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Palm, Inc.

palm inc. history, palm inc. sunnyvale caus
Palm, Inc was an American company that specialized in manufacturing personal digital assistants PDAs and other electronics It was the designer of the Palm Pilot,1 the first PDA successfully marketed worldwide, as well as the Treo 600, one of the first smartphones Palm developed several versions of Palm OS for PDAs and smartphones The company was also responsible for the first versions of webOS, the first multitasking operating system for smartphones,2 and enyojs, a framework for HTML5 apps

WebOS has been supported by HP, LG and the open source community LG uses it for Smart TVs and smartwatches; Enyo is used by LG, Openbravo and many others to design iOS, Android, Windows 8, and webOS apps

In October 2014, HP sold the Palm trademark to a shelf corporation tied to the Chinese electronics firm TCL Corporation Shortly afterward, TCL confirmed its plans to revive the Palm brand on future, crowdsourced smartphones3


  • 1 History
    • 11 Founding and acquisition
    • 12 Stock offering and split into PalmSource and PalmOne
    • 13 United as a single company
    • 14 Acquisition by HP and demise
    • 15 2015: brand revival by TCL
  • 2 See also
  • 3 References
  • 4 External links


Palm, headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, was responsible for numerous products including the Pre and Pixi as well as the Treo and Centro smartphones Previous product lines include the Pilot 1000, PalmPilot Pro, Palm III, Palm V, Palm VII, Zire and Tungsten While their older devices run Palm OS Garnet, four editions of the Treo run Windows Mobile

Founding and acquisition edit

Palm Computing, Inc was founded in 1992 by Jeff Hawkins, who later hired Donna Dubinsky and Ed Colligan, all of whom guided Palm to the invention of the Palm Pilot The company was originally started to write software for the Zoomer, a consumer PDA manufactured by Casio for Tandy45 The Zoomer devices were also distributed by Casio and GRiD, while Palm provided the PIM software67 The PEN/GEOS operating system was provided by Geoworks

The Zoomer failed commercially, but Palm continued generating revenue by selling synchronization software for HP devices, and the Graffiti handwriting recognition software for the Apple Newton MessagePad8

The company was acquired by US Robotics Corp in 1995 In June 1997, US Robotics was acquired by 3Com and Palm became a 3Com subsidiary In June 1998, the founders became unhappy with the direction in which 3Com was taking the company, and left to found Handspring

Stock offering and split into PalmSource and PalmOne edit

3Com made the Palm subsidiary an independent, publicly traded company on March 1, 2000, and it traded on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol PALM Palm Inc had its IPO during the dot-com bubble and in its first day of trading the shares of the new company hit an all-time high of US$95069 But competition and the end of the tech bubble caused Palm's shares to lose 90% of their value in just over a year By June 2001 the company's shares were trading at US$650, making it the worst performing PDA manufacturer on the NASDAQ index at the time9

In January 2002, Palm set up a wholly owned subsidiary to develop and license Palm OS,10 which was named PalmSource in February11 PalmSource was then spun off from Palm as an independent company1213 In October 2003, the hardware division of the company merged with Handspring, was renamed to palmOne, Inc1213 and traded under the ticker symbol PLMO The Palm trademark was held by a jointly owned holding company

United as a single companyedit

In May 2005, palmOne purchased PalmSource's share in the 'Palm' trademark for US$30 million14 In July 2005, palmOne launched its new name and brand, reverting to Palm, Inc and trading under the ticker symbol PALM once again15

In late 2005, ACCESS, which specializes in mobile and embedded web browser technologies, acquired PalmSource for US$324 million

On January 4, 2006, Palm released the Palm Treo 700w, the first Windows Mobile-powered Treo, in a partnership with Verizon Wireless and Microsoft

In December 2006, Palm, Inc paid US$44 million to ACCESS for an irrevocable license to use and modify the source code for Palm OS Garnet as well as ship Palm OS Garnet in any Palm product without paying royalties; with this arrangement, the Palm company could once again develop both its hardware and software16

In June 2007, Palm formed a strategic relationship with the private-equity firm Elevation Partners, who purchased a 25% equity stake of the company for US$325 million17 – an investment that came after months of rumours about a possible Palm sale Palm CEO Ed Colligan acknowledged that "We were approached by larger parties over the last six months," and "the reality is that we thought this was the best outcome for our business and our investors"18

On December 18, 2008, Palm CEO Ed Colligan announced that the company would no longer develop any new handheld PDAs19 Palm announced the webOS operating system and Palm Pre smartphone at the Consumer Electronics Show on January 8, 2009, and released on June 6, 2009 with Sprint20 The design team was led by Matias Duarte, Mike Bell, Peter Skillman and Michael Abbott21

In early 2009, the hype over WebOS sent Palm’s stock from US$3 to a high of about US$18 While reviews of the Palm Pre were positive, launching with only one US carrier Sprint, which was also a distant third in the market proved to be a crucial mistake that limited sales, even though it became Sprint's phone The Pre was often described as Palm's swan song2223 as it was too late keep the company - with only $250 million in cash and short- term investments at the beginning of 2009 - independent for long By 2010 the share price of Palm dropped to below US$424

Acquisition by HP and demiseedit

On April 28, 2010, Hewlett-Packard announced it would purchase Palm at $570 a share for $12 billion in an all-cash deal2526 The acquisition was completed on July 1, 20102728

The Palm global business unit was to be responsible for webOS software development and webOS-based hardware products, from a robust smartphone roadmap to future slate PCs and netbooks However, on August 18, 2011, HP announced that it would discontinue production of all webOS devices, including smartphones and tablets2930

In February 2013, following an attempt to open source the platform, HP announced that it had sold a license to WebOS source code, patents, along with its remaining staff, to LG Electronics: the company revamped the platform for use on smart TVs

In February 2011, HP unveiled a new line of WebOS products, including the Pre 3, Veer, and TouchPad; however, these products were branded under HP's name and not with the Palm name31 In July 2011, as part of a reorganization, WebOS head Jon Rubinstein was demoted from senior vice president to a "product innovation role", and replaced by Steven DeWitt, head of HP's North American consumer PC unit At the same time, Palm was renamed the "webOS global business unit", effectively ending the use of the Palm brand3233

The launch of the TouchPad was met with extremely poor sales;31 on August 18, 2011, HP announced that it would immediately end the production and support of all Palm and WebOS devices, and would be "exploring options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward", including a potential sale of the division to another company HP also cancelled the US release for the Pre 3 and Veer, and infamously, held a fire sale on remaining TouchPad stock, lowering prices for the tablet to as low as US$99 which, however, led to a major spike in demand for the device3133 The decision, made by HP's CEO at the time Léo Apotheker, along with its $117 billion acquisition of Autonomy, and threats to spin-off HP's consumer business, led to a major decline in HP's market performance, with its shares falling in value by 454%34

Logo for HP subsidiary Gram 2012–2013

Following the resignation of Apotheker and his replacement by Meg Whitman,34 it was announced in December 2011 that an open source version of much of WebOS would be created Shortly afterward, Jon Rubinstein, along with a number of other senior Palm staff members, began to leave HP31 On August 15, 2012, it was revealed that HP had re-organized the remaining WebOS team as a unit known as "Gram", made up of the remaining components of Palm35 In February 2013, HP announced that it had sold the WebOS team, along with a license to the WebOS source code, documentation, and underlying patents, to LG Electronics LG planned to primarily utilize the WebOS platform for its smart TV products, rather than on mobile devices, but did not rule out the possibility36

2015: brand revival by TCLedit

On December 30, 2014, it was reported that in October 2014, HP had sold the Palm trademark and related intellectual properties to Wide Progress Global Limited, a shelf company controlled by Nicolas Zibell — a regional president of TCL Corporation, which markets Android smartphones under the Alcatel OneTouch brand At the same time, it was discovered that the former Palmcom now redirected to MyNewPalmcom; the site displayed a "coming soon" page with the previous orange Palm logo, and the slogan "Smart move", which is also the slogan used by Alcatel OneTouch3738

TCL publicly confirmed its acquisition of the Palm brand on January 6, 2015, stating that it planned to "re-create" the company with a new team based in Silicon Valley, and incorporate crowdsourcing into its product development3

See alsoedit

  • San Francisco Bay Area portal
  • Companies portal
  • List of Palm OS devices
  • Palm PDA
  • Palm Desktop
  • Palm Foleo
  • PalmSource, Inc


  1. ^ "La cuarta revolución" Retrieved 2015-01-10 
  2. ^ Krazit, Tom 2009-01-08 "Palm calls it a comeback with the Palm Pre | Mobile - CNET News" Newscnetcom Retrieved 2012-01-05 
  3. ^ a b "Palm makes a comeback! TCL to 're-create' the brand" CNET Retrieved 8 January 2015 
  4. ^ Butter, Andrea; Pogue, David 2002 Piloting Palm: The Inside Story of Palm, Handspring, and the Birth of the Billion-Dollar Handheld Industry John Wiley & Sons p 56 ISBN 9780471223399 
  5. ^ Hahn, Brian K 2004 "The Tandy ZOOMER" 
  6. ^ Smithson, Brian 1995-05-09 "Zoomer Technical Info; Tandy Z-PDA" Retrieved 2014-04-30 
  7. ^ Smithson, Brian 1996-01-17 "Zoomer Pictures; application screen shots" 
  8. ^ "3Q1994 Zoomer-List Archives: Graffiti Arrives! - Press Release enclosed" Grotcom 1994-09-19 Retrieved 2012-01-05 
  9. ^ a b "Bloomberg" Bloombergcom Retrieved 9 June 2015 
  10. ^ Palm Completes Formation of Palm OS Subsidiary as Palm Powered Devices Hit 20 Million Sold, Palm press release, January 21, 2002
  11. ^ Palm OS Subsidiary CEO Outlines Vision For Future Of Mobile Computing, Palm press release, February 5, 2002
  12. ^ a b "Palm, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Jun 6, 2003" secdatabasecom Retrieved Dec 31, 2012 
  13. ^ a b "Palm, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Nov 12, 2003" secdatabasecom Retrieved Dec 31, 2012 
  14. ^ "Palm, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date May 27, 2005" secdatabasecom Retrieved Dec 31, 2012 
  15. ^ "Palm, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Jun 30, 2005" secdatabasecom Retrieved Dec 31, 2012 
  16. ^ "Palm, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Dec 11, 2006" PDF secdatabasecom Retrieved Dec 31, 2012 On December 5, 2006, Palm, Inc Palm entered into a definitive agreement to license the source code for Palm Operating System OS Garnet from ACCESS Systems Americas ACCESS on a fully paid-up, irrevocable other than for certain material breaches of Palm’s obligations basis The agreement includes the right for Palm to modify the Palm OS Garnet source code, to retain ownership of those modifications and to use Palm OS Garnet in whole or in part in any Palm product In addition, ACCESS has expanded its license to Palm of ACCESS patents that existed as of December 2001, to cover all Palm products Previously, this patent license had applied only to Palm products based on Palm OS Palm will pay ACCESS a total of $44 million under the agreement subject to Palm’s acceptance of delivery of the Palm OS Garnet source code and other deliverables under the agreement  C1 control character in |quote= at position 260 help
  17. ^ "Palm, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Jun 5, 2007" PDF secdatabasecom Retrieved Dec 31, 2012 
  18. ^ "Palm Sells A Quarter Slice To Elevation Partners" Retrieved 9 June 2015 
  19. ^ "Colligan: No New Palm Handhelds" Retrieved 9 June 2015 
  20. ^ "Sprint Newsroom | News Releases" Newsreleasessprintcom Retrieved 2012-01-05 
  21. ^ Elizabeth Woyke 5 June 2009 "How Palm Designed The Pre" Forbes Retrieved 9 June 2015 
  22. ^ "Palm Pre breaks Sprint sales records" Retrieved 9 June 2015 
  23. ^ "Palm bets the farm on WebOS" Retrieved 9 June 2015 
  24. ^ "RIM says 150 carriers keep it from Palm's fate Toronto" Retrieved 9 June 2015 
  25. ^ "Palm, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Apr 28, 2010" PDF secdatabasecom Retrieved Dec 31, 2012 
  26. ^ "HP to Acquire Palm for $12 Billion" Press release HP 28 April 2010 Retrieved 2010-04-28 
  27. ^ "Palm, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Jul 2, 2010" PDF secdatabasecom Retrieved Dec 31, 2012 
  28. ^ "HP Completes Palm Acquisition" Press release HP 1 July 2010 Retrieved 2010-07-05 
  29. ^ "HP Confirms Discussions with Autonomy Corporation plc Regarding Possible Business Combination; Makes Other Announcements" Retrieved 18 August 2011 
  30. ^ "HP kills webOS, spins off PC business to focus on software" Retrieved 18 August 2011 
  31. ^ a b c d Zieger, Chris "Pre to postmortem: the inside story of the death of Palm and webOS" The Verge Retrieved 2 January 2015 
  32. ^ "HP shakeup: webOS now led by Stephen DeWitt, Jon Rubinstein in charge of 'product innovation'" The Verge Retrieved 2 January 2015 
  33. ^ a b "HP Kills TouchPad, Support for webOS Devices" PC Magazine Retrieved 2 January 2015 
  34. ^ a b "Hewlett-Packard replaces Leo Apotheker with Meg Whitman" BBC News 2011-09-22 Retrieved 22 September 2011 
  35. ^ Hesseldahl, Arik 15 August 2012 "Meet Gram, HP's New Name for the Company Formerly Known as Palm" All Things D Retrieved 17 August 2012 
  36. ^ Nilay Patel 25 February 2013 "HP emerges as big winner in WebOS sale" The Verge Vox Media Retrieved 6 January 2014 
  37. ^ "It looks like Alcatel Onetouch purchased the Palm trademarks from HP" WebOS Nation Retrieved 2 January 2015 
  38. ^ "Palm could be coming back to life — as an Android phone from Alcatel" The Verge Retrieved 2 January 2015 

External linksedit

  • Official website
  • Palm Historical SEC Filings

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