HTC Walks Away From Palm Bid: Will Lenovo Bite?

Earlier in the month, it was being widely reported that Palm was being shopped around. Yes, the Palm that makes the rather successful Pre and Pixi phones, was or is up for sale. At that time, two of main potential suitors were HTC and Lenovo. HTC obviously felt like the best fit. Lately, HTC has shown that it has a penchant for creating fantastic hardware, but it has to rely on Google and Microsoft for software. It seemed as if buying Palm would give HTC the power they needed to move ahead as a standalone unit, pairing HTC hardware with the WebOS mobile operating system.

But apparently, that's not to be, and if you've got a few billion laying around, you might as well jump in and get to bidding. Based on a new report out of Asia this morning, HTC has declined to place an official bid on Palm, leaving Lenovo as the only other potential buyer from the far east. Of course, there may be other companies looking to buy Palm that are keeping their profile low, but with such a big spotlight on this issue, we sort of doubt the ability to keep this completely out of the public eye for very long.

A source familiar with the matter stated that HTC backed away after realizing that there simply weren't enough "synergies to take the deal forward," but some analysts are suggesting that Palm's weakened financials may have actually scared HTC away. Some say that Palm could fetch as much as $1.3 billion, and it's safe to say that Lenovo has that kind of cash laying around. That said, would Lenovo spend such a large sum to break into a market that they haven't taken very seriously in the past?  No one saw Dell taking on the smartphone sector just five years ago, and now they're playing with the big boys. Anything could happen, we suppose, but it looks like the Palm buyer pool is getting a bit shallow at this point.