Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) appears to adding some management heft to Palm in what could be a sign that it may be serious about this mobile device thing after all.
John Paczkowski at AllthingsD reports that Ari Jaaksi, who recently left as head of Nokia’s MeeGo unit, will be going to Palm. Palm is also adding Victoria Coleman, who ran Samsung’s R&D center in San Jose.
These two hires indicate that the webOS and Palm may get some love. Paczkowski also notes that HP has been pulling internal expertise into the Palm orbit.
It’s about time. HP has been a bit quiet about its plans for Palm. Indeed, HP announced the acquisition of Palm in April and hasn’t said much since. Six months is an entire development cycle in mobile devices.
The most jarring indication that HP wasn’t all that sure about Palm came at the company’s big printer launch in New York City. First, HP executives gushed about a printing partnership with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and the iOS. And then for good measure the printer unit features a 7-inch detachable tablet console on its high-end unit. That console happened to run on Android.
When I asked why there wasn’t one mention of the webOS, the reply was that HP would integrate it at some later date. Sure, webOS tablets are allegedly coming in 2011, but there’s not a lot of room for delay. It’s one thing if a silo-ed unit at HP isn’t into Palm, but we haven’t heard much about roadmaps for devices or the OS.
Simply put, we’re still waiting for this slide to actually happen:
The smartphone market isn’t exactly standing still so maybe these new hires can prime the Palm pump a bit.