Palm was one of the big names in mobile up until a few years ago. The company’s Palm Pilot popularized the personal digital assistant, and the Palm Treo line of smartphones were among the most popular of their era.
But when Palm tried to reinvent itself for the iPhone age, the company’s webOS software never really took off. HP bought Palm, tried do to its own thing with webOS, and eventually killed off the brand altogether.
These days the legacy of webOS lives on… as an operating system for LG’s Smart TVs.
The new Palm Inc will be a new company based in California, but owned by TCL, which is based in China. The company also owns the Alcatel OneTouch brand.
TCL hasn’t said exactly what it plans to do with its new Palm brand. The company could decide to release Android phones with the Palm logo on them.
But it’s also possible that TCL plans to take a different approach. In a press release, TCL says it wants to “rebuild the brand involving Palm’s very own community, making it the largest scale crowd-sourced project ever seen in the industry.”
Perhaps TCL/Palm will build a new operating system based on the source code for webOS which HP has released.
Or maybe they’ll just slap Windows Phone or Firefox OS on a few new devices, put the Palm logo on the back, and call it a day.