palm to be in the smartphone business.”

HP CEO: “We didn’t buy Palm to be in the smartphone business.”

You’d be forgiven for thinking that when computing giant HP acquired Palm and saved the struggling smartphone manufacturer from near certain collapse that it was all about making a significant push into the growing mobile market. According to HP CEO Mark Hurd, we all got it wrong.

Speaking at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch technology conference Lynch indicated that HP would not spend millions trying to enter the smartphone market because “that doesn’t in any way make any sense.”

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

Is Palm’s hadware business dead? Looks like it.

Hurd hasn’t pulled any punches, categorically stating that the acquisition was all about Palm’s patents and WebOS. The mobile operating system is said to be on its way into HP tablets to compete with Apple’s iPad and also web-connected printers.

Goodbye Palm, it’s been nice knowing you.

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