Qualcomm acquires HP goals: self-defense and innovation

Issuing time:2018-08-22 14:59

Qualcomm has acquired more than 1,400 Palm-related patents from HP. One question worth clarifying is what Qualcomm can gain from this transaction. The Palm device and Web OS operating system were part of the HP TouchPad smartphone and tablet, but in 2011, HP decided to abandon all Palm-related businesses. Palm lost to Android and iOS in the mobile platform battle, and its fate can only be sold.

WebOS was first sold to LG and used in LG's smart TV. No one has high hopes for this deal, but the response of LG's WebOS smart TV in the market is surprisingly good. LG did not purchase WebOS-related patents at the time, and these patents are now being taken by Qualcomm. How will Qualcomm use these patents? One obvious answer is self-defense – having patents is a means of deterring malicious competition and patent trolls. Hewlett-Packard can still license these patents, but it is not clear at the time of the license price and license.

Another obvious possibility is that Qualcomm is considering using these patents to develop more advanced and comprehensive products.

Other patents involved in this transaction are related to the Bitfone mobile device management platform. Bitfone was acquired by Hewlett-Packard in 2006. Its technology is not aimed at companies that need to provide mobile device management platforms for employees, but for mobile phone manufacturers and mobile operators that need an underlying device management software architecture. Qualcomm may consider developing a new generation of system-on-chip products that will make it easier for handset manufacturers and mobile operators to develop tightly integrated functions.

It is widely believed that Qualcomm will not produce its own branded mobile phones, and the profit margin of licensing technology to other vendors is much higher, but Qualcomm's comprehensive solution that integrates on-chip system hardware, system software and underlying management tools is entirely possible. Mobile phone manufacturers only need to license all of these technologies to Qualcomm, and consider higher-level product integration issues.

This is in line with Qualcomm's statement that the acquisition of HP's patents will enable Qualcomm to "provide higher value to current and future licensees." Qualcomm participated in the development of Kyocera 6035, one of the first Palm OS devices in 1999, so it may consider further ties to the mobile phone market through multiple channels.


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