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Palm reader: What's in the future for Palm?

Speculation arises about a Palm acquisition, possibly by Nokia or Motorola, as the company enlists help from investment bankers at Morgan Stanley. Also, more rumors about Palm's mystery product and a new smart phone.

What's going on at Palm? Palm

Now, we're not ones to gossip (OK, yes we are) but there are a ton of rumors floating around the Internet about the future of Palm. Frankly, the stories have been so fast and furious over the past several days, it's all a bit dizzying. Kind of like whether Britney is in or out of rehab, but I digress. Getting back to the topic at hand, here's what we've heard so far, and remember these are just rumors at this point.

Is Palm for sale?: Speculation has started to grow that Palm is looking for potential buyers as there are reports that the company has enlisted the help of Morgan Stanley to advise the company on its options. Furthermore, Unstrung says Nokia is a front-runner for acquiring the company, while Motorola's name has also come up. I've got to admit, I feel kind of bad for Palm. I mean, just a couple of years ago, it was sitting on top of the smart phone world with its Treo devices and now, it's looking like an aged, also-ran among the sleek smart phones coming out of HTC, Samsung, Motorola, and Nokia. Of course, Palm has to own up to its faults. The company hasn't produced any cutting-edge products to compete with the likes of a Samsung BlackJack or a Cingular 8525--and no, integrating the antenna into the Treo doesn't count. How many times have we asked for integrated Wi-Fi in a Treo and never got it? Yes, the Treo was innovative at the time and sure, the Palm operating system continues to offer ease of use, but that's just not enough anymore. If Palm's going to make it, they're going to have to step up to the plate with something new and exciting. Speaking of which...

Palm's mystery product to debut in May?: The fact that Palm is working on a third product category is no secret, but everything else is pretty much a mystery. Perhaps we'll find out in May, though. In an interview with Palm Addicts, Palm co-founder Jeff Hawkins said, "We're going to be announcing something...but I won't tell you what it is...we will be launching this year, not in the distant future. I'll give you a much bigger hint: I'm going to be speaking at Walt Mossberg's D Conference in May. It's a high-end industry conference. Anyway, I'm going to be giving a talk there, and that would be something for the Palm fans to keep a close watch on." Ohhh rrrreeallly? Could it be the next item on the list?

Palm prepping an ultrathin WiMAX smart phone?: So as Engadget Mobile states from the get-go, this is a purely unsubstantiated story, but heck, it's a fun one. According to an anonymous tipster, Palm is working on an ultrathin smart phone that will work on Sprint's WiMax network when it's rolled out later this year. October-ish? Not much else is known with regard to specs, and again this could all be fluff but if you want something a little more concrete...

Sprint to get Treo 755p: There are several leaks--from Sprint, Good Technology, and otherwise--that suggest Sprint will get a device called the Treo 755p in mid-May. It's supposed to be the upgrade to the Treo 700p and will feature the Garnet operating system, EV-DO support, a slimmer form, and an integrated antenna like the Treo 680 has. Yawn.