Top Palm investor dismisses takeover talk

Palm's top investor, Elevation Partners, said it was bullish about the company's long-term prospects and discounted market chatter about a possible takeover of the smartphone maker, which is trying to rebound on the back of its webOS platform.

"We haven't taken money off the table because we see a huge market opportunity here," Fred Anderson, a co-founder of the firm, told Bloomberg in an interview. "This is a marathon." Elevation invested $460 million in Palm from 2007 through 2009.

The defiant talk from Anderson comes a day after Google unveiled its flagship "superphone," the Nexus One, which has the backing of T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless. Anderson's remarks also precede a Palm press conference scheduled for Thursday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where the smartphone maker is widely expected to announce a partnership with Verizon.

Anderson also acknowledged the importance of developers to Palm's webOS platform. "We have to establish a very strong developer ecosystem," he said. That requires "a critical mass of very high quality third-party applications." Currently, there around around 1,000 applications in Palm's App Catalog.

Anderson noted that Palm does not need to be acquired by a larger firm to be successful. "This market is so big that you can have multiple winners," he said.

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article

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Analysts divided over Palm's prospects
Palm faces challenges as competition heats up
McAdam: Verizon to sell Palm Pre, Android phones

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