Report: Apple, Google showed interest in Palm

Several prominent Silicon Valley companies showed interest in the PDA pioneer, including Apple and Google, before HP turned in the winning bid, says report.

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The bidding for Palm earlier this year apparently attracted interest from some prominent Silicon Valley companies, including some that were reportedly mostly interested in keeping the intellectual property out of the hands of their foes.

HP Slate
HP plans to use Palm's WebOS in tablet-style devices, but what of the Windows 7 slate that HP's Phil McKinney talked about earlier this year? HP won't say. Hewlett-Packard

Hewlett-Packard ultimately turned in the winning bid, agreeing in April to pay $1.2 billion for the PDA pioneer. However, before that was announced, five prominent Silicon Valley companies kicked the tires on the company, including Apple, Google, and Research in Motion, according to a Business Insider report that cites sources familiar with the negotiations.

Interest in Palm's vast library of intellectual property and patents attracted the interest of two fierce rivals: Google and Apple. Apple bid on Palm for the patent portfolio, even though it would mean that the company would have had to support two competing app platforms. Apple reportedly lost out because it didn't bid enough.

Subsequently, Google was interested in Palm because it thought Apple might want the intellectual property, Business Insider reported. However, Google reportedly did not pursue a bid because it believed Apple was not bidding.

Perhaps most intriguing is that BlackBerry-maker RIM had the deal for Palm in its hands and "had to work incredibly hard to blow it," a source told Business Insider. RIM was reportedly the frontrunner, but HP came back with a higher bid.

Representatives for Google and Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Rumors began to fly that Palm was headed for a sale after its most recent, dismal quarterly earnings report showed that the company had yet to gain any real momentum from its Palm Pre and Palm Pixi phones. Palm had hoped that the new hardware, along with its new WebOS mobile operating system, would help turn the company around.

Many saw HP's decision to acquire Palm as a quick way for the PC and enterprise services company to get into the burgeoning mobile device market. However, HP has been quick to point out Palm's appealing IP portfolio and has talked mostly about its plans for WebOS, which so far include a tablet and Web-connected printers.