MobileBeat reports Amazon might be close to acquiring the remnants of Palm

Who will save what’s left of Palm from HP’s bumbling? It could be Amazon, as the online retailing giant is in serious negotiations to snap up Palm from HP, VentureBeat has learned.

A well-placed source tells us that HP is currently looking to rid itself of Palm as soon as possible, and that Amazon is the closest to finalizing the deal, among a handful of contenders.  Indeed, after yesterday’s announcement of Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet, no other company seems as fitting a home for Palm and its webOS software.

I have no inside information but I doubt this has anything to do with the webOS software.

Amazon has put a significant amount of time and effort into building a business around an Android app store.  So it makes no sense for them to turn 180 degrees and adopt a new operating system.  More likely is they want Palm’s other assets. As this story from GDGT says…

As you might have heard from my man MG over at TechCrunch, Amazon's definitely got a Kindle tablet in the works, and supposedly looks a lot like RIM's failing (failed?) Playbook.  Well, there's a resemblance alright, and it's not just aesthetic. Here's how it went down

My sources tell me that RIM originally outsourced much of the hardware design and production of the PlayBook to mega-ODM Quanta -- a company that builds, and sometimes helps design, hardware for name brands. The time eventually came that Amazon's executives decided to do an Android tablet -- far likelier to respond to the dark-horse success of the Nook Color (AKA "NOOKcolor") than to the adjacent success of the iPad -- Amazon's own Kindle group (called Lab 126) apparently opted not to take on the project, in favor of continuing to work solely on next-gen E-Ink-based devices.


From there, Amazon's team determined they could build a tablet without the help and experience of Lab 126, so they turned to Quanta, which helped them "shortcut" the development process by using the PlayBook as their hardware template. Of course, it's never quite that simple, and as I'm told Amazon ran into trouble, and eventually sacrifices were made (like using a slower processor).

So basically Amazon is outsourcing the Kindle Fire line because their Kindle Group has no interest in building a tablet.  Meaning it would make sense for Amazon to acquire a team with experience in building tablet hardware.  Like….oh I don’t know…Palm.  Not to mention the Kindle Fire completely supplants the Android UI.   So an experienced UI team would certainly come in handy. 

But none of this means webOS is going to be resurrected.  In fact, I’d say it makes it less likely given how well Palm’s various teams sync up with Amazon’s current product.