Bloomberg.com is citing three people close to the matter that Palm has retained the services of “Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Frank Quattrone’s Qatalyst Partners to find a buyer” for the company and is expecting bids as soon as this week. Palm has yet to officially announce that the company is up for sale.
“Palm, which helped pioneer the market for personal digital assistants, would offer suitors the WebOS software that competes against mobile operating systems from iPhone maker Apple Inc. and Google Inc. For Elevation Partners LP, the firm that owns about 30 percent of Palm, a sale would end the volatility associated with a stock that surged more than 10-fold since December 2008 before erasing most of the gain.”
This development is expected and unexpected both at the same time. With Palm’s fortunes completely reversing themselves from coming off the high that was the Sprint Palm Pre launch in June 2009, Palm is clearly in trouble. And the news that Palm is for sale is still shocking since company CEO Jon Rubinstein has stated they Palm, in conjunction with investment firm Elevation Partners, were going to go it a long and keep Palm an independent company.
Today’s news, in my opinion, can be traced back to business decisions from the early 2000’s when the company decided that they can make more money by selling the Palm OS to PalmSource; which later was acquired by ACCESS, Ltd; and choosing to focus on hardware.
Palm’s webOS platform is a very robust and flexible operating system, however, the company continues to get beat down by the likes of Apple and Google with their iPhone OS and Android mobile operating systems.
I had originally intended to write an article this week discussion the challenges facing Palm with their webOS now that Apple has introduced multitasking in iPhone OS 4.0 due out by the end of the summer for iPhone and iPod touch and this fall for the iPad. There seems little point in writing that article.
I plan on reserving final judgement on Palm’s future until Palm officially announces what their next move will be. If Bloomberg’s sources are correct, we won’t have to wait too long before we hear who might be acquiring Palm.
You can read the full Bloomberg article on the Bloomberg.com website.