Now, far be it for me to try to tell big corporation what to do. I’m just a blogger.
Yet, it just make so much sense it’s ridiculous. Palm is down to $4 per share, and a current market cap of 600 million. It sports a powerful patent portfolio as the first mover on portable touchscreen technology, such that Apple has yet to challenge, even though Apple seems to be willing to go after (relative) smartphone newcomer and probably patent starved HTC.
Palm tried to hack the iTunes syncing, boldly including pinch-and-zoom and Apple did some saber rattling but didn’t file the lawsuit. Apple’s action, or lack thereof, proves to me that Palm’s patent portfolio is rather imposing. The truth in the technology world is that true all out patent wars are dangerous to both companies involved. There is invariably patents that are overly broad and open to interpretation, and the patents are far more valuable as they are rather, threats, rather than if they become concretely interpreted in a courtroom. So why is a $200 BILLION dollar company like Apple afraid of a 0.6 billion dollar company? Because Apple has made so much money off of touchscreen technology that a judgment not in their favor can literally mean billions of dollars in fines, as well as court orders that can cripple many billions of dollars of possible future revenue. It is just not worth it.
So what about Google? Well that armor of old patents, will allow Google to innovate freely and add features to Android without fear of lawsuit, like the reluctance to pinch-and-zoom that has gone for far too long. There are also so real smart engineers over Palm that can probably help improve on the platform. WebOS will die, but will live on in another version. The ideas are innovative, and the OS is probably still the best out there, it just needs real muscle behind it.
BTW, it makes a lot of sense for Apple to buy Palm as well. Unfortunately I’m a little more scared of Apple trying to kill all innovative competitors with lawsuits, just like they have started to do with HTC.