Is Palm Going to be Resurrected As an Alcatel OneTouch Brand?
Palm is a name which hasn’t been heard much since it was bought by HP (and then strangled following the death of the Touchpad) but it looks like it might be making a comeback of some kind.
WebOS Nation notices on Friday that www.Palm.com, the old home of Palm, now redirects to MyNewPalm.com.
It’s not clear who owns the website domain (it leads to an offshore shell company out of the British Virgin Islands), but it looks like that offshore shell company, or possibly one with a very similar name, also owns a bunch of other Palm related trademarks (the TMs were transferred from HP in October).
I’m not sure what this means, but one webOS fanblog has turned up a surprising connection to a Chinese smartphone maker. According to MakaPalm, the Chinese tech company that owns the Alcatel OneTouch brand might be about to resurrect the Palm brand:
TCL Communication may be the company behind the new webpage that has been teasing loyal fans of the mobile-computing pioneer Palm.
“Smart move”—a slogan that appears in a looped video on mynewpalm.com along with the orange Palm logo—is the brand platform of Alcatel One Touch, TCL Communication’s mobile brand.
The name of TCL Communication’s senior vice president Nicolas Zibell also appears on a document formalizing the transfer of Palm trademarks from HP to another company in October.
I would bet he’s right.
There have been absolutely no rumors on this topic, so it is hard to guess what Alcatel, or actually its parent company TCL, will do with the Palm brand. But I would tend to agree with Mike Cane’s speculation that we’re probably going to see an Android smartphone bearing the Palm logo.
It might even make an appearance next month at CES 2015, so I would keep your eyes peeled. I plan to stop by the Alcatel booth and ask about it. (I also sent an email, but I’m not sure my press contact info is still valid.)
Alcatel makes some cheap but decent smartphones and tablets under the Alcatel brand, and a commenter told me that they’re also a leading tv maker (thanks, jjj!). I have one of the smartphones, and it’s not good as Palm used to make but it’s not bad. It’s not great, but I got it because it was cheap and I’m mostly satisfied.
Assuming you set realistic expectations, the new Palm phones will probably be about as satisfactory.
jjj December 22, 2014 um 5:28 pm
TCL is the phone maker , Alcatel is just a brand they use in some locations like Palm would be.
Their latest phone is pretty nice actually especially when you factor in the price.
TCL Meme Da 3N ( the original Meme Da was a Redmi Note competitor 5.5 inch 720p, 8xA7, this 3N is a major upgrade)
5.5 inch 1080p , MT6752( 8xA53 Mediatek) , 2GB RAM , 16GB NAND , 13MP and 8MP cams, 3500mAh
Pricing is bellow 1000CNY (161$) , could be 899 CNY, there are a couple of devices announced with similar specs at that price but TCL would be the first big name to go there (Meizu the second in a few hours , when they launch the Blue Charm Note).
Some reviews for the Cube T7 tablet are out there with a similar SoC . if curious some guy trying to show multitasking perf and gaming on it ( the first device with 8XA53 Mediatek) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4HCLmUArv8
and a few benchmarks from a diff source
So does pretty well against slightly outdated high end SoCs and enough perf for many users.
TCL will sell just slightly above 40 mil smartphones this year and they are 5th or so in all phones (including dumbphones), they are top 5 in TVs and so on. Not long ago there were rumors that they are trying to buy HTC but HTC wasn’t quite ready to sell.
They are likely to buy some brands that fail since they are big enough to survive.
Nate Hoffelder December 22, 2014 um 5:34 pm
Thanks for the clarification; I’ll fix the post (but not the title).
jjj December 22, 2014 um 5:52 pm
The RCA brand is also owned by TCL, they use it in N America, while Alcatel is pretty much only Europe officially.
Nate Hoffelder December 22, 2014 um 6:01 pm
I have an Alcatel phone. And I think their tablets have made an appearance.
And I did not know about RCA. Interesting. Does TCL own RCA itself or just the right to use the brand to make TVs? Do you know of the RCA tablets in NA are made by TCL?
jjj December 22, 2014 um 6:24 pm
Came back for that correction, it seems they don’t own it, just licensed the right to use it.
Not sure about the tablets, IDC had RCA as 5th in Q3, guess Google got to know who makes them.
Thomas December 22, 2014 um 10:36 pm
According to an article on wikipedia, RCA tablets are marketed by Venturer Electronics. Another site says support is by Alco-Venturer Electronics.
Palm to be Revived as an Alcatel Onetouch Brand ⋆ The Digital Reader January 7, 2015 um 10:15 am
[…] not surprised because I reported two weeks ago that the trademarks had been sold, and the rest of the blogosphere cottoned to the story last […]