If you don’t have a highly recognizable name of your own in a highly competitive marketplace, you have one of two options. You can pour plenty of time and resources into building your own brand or you can simply license someone else’s established name. You can probably guess the strategy that TCL has been taking, because now we hear that they’re working on some Palm smartphones for launch in 2018.

Palm devices played a rather substantial role in my college and university life, as I utilized a series of Palm Pilot PDAs (followed later by Sony Clie PDAs running on the Palm OS) as a means of organizing my schedule and task lists. This was well before smartphones became mainstream and well before I picked up my first Windows Mobile smartphone, a T-Mobile MDA.

I eventually returned to Palm in the form of the webOS-powered Palm Pre 2, but we haven’t heard anything from the brand in years. The closest thing we get are some LG TVs with webOS, but the Palm brand itself is nowhere to be seen. You might recall that HP was bandying it around for a while. That may soon change, because TCL Communications announced it is resurrecting the Palm brand.

New Palm smartphones are most likely, though the announcement only pointed toward Palm devices. Somehow I find it unlikely that they’ll release standalone PDAs, because why bother? They might launch a Palm tablet, but why do that when an affordable smartphone would make more sense. Further still, the announcement didn’t indicate the platform being used, so while webOS might be on the table, a skinned version of Android feels more likely too.


Not familiar with TCL? They’re the ones who’ve been making Alcatel-branded phones, as well as the newest generation of BlackBerry devices like the BlackBerry KEYone. Remember what I said about leveraging someone else’s established brand? In any case, we can expect these new Palm products sometime in 2018.

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