Thursday, 22 March 2007

Seven Companies That Aren't Rumored to be Buying Palm, But Really Should Be

This afternoon I heard from a reporter that Google and Microsoft are now rumored to be interested in buying Palm. I have no idea who starts these rumors, or whether there's any truth to them, but they're not nearly creative enough. Here's my list of other companies that have absolutely no interest in buying Palm, but ought to be in the rumor mill anyway. Feel free to re-use these if you want to manipulate the stock market. No need to credit me; I don't want to be visited by the Feds.

7. Airbus

Compelling business rationale. I hear Airbus has a lot of trouble with the wiring in the A380, and there's a bunch of wires and stuff inside a Treo, so this seems like a good match. (Hey, it makes as much sense as Google buying Palm.)

6. eBay

Compelling business rationale. Most Treos end up on eBay eventually, after their owners upgrade to a new model, so this is an opportunity to "significantly integrate the value chain," as we say in the business. Each Treo could come with an eBay account, enabling the user to offer it for sale whenever they're ready.

As an added benefit, a Skype client could be bundled with every Treo sold. (By the way, this is apparently the only way to get Skype to port its full native client to Palm OS.)

5. Ben & Jerry's

Compelling business rationale. What if Jeff Hawkins designed ice cream flavors?

4. Cisco

Compelling business rationale. Apparently not required for a Cisco acquisition.

3. DaimlerChrysler

Compelling business rationale. I propose a straight-up equity swap: Palm for Chrysler. Daimler would give away a company that's talented at design, but whose products have fallen behind the innovation curve, and that has problems with execution. In exchange, it would get...exactly the same thing. But as a bonus, Daimler could build a Treo and sync cradle into every car it sells. This fits with the whole convergence thing that's supposedly driving all industrial development in the western world, so this merger is a natural.

2. HP

Compelling business rationale. No, wait, this one actually makes sense. Never mind.

1. JetBlue

Compelling business rationale. Give a Tungsten to every employee, pre-loaded with a datebook alarm that says, "Time for the airplane to leave now." The acquisition would pay for itself within three months.

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