Is Palm about to be resurrected as an Android smartphone?



It’s been awhile since we last heard from Palm. Feels like it was only a few years ago the company launched the WebOS-powered Palm Pre handset, a smartphone that ultimately failed to make headway in a mobile market dominated by Android and iOS.

Not too long after that, the company eventually called it quits, finding itself acquired by HP who later made a failed attempt at launching its own branded tablet line featuring WebOS called the TouchPad (later the subject of some pretty sweet fire sales).

That’s not to say WebOS didn’t have some really good things going for it. Google would later pick up WebOS designer Matias Duarte to help pretty up Android for their Honeycomb release as well as subsequent versions of the OS. In 2010, ownership of WebOS would change from Palm to HP, then later to LG where it now remains. This wasn’t intended for their smartphones, mind you. But rather to help bolster functionality of their smart TV line.

Palm TCL trademark

For those that haven’t been keeping up, the Palm name — once synonymous with PDAs and early smartphones — actually fell into the hands of TCL Communication’s Senior Vice President Nicolas Zibell back in October. TCL is responsible for building televisions and low-cost Android handsets for various carriers around the world under their Alcatel brand.

Palm Alcatel Smart Move

Exactly what TCL plans on doing with the Palm brand is anyone’s guess, but if you head on over to the old Palm.com site, you’ll find a redirect to MyNewPalm.com, a new teaser site with a looping video that appears to be hyping the release of a new Palm device/s along with the Alcatel brand slogan “Smart Move.”

It really wouldn’t be too far fetched to believe they’re planning on relaunching a Palm smartphone under the Alcatel brand, possibly making everything official at CES 2015 next week.

Our hands-on with Alcatel’s OneTouch Idol X+ announced earlier this year

Given Alcatel’s expertise with Android (and LG still owning WebOS), we wouldn’t be surprised to find a new Palm smartphone, this time powered by Android on the showroom floor. Of course, we’ll be on hand at the event bringing you guys the latest, so stay tuned.

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. palm…. to the face on this story

  2. it will flop.

    1. Doubt it. It will do fine, but just won’t be a flag ship device.

  3. Whatever happened to porting webos to Android smartphones? As I recall, there was an early build running on a Gnex way back when, but haven’t heard anything since.

  4. I was using Palm V, which was just a black and white organizer without phone. I used to think why someone can’t come up with a phone that can have phone and a touch based organizer. Now it is very funny to be talking like this. At that time I remember reading the news that Palm owned 90% of the organizer market while Windows CE only few %. Now everything has changed.

    1. Windows (excepting the desktop) still only owns a few % of the market. That much hasn’t changed.

  5. We actually have to thank WebOS for some of the things it brought and we now enjoy on our choice OS. It was pretty great software at its time, just like BB had its time.

    Palm would be a much better name then Alcatel, to which I associate with ‘cheap’.

    1. Indeed. I think it could do well for them since Palm is still a recognized name here in the US. Makes a lot of sense.

      1. I just hope they use it for flagship devices only

  6. Man I loved that phone! I can honestly say I would buy any phone with the palm logo on it, hahaha, good old time and now! Palm droid.

  7. omg… just let it RIP like BBRY.

  8. Oh, man… the memories!!! I even go a bit further back, starting out with my Handspring Visor Edge (w/Springboard phone module)! Anyone… Bueller?
    Then Palm buys Handspring out. I still have my Treo 180, 600 & 650 collecting dust in my bedroom drawer. Is that the Smithsonian I hear calling?

  9. Is it still a Palm if it’s running Android though?

    1. good point. BUT don’t forget they still called them palm when they ran windows mobile

  10. Web os still remains more stable than android or iOS. Wish Palm had the money needed to compete cause they were well ahead of the curve in features but they just weren’t big enough. Good luck to them

    1. more stable than Android or iOS…… ummmmm NO! As far ahead of the curve as it was, WebOS had PLENTY of faults. If you didn’t patch it (WebOS version of rooting) the phone was unusable, memory leaks, bad apps, etc. WebOS wasn’t some god send of an OS, that was perfect out of the box. Plus all the hardware issues it had. The negatives far outweigh the minuscule returns from the positives.

    2. webOS was more stable because it didnt do much. I had the palm pre… it had a whopping 10 apps, lasted 10 hours on a full charge, and was a complete lag fest. Stability means squat with those numbers. Even if an app crashed once every 30 times i tried to open it, at least the app existed…

  11. Just wont be the same. i kinda of miss my treo 680!

  12. Funny, the gf and I were just talking this weekend about our old palm pre’s. Our first foray into the smartphone market, we picked them up in the summer of 2009 shortly before going on a cross-country road trip.

    They may have had their faults, but we loved those little things.

  13. I have never owned a webos device. What is so special about webos?

  14. I was a Palm user prior to moving to Android. I’ve always liked the OS and devices. Definitely interested in seeing how this all plays out.

  15. Don’t much see the point. The name only has nostalgia value at this point. It’s not the same company, OS, or hardware at this point. In fact Palm only lasted as long as they did by purchasing Handspring, which developed the Treo. Handspring had already surpassed the original Palm devices. They probably would have been better off finding more licensees for the OS.

  16. That Blackberry Classic tho.

  17. Had a Palm and I was happy with it…I’m pretty interested and cant wait to see what they can come up with to make it viable again.

  18. I’ve never called too much for phone branding as technology changes so rapidly it could quickly become meaningless. But then again there are plenty of people whose minds are in 2007 and thinking iPhone is the best, mostly because of the name, so maybe it’s meaningful after all….

    The only branding comeback I’d love to see is the EVO line, I’d love HTC to buy the rights to the name from Sprint to use as they wish but I am thinking that’ll never happen.

  19. Hmmm more competition from an old reputable company. I love it. As the Palm Treo was my very first “smartphone”. It was great.

  20. Every alcatel phone i have used just BLOWS! Taking the palm name won’t fix that.

  21. *Facepalms*

  22. New Palm phones won’t likely be limited to Android. Here’s why: http://ederic.ph/1xBFSVw

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