New Palm Devices Are Coming in 2018


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Years ago I bought myself a Palm Pre. Despite the lack of most big-name apps, man, did I ever love that little thing. I was more than a little bummed when HP bought the company and basically left Palm to wither like an unloved houseplant.

But then, two years ago, Chinese electronics manufacturing giant TCL swooped in and bought Palm from HP. The Palm brand, that is… and vowed to restore it to its former glory. You remember the days, back when movers and shakers wouldn’t be caught dead without their beloved PDAs.

TCL didn’t say when that was going to happen, but now they’ve cleared the air. According to a recent interview with TCL’s head of marketing Stefan Streit, they’ll be producing new Palm-branded devices next year.

However, apart from the very broad timeline of “sometime in 2018” Streit only offered one specific — and it’s something that might rile up the Palm faithful, unfortunately. These new devices will sport the Palm brand, but they won’t be running WebOS.

Like the Blackberry phones that TCL has already released, they’ll be running Android. That’s not a complete surprise given that HP sold WebOS to LG once they decided to pull the plug on their very brief Palm experiment.

Now, that doesn’t mean the interface won’t bear some resemblance to the one Palm fans enjoyed on their Pre or Pixi. Back when TCL acquired the brand in 2015 their plan was to get the Palm community involved in the product design process. CEO George Guo said “Palm built by Palm fans is the intent,” adding that doing so would “[make] it the largest scale crowd-sourced project ever seen in the industry.”

To all you devoted fans out there who’ve been waiting patiently for someone to step up to the plate, TCL appears to be serious about delivering the goods. Their Blackberry devices have been well-received so far, too… so there’s every reason to think they’ll come through with a decent Palm offering, too.

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