E-commerce behemoth and recent tablet maker Amazon is reportedly in “serious negotiations” to acquire Palm from directionless PC-maker turned enterprise solution multinational HP according to a “well-placed source” on VentureBeat.
Former Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein joined Amazon’s board late last year, so that could be seen as somewhat of a precursor to this speculation, but neither Amazon nor HP have commented on the rumour thus far. It would, however, be a rather large diversion from Amazon’s current path – as they have invested heavily in both an Android App Store, and a heavily customised version of Android 2.3 to run their recently announced Kindle Fire.
Whilst WebOS would have made an interesting acquisition for Amazon six months ago, when they could have developed the Kindle Fire to run it as its OS – it may prove a difficult sell the idea of porting apps to developers (always a weakness of WebOS). With Android 2.3 forked and skinned so heavily, I don’t see consumers having problems, in fact WebOS is a much better OS than Android in a number of ways, but Amazon has an *Android* App Store, and WebOS does not run Android apps – this would have been a wasted investment.
Could Amazon purchase WebOS and shift their tablet strategy over to the Palm-originating mobile OS? Yes. But the timing couldn’t be worse.