Over the past couple of years, there has been this teased idea that Palm – “webOS” Palm – will once again be making phones. It started back in 2014 when the Palm.com website teased “Coming Soon” along with a Palm logo.
Then, as recently as a couple of weeks ago, we received confirmation that 2018 would see the release of “Palm-branded devices” built by TCL. Of course, what exactly that means is anyone’s guess. TCL hasn’t been very forthcoming on the details. Will we see Palm making phones again? Is this necessarily a good thing?
First of all, we need to get some ugly business out of the way right now. We need to divorce webOS and Palm. It’s ok. Mommy and Daddy still love you, but those two will never come in the same breath again. So let’s put webOS on the back burner and talk about Palm. We need to determine just what TCL is looking to attract here. Are people really pining for a Palm device, or are they pining for a webOS device? Again, the two are not one and the same.
webOS has a cult following that, yes, still exists today. I still get emails from a group of Chicago-based webOS enthusiasts. Granted we haven’t met in a while, but webOS fans are still out there, having formed a sort of support group to keep everyone up and running. Which is pretty awesome. But webOS is not coming to a new phone screen any time soon, which leads us to the Palm brand.
Palm as a brand is one of those darlings from smartphone past that built really great devices, and had really great ideas about what a smartphone was and could do. From Palm Pilots, to Palm Treos, to the Palm Pre, Palm was all about pushing productivity and innovation in the smartphone space. So, this could be a really exciting thing. Under TCL, BlackBerry has made a bit of a comeback of late, with the KEYone. Now the same company is bringing back another golden oldie.
But what will this new device be? For purposes of this article, we’re going to assume that the new device will be a phone. It’s true, TCL could go with another device, like a tablet or even something else. I’m happy to opine on all sorts of devices, but you don’t have that kind of time and my editors don’t have that kind of patience. So, we’re going with phones.
Since we’re on the assumption train, let’s also assume Android. This isn’t necessarily a surprise, nor is it a bad thing. Android has proven to be a very capable operating system for devices from old-school OEMs and from new companies alike. The versatility of Android makes it a wonderful way to have a robust support system, and still allow for some differentiation from competitors. Like, say, BlackBerry for example.
Let’s take that assumption train to a few more stations. First, let’s assume that this won’t – Source