HP has already made the decision to open source its WebOS platform, but according to a VentureBeat insider source, the company had initially wanted to sell WebOS along with other Palm assets for $1.2 billion. This is the same amount that HP paid when it acquired Palm back in 2010, meaning it was trying to offload a failing purchase without taking a loss.
It’s no surprise then that HP had a hard time finding any takers. The value of Palm had dropped significantly since HP’s purchase and the WebOS platform flopped with HP’s TouchPad fiasco and smartphone fumbles with the Pre 3 and Veer. HP was rumored to be in talks with Amazon, Samsung, Intel, Facebook and several others.
The initial asking price of $1.2 billion was likely lowered, but the source suggests that the value would have to be lower than $500 million for any serious considerations. It probably didn’t help that HP also demanded continued access to WebOS for use in its printers.