As Nokia ( NOK) continues to mishandle its crucial smartphone segment, a clear alterative is emerging: Buy Palm ( PALM).

The rising cry for this particular solution grew louder after Nokia warned Thursday that it expected delays in the arrival of new touchscreen smartphones, the very thing consumers seem to be clamoring for these days.

Here are four reasons Nokia should buy Palm.
  • Palm delivered a touchscreen, Qwerty keypad-design, Nokia is still tinkering
  • WebOS answers what Nokia's Symbian operating system can't quite understand
  • Palm gives instant access to the U.S. market where Nokia has almost no sway
  • Palm buys time and marketshare, two things running low at Nokia
  • You need to look no further than Nokia's failed effort at a medium-priced smartphone to see that this is an industrial giant with no feel for the changing trends in consumer products.

    In an effort to shave a few bucks from its manufacturing costs, Nokia put a skimpy 2.4-inch non-touch screen into a line of mid-range smartphones. The brilliant expense-saving move puts an inferior device into a hot market teeming with full-screen smartphones.
    Nokia's Skimpy Screen Slip-up

    Critics say Nokia's famously unbending approach threatens its position at the top of the mobile phone hierarchy.

    "The company's manufacturing orthodoxy combined with a slow moving culture has encumbered its performance and delayed the release of a full suite of high-end advance-OS phones," Charter Equity Research analyst Ed Snyder writes in a research note Thursday.

    Palm Pre and Nokia N97: A Second Look

    Snyder is the most recent industry expert to suggest that Palm could lend Nokia a helping hand.

    The timing of a potential Nokia takeover of Palm would come at a key time as the industry turns a corner in technology.

    A new generation of Web-friendly mobile phone operating systems from Palm, Google's ( GOOG) Android, Apple's ( AAPL) iPhone have become the new standard in smartphones. This vanguard has left players like Research In Motion ( RIMM) and Nokia lagging behind in an increasingly touchscreen Internet device-driven market.

    Charter's Snyder cut his rating on Nokia to hold from buy holding out little hope that Nokia would make it happen with Palm. He does, however, offer a strong argument from a purely money based standpoint.

    "Nokia has spent $11billion in research and development since the release of the iPhone in June 2007," Snyder writes. "Buying Palm would cost about $3 billion and give it instant leadership in smartphone OS."

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