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January 7, 2015

TCL to put Palm back in our hands

by John_A


As rumored last week TCL, the parent company behind Alcatel Onetouch, has announced that it is to resurrect the Palm brand and that will remain a truly Californian, Silicon Valley, based company.

TCL Communication is a Chinese electronics giant that makes a variety of products including smartphones (under the Alcatel Onetouch brand) and TVs. Actually TCL is the third largest TV manufacturer in the world after Samsung and LG. TCL has acquired the Palm brand, as well as all the trademarks and logos, from HP and it now plans to revive the name that has long been associated with innovation and a pioneering spirit, especially in the early days of mobile tech.

The largest scale crowd-sourced project ever seen in the industry.

However there is a catch, actually quite a good one. TCL doesn’t just want to re-badge its Alcatel Onetouch phones and start churning out Palm devices. TCL wants to rebuild the brand and hopefully capture some of its former glory. To do that TCL has decided that the Palm community should play a key role in the re-building of the brand. As TCL puts it, to make it “the largest scale crowd-sourced project ever seen in the industry.”

TCL aren’t just looking for ideas about the next Palm device, but rather to find new ways to “deliver absolute breakthrough innovations in Technology, Design, User Experience, Eco-system, Marketing, Supply Chain, and Business Models.”

Palm Pre

Palm Pre

In whatever form Palm is revived, TCL is confident that it will get the very best support that the company can offer, including access to TCL’s 5000 engineers from its 7 R&D centers around the world, and the use of its mobile devices manufacturing facility.

The Palm brand has had a rough time ever since the failing company was bought by HP in 2010. Following the disastrous reception of the HP TouchPad (which used Palm’s WebOS), HP cancelled all of its Palm and WebOS products. Then in 2013 HP sold its WebOS team, along with a license to the WebOS source code and underlying patents, to LG Electronics for use in its Smart TVs.

Now that TCL has bought the brand rights it looks like we could once again see Palm devices for sale. Is that something you would like to see? Please let me know in the comments section below.

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