Is Palm looking for a buyer?

Troubled smartphone maker Palm has put itself up for sale, according to reports.

Is Palm looking for a buyer?

The story comes courtesy of news agency Bloomberg, which claims Palm is working with Goldman Sachs Group and Qatalyst Partners to find a buyer. The report cites three sources familiar with the matter.

The companies mentioned in the piece declined to comment on the report, which comes hot on the heels of rumours that HTC is in talks to acquire the firm.

This whole thing was a transformation story. It wasn’t like we took something that was working and didn’t run it well

Analysts have speculated that Palm’s days could be numbered after it posted a net loss of $22 million in the third quarter, and predicted fourth-quarter earnings of around $150 million – less than half of what had been expected by Wall Street.

However, speaking to CNN Money late last week, the company’s chief executive Jon Rubinstein remained bullish about Palm’s future, describing its recent travails as “a speed bump”.

“No question about it. It’s really disappointing, and it’s frustrating. But, the company has tremendous assets,” he said.

“We’ve got a great team we’ve built over the last couple of years. Remember this whole thing was a transformation story. It wasn’t like we took something that was working and didn’t run it well. We started off with a company that had no future, and we have been transforming it.”

Rubinstein reiterated his belief that the failure of the Pre’s Verizon launch was the fault of poorly trained staff, and argues that had the Palm Pre launched with the same fanfare as Motorola’s Droid it would have been far more successful.

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