Nokia invests in Palm to work on a dual boot MeeGo / WebOS smartphone? WebOS to merge with MeeGo in 2012
Remember those rumors about Nokia buying Palm?
Well, this may not happen too soon, but the two companies are already looking for ways to cooperate more closely, in a bid to recapture the dominance of fast growing and lucrative smartphone market.
Well-known Russian site Mobile-Preview.com reports that Nokia and Palm have entered into a partnership with the initial goal of developing a dual boot smartphone, running both WebOS and MeeGo (the recently-announced platform which combines Maemo and Moblin). With the eventual goal of merging the two OSes into a single distribution in 2012.
Nokia has also committed to a significant financial investment in Palm, in exchange for fully open sourcing WebOS and merging it with MeeGo. The exact details of the deal are not clear at the moment, but, if things go through as planned , this could potentially lead to an acquisition of Palm by Nokia sometime in 2012.
But why would Nokia and Palm want do to this? Well, until now Nokia has failed to make a big impact on the US market, while the same thing can be said for Palm when it comes to Europe and Asia. So, the two brands’ recognition across the globe plus the novelty of MeeGo and the proved reliability of WebOS might be enough for this dual boot smartphone to become a hit.
Plus, with the disappointing sales of the Pre and Pixi handsets, Palm now finds itself in a very difficult financial situation. Cash infusion and strong partnership with Nokia immediately strengthens Palms capabilities to continue as an independent company going forward, or align operations much more closely with its partner – Nokia – for the possible buyout.
Reportedly, the MeeGo / WebOS device has a horizontal sliding QWERTY keyboard and resembles the Nokia N900 a bit, although it’s thinner (the N900 is 18mm thick). It should be announced sometime in the first half of 2011 – and made available almost immediately after that. Both Nokia and Palm have made a bad habit out of announcing handsets and releasing them many, many months after that, but this won’t be the case with the MeeGo / WebOS device. Apparently, the two companies are thinking that Apple’s way of launching products (announce something and release it not later than a few months after) is a good way of doing business – and they’re right.
We have been provided with early mockups of the new Nokia/Palm device, but bear in mind, that these are very early drawings and the final design may look very different :