HP Palm

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HP Palm Inc.

legal form Incorporated
founding 1992
Seat Sunnyvale , California , USA
management Jon Rubinstein ( CEO )
Number of employees 939 (May 31, 2009)
sales 735 872 000 US dollars (2009)
Branch computer
Website www.palm.com

Logo before takeover

The company Palm Inc. was a manufacturer of PDAs (personal digital assistants) and smartphones . In April 2010, Palm was acquired by Hewlett-Packard . Since October 2010, the company has therefore operated under the name HP Palm . In the meantime, Palm has been abandoned by HP. In 2015 HP sold the naming rights to the Chinese electronics group TCL Corporation .

Company history

The LifeDrive , a PDA from PalmOne


Palm was founded in 1992 by Jeff Hawkins , Ed Colligan and Donna Dubinsky . The capital for founding the company came from a. by Tandy . Palm gradually gained other partners in addition to Tandy, such as Casio , GeoWorks and AOL . The first product from Palm was the Zoomer, who in October 1993 shortly after the comparable Newton from Apple came on the market. The Zoomer was a flop in the emerging PDA market and Palm's partners lost interest. Having run into financial difficulties due to the failure of the Zoomer and the development of a successor, Palm was taken over by US Robotics for 44 million US dollars in 1996 and, now that capital was available again, the " Pilot " was launched on the market in April of the same year bring. In March 1997, 3Com bought US Robotics for $ 7.8 billion, including Palm. From December 1997 it was also possible for other companies to license the Palm OS operating system . In March 2000, Palm Inc. was listed on the stock exchange. Since August 2003, Palm's hardware division has been called palmOne . The software division that developed Palm OS was outsourced to an independent company called PalmSource . This split did not take place in a dispute, but had been planned for a long time. Since the beginning of July 2005, the company has been trading again under the name palm, Inc. At the end of April 2010, HP took over Palm, Inc. for a sum of 1.2 billion US dollars (914 million euros).

Competition from Microsoft

Palm co-invented the shape of the pen-operated pocket computer and had a quasi- monopoly for a long time . The Palm devices were characterized by an easy-to-learn and resource-saving operating system and almost unchanged hardware over a long period of time. Almost the entire handheld market was dominated by devices developed by Palm or by devices from other companies that used the Palm operating system.

That changed when, after the turn of the millennium, Microsoft made efforts to turn the handheld market upside down with its pocket PCs . While the first devices were still prone to errors and somewhat expensive, the second attempt succeeded in penetrating the market with improved devices from Casio , HP , Compaq and many other manufacturers.

In contrast to the minimal equipment of Palm handhelds at the time, Pocket PCs offered fast processors, lots of color, sound and a Windows-like operating system. The Pocket PCs began to take market share from Palm.

Palm Zire (2002)

As a result, the Tungsten T, the first Palm OS 5 handheld, appeared. It offered a high-resolution color display , a fast processor and "real" sound (in contrast to the beeping tones of earlier Palms). With the Clié handhelds, Sony had previously launched devices with a better display, sound and a version of Palm OS modified for multimedia applications.

The Tungsten T marked the beginning of a complete modernization of the Palm product range. The old palms from the m and III series have been completely replaced by a two-part offer consisting of tungsten and zire. All devices now offered an ARM processor with clock frequencies between 200 and 400 MHz, an expansion slot for SD / MMC cards and the current operating system. Except for the Zire 31 and the Z22, whose color displays only offered a resolution of 160 × 160px, all devices worked with a high-resolution color screen.

In October 2004, Palm merged with Handspring , a company founded by Palm's founders . Handspring developed the Handspring Treo from Palm PDAs, a handheld series geared towards mobile communication, almost all of which had a built-in mobile phone. The flagship product Handsprings, the Treo was one of the first smartphones, was further developed by Palm and launched at the beginning of 2006 in a variant with the Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 operating system.


Since the last public version 5.4 of Palm OS, which has since been renamed Garnet, had some technical limitations that made the use of technologies such as UMTS or WLAN difficult, the hardware equipment of the newer Palm devices could hardly match that of others Manufacturers who licensed Windows Mobile keep up. In addition, the Apple iPhone came as a new competitor .

In order to regain larger market shares, Palm relied on the newly developed WebOS operating system , which had the working name Nova . At CES 2009, Palm announced the first details and presented the Palm Pre as the first device with the operating system .

Takeover by Hewlett-Packard

The sales of the Pre remained well below expectations, which led to a 69% drop in the share price between autumn 2009 and spring 2010, as well as takeover rumors. On April 19, 2010 it was announced that Palms software boss Michael Abbot would leave the company. A day later, the Wall Street Journal reported that the large US retail chain RadioShack no longer had any Palm products in its range. Less than a week later, on April 28, 2010, Hewlett-Packard and Palm officially announced that HP would buy up Palm.


  • In 1996 the Pilot 1000 and Pilot 5000 are launched.
  • In mid-1997, more than 2,000 developers were working on software for the small computers under Palm OS
  • In December 1997 the company began to issue Palm OS licenses to other hardware manufacturers
  • In September 1998, the Handspring company, founded by former Palm employees, licensed the Palm OS - their “Visors” will be the first handhelds with a (proprietary) expansion slot (the Springboard ).
  • At the end of 1998 there were over 3,500 developers of Palm OS software.
  • In February 1999 the Palm V comes onto the market, which differs from its predecessor models ( Palm III ) through its elegant, flat metal housing ( industrial design by IDEO ).
  • By mid-1999 there were more than 13,000 Palm OS developers.
  • Nokia also licenses the Palm OS in October 1999, but will never use it.
  • In February 2000, the first Palm handheld with a color display comes onto the market - it is called IIIc and has a TFT color display that can display 256 colors with a resolution of 160 × 160.
  • As of April 2000, there are more than 65,000 developers for Palm software.
  • March 2001 saw the launch of the first Palm with e-mail and Internet capabilities.
  • In March 2001 peanutpress.com was founded as the first e-book provider for the Palm.
  • As of May 2001, more than 10,000 applications are registered for Palm OS.
  • In June 2001, Palm handhelds received support for SD / MMC cards .
  • In August 2001, Dataviz will give "Documents To Go" to every Palm. The Palm can use it to process Word and Excel files after synchronization.
  • In August 2001, the operating system manufacturer Be Incorporated ( BeOS ) was bought by Palm for 11 million US dollars.
  • In January 2002, a total of more than 20,000,000 devices with Palm OS were sold.
  • In September 2002 the first Palm handhelds equipped with an ARM processor hit the market.
  • In October 2002, the cheapest handheld of its time, the Zire, hit the market at a price of 99 dollars and became a bestseller.
  • In October 2002 Sony invested in PalmSource .
  • In November 2002 the first Palm with OS 5, Tungsten T, comes onto the market. There is also the Tungsten W smartphone with OS4 - both have a higher screen resolution of 320 × 320 pixels.
  • In May 2003 the third Tungsten , the Tungsten C, with WLAN comes onto the market.
  • In September 2003, Garmin launched the Garmin iQue 3600 with Palm OS 5 and GPS .
  • In October 2003 the Tungsten T2 will replace the Tungsten T. It has a transflective screen and more RAM.
  • In October 2003, Palm Solutions bought Handspring , a spin-off of former Palm employees, and their workhorse, the Treo 600 smartphone.
  • In December 2003 the Tungsten E comes onto the market and the Tungsten T3 replaces the Tungsten T2.
  • The new Zire 31 and 72 devices will appear in April 2004. They no longer have anything in common with the old Zire, which technically still belonged to the m series. These are affordable devices, but they are equipped with the latest technology (ARM processors and the Palm OS 5 operating system). This also marks the overdue abandonment of the obsolete m-series technology. The product range is now only divided into the business devices Tungsten and the consumer devices from the Zire series.
  • In October 2004 the Tungsten T5 comes onto the market; Here, for the first time, 256 MB Flash-RAM are used as non-volatile memory, so the Palm is protected against losing data through discharging the battery (see NVFS ).
  • In October 2004 the Treo 650 will be presented as the first PalmOne further development of the smartphone series in America, in Germany in March 2005. Like the Tungsten T5, it has non-volatile memory with NVFS. In contrast to its predecessor model 600, it has u. a. a higher resolution display (320 × 320) and a Bluetooth interface.
  • In March 2005 the Treo 650 is now also available in Germany.
  • In April 2005, PalmOne launched the Tungsten E2. The successor to the Tungsten E offers faster processor performance , a display with 262,144 instead of 65,536 colors and Bluetooth . Palm OS 5.4 Garnet is used as the operating system.
  • In May 2005 the first device in a new product series appears. The first PalmOne device with Bluetooth and WLAN , LifeDrive , is presented to the public. Another innovation is the integrated 4 GB hard disk.
  • In July 2005, PalmOne changed its name back to Palm.
  • In September 2005, Palm introduced the Treo 700w , Palm's first smartphone with Windows Mobile as the operating system.
  • In October 2005 the TX with Bluetooth and WLAN and the Z22 as an entry-level model will be presented. The names "Zire" and "Tungsten" are no longer used.
  • In January 2006 the Treo 700w will go on sale in the USA .
  • In May 2006, Palm introduced the Treo 700p , Palm's first smartphone with TV capabilities.
  • In October 2006, Palm introduced the Treo 680 .
  • In May 2007, Palm announced the PalmFoleo , a mobile companion that adds a full keyboard and a larger screen to an existing Treo smartphone, making it easier for users to access data, surf the Internet and write e-mails .
  • In September 2007, Palm withdrew the PalmFoleo before the first models were shipped .
  • In February 2008 Palm presented the Centro in Germany. The successor to the Treo 680 offers a significantly smaller housing and a slightly improved camera. In addition, the supplied programs are updated.
  • In August 2008, Palm introduced the Treo Pro. The successor to the Treo 750 offers a significantly smaller housing with significantly more functions, such as an integrated GPS receiver and WLAN, and uses Microsoft Windows Mobile.
  • In January 2009, Palm presented the new webOS operating system and the Palm Pre , the first device with the new operating system, at the CES .
  • On April 28, 2010, Palm and Hewlett-Packard announced the acquisition of Palm by HP.
  • On February 9, 2011, HP Palm introduces three new webOS devices: HP Veer, HP Touchpad and the HP Pre 3.
  • On August 18, 2011 HP announced the end of tablets and smartphones with webOS under the leadership of Léo Apotheker . On December 9, 2011, HP's new CEO Meg Whitman announced the prospect of releasing WebOS as open source software.
  • In September 2012, HP's CEO Meg Whitman announced that she would resume work on smartphones and tablets, even if no decision was made about the operating system.
  • In February 2013, WebOS was bought by LG Electronics . The first TV with WebOS was presented in January 2014. It had been in development since October 2012.


Palm Pilot 5000
Palm T / X
A Palm Centro (right) next to a Trēo Pro
Palm Pre
Palm Pixi


Palm Pilot series

The Palm Pilot was Palm's first PDA , released in 1996. The device was designed for pen operation and therefore did not have its own keyboard. The Palm OS specially developed for the device ran on a Motorola Dragon Ball processor. Initially, depending on the model, between 256 kB to 512 kB of RAM were available. From 1997, IBM manufactured Palm Pilots under license under the name "WorkPad".

Palm m series

At the end of 2000, Palm brought out the m100 model, which was marketed as an entry-level model together with the m105, which appeared in early 2001. The PDAs equipped with a monochrome display worked like the Palm Pilot models with a Motorola Dragonball processor. The Palm m125 and m130 followed later with a higher clock frequency, a newer version of the PalmOS and a color display (only m130).

Palm Tungsten series

In 2002, Palm launched the Tungsten T, a new line of models aimed primarily at business customers. Most of the models were equipped with Bluetooth or WLAN , as well as a high-resolution screen. The E models within the Tungsten series belonged to the entry-level business handhelds, while the T, C and W models were intended to appeal to business users with higher demands. The last product from the Tungsten series is the Palm T | X, which with 128 MB RAM and a 312 MHz XScale processor was the top model in the series.

Palm Trēo series

The first Trēo models were still made by the Handspring company. Handspring later merged with Palm; the two companies formed the company palmOne. The majority of the various Trēo models had a telephone modem so that these devices could also be used to make calls. Initially, both Handspring and palmOne relied on PalmOS, later there were also devices with Windows Mobile in parallel to its use . The first model with the Microsoft operating system was the Trēo 700w, which was launched in early 2006. The last product from the Trēo line was the Trēo Pro, which appeared in 2008.

Palm LifeDrive

The Palm LifeDrive is a PDA that came onto the market in 2005 and was the first Palm device to offer WLAN and Bluetooth together. The built-in ARM processor clocked at 416 MHz. PalmOS version 5.4 was used as the operating system. Unlike all other handhelds, this device has a hard drive for storing data, which means that it has been able to achieve a higher storage capacity. However, this had a negative effect on access times and battery life. The device was manufactured until the beginning of 2007.

Palm pre series

Palm Pre

The Palm Pre was launched in the United States on July 6, 2009. As a CDMA device, the US edition was not compatible with European cellular networks. A version of the Pre as a GSM / UMTS device was introduced by o2 in some European countries, including Germany, on October 13, 2009 . The device is available both with and without a contract.

The webOS operating system developed by Palm is used on the smartphone . This is powered by a system-on-a-chip from Texas Instruments clocked at 500 MHz . 256 MB RAM are available as main memory and 8 GB of internal flash memory as data storage . In contrast to many other smartphones, the Pre has a vertically extendable keyboard. The 3.1-inch capacitive touchscreen has a resolution of 320 × 480 pixels and supports multi-touch .

Palm Pre Plus

At the Consumer Electronics Show 2010, Palm announced the Pre Plus. This device has a slightly different design and better workmanship compared to its predecessor. In addition, the capacity of the internal memory has been doubled to 16 GB and the RAM to 512 MB each.

Palm Pre 2

In October 2010, HP Palm officially introduced the Pre 2. It represented the third generation of the Palm Pre and was the first device to run with webOS version 2.0. The processor clock has been increased to 1 GHz and the camera resolution has been increased to 5 megapixels . In addition, the design has been changed slightly again. Instead of the rounded surface of the previous models, the Pre 2 had a flat front made of particularly scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass .

HP Pre 3

In February the Pre 3 was officially announced for the summer of 2011. The main further developments compared to the Pre 2, which is not sold in German-speaking countries, include a front camera that enables video calls and a 1.4 GHz processor.

Palm Pixi Series

Palm Pixi

In September 2009, Palm announced the Palm Pixi on its blog. It acted as a low-cost device and was aimed primarily at smartphone beginners. At 2.6 inches, the display is slightly smaller than that of the Palm Pre and has a resolution of 320 × 400 pixels. In contrast to the Pre, the Pixi does not support WLAN. The device is only available through the American mobile operator Sprint .

Palm Pixi Plus

At the Consumer Electronics Show 2010, Palm announced the Pixi Plus with WLAN. There is also the option of turning the Pixi Plus into a WLAN hot spot for up to five devices at the same time.

HP Veer

At the same time as the Pre 3, the HP Veer was announced with an 800 MHz processor and a display with a 2.6 inch diagonal. Like the Pre, it has a pull-out QWERTY keyboard and is intended to replace the Pixi.

HP TouchPad

Also in February 2011, HP announced the TouchPad for summer 2011. The TouchPad is a tablet with a 9.7-inch display and a dual-core processor with 1.2 GHz that runs under WebOS.


In 2001, US attorneys sent letters to web site operators on Palm's behalf that included the word "Palm" in their URL. In 2008 several software developers had to rename their websites in the USA. The German PalmWiki was able to keep the name after an agreement with Palm.

Web links

Commons : Palm Computing  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b morningstar.com: Palm, Inc. Annual Report Form-10K
  2. hp.com: HP to Acquire Palm for $ 1.2 Billion , April 28, 2010
  3. BBC News: Smartphone maker Palm up for sale
  4. Bernd Reder: IT companies: Palm: Palm's software boss leaves the company. Accessed August 21, 2020 .
  5. Another setback: Palm loses RadioShack as a wholesaler. April 20, 2010, accessed August 21, 2020 .
  6. Archived copy ( memento of the original dated November 9, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / blog.palm.com
  7. smartphone pioneer Palm bought - HP will offer Apple Paroli , 29 April 2010 taz.de .
  8. New devices: Veer, Pre 3 and Touchpad , February 10th, 2011, webOS-Blog.de ( Memento of the original of February 13th, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.webos-blog.de
  9. No future: HP is giving up webOS devices . Golem.de
  10. ^ Nico Ernst: HP: WebOS becomes open source . Golem.de, December 9, 2011.
  11. Original press release on the future as open source software on the HP website
  12. Jan Kluczniok: Comeback: HP is working on smartphones again. In: netzwelt . September 17, 2012, accessed September 17, 2012 .
  13. Jürgen Kuri: webOS: LG buys the smartphone system from HP . heise online, February 26, 2013.
  14. Ingo Pakalski: LG shows WebOS on the television . Golem.de, January 6, 2014.
  15. LG plans televisions with Open WebOS. Retrieved December 1, 2012 .
  16. October 19, 2010 - Why webOS 2.0 goes to 11 - official PALM blog ( Memento from January 20, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  17. Markus Weidner: HP brings TouchPad and Smartphones Pre 3 and Veer. In: www.teltarif.de. February 9, 2011, accessed August 2020 .
  18. Archived copy ( Memento from July 18, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  19. Official product page "HP Veer" of the manufacturer ( Memento from April 29, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) (English)
  20. Golem.de: Palm unsettles operators of fan sites , September 21, 2001