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As a sequel to my earlier article, Will Palm be back in mobile?, I now report that global handset vendor, TCL Communication Technology Holdings Limited, has announced that it has purchased the Palm brand and will create a new Palm Inc., a US-based company that will take ownership of the Palm brand. According to TCL, “the new Palm Inc. will remain a truly Californian, Silicon Valley, based company leveraging on the talents and partnerships of the area.”
TCL Communication also produces smartphones under the Alcatel OneTouch and TCL brands. The exact timeline of the roll-out of the Palm project will be communicated at a later date. TCL’s intentions to continue with the legacy of Palm is commendable. The question is how well this Chinese brand will be able to execute it. We wait.
PS: Motorola is now a Lenovo company. Palm is now a TCL company. What other American mobile pioneer will soon get swallowed by the Chinese? Yes; mobile innovation moved to China. My earlier article is available below.
Will Palm be Back in mobile?
Younger mobile users may not remember Palm, but once upon a time, a lot of people swore by the brand. Palm made great palmtops (which were in many ways precursors of the modern smartphone), with large functional touchscreen displays many years before Apple came into mobile. Eventually, Palm also made smartphones starting with the Treo range. As a matter of fact, one of the very first smartphones to be reviewed on this blog in 2008 was the Palm Treo 700p.
Palm produced smartphones running Palm OS, Windows Mobile OS and later WebOS. The WebOS foray ended up badly, as their Pre range wasn’t quite a hit in the market. I still own my Palm Pre, and Gbenro’s Pre 3 is still in my possession. Here is a shot of the two of them beside the BlackBerry Passport:
HP eventually purchased Palm. HP itself eventually quit smartphones and WebOS was sold to LG. The Palm brand was effectively dead. However, recently, the Palm website has been redirected to a new domain: mynewpalm.com. On that new page is the Palm logo and a “coming soon” notice.
Incidentally, though my Passport isn’t running OS 10.3.1 yet and still has Flash support, the browser displayed a black dot where the Palm logo was supposed to load. It was my Lumia browser that came to the rescue for the above screenshot.
There is news that HP has sold the Palm brand to Alcatel OneTouch. Alcatel OneTouch produces Android smartphones, so we may expect to see Palm branded smartphones running Android OS. That would be something. Having had Palm devices running Palm OS, Windows Mobile OS, and Web OS, Palm might as well be named the most divergent mobile brand ever.