Palm rumoured to be courting buyers

Handset maker is looking to be acquired, sources say

According to a report in the Bloomberg news service, floundering handset maker Palm is shopping itself to prospective buyers that may include Taiwanese rival HTC and Lenovo.

While the reports are unconfirmed, they are plausible. Palm has had no end of trouble in recent months, with lacklustre sales of its Pre Plus and Pixi Plus smartphones on Verizon's network, and lower than predicted financial results in the most recent quarter. Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein even issued a memo to the company's employees in an attempt to reassure them.

Last week, Rubinstein shrugged off rumors that Palm would be going out of business, telling Fortune magazine's Adam Lashinsky that there was "a plan that takes us to profitability". Apparently that plan was to get bought, and quickly. When pressed on buyout rumours, Rubinstein sidestepped the question.

Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE may also be in the running to snap up Palm. Sources say that Dell has decided against a bid.

HTC would be an interesting home for Palm, which would bring along its webOS smartphone software and a large patent portfolio. HTC, for its part, has focused mainly on hardware design, with software usually supplied by Google's Android mobile OS or Windows Mobile.

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Tags htcLenovoHuaweiPalmZTE

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