Apple Wanted to Buy Palm Report

If the folks at BusinessInsider know anything (which they do), then the recent frenzy over a Palm Inc. sale had a lot more interested parties think Apple Inc., for one than first thought. It seems HP ended up buying Palm only after topping other bidders.

The news site spoke with a source familiar with the negotiations and that person says Apple, Research In Motion and Google Inc. all were clamoring for pieces of the struggling Palm, maker of the Pre and Pixi devices, and its well-regarded webOS.

Apple, the source said, wanted Palms intellectual property and webOS. Indeed, Palm held more than 450 patents and had more than 400 more applications pending. But that Apple wanted to support two very different smartphone platforms seems amiss. The BusinessInsiders source says that was the case; yet such a move seems inefficient and strange, considering Apples spent all this time developing its own operating system. (Dont forget though, Steve Jobs tried to get Palm back in the 3Com days, too.)

Meanwhile, RIM at first offered more money than HP. But then HP boosted its buyout amount to $1.2 billion and RIM bowed out, the source said.

Finally, Google supposedly wanted Palms patents but only because in what evokes memories of schoolyard pettiness it thought Apple might want them. Google has the Android mobile operating system that competes with Apple’s platform. As it turned out, though, the source said, Google didnt know Apple was bidding for Palm so it didnt go any further with its Palm pursuit.

But Palm now belongs to HP, and that company is working to put webOS into its lien of tablet computers, laptops and smartphones. Palm hired bankers earlier this year to help it explore a sale. The device maker couldnt survive the markets intense smartphone competition on its own.

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