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Palm purchased by Friday?

Nokia, Moto among potential owners, it's said

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Nokia is on the verge of buying Palm, with an announcement said to be due tomorrow, the day the PDA pioneer is due to report its latest quarterly financial results. Or maybe the buyer's Motorola. Or venture capitalist Texas Pacific Group. Or maybe Silver Lake Partners.

Those are the scenario suggested by website Unstrung.com based on comments from an unnamed source.

Not so long ago, Reuters claimed it had been told Morgan Stanley had been hired by Palm management to find a buyer. Since then Nokia has been rumoured to be interested in acquiring the company, presumably for the brand since it would seem there's little Palm's engineers could tell the mobile phone giant's own hardware designers.

The same is likely true of Motorola, which probably explains why Unstrung's source said Palm prefers a deal with a private equity firm.

Palm's last figures, reported back in December 2006, saw profits and sales down during the three months to 2 December 2006. Since then, Apple's announcement of the iPhone has sent shockwaves through the smart phone world, causing plenty of turbulence for Palm.

Earlier this month, it announced it had hired one-time Apple staffer Paul Mercer. Mercer's company Pixo worked on the software for the original iPod.

A sign, perhaps of developments to come. Certainly Palm needs to spruce up its software the better to differentiate its Windows Mobile-based devices from all the others out there and perhaps to bring its Palm handhelds' look and feel into the era of Mac OS X and Windows Vista.

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