Update: A Reuters report said Palm hired bankers “to assess strategic options for the company, including a potential sale.” Citing an anonymous source, the report added that Palm could look for additional financing or license webOS if it chooses not to sell itself.
After days of rumors that certain companies are looking at buying Palm, Inc. — the maker of smartphones Treo, Centro, Pre, and Pixi — Bloomberg reported today that the company is working with investment firms to find a buyer.
The report said among the possible buyers are Chinese laptop maker Lenovo and Taiwanese mobile phone manufacturer HTC, which creates phones for Google’s Android operating system. Chinese firms Huawei Technologies Co. and ZTE Corp. — yes, it’s the same ZTE of the ZTE/NBN Scandal fame!
Palm has yet to issue a comment on this issue, and none of the reported possible buyers confirmed their interest in buying the PDA pioneer.
Palm followers like me hope that these rumors are just — well — rumors. We want to see an independent Palm that will continue to create gadgets that will delight us, maka-Palms, and ensure that the webOS — which is still in its early stages — be utilized to its full potential. We have yet to see a webOS-based Foleo 2, which could compete with the iPad.
On the other hand, a possible buyout will not be entirely new for Palm. Around three years after Jeff Hawkins founded Palm Computing, Inc. in 1992, US Robotics bought the company. Later, 3Com acquired Palm’s new mother company. Its founders then left Palm and started creating smart phones in their new company called Handspring. They found their way back to their baby in 2003 when Handspring merged with Palm’s hardware division.
But if the rumors are true, we can only hope that the buyer will provide the Palm guys with the resources they need to compete and level of independence that will allow them to continue innovating.