If any company out there has what it takes to challenge Apple in the tablet space, it’s Amazon.  They have the storefront and the loyal customer base, and now they have a color touchscreen tablet that has rocketed to the top of their sales chart.  And it’s not even available until mid November.

The one quirk is that the new Kindle Fire runs on an old version of Google’s Android OS, so Amazon lacks the true vertical integration that Apple enjoys with the iPad.  That could all be changing if Amazon buys Palm from HP.  VentureBeat reports:

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. It’s worth noting that former Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein, who now holds a vague “product innovation” role at HP’s Personal Services Group, joined Amazon’s board late last year.

If this came to pass the implications would be huge.  Palm’s WebOS has received high marks from day one, but a beleagured Palm and a bumbling HP almost drove it straight into the ground.  Considering the amount of polish Amazon seems to have applied to the Kindle Fire running on someone else’s operating system, imagine what a showcase they could make out of WebOS.

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