There has been a leak about a supposed upcoming 3-inch Palm smartphone that will run a yet-to-be-determined version of Android OS. It is an odd bit of news and one that leaves me wondering what the game plan is. And it has an odd name too: Pepito.
In 2014, TCL acquired Palm and teased a return of the brand to the handset market. A 3-inch Palm smartphone was not what any of us were expecting.
The leaked battery capacity is 800mAh, while it is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor coupled with 3GB of RAM. internal storage is 32GB. That 800mAh is horribly samll. For comparison, Ntel Nova N1 has a 3.5-inch display and a 1800 mAh battery.
What is TCL thinking? Is the Android version in here a stripped down, super-optimised job with superb battery life? Are we missing something?
Will A 3-inch Palm Smartphone Sell?
I know you want to scream, No! back at me, but hold your beer, please. Let us dance around the issues first.
If TCL sells this device in India at a sub-$100 price, similar to the JioPhone and Nokia 8110 4G, it stands a fighting chance of selling. India is in love with these kind of devices – smart feature phones or fusion phones, as they are now being called. These are devices that run a smarter OS but have the form factor and price of a feature phone.
But Android Police, who published the leak, say that Palm Pepito is marked for the US market, specifically a Verizon exclusive. In which case, it is dead on arrival. The US market has no viable market for this category of devices. TCL are also the makers of modern BlackBerry and Alcatel smartphones. They have experience in different markets and should know this.
The specs are tell-tale of a mid-ranger and so it is out of place to expect the phone to be sold as a budget device. So, yes; Pepito is going to have a hard time selling.
As with all rumours and leaks, you may want to take this with a pinch of salt. Pepito may never make it to the production line.
After struggling with poor sales for years, the Palm brand was shut down in 2011. If these specs are true, Palm’s resurrection might be very short-lived.