Palm about to be picked up?

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The folks at Palm might just be tidying up their offices for an open house – their company could be on the market soon. We’ve heard these kind of words being tossed around before, this time, though, according to Unstrung, things could be a little more serious.

Both Motorola and Nokia appear to be at the forefront of interested buyers, peering through the windows and checking their wallets. For Motorola, this could mean a stronger smartphone presence, pitting them up against the BlackBerry where the Q just hasn’t brought them yet. And Nokia? They could finally tackle the enterprise market that’s evaded them for so long.

Some analysts are more skeptical about Palm’s chances of selling itself off to a major manufacturer, especially at its full market value. “I doubt if anyone would be dumb enough to buy Palm for $1.6 billion — their current market capitalization,” notes Todd Kort at Gartner Inc.

This is largely because Palm is now seen as a fading star in the device market. Analysts say that the company hasn’t managed to keep pace with rivals like Motorola, Nokia, and RIM in the smartphone category, while the PDA market that it used to dominate has become much less important in the mobile sector.

In an interesting twist, however, one of Palm’s founders is said to be working on a product that could help to recapture some of the company’s innovative past. Founder Jeff Hawkins is now rumored to be cooking up an interesting new gadget, which may or not be launched with the Palm brand on it, according to Kort. “The only thing Palm might have that could be of any significant value is the rumored product Jeff Hawkins has been developing.”