TCL resurrects the Palm brand

TCL is resurrecting the Palm brand with a brand-new Palm, Inc. based in California. As we reported last week, TCL purchased the Palm brand from HP late last year, although at the time it wasn't clear what the company had planned. It's not at all clear what TCL intends to do with the Palm brand, although they seem to recognize the history that the brand carries.

Says TCL:

Palm has always carried a lot of affect and emotions. That's why TCL has set the direction to rebuild the brand involving Palm's very own community, making it the largest scale crowd-sourced project ever seen in the industry.

Where TCL's Alcatel Onetouch has long produced entry-level and mid-tier smartphones, and it seems that TCL wants Palm to be a division that produces "a more-advanced device", with "breakthrough innovations" across the hardware, software, and even sales models.

TCL's full weight will be behind Palm, touting 5000 engineers and 7 research-and-development centers around the world. When we'll see more from TCL and Palm isn't clear, but we do know one thing: Palm is coming back.

The story of Palm is a twisted one, with Palm being founded as an independent company in 1992, being bought by US Robotics in 1995, and then 3Com in 1996, being spun off in 2000, split in half in 2002 and renamed PalmOne, merged with Handspring in 2003, rebranding as Palm, launching webOS in 2009, selling to HP in 2010, getting canceled in 2011, webOS getting open sourced in 2012, and the remnants of the Palm company (minus the branding) being sold to LG in 2013. It's rare that a company receives a second life as Palm did, and rarer still to be revived after being left for dead.

Regardless, the Palm brand carries a lot of emotion for many, so it's good to see it coming back and we hope TCL produces a phone that's worthy of the name Palm.

Press release:

TCL Communication co-(re)creates Palm

(LAS VEGAS, January 6 2015) – Palm brand has always been synonymous with innovation throughout its history. As such it has consistently acted as a pioneer of mobile technologies. Now is the time to revive and bring back this pioneer spirit.

To do so, TCL Communication Technology Holdings Limited ("TCL Communication" or the "Company" which, together with its subsidiaries, is referred to as the "Group"; is very proud to announce that it will create a new Palm Inc., a US-based company that will take ownership of the Palm brand. New Palm Inc. will remain a truly Californian, Silicon Valley, based company leveraging on the talents and partnerships of the area.

Palm has always carried a lot of affect and emotions. That's why TCL has set the direction to rebuild the brand involving Palm's very own community, making it the largest scale crowd-sourced project ever seen in the industry.

The objective goes far beyond proposing a more advanced device. It is to deliver absolute breakthrough innovations in Technology, Design, User Experience, Eco-system, Marketing, Supply Chain, and Business Models.

Palm will be fully supported by the various assets of TCL Communication:

  • A best in class R & D organization, rich with 5000 engineers across 7 R&D centers around the globe
  • The most modern and efficient mobile devices manufacturing facility
  • A top level quality record recognized by the global tier 1 carriers and retailers around the world
  • A cutting-edge supply chain ready for the flexibility required by the market today
  • A global network already serving more than 170 countries and the most demanding customers of the industry with local Sales, Marketing and Technical teams

The exact timeline of the roll-out of the Palm project will be communicated at a later date.

TCL Communication, the 5th largest global handsets vendor, is operating globally under the ALCATEL ONETOUCH brand and TCL brand. It has already reached breakthrough positions, in multiple regions of the world.

During the past 3 years, TCL Communication has evolved from a leading position in feature phones to a top player in Smart Devices with a comprehensive portfolio of Smartphones, Tablets, IoT, Wearables, Mobile Routers. Today the company is adding new dimensions to its legacy hardware capabilities, turning itself into a true mobile Internet player with applications and cloud services in areas such as health care, education, smart home, video conferencing, music, etc.