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.

But Palm is coming back to the mobile space. TCL acquired the Palm brand recently, and now the company has announced plans to revive the brand.

palm logo

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.

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6 replies on “Palm is back from the dead… as a TCL subsidiary”

    1. I’ve been running Graffiti pro on android for years. It’s working just fine on 4.4.2 for me. I think I may have paid a dollar or two for it. The input size is a bit small on higher res screens, but it works.

      1. that is excellent news. However, I am somehow reluctant to pay the price, as low as it may be (methinks it was 4 bucks or something like that), discover it does not work on my Xperia Z compact, and even sponsor Access’s lack of motivation for further development and customer service. As a consumer, my bucks are my vote. Did you have to tweak anything?

        1. It’s hard to remember all the details (latest version is from 2011), but I think the only problems I had were some licensing issues that caused the app to fail to start sometimes, which were fixed. I’ve since run it on several phones, currently a cheapo Samsung Avant, with no tweaking. I don’t use it exclusively — just for ssh sessions — so there may be issues I haven’t seen. There are free (Graffiti) and paid (Graffiti Pro) versions, so you can try it out on the Xperia.

          1. thanks for the heads-up. I found out that the activation is done differently now: up until 2.3 you had to long-click in a text field and select the default input method from a menu, now it’s done in the language settings panel itself. Graffiti works. Me happy camper.

  1. “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.”

    Is there even any other logical OS choice if they plan to include Palm’s “very own community”?

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