Chinese electronics giant TCL is probably best known in the US for making televisions. But the company also sells phones under the Alcatel and BlackBerry brands.

In fact, most recent phones sold under the BlackBerry name are actually manufactured by TCL. The company produces the hardware and BlackBerry licenses the name along with the BlackBerry apps and services that run on the Android-powered phones.

Now it looks like TCL may be looking to do something similar with another brand: Android Police reports that Verizon and TCL plan to launch a Palm-branded smartphone this year.

The news doesn’t come out of the blue. We’d actually heard last summer that TCL was thinking about reviving the Palm brand. What’s new is confirmation (or at least a rumor from a reliable website) that it’s actually going to happen.

We still don’t actually know what to expect from a modern Palm phone.

It’ll almost certainly ship with Android software rather than PalmOS or WebOS… although the latter is newly open-sourced, so never say never, I guess?

But if TCL wants to appeal to folks that are nostalgic for their Palm phones or PDAs of yesteryear, I suspect the company will do more than slap the Palm name and logo on the phone. Maybe we can expect a Palm Treo-like QWERTY keyboard or a Palm Pre-like slide-out keyboard.

Maybe some classic Palm apps are on their way to Android? Or maybe there’ll be a webOS-like app launcher?

What would it take for you to be interested in a Palm-branded smartphone in 2018?

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17 replies on “Report: TCL and Verizon to launch a new Palm smartphone (whatever that means)”

  1. I had a couple of Palm phones and a couple of Palm PDA. It would be neat if it came back, even if it is just the look and not was on them.

  2. I had a Palm phone; a couple of different ones. I also had the Palm PDA’s. It will be interesting to check them out and see how much like those phones the new ones will be.

  3. I had a Handspring Visor Palm pilot and actually used the handwriting recognition area quite a bit. I’d like to see that come back plus Palm’s Big Clock app. I liked how easy it was to share apps with other Palm Pilots. All this is nostalgia. For me to actually buy one? Hmmm. If you stuck a multi lens camera that could do 3D and 360 degree photos, plus a built in gimbal for stabilization then I might go for it.

  4. My first smartphone was a Palm Treo. I loved that thing, I actually still have it, sitting on my shelf. I’d love to see another Palm device. For me it’d have to have decent (not flagship but close) specs. Removable storage and battery. Hopefully with a physical keyboard. I keep looking at the newer Blackberry devices, but their specs are way too low to consider using it daily. Cheers!

    1. I miss my Blackberry’s keyboard but feel reluctant to try the latest versions because I’m worried that the Android OS might not be as capable as the flagship Samsung phone like the Note series. But I used to type whole paragraphs on a BB.

  5. I’d love it to be running WebOS with an Android compatibility layer. I loved that OS. So beautifuly designed.

    But realistically, I think they’ll just make it an Android phone.

    I do hope they’ll add a Qwerty keyboard to it. I also read that Nokia is planning to release a Qwerty phone soon. Excited to see them both.

  6. I’d be interested if it wasn’t Verizon. I think that carrier exclusivity is what led to the demise of the original WebOS Phones. I still have my Pre 2, veer, and TouchPad

  7. They could do Android with WebOS-like multitasking!

    Google added it to stock android ages ago. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. I hope they run the recently open sourced WebOS by LG and with the rise of Progressive Web Apps, it would be great.

  9. My first smartphone was a Palm device. Nice hardware but an annoying OS. It had real IR.

    I don’t see myself buying this based on the name.

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