It’s taken a long while but it seems the Palm brand will be revived. After languishing for a few years, TCL plans to bring out a new range of Palm-branded devices. They’re already a player in the smartphone business, making devices for Alcatel and BlackBerry. Hopefully, tthe company can introduce a Palm that isn’t just a clone of every other smartphone on the market.
TCL announced at CES early this year that they were planning to bring the Palm brand back. The Palm rubber is expected to hit Smartphone Road in 2018.
The new devices won’t run PalmOS – that’s now owned by LG – and WebOS is stuck at HP. So it’s a fair bet these new Palm devices will run Android.
When Palm was big in the 1990s, they had very little competition. Psion was around and Microsoft was getting things going with Windows CE and the Pocket PC through partners like HP and Compaq. But the market is very different today.
Samsung and Apple lead the market with challengers like Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi coming up fast. Palms big opportunity probably lies in North America where those challenger brands are less known and the Palm brand probably still has some cachet. But whether TCL can create product that is differentiated from the market leaders remains to be seen.