Palm, one of the iconic brands in the development of what we today know as smartphones, is reportedly poised to make a comeback.
There was a time–as in, two decades ago–when the Palm Pilot represented the cutting edge in mobile computing. The personal digital assistant (PDA) could help people manage their contacts and calendar items, all while fitting in a pocket.
But then came Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android, which absorbed this functionality into the much broader capability set of the modern smartphone. Palm made Windows Mobile phones before trying to fight back with handsets such as the Pre, based on its own webOS operating system, but to no avail. In 2011 HP, Palm’s owner at the time, pulled the plug.
At the start of 2015, TCL, a Chinese electronics firm, said it had acquired the rights to the Palm brand and wanted to relaunch it, partly for nostalgia’s sake.
And now that relaunch seems to be happening. According to a Wednesday report in the Dutch web publication Android Planet, TCL will announce new Palm products in early 2018.
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TCL marketing manager Stefan Streit told the publication that the company would not yet reveal what kinds of products were likely to appear. However, a smartphone of some sort would of course be a no-brainer.
This would by no means be the only brand under which TCL sells phones. The company also owns the rights to the BlackBerry brand these days–another major player in the development of the smartphone–as well as the Alcatel brand, which is well-known on the low-cost side of the handset market.
Indeed, TCL also said this week that it will be releasing a new BlackBerry touchscreen phone in October. This will apparently be the first waterproof BlackBerry.