Is Palm attempting a comeback? Signs point to yes
Chinese company TCL acquired the rights to Palm in 2014
Palm -- the iconic brand that was the forerunner to the modern smartphone as we know it -- is reportedly set to return with a new smartphone.
Android Authority reports that a new Palm phone called the Pepito is expected to launch in the second half of 2018, after it was spotted in several regulatory filings.
Among the few things we know so far are that it will run on Android 8.1 and won’t support 5Ghz Wi-Fi -- meaning it’s likely to be a budget handset.
The Palm brand was acquired by Chinese company TCL from HP back in 2014. At the time the company said it would "re-create" the brand by crowdsourcing ideas from Palm fans.
The influence of the Palm Pilot and the Treo 600 can still be seen in smartphones today. Together they ushered in the idea of single-purpose apps for things like calendars and contact information.
But perhaps the biggest influence was introducing a new way for people to interact with the device: tapping directly at the screen (albeit with a stylus), instead of using just the roller balls and keyboards that were common in early phones.
And it seems like TCL is keen to lean on some of that legacy -- and a bit of nostalgia -- to bring the brand back to life.
That being said, bringing back the brand to its original glory will be a difficult task. It has been absent from the market since the start of the decade, during which time new players have established themselves.
It hasn't stopped some players from trying.
Blackberry, which was also acquired by TCL, is attempting a comeback of its own -- although industry watchers remain skeptical.
Meanwhile, Nokia -- another vendor hoping to revive its fortunes by playing heavily on its nostalgia factor -- has found success of late in Europe and Asia.