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HP cuts Palm staff, offers discounts on Pre phones

Jul 6, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Having completed its acquisition of Palm late last week, Hewlett-Packard (HP) is now laying off Palm staff “in the double digits,” says All Things Digital. Meanwhile, HP is giving away free Palm Pre and Palm Pixi phones with a two-year contract on AT&T and Verizon, says eWEEK.

HP completed its $1.2 billion acquisition of smartphone-maker Palm on July 1, and then quickly got down to business pruning Palm's staff, according to All Things Digital's John Paczkowski. Citing "sources (once) close to the company," the story says that cuts are being made in the "double digits, not hundreds."

Palm's former CEO Jon Rubinstein, meanwhile, will report to HP Executive Vice President Todd Bradley, according to an eWEEK story by Michelle Maisto on the cuts. Yet some other key executives have already left the company. In April, when Palm was making its for-sale status known, its Senior Vice President of Software and Services, Mike Abbott, resigned, says the story.

Shortly before HP announced its plans to acquire Palm that same month, the company implemented an employee-retention program that included quarter-million-dollar cash bonuses. The bonuses were not enough, however, to prevent the departure of Matias Duarte, who led development of the WebOS UI team. Last month, Duarte joined Google as User Experience Director for Android.

In announcing the completion of the Palm acquisition, HP reaffirmed an earlier statement that the company would use the Linux-based WebOS operating system to develop new tablet products, according to a separate eWEEK story. In the earlier announcement, HP said it would use WebOS in smartphones and printers, as well. HP apparently mentioned nothing about the fate of the Windows 7-based HP Slate tablet (pictured at left) in last week's announcement.

Another eWEEK story, this one by Wayne Rash, says that HP is likely to aggressively pursue a WebOS-based tablet, as many have suggested. Rash  also believes the company will push forward with new smartphone concepts as well, however. Once Palm engineers find out how to take advantage of HP's vast resources, they'll find that the company's decentralized structure offers considerable leeway to innovate, claims Rash. 

HP giving away Palm Pre and Pixi for the price of a contract

If a WebOS-based smartphone heir to the Palm Pre is in the works, HP is keeping mum about it. However, the computer giant appears to be anxious to empty its shelves of the existing Palm Pre and low-end Palm Pixi phones.

According to another eWEEK story by Maisto, HP is now offering the Palm Pre Plus (pictured) and Pixi Plus for free with the activation of a service contract with AT&T or Verizon Wireless. Consumers who choose the Palm Pre Plus on either network will also receive a free in-vehicle charger, leather carrying case, and a mini Bluetooth headset, says the story.

The Pre's original carrier, Sprint, meanwhile, is now selling the earlier Palm Pre model, in black, for only $100, with free activation on the Sprint network, says the story. Sprint is said to be offering the Palm Pixi, also in black, for $20, but without free activation.


The All Things Digital item on the HP layoffs may be found here, and the eWEEK story on the layoffs should be here.

The eWEEK story on HP's promotional deals for the Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus may be found here.

The eWEEK analysis piece on the Palm acquisition may be found here.

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