Bloomberg reported earlier this week that Palm, with the help of Goldman Sachs, has begun the process of looking for potential buyers.  Among those that have been reported to show interest is HTC.  Beyond the Appealing patent portfolio that would come with such a buyout, what would happen with HTC's current partners if they close a deal to acquire Palm?

Throughout Android's existence, HTC has been the number one hardware manufacturer  that has brought Google much of it's success in the mobile world.  The first Android handset, the G1, was HTC's doing and they've since expanded on their success with devices like the Hero, Nexus One, Legend, and Incredible.  Without HTC, it's hard to see where Google would be with Android.  The only other Android handset that carries any significant mind share or market share is Motorola's Droid.

So if HTC picks up Palm and its assets, there's a good chance they'll start making some killer devices powered by WebOS.  Think of an HD2 or Legend with WebOS and Apple's instantly got some strong competition.  A WebOS roadmap for HTC might spell the end to HTC devices running anything that's not their own.  With HTC out of the picture, perhaps we'll finally see Google making their own hardware?

Google's not the only one who may find themselves out a handset manufacturer.  Microsoft's upcoming Windows Phone 7 has an HTC handset in its lineup. They too may find themselves relying a bit more on Motorola and LG to supply what should be some killer hardware for the platform.  After cutting off the HD2 for a Windows Phone 7 upgrade, HTC might be feel a bit stung as the announcement no doubt hurt potential sales of the best Windows Mobile phone hardware created to date.

Of course there's always the possibility that HTC picks up Palm strictly for their patent portfolio in its upcoming battle with Apple.  If they kill WebOS or sell those assets to a third party, they'll be selling the possibility of some truly killer hardware for a platform with incredible potential.  There's always the chance Lenovo or Google or RIM or anyone else to swoop in and kill some dreams but HTC seems to be the most popular choice among those who're following Palm's future.

If HTC comes out the winner in the Palm buyout, we're no doubt in for a crazy year ahead.   Do you think HTC will make it happen or do you thing someone else is going to snatch Palm up? Leave your predictions in the comments.

[Image: Engadget]