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Palm, Inc

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Palm, Inc

Palm, Inc.
Industry Computer hardware and software
Fate Acquired by HP, retired use of Palm brand
Founded U.S. (1992)
Defunct 2010 (as independent company)
2011 (as subsidiary of HP)
Headquarters Sunnyvale, California, U.S.
Key people Jon Rubinstein, Former Senior Vice President and General Manager
Jeff Hawkins, founder
Donna Dubinsky
Ed Colligan
Products PalmPilot, Z22,Palm lllc, Tungsten E2, TX, Treo 650, Treo 700p, Treo 755p, Treo 680, Treo 700w, Treo 700wx, Treo 750, Centro, Treo Pro, Palm Pixi, Palm Pre, webOS, Palm App Catalog, HP TouchPad
Parent Hewlett-Packard (Since 2010), itself (Until 2010)

Palm, Inc., was an American smartphone manufacturer headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, that was responsible for products such as the Pre and Pixi as well as the Treo and Centro smartphones. Previous product lines include the PalmPilot, Palm III, Palm V, Palm VII, Zire and Tungsten. While their older devices run Palm OS Garnet, four editions of the Treo run Windows Mobile. In early 2009 Palm announced a new operating system, webOS, replacing the original Palm OS Garnet in their newest devices.[1]

On April 28, 2010, Hewlett-Packard announced that it had agreed to acquire Palm for $1.2 billion.[2][3] The deal was completed on July 1, 2010.[4][5] The Palm global business unit was to be responsible for webOS software development and webOS based hardware products, from a robust smartphone roadmap to future slate PCs and netbooks. However, on August 18, 2011, HP announced that it would discontinue production of all webOS devices, including smartphones and tablets.[6][7]

On August 15, 2012, it was revealed that HP had created a wholly owned subsidiary, Gram, made up of the remaining components of Palm.[8]


Founding and acquisition

Palm Computing, Inc., was founded in 1992 by Jeff Hawkins, who sought out the help of Donna Dubinsky and Ed Colligan, all of whom guided Palm to the invention of the Palm Pilot. The company started to create a PDA for consumers, called the Zoomer (1993). The devices were manufactured by Tandy and distributed by Casio, while Palm provided the PIM software. The operating system was provided by Geoworks. The Zoomer failed commercially, but Palm managed to survive through selling synchronization software for HP devices, and the Graffiti handwriting recognition software for the Apple Newton MessagePad.[9]

The company was acquired by U.S. Robotics Corp. in 1995. In June 1997, Palm became a subsidiary of 3Com when U.S. Robotics was acquired by 3Com. In June 1998, the founders became unhappy at the direction in which 3Com was taking the company, and they left and founded Handspring.

Stock offering and split into PalmSource and PalmOne

3Com made the Palm subsidiary an independent, publicly traded company on March 1, 2000, and it traded on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol PALM. Palm Inc had its IPO during the dot com bubble and in its first day of trading the shares of the new company hit an all-time high of US$95.06.[10] But competition and the end of the tech bubble caused Palm's shares to lose 90% of their value in just over a year. By June 2001 the company's shares were trading at US$6.50, making it the worst performing PDA manufacturer on the NASDAQ index at the time.[10]

In January 2002, Daulton Byars set up a wholly owned subsidiary to develop and license Palm OS,[11] which was named PalmSource in February.[12] PalmSource was then spun off from Palm as an independent company.[13][14] In October 2003, the hardware division of the company merged with Handspring, was renamed to palmOne, Inc.[13][14] and traded under the ticker symbol PLMO. The Palm trademark was held by a jointly owned holding company.

United as a single company

In May 2005, palmOne purchased PalmSource's share in the 'Palm' trademark for US$30 million.[15] In July 2005, palmOne launched its new name and brand reverting to Palm, Inc. and trading under the ticker symbol PALM once again.[16] In late 2005, ACCESS, which specializes in mobile and embedded web browser technologies, acquired PalmSource for US$324 million. On January 4, 2006, Palm released the Palm Treo 700w, the first Windows Mobile-powered Treo in a partnership with Verizon Wireless and Microsoft. In December 2006, Palm, Inc. paid US$44 million to ACCESS for the rights to the source code for Palm OS Garnet. With this arrangement, a single company was once again developing Palm hardware and software. Palm could modify the licensed software as needed and did not need to pay royalties to ACCESS.[17]

In June 2007, Palm formed a strategic relationship with the private-equity firm Elevation Partners who purchased a 25% equity stake of the company for US$325 million[18] – an investment that came after months of rumours about a possible Palm sale. Palm CEO Ed Colligan acknowledged that "We were approached by larger parties over the last six months," and "the reality is that we thought this was the best outcome for our business and our investors."[19]

On December 18, 2008, Palm CEO Ed Colligan announced that the company would no longer develop any new handheld PDAs.[20] Palm announced the webOS operating system and Palm Pre smartphone at the Consumer Electronics Show on January 8, 2009, and released on June 6, 2009 with Sprint.[21] The design team was led by Matias Duarte, Mike Bell, Peter Skillman and Michael Abbott.[22]

In early 2009, the hype over WebOS sent Palm’s stock from $3 USD to a high of about $18 USD. While reviews of the Palm Pre were positive, launching with only one U.S. carrier (Sprint, which was also a distant third in the market) proved to be a crucial mistake that limited sales, even though it became Sprint's best-selling phone. The Pre was often described as Palm's swan song[23][24] as it was too late keep the company - with only $250 million in cash and short- term investments at the beginning of 2009 - independent for long. By 2010 the share price of Palm dropped to below $4 USD. [1]

Acquisition by HP

On April 28, 2010, Hewlett-Packard announced it would purchase Palm at $5.70 a share for $1.2 billion in an all-cash deal.[2][3] The next day Palm stock rose 26%. The acquisition was completed on July 1, 2010.[4][5]

On February 9, 2011, HP introduced a series of webOS devices under the name HP, indicating the discontinuation of the "Palm" brand.[25] On June 2, 2011, officially began redirecting to marking the end of the last use of the Palm brand after nearly 20 years of being recognized as a genericized trademark for "mobile computer".[26] However, on August 18, 2011, HP announced that it would discontinue production of all webOS devices, including smartphones and tablets.[6][7]

On August 15, 2012, it was revealed that HP had created a wholly owned subsidiary, Gram, made up of the remaining components of Palm. Rather than being a consumer hardware brand, its focus is described as "software, user experience, the cloud, engineering, and partnering."[8]

Logo evolution gallery

See also

San Francisco Bay Area portal
Companies portal


External links

  • Palm Infocenter
  • Palm Historical SEC Filings

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