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Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein  (Source: Palm)

Palm Pre
HTC seems to be leading contender to purchase Palm

What a difference a few days makes. Just last week, Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein was talking rather positively about Palm and its future despite that fact that buzzards are circling overhead.

"We do have $590 million in the bank, and we have a plan that carries this company forward," said Rubinstein in an interview with Fortune last week. "We went through that same thing at Apple, by the way. I mean, it was a similar situation many, many years ago where you just didn't have the economies of scale. And once we crossed over that Apple became a cash machine."

Now, however, Bloomberg is reporting that Palm is looking for a buyer. There were rumors last week that Lenovo was interested in buying Palm, and Bloomberg is now confirming those reports. Goldman Sachs and Qatalyst Partners are said to be lining up buyers for Palm. The top names on the list according to people familiar with the matter include none other than Lenovo and smartphone maker HTC. Dell reportedly passed on a bid for the $871M company.

Naturally spokesmen for Palm, Lenovo, and HTC declined to comment on the report.

Palm seems like a natural fit for HTC and Palm's patent portfolio could give it some ammunition in the fight against Apple. It also wouldn't hurt to have webOS and its developers in HTC's back pocket considering that Windows Mobile 6.x is a dead end, and Windows Phone 7 is still about six months from launch and doesn't have a large, stable app base to draw from yet. Then again, webOS' 2,200 apps isn't exactly impressive either, but at least it's a start.

Palm has been losing money for the past few quarters and is sitting on a stockpile of unsold Pre and Pixi smartphones. Launching the Pre last year with Sprint was pretty much a sales disaster and the launch this year with Verizon has been equally disappointing as most people have overlooked the Pre and Pixi to go with more high profile phones like the Motorola Droid.

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By gmyx on 4/12/2010 7:31:30 AM , Rating: -1
Final Offer, and it's overvalued. Damn Palm, you used to be so good.

Signed, A disappointed former user.

RE: 1$
By Brandon Hill on 4/12/2010 7:36:08 AM , Rating: 2
When did you ditch Palm (what was your last Palm product)?

RE: 1$
By gmyx on 4/12/2010 7:54:26 AM , Rating: 2
T3. Great device, still work thought missing a few screws. It was my 3rd device:
* IIIc (broke the screen)
* M130, gave it away to my dad when his Palm device broke.
* T3, stopped using it last year when it suddenly hard-reset (static discharge I think).

I got the IIIc in 2001.

RE: 1$
By Targon on 4/12/2010 7:58:50 AM , Rating: 2
Then you missed a number of great devices over the years, including the often unappreciated Treo line of smartphones. The reason Palm is having problems is because the OS development got spun off and then mostly abandoned(almost no updates). The delay in developing a NEW OS hurt, and Sprint not being a good choice for an exclusive for WebOS devices hurt even more.

AT&T could really help if they would get off their hands and start offering the Palm Pre Plus and Pixi Plus, but they still have not announced an official launch date.

RE: 1$
By Brandon Hill on 4/12/2010 8:02:56 AM , Rating: 2
I was always a Windows CE/Pocket PC guy myself in college. I can remember the flame wars that we Pocket PC folks would launch against PalmOS guys on forums (i.e., we have a color screen and you don't; we have have way more features/options; we have a 206MHz StrongARM processor and you're stuck with slow crap, etc.)

The PalmOS guys would always counter with "It just works". Something sounds eerily similar here :-)

RE: 1$
By gralex on 4/12/2010 9:12:22 AM , Rating: 2
"You don't understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could've been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am."

RE: 1$
By Brandon Hill on 4/12/2010 9:17:26 AM , Rating: 4
"It ain't the way I wanted it! I can handle things! I'm smart! Not like everybody says... like dumb... I'm smart and I want respect!"

"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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