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Palm tipped to be seeking buyer after plunging sales in smartphone market

SMARTPHONE maker Palm has begun seeking offers for the firm, according to industry insiders.

Palm, which makes the Pre and Pixi phones, is working with Goldman Sachs Group and Qatalyst Partners to find a buyer, Bloomberg News has reported.

Last year Palm introduced its WebOS operating system, which received positive media reviews but that failed to fuel sales.

The company shipped a total of 960,000 smartphones in the February quarter – but only 408,000 of those ended up in the hands of customers.

A Palm Europe spokesperson declined to comment on the reports that it is looking for a buyer.

But the company’s shares rose on the speculation.

The Smartphone market is dominated by Research in Motion’s BlackBerry smartphone and Apple’s iPhone. Google’s Android based devices have also grabbed a foothold in the market since they were launched last year.

Palm posted an operating loss of $265m (£172m) for the year to May 2009 as it struggled in the market.