It’s surprising that the Palm Pre has only been on sale, in the USA at least, since June last year and that it January 2009, when we first saw the phone, Palm were all set for a triumphant comeback that would see them rival Apple and Google for smartphone supremacy.
But this wasn’t to be, as the Pre and its sibling phone the Pixi, failed to capture many hearts and minds, plus Palm’s reported high outgoings and an almost silent European launch has seen their stock fall ever since.
This has culminated in the situation reported by Bloomberg, that Palm have put the word out with Goldman Sachs Group and Qatalyst Partners that they are looking to receive bids for the company.
Even though the sale has not been officially announced, there are several big names touted as potential buyers. The first is the one we heard about late last week, Lenovo. The PC manufacturer has attempted to move into the smartphone arena before with their Ophone, a striking handset which is available in China and uses Android, but they would certainly benefit from a better known brand-name in the West if they want to grow there.
The second is HTC, who could have gone the way of Palm a few years back, in that they were well-established but relatively unknown to the modern phone buyer, but thanks to some awesome products are now a huge and influential player. Would HTC really want their own OS, though? They seem to be doing well enough with Android, BREW and presumably the forthcoming Windows Phone 7 to be honest.
The final names mentioned are Dell, who like Lenovo have been linked with smartphones for sometime but are said to have decided against making a bid; Huawei, who are better known for their USB dongles but have also made both Android and Windows Mobile phones in the past, and finally ZTE Corp, a Chinese phone equipment manufacturer like Huawei.
It would be a great shame for the Palm name to disappear, so if the sale does go ahead, we hope a buyer can be found who will turn them around.