Could We Be Seeing A Palm Phone With Android?


Wait, what? Didn’t Palm’s CEO Jon Rubinstein say that the company was doing well enough on their own and had a strategy to spring them back into prosper? A rather interesting story popped up today from that folks at Bloomberg stating that Palm is looking to sell its company to a lucky highest bidder.

Three unnamed sources report that the company would be opening talks as early as this week with at least two manufacturers getting their checkbooks ready to dive in: Lenovo and Android’s biggest proponent HTC. Reps from all parties involved declined to comment on any of these reports – which will rightfully be pinned up as a rumor –  but that in itself makes me believe there’s some truth to this.


Huawei could also be a strong runner for the American phone and software manufacturer, though they weren’t able to comment any further on this particular manner due to company policy.

“Palm still has quite a good brand in the U.S. market, and some strong technology, so you can do something with it,” said Frank He, a technology analyst at BOC International Holdings Ltd. in Hong Kong. “The shares have gone down a lot and the company may become attractive to anyone looking for a turnaround play.”

What could this mean for Android? With an acquisition from a foreign company, one might assume that increased American presence under their umbrella – yet presumably with the same brand name – could be a strong factor in increasing their smartphone presence on our side of the pond.  With HTC specifically, a Palm-branded Android phone would make a lot of sense: it’s not like Palm was always running their own Operating System on their devices and it would bring the traditional candy-bar form factor that Palm made famous to the Android family.

Oh, and don’t forget that HTC and Apple are at each other’s throats right now and that HTC could use Palm for more firepower.


On the other side of the table, Lenovo is finally getting its feet wet with their first Android phone – the Lenovo LePhone – and they could certainly do with some increased market penetration. Buying Palm would help their smartphone business grow in America as we’re starting to see their PC game blow up (in the good way).

And this is only the beginning. If all of this remains true, many more companies – abroad or otherwise – could find themselves deep in the checkbook war for ownership of Palm and – assuming it isn’t Apple or Microsoft – Android could find itself on a new and unlikely phone. As soon as more on this story develops, we’ll be right on top of it to bring you the juicy (hopefully Android-related) details.

[Thanks, Bloomberg]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. has anybody considered the possibilities that HTC might be buying palm to get away from android, and/or develop their own OS based off webOS ?

    I mean, I love Android, but let’s be real, these are all rumors. IMO Android is better, but HTC might think they could make an even better OS.

  2. A palm with Android? Unlikely. I, could see HTC making their phones with WebOS. This would be unfortunate, because that would reduce the number of Android phones they make.

  3. HTC would buy them for patents, RIM would make the most sense to use WebOS as the next version of BOS

  4. @velazcod
    Thats a good point. Im sure HTC pays google a pretty penny to use android on its devices. HTC could buy Palm and use WebOS as is and save a ton of money.

  5. @AusFest that’s what I’ve been reading last week about this. It was be a good idea for HTC but they might not have the capital to do so. Also, there have been rumors galore about someone buying Palm like HTC, Lenovo, Nokia, Dell, Huawei, Google…I don’t remember the rest but i know from the rumors I read the total was 8 different company’s interested in buying Palm. That was over the span of a couple of months so some of those were probably people conjuring up hopes and dreams.
    Though I hope HTC buys Palm cause it seems like they could use Palm.

  6. I don’t think HTC pays a lot of money for Android – at least on some of their handsets – compared to the money they had to pay to use WinMo.

    Not to mention Google and HTC has a very strong relationship both ways. HTC was contracted by Google to create the Nexus One, after all, and HTC is the leading manufacturer supporting the Open Handset Alliance.

  7. If the Pre had run Android I’d have snapped it up.

  8. It may also be that HTC wants to purchase a strong IP portfolio on the cheap. Whether or not they use all of the portfolio isn’t what is really important, rather, they have a lot of ammo to aim at Apple to get them to backdown.

    I’m not in the IP space, but a lot of what I have read is that it is not unusual for tech companies to get around patents, like Apple’s pinch to zoom patent by owning IP that the other party is infringing on.

  9. Google doesn’t charge manufacturers for Android – that was one of its big selling points.

    I think HTC will be insane to pass up on this offer – they *need* it to fight Apple. If there is a bidding war, they should go as far as paying a premium if it comes to it.

    My thoughts and analysis: http://www.androidpolice.com/2010/04/11/editorial-palm-inc-now-for-sale-will-htc-buy-palm-for-patents-to-port-pre-to-android-or-both/

  10. Palm’s worth is in the patent holdings. The Pre is a decent phone but it falls short in some serious features, like no SD card reader.

    A re-engineer of the phone is required for Android but it would give the hardware keyboard lovers another option.

  11. The reason HTC would be interested in Palm is their patent portfolio. Kinda like a big “F*** YOU!” to Apple if they do. Why do you think Apple didn’t name Palm in this lawsuit. I’ll give you a hint M.A.D.

    Mutually Assured Destruction

    Palm holds a crap load if patent and I can guarantee that Apple has infringed on more than a couple of them. That being said if HTC owns the portfolio they can drop’em in the countersuit and Apple will be hard pressed to continue.

  12. Palm with android i doubt that will ever happen, there is a better chance of htc bringing out a device with palm’s reconstricted web os, web os on a htc device…. sounds exotic

  13. If Google bought them and got their patents then that would protect HTC and any other company that is using Android so that Apple couldn’t just keep suing companies one by one. Now this makes way more sense and lets not forget Google has more money than HTC. I hope HTC is talking to Google about this.

  14. I agree with jdog. That mutually makes sense, and maybe Google would have an extra branch of development it’d loan to HTC to help. That’d be pretty cool. I’d like to see Web OS thrive more though, because palm phones are seriously not that bad I don’t know why no one likes them.

    Personally I prefer android though.

  15. What about HTC buying Palm, and then ditching the Sense UI and going with WebOs’s front end?

    A great multitasker, could be made even better…

  16. Based on recent history, I’ll bet that if Palm makes an Android phone, it will be _terrible_. Ok, so the pre seems to be alright. I was a Palm user from the very first model until I bought my droid. Let’s face it – Palm has really screwed the pooch in the past decade. Seems unlikely they’ll turn it around now :(

  17. HTC could enhance sense ui with some of web os’s features.

  18. A company buying Palm would also need the financial footing to absorb its massive amount of debt. WebOS is done… finished. It will forever be tied to Palm’s own failure in marketing and attracting developers. A rename/rebranding of the system would be extremely expensive as well. A company is only as valuable as its name, the names of its products, and how well the items are perceived… Palm and WebOS all fail those litmus tests. I think a better “wish” would be Google buying, and putting the technology to work in Android.

  19. palm pre user saying webos is not dead in the least,tried htc hero didnt like android compared to webos but if google or htc bought palm that would be great,whoever buys is not going to kill the technology of webos,palm just dosent have the money to market and keep up with all the other players,but with a deep pocket buyer the palm name or webos name might not live on but the os itself will in some fashion.

  20. Palm on Android would be good.

    Maybe merge the OS.

  21. I do not want to see htc slow down the volume if android output, I would like to see htc buy palm and use web os as a ui under android. Htc could make vanilla android phones (like the nexus one), android phones with sense (like the hero), and finally a third option with android and a web os ui (but definitely not os). Doing this would give consumers many options and greatly benefit htc. But PLEASE do not make web os be the ui, I would cease buying htc products!

  22. I feel bad for Palm b/c they put in a lot of hard work into developing WebOS. It’s a very good operating system, and probably far more efficient than IPhone’s Ops. The mistake they made was taking an awesome operating system and placing it in a cheap looking case. Had Palm made the Palm Pre handset a little more attractive and expensive looking, I think that would have pulled them out of the negative. To add to the damage, the Pixi was no better. Microsoft why don’t you buy Palm and ditch Windows! That’ll give you a jump.

  23. Web Os + Sense UI = MAGIC?

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