Palm was the talk of the town in 2008, when their much anticipated Palm Pre was gearing up for launch. By 2009 the phone had dropped onto the market and collected a fairly healthy following, many who awed over the simple and utilitarian design. The Palm Pixi and Pre 2 quickly followed suit, one offering a watered down version of the phone, and its second incarnation promising faster speeds.
Suddenly, however, Palm fell off the map and we haven’t seen or heard much from them since; an oddity as the company all but invented the wonder that we call the Smartphone today. There was no fond farewell, in fact, there was little mention of what happened.
The Mystery of the Palm Pre
What happened is largely folklore at this point. The Palm Pre, simply put, was expected to bring Palm back into relevance, and it could have, it would have, if only two other companies hadn’t showed up on the scene; Motorola and HP. Motorola, roughly around the time Palm planned to launch the Pre exclusively on Sprint, sauntered into the room and dropped word of the Droid.
The Droid, a much anticipated handset had Google and marketing genius behind them, and people ran towards it. The Palm Pre, which had been the darling of CES, slunk into obscurity.
Some suggest that the launch on Sprint, a less popular carrier, is what did the little device in. That’s part of it, but poor marketing and the inevitable buyout from HP sent Palm spiraling into obscurity quickly. Today, the Palm family still exists in name, but HP lacks any real confidence in the company or its brand’s image anymore. The operating system, handsets and vibe of the entire legacy would have to be reworked, and HP simply isn’t invested in it anymore.
A Fond Farewell?
So, as sad as it is to say, it looks like that this is the farewell to Palm that they deserved. Someone, anyone, should acknowledge that this company paved the way for the devices we now know and love. Too bad the Palm Pre and Pre 2 just couldn’t perform with the big dogs on the market; Droid and Apple.