Palm has been out of the market for years after smartphones proved they were better than WebOS-based Palm Pilots, but the legendary brand appears to be on the brink of making a comeback.
The news was first reported by WebOS Nation, which discovered a new domain that teases Palm's resurrection from the dead. The website says it has been keeping an eye on the old Palm domain for a while. Palm.com, which was redirecting to HPWebOS.com for many years, now redirects to MyNewPalm.com.
The new domain does not contain anything except for a new bright orange circular logo with the Palm name inside and the phrases "Coming Soon" and "Smart Move" alternating below the logo.
WebOS Nation forum member Ederic Eder did some further digging and found that Palm could be resurfacing with the help of TCL, the 25th largest electronics manufacturer in the world and the third biggest maker of televisions after Samsung and LG.
Eder's research led him to a document posted on the United States Patent and Trademark Office showing the Palm name, trademark and logos were sold by its parent company Hewlett-Packard (HP) to a company called Wide Progress Global Limited.
In 2010, HP purchased Palm for $1.2 billion only to leave the Palm Pilot maker alone to die a year after purchase. Six months after HP abandoned Palm, the company stopped making WebOS devices altogether.
HP's senior vice president and deputy general counsel Rishi Varma executed the transfer on the HP side, while Wide Progress Global Limited vice president Nicolas Zibell was on the other side.
Exactly what a virtually unknown company is going to do with the Palm brand is unclear, but further research shows Zibell is not just the vice president of an unknown company. He is also President of Alcatel Onetouch, Americas and Pacific, a company owned by TCL.
It's not uncommon for major corporations to carry out their actions under the guise of a shell company, which doesn't have significant assets or operations and is used primarily to carry out business transactions for its parent company.
Given how TCL has been expressing how it wants to conquer the American market but is faced with the challenge of entering the market under a relatively unknown name, it makes sense for the Chinese company to acquire an American brand of cult status.
Other Chinese companies such as Lenovo, which now owns Motorola, have a similar strategy of operating in America under a well-known brand.
Moreover, "Smart Move" isn't just any phrase taken out of thin air. The phrase is actually Alcatel Onetouch's logo, which further cements speculations that the Palm brand was bought by TCL.
However, as WebOS Nation points out, what will TCL and Alcatel Onetouch do with Palm?
Alcatel Onetouch is not exactly very popular in the United States. Apple's iPhones and Samsung's smartphones, as well as a few other brands such as Sony, LG and HTC, have taken over the American market.
However, Alcatel Onetouch has carved a niche for itself in low-end markets by selling low- to mid-range smartphones for low prices. Its best smartphone so far isn't anywhere near the iPhone 6 or Samsung Galaxy Note 4. The Fierce 2, which is currently offered by T-Mobile, is a five-inch Android phone with a 540 x 960 display, an octa-core Samsung Exynos 5 processor, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of storage and a 5MP rear camera. It does not have support for LTE.
The Palm brand's storied status could possibly help Alcatel Onetouch take a share of the American market for itself, but the company undoubtedly has to do a lot more work, including following up with a good marketing campaign for whatever it plans to launch under the Palm name and producing great products that people will want to buy.