With the HP merger just about a month away from completion, Palm has been very quiet lately with regards to their development plans. We haven’t seen a WebOS update, any mention of new Palm phones, or talk about WebOS tablets. I guess this is just par for the course when it comes with business mergers.
As such, there’s been a lot of doom-and-gloom speculation that HP will kill off Palm’s smartphone business and just take their intellectual property and WebOS technology (supposedly to be used on their printers, etc.). That may be true, but I don’t think so.
Currently, Palm is running a “bonus program” (which is basically a contest) to encourage developers to create WebOS apps. It seems to be working, as there’s numerous apps appearing on the Palm App Catalog weekly. This bonus program has a total payout of 1 Million Dollars, so it’s a big investment on Palm’s part. After this bonus program contest is over, Palm is planning to hold another 1 Million Dollar contest to encourage developers in creating apps that utilize their PDK capabilities (which is basically porting existing C++ applications (games) to the Palm devices).
Finally, Palm has initiated a 50%-Off sale on the Palm App Catalog to help promote app purchases. They are subsidizing the cost for developers, so they are paying the 50% difference. Again, that is another expense being paid by Palm to continue promoting the WebOS apps on the Palm devices.
So, it seems that Palm is alive and kicking, doing what they can while remaining quiet during the HP merger. I’m sure once the merger is complete, we’ll see a flood of information pouring out of Palm (hopefully!). 🙂