Palm Pre, a smartphone company once up there at the top ranks rubbing shoulders with the likes of Apple and Google, has long been nonexistent. As with BlackBerry, Palm was one of the unfortunate folks who failed to keep up with the fast-changing mobile landscape.
HP later acquired the company but shuttered its whole product line a year later when it underperformed. Then TCL picked it up in 2014 but hasn't done anything with the brand since. That changes soon.
TCL, which owns rights to BlackBerry, once claimed it would create devices under the BlackBerry name and help revive the brand. It has since released several phones under the name: the DTEK50, DTEK60, and most recently, the KEYone. But it's also planning to revive the Palm brand, according to Android Planet.
TCL Will Release The First Palm Device In Years
Palm was successful around the '90s and early 2000s with its Personal Digital Assistants and smartphones such as the Pilot and Pre, which were at the time competed with the iPhone and Android devices of yore. One can write a whole book on what caused Palm's downfall, but that's a story for another day. The important thing you should know is that TCL might be planning to release a number of devices under the Palm name. The first of those devices could launch as early as 2018.
Information remains scarce. How TCL plans to incorporate Palm's signature design is uncertain. Will it have a slide-out keyboard? Will it retain the iconic curved form factor? It's hard to say.
Palm-Branded Tablets, PDAs In The Works?
There's a possibility that TCL is also making tablets or PDAs since the plans vaguely refer to "devices." Interestingly, these, according to the company, will be aimed toward users familiar with the old brand. Take that however you will. Does that mean old design will resurface? Perhaps, and perhaps not.
It's safe to assume these notional devices will run Android since TCL phones under the BlackBerry brand do. Palm, on the other hand, originally had its proprietary OS called webOS, which was included when HP acquired the company. LG now owns webOS, present across its TV and tablet product line.
For now, TCL hasn't said what it specifically wants to do with Palm beyond reviving the brand. Breaking into the smartphone market, especially for a brand that's long been dead, is a difficult feat, especially with juggernauts such as Samsung, Apple, and Huawei atop the smartphone ranks.
But still, everybody loves a good comeback story.