Goodbye Palm? struggling company looking for buyers

A new Bloomberg report says that Palm is now looking for suitors interested in purchasing the struggling smartphone company.

Palm is now working with two companies to help find interested buyers, though a final price tag for the Palm hasn’t been determined.  There are a few companies said to be interested in a Palm purchase, with HTC reportedly leading the way.  If a deal between HTC and Palm doesn’t pan out, Lenovo was also listed by Bloomberg as a possible buyer.

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

Since 2008 and the end of 2009, Palm lost nearly half of its North American smartphone marketshare to rivals, as the company has been unable to keep up with RIM, Apple, HTC, and other competitors.  As noted last month, Palm has more than 1 million unsold phones that it is trying to liquidate before manufacturing any new models — and if the company is for sale, don’t expect new units to hit stores any time soon.

Goodbye Palm? struggling company looking for buyers

Palm currently has an estimated $870.8 million market value, but has failed in recent years to attract new customers. Best known for its Palm Pilot handheld devices more than five years ago, the PDA market crashed in favor of smartphones — and Palm was never able to catch up.

The company recently dropped Microsoft’s Windows Mobile platform so it can focus on WebOS, but the sleek smartphone OS just hasn’t attracted the masses.  Recent analyst numbers indicate just five percent of smartphone users are using a WebOS-powered device.