- December 17, 2001
Recently there have been
rumors of possible new mergers between various PDA manufactures.
Most have proven to be false (as far as me know), though there is always
the possibility that one manufacture might buy another. The possible
HP buying Compaq purchase has brought many question to the market of what
would actually happen if two major players got together, and what that
might mean to the future of PDA's.
HP and Compaq merge - This
merger comes as some what of a surprise since both companies are at relatively
the same place financially, though in the PDA market Compaq has the clear
advantage. For the last few years, "Palm" was one of the
names people used to refer to PDA's, but now many people are starting to
use "iPAQ" in place of Palm. If the first question about
your PDA is not "is that a Palm?", then it likely tends to be
"is that an iPAQ?". Just the iPAQ name not to mention all
the sales of previous iPAQ devices makes it now have the name appeal which
it will easily hold on to for years to come. HP on the other had has
a device that is just as good (in many respects) as the iPAQ, though the
Jornada name is not as well known. If HP and Compaq merge, most
think that the iPAQ would still be produced, though HP could consider
taking the iPAQ out of the picture so more people would look at the
Jornada as being the top device.
Handspring and Palm merge
Recently this has been a big rumor with the recent resignation of Palm's
CEO. Handspring also has been doing progressively better then Palm
which makes people believe Handspring might try and buy out their biggest
competitor. It doesn't seem like this merge would accomplish a whole
lot, except stop new Palm devices. Handspring has recently been a
few steps ahead of Palm in the new hardware market, as well as in pricing
their new devices lower then Palms. Palm really has to worry about
Handspring and what they are doing, but right now, Handspring really
doesn't have to worry all that much about Palm taking away part of their
market share. Plus, if Handspring wishes to create more
"multimedia rich" devices, they can always looks to licensing
Pocket PC instead of waiting for Palm OS 5.
Microsoft and Palm
merge (buyout) - Though Microsoft is now a Palm OS licensee, chances of it
buying Palm are slim. If Microsoft did, it would now be a definite
monopoly in the the PDA market. Microsoft won't buy Palm. The
reason they won't, is they genuinely feel that the Palm OS is far behind
Windows CE, and the chances that it will catch up to CE is slim.
Buying Palm wouldn't really add to the CE technology, since both operating
systems are very different.
How important is the possibility
for a merger when buying a device? Really, it isn't all that big an
issue. The largest problem you will have is losing support directly
from the company. Usually when a company gets bought, it takes quite
a while till support services actually disappear. Remember these are
big companies, so they aren't going to just disappear over night.
Buying a device from Compaq or Palm is not a bad choice, even if there is
the possibility that that company could disappear in the coming