Nokia and up to three other potential bidders are interested in buying Palm, which could be sold for some $2 billion as early as this week, a technology news Web site said.
Unstrung.com quoted unidentified sources close to the situation as saying Palm's management preferred a private equity buyer. It speculated that Texas Pacific Group and Silver Lake Partners were among the private equity firms interested.
Another bidder for Palm, which makes the Treo smartphone and other handheld digital devices, may be Motorola, the site said.
Palm had reportedly hired Morgan Stanley to pursue a buyer, according to Reuters. Unstrung said that Morgan Stanley wanted to wrap up a deal by Thursday, when Palm is scheduled to report quarterly results.
Palm has long been tossed around as a target, thanks to its popular Treo line of smartphones that hold thousands of personal contacts and appointments, as well as surf the Web and send e-mails.
An analyst in Helsinki told Reuters a bid from Nokia was unlikely.
Nokia rolled out its E-series phones, aiming for corporate customers, last year and introduced several new models last month at the 3GSM trade show in Barcelona.