It appears Apple was in the running to buy Palm before its purchase by HP, as well as RIM and Google.

Gizmodo is quoting a source close to the negotiations, claiming that not only did Apple want Palm's patents, but also to continue the business.

The source says that Apple planned to use the Palm brand as a rival to RIM in the keyboard-toting phone space, which would have been a very odd move for the firm indeed.

RIM was also apparently in pole position to pick up the ailing Palm, with the deal 'in its hands', with the synergies between the two companies obvious.

Trumped

However, when RIM's offer was trumped by HP's, the Canadian outfit didn't fight back, and thus Palm now belongs to the electronics firm.

Interestingly Google was also in the running too, but more about the patents it would gain rather than continuing the hardware side, according to Gizmodo's source.

However, the early talks soon dropped, likely because other companies showed a stronger willing in the bidding war.

It's hard to see what this says about Apple's future strategy - certainly having two application stores would have been odd, so would Palm have made use of Apple's tech and eventually been rebadged?

And since the bid has failed, will Apple be looking to make it's own keyboard-based devices to take on RIM?

From Gizmodo