Do you still remember your very first personal digital assistant, back when cellphones were still in its analog phase? Chances are, if you grew up in the late 90s, early 2000s, you probably had a Palm Pilot to help you digitally make sense of your life. Of course eventually, Palm died a quiet death, with HP (which acquired the company in 2010) dealing the final blow in the US market. But now speculation is ripe that Palm will be resurrected by Alcatel OneTouch, based on patent documents and website trails.
If you go to mynewpalm.com (which the original palm.com now redirects), there is now a looped video of the slogan “Smart move”, which is what Alcatel OneTouch uses as its brand platform. The slogan is accompanied by Palm’s classic orange logo, which has led others to speculate that it will be making a comeback. A Filipino webOS (the platform that Palm devices eventually used) user tried to trace who owns the website and based on archive.org records, the new incarnation started on November 12 of last year, even if it has existed since 2003. The domain owner is Wide Progress Global Limited, a shelf company registered in Hong Kong.
Wide Progress is also now the owner of the Palm trademark and service marks, which also includes other brand names like Palm Centro, Palm Pre and the original company name “Palm Computing”. TCL Communications, which owns Alcatel OneTouch, has its vice president Nicolas Zibell’s name included in the 18-page document posted on the United States Patent and Trademark Office website.
Aside from this connection, there are no official announcements yet as to whether Palm and Alcatel OneTouch will be merging or if TCL will be creating a new product line. But the rumors are a welcome New Year’s treat for those who believe that the webOS is still the best (or at least one of the best) mobile OS and is now being used as an OS for smart TVs like LG.