Here’s how MakaPalm came up with the theory that TCL’s Alcatel OneTouch is behind the return of Palm:
A few weeks ago, Twitter user @benfysh noticed that Palm.com had been redirecting to a new domain name, mynewpalm.com.
— Ben (@benfysh) November 28, 2014
The new site contains only a page with a looped video of an old Palm logo and the words “Coming soon” and “Smart move.”
Twitter user @pinguinsmoveis then tweeted a link to an Alcatel OneTouch logo with the slogan “Smart move.”
— Pinguins Móveis (@pinguinsmoveis) December 19, 2014
Published in 2013, this press release declares “Smart move” as Alcatel OneTouch’s brand platform.
Curious about the new site, I did some searches at the United States Patent and Trademark Office website and found a document formalizing the transfer of Palm trademarks from HP to Wide Progress Limited. The name of Nicolas Zibell, TCL Communication’s senior vice president and Alcatel OneTouch’s president for Americas and Pacific, also appears on that document as VP of Wide Progress.
The slogan and the Zibell connection made me and some webOS enthusiasts conclude that it’s Alcatel—or its parent company TCL Communication—that bought Palm’s trademarks, and as webOS Nation puts it, “we see very little reason to assume otherwise.”
This is, of course, not yet confirmed. I also sent an email to TCL and Alcatel OneTouch media contacts but I have yet to receive a reply from them.
While we all have our own thoughts on what Alcatel would do to Palm—I will share mine later—it’s worth noting that there have been some instances that showed Alcatel’s seeming fondness for Palm:
- Alcatel OneTouch Net, a phone that Alcatel made for Yahoo in 2010, looks a bit like the Palm Centro.
- In 2010, Alcatel released an Android phone—Alcatel OT-980—that looks like the Palm Pre. See photo on the right from GSMArena.
- In 2013, Alcatel started a phone and a series of tablets named Pixi. Palm Pixi was the cutest Palm webOS phone before HP Veer arrived.
- Alcatel OneTouch Link Y800, a mobile Wi-Fi router that I use, has a charging cradle that reminds me of the old Palm cradle.
- webOS Nation also noted that Alcatel released some phones named Palm. I have yet to confirm this.
As for the future of Palm under TCL-Alcatel, here are some theories, which I will discuss extensively on my next post:
- Alcatel OneTouch rebrands as Palm
- Palm becomes Alcatel OneTouch’s e-commerce site for mobile phones
- Palm becomes the mobile component of TCL’s smart home project
- Palm becomes another TCL brand for mobile phones
- The new Palm makes Android phones
- The new Palm makes Android, Firefox, and webOS phones