Is the Palm Pilot Ready for a Comeback?

Palm Pilot Comeback

Palm is being brought back from the dead.

Chinese electronics maker TCL, which spent considerable coin to rename Mann’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood, has acquired the rights to revive the once-dominant maker of digital personal organizers.

TCL said at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week that it will re-create Palm in Silicon Valley, after having purchased the brand’s assets from Hewlett-Packard late last year. HP had paid $1.2 billion to purchase Palm in 2010, but sold off the company’s webOS operating system to LG in 2013, leaving TCL with little other than nostalgia to work with.

“Palm has always carried a lot of affect and emotions,” TCL said in a statement. “That’s why TCL has set the direction to rebuild the brand involving Palm’s very own community, making it the largest scale crowdsourced project ever seen in the industry.”

The company will set up a new Palm Inc. in Silicon Valley. It also will back the development of new Palm products with 5,000 engineers and seven research and development centers around the world.

TCL, which is a substantial producer of electronics in China, with its line of TVs and mobile devices, is still relatively unknown in the U.S., although it’s looking to change that through high-profile placements in movies like “Iron Man III,” and naming-rights deals like the one in Hollywood.

It also owns the Alcatel OneTouch brand through which it produces lower priced smartphones Stateside. The new Palm products are likely to become the company’s more high-end line of mobile devices.

Palm was founded in 1992 and had various owners, including US Robotics and 3Com. Its devices essentially established the handheld market, especially among business execs, with the Treo and Pilot, and opened the door for rivals like BlackBerry to step in and take over.

Palm isn’t the only mobile brand trying to make a comeback.

Lenovo is trying to breathe new life into Motorola after buying it last year, with three new smartphones it will launch in China this year. The new Moto X rolls out in February.

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  1. Linda says:

    Is there any program to convert the information from the palm pilot the way it is? If someone knows anything I would really appreciate it. I also loved being able to sync with my computer and have everything organized with the Hot Sync button. I still use my desktop for that information. Have not found anything to substitute it.

  2. C. A. Schneiter says:

    I can’t wait for Palm Pilot to come back! I loved being able to sync with my computer and have everything organized with the flick of a button…privately. I still do not want to have my calendars online. I haven’t been able to find a calendar program for my phone that even comes close to the Palm Pilot programs. It is sad that they did not keep up with the changes. I hope they do come back.

  3. Selma says:

    I loved my Palm Pilot and was so sorry to see it go. In order to keep my address list up-to-date, I must go the old fashion route of using a “Week-at-a-Glance” calendar because I do not use a smart phone. The rebirth of the PP would be great.

  4. Warren says:

    I also love my old Palm Pilot. However, I cannot load Palm Pilot Software into Windows 10, so without a desktop software capability, I cannot use it. Anyone know how to load the “old” P.P software into Windows 10? Also, my handheld is malfunctioning. Any suggestions?

  5. Karen says:

    I have the Palm Treo 650 and 700W. All they need to do is update internal features, leave outside the way it was. Love the design of these phones.

  6. Mama Bear says:

    I loved my Palm and would love to use it again. I still have the Pilot and two of the chargers. I’ve saved it in the hopes that it will still work. I’ve moved and changed computers a couple of times and I’m crossing my fingers that it still works. Is there anyone out there supporting it or any ideas of where I can get upgrades? Thanks for the article and comments. It gives me hope.

  7. mitsuo says:

    I still have my Palm Centro and just recently replaced the battery after so many years.

  8. Ian BBB says:

    I think this is great. I hope their new products are as good as the original series of devices. My M505 is still going strong.

  9. Tony T. says:

    I sincerely hope they succeed. I am 20+year user of palm software / palm pilot and will hopefully be the 1st one to purchase in USA once available. I also hope they offer the desk top software which is the most impt.

  10. I read this because I use the old palm tungsten with Hitachi DR ZX excavator electronic diagnostic tool. It is almost obsolete because the software is XP and it’s old and unsupported, etc. If Palm wants to get something going again they should try to make it the go to tool that caters to equipment and vehicle diagnostic tool running manufacturers software and providing cables, and updates. This would at least make a demand for it. Volvo matris & etech, caterpillar ET, Komatsu, OBD 1&2…, genesis type, cummins, cat, Detroit, international diesel engines, etc… Make it a tool, make a hard heavy duty waterproof one.

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