Palm goes up for sale

After months of financial issues and company troubles, the company Palm has reportedly gone up for sale. Since the release of one of its latest smartphones, the Pre, Palm saw a decline in profits, which was enough for it to throw in the towel and begin looking for a buyer.

Bloomberg reported earlier that Palm went to Goldman Sachs Group Inc., as well as Qatalyst Partners, in order to find a company that was interested in buying them. It was said that Dell considered purchasing the company, but in the end they changed their mind, and currently it's unclear which (if any) other businesses have expressed an interest. HTC could be a potential buyer, as buying Palm would certainly help fight against one of their main competitors, Apple.

As Apple is currently in legal battle with HTC over software patents, it would be a decent middle-finger to the Cupertino giant. The sale hasn't been announced publicly so a lot of the details are unknown, but if a buyer comes any time soon, expect to see announcements made sooner rather than later.

Whilst those who bought the Pre stood by it, it didn't garner enough sales or popularity due to lack of international availability and harsh competition from the likes of Google and Apple. Hopefully, whichever company purchases Palm, if any at all, will be able to turn the business around, as Palm has played a big part in the technology world over the years and it would be sad to see them go.

There's a good chance that if a company does purchase Palm and continues to fund WebOS and the Pre/Pixi, it'll still see less-than-desirable sales, so it would be a big risk.

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27 Comments

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Didn't Palm buy BeOS? Maybe I'm thinking of a different company but I wish someone would open source that or do something with it.

pjw said,
Microsoft will buy palm and load Windows Phone 7 on all Palm devices. Watch

I would be alright with Microsoft taking the Palm design team for sure. The Palm devices are pretty nice looking. And the charging dock is REALLY well designed...

As much as everyone talks about HTC buying WebOS, does HTC have ANY experience working with an actual operating system? At least as far as I'm aware, they're into customizing OSes, not developing them. HTC buying Palm would also mean adding a lot onto their payroll since they'd need to keep a crapload of those Palm devs if they wanted WebOS to keep going...

Seems more likely to see Palm in Nokia's hands, which already has a hardware+software culture.

Yeah, this might actually turn out to be better for everyone. I only hope this is not the end for the Pre and the WebOS, as they're truly great platforms that sadly never found a strong user base.

It was only a matter of time. I don't think Rubinstein knew what he was getting into. Aside from trying to stick it to Apple (and Steve Jobs), he made the fatal mistake of releasing Palm phone to Sprint exclusively. That was the nail in Palm's coffin. If Apple or Google doesn't buy them, then its pretty clear that their patent portfolio is worth much. RIM isn't going to buy them. Microsoft? Can't really see that with where they're trying to go with Windows Phone 7 and Project Pink. Can't see hardware manufacturers like HTC or Motorola really getting into the bidding either. Would they stop licensing OS's to make their own vertical solution? Unlikely. Its gotta be Apple or Google and I think that move would be to keep Palm out of the hands of the other like the AdMob deal.

I really hope HTC buy them. Imagine HTC hardware coupled with a sense fueled webOS. I reckon it would turn out pretty nice, also I reckon they'd do a good job at selling the pre and pixie.

aatnet said,
oh come on Nokia. buy them already

agreed webos would be a vitial injection of new ideas into the symbian OS which has never seemed to escape the 90's.

REM2000 said,

agreed webos would be a vitial injection of new ideas into the symbian OS which has never seemed to escape the 90's.

+1

Maybe it would have helped if they shipped the product to Australia as I know for a fact that 10 of my friends wanted that phone.

Frazell Thomas said,
A lot will be fetched for Palm. I'm sure their patent portfolio alone is worth a fair bit of money.

True, I imagine they do have some good patents...

Draje said,
To whomever would purchase Palm: please release WebOS, in it's entirety, under a free-software license.

Or better yet: open source.

WebOS is awesome. It would be a shame if it went to waste.

Recon415 said,

Or better yet: open source.

WebOS is awesome. It would be a shame if it went to waste.

Agreed. Open Source would be great as it would allow infinite expandability.

shinji257 said,

Agreed. Open Source would be great as it would allow infinite expandability.

Or innovative stagnation. -_-

/closed source: "Hey let's try something new!"
//open source: "Hey let's do what they're trying!"

Edited by Joshie, Apr 12 2010, 5:11pm :