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HP could kill off Palm smartphones

Hewlett Packard boss Mark Hurd has revealed that he has no plans to make any new Palm smartphones.

HP snapped up the PDA pioneer at the end of April for $1.28 billion and the common consensus was that the computer giant wanted to get into the smartphone market.

Now it has emerged that HP has no interest in Palm's hardware business at all, but that the company was acquired for its intellectual property alone.

"We didn’t buy Palm to be in the smartphone business," he told a bunch of bankers. "And I tell people that, but it doesn’t seem to resonate well. We bought it for the IP. The webOS is one of the two ground-up pieces of software that is built as a web operating environment… We have tens of millions of HP small form factor web-connected devices… Now imagine that being a web-connected environment where now you can get a common look and feel and a common set of services laid against that environment. That is a very value proposition."

Some commentators are complaining about the move, insisting that Palm's cellphone business should be kept alive, but to all intents and purposes the division had already failed miserably, leading to the HP buy-out.

Hurd hammered home the point by saying that HP wasn't going to "spend billions of dollars trying to go into the smartphone business.

"That doesn’t in any way make any sense," he said.