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Nokia buy Palm? Not so fast…

by alec on November 17, 2009

Last week rumours circulated (again) that Nokia might acquire Palm.  Palm shares rallied, but seem to have settled back down this week. The “deal”, after all, is a Wall Street wet dream, and not much more. 

It’s true that Nokia’s stock price is suffering and that Nokia’s share is slipping in the smart phone market. The mobile market is in transition, and Nokia was ill prepared. Nokia is fundamentally a hardware company trying to become a software company in a market which has lurched sharply toward software as the core differentiator.  Wedded to Symbian while top competitors Apple and Google have bet on *NIX on the handset, Nokia knows it has to make some changes.  The advantages of a modern OS architecture on the handset simply can’t be overstated.

And, in fact, Nokia is making changes.  The N900 is a mobile Linux device, running Nokia’s home grown Maemo OS.  The N900 has debuted to mixed reviews but Nokia isn’t asleep at the wheel.

And that’s why the billions required to buy Palm aren’t going to get spent.

Who might make a good dance partner for Palm? How about:

  • Yahoo – Apple and Google have both demonstrated the value of an integrated user experience connecting web based media and storefront properties to the handset.  By all accounts, Palm’s WebOS is the best platform for creating mobile web experiences today.  What better marriage than Yahoo’s deep web experience and Palm’s sexy new mobile platform?
  • RIM – BlackBerry OS is long in the tooth, and everyone knows it. The current king of the smartphone hill has a lot to lose, and the current crop of new competitors have better platforms to build their future businesses upon.  Meld RIM’s deep understanding of the enterprise to Palm’s mobile web platform, and market it through RIM’s well entrenched carrier relationships and you’d have a winner.
  • In fact, RIM acquiring Palm might be so threatening to Microsoft that they’d conceivably enter the race just to make sure that RIM didn’t win the big prize.  The shift to web technologies on the handset and within the enterprise would threaten Microsoft’s core franchise.  However, given how poorly Microsoft has executed on mobile, a successful bid from Redmond would likely be the kiss of death for Palm. 

My bet’s on RIM, even though a Yahoo / Palm marriage has the potential to create one of the most exciting and dynamic companies in the mobile world today.  Palm needs a dance partner, but it’s not clear that Yahoo’s leadership has the stones to get the job done. The good news for Palm’s Rubenstein is that there are plenty of potential suitors in the market, if indeed the company is for sale.

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Squawk Box June 6

by alec on June 6, 2008

For the Friday SquawkBox we did a roundup of a few of the stories from this past week.

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On the call: Don Eidse, Jim Courtney, Misha Nossik, Adam Somer, Brian Sharwood, Bill Volk, Jonathan Jensen, and Todd Spraggins

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DataPortability before Privacy puts the cart before the horse

June 4, 2008

Paris and Lindsay’s private photos are all over Valleyway this morning. The photos were obtained via a Yahoo! hack that allowed Valleywag to access the girls private areas on MySpace. The folks at the Wag have used this as an opportunity to take a swipe at Data Portability, calling it wrongheaded. Perhaps Data Portability is […]

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Squawk Box May 16

May 16, 2008

This morning we wrapped up some of the big stories of the week.  We talked about traffic shaping, as new data has emerged showing that Comcast has lied to the US FCC.  We also talked about Jerry Yang’s new nightmare – Carl Icahn, and Icahn’s hostile slate of Yahoo directors. And how about the story that […]

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Squawk Box May 14

May 14, 2008

The biggest story to hit the telecom world in a while, in my opinion, is Facebook’s decision to go XMPP with their chat client. I think it means a ton for SIP/Simple, for developers and the IM Gulag perpetuated by Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL. So we talked about it on the SquawkBox. Some conclusions: Given […]

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Squawk Box May 5th

May 5, 2008

Yahoo and Microsoft’s dead deal. How could we not think of discussing it? And so we did. We discussed the possibility of shareholder lawsuits, the price of the shares, morale at both companies, and whether or not the executives involved should keep their jobs. We also heard from Jim Courtney about the ground breaking announcement […]

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Squawk Box April 25

April 25, 2008

Today’s wrap up of the news of the week focused on microsoft yahoo and skype. The discussion on microsoft – yahoo was about their financial results and testosterone levels… I’ll let you listen to the podcast below to get more on this. While skype achieved its goal with their mobile release: We were talking about […]

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Squawk Box April 9 – Google App Engine, and Skype's Carterfone application

April 9, 2008

Squawk Box April 9 was huge fun. The topics were: Google’s App Engine. Who’s it for, how does it differ from Amazon Web Services, and where’s Microsoft? It got downright ugly for a while as people jumped on the bash Microsoft wagon, but it’s worth keeping in mind that the critics who mockingly refer to […]

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Squawk Box April 9 – Google App Engine, and Skype’s Carterfone application

April 9, 2008

Squawk Box April 9 was huge fun. The topics were: Google’s App Engine. Who’s it for, how does it differ from Amazon Web Services, and where’s Microsoft? It got downright ugly for a while as people jumped on the bash Microsoft wagon, but it’s worth keeping in mind that the critics who mockingly refer to […]

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Squawk April 8 Preview

April 8, 2008

This morning we’re going to talk about the changing landscape in mobile devices. Apple has set the tone of conversation with iPhone, but Microsoft last week announced the inclusion of a full browser in an upcoming version of Windows Mobile, and yesterday Nokia was showing their first touch device code-named “Tube”. Tube? Is that Finnish […]

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