TCL Communication may be the company behind the new webpage that has been teasing loyal fans of mobile-computing pioneer Palm.
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.
In an 18-page document posted on the United States Patent and Trademark Office website, Zibell signed as vice president of Wide Progress Limited, LCC, which received the Palm trademarks and service marks from Palm Trademark Holding Company. The latter was represented in the document by Rishi Varma, a senior vice president at HP.
Transferred along with the brand name Palm was its original company name, “Palm Computing,” as well as names of Palm products such as Palm Centro and Palm Pre.
A few weeks ago, Twitter user @benfysh noticed that the Palm.com had been redirecting to a new domain name, mynewpalm.com.
This made me curious so I started doing some online digging.
Based on archive.org records, the domain name mynewpalm.com already existed in 2003, but its whois details show that its new incarnation started only last November 12. The domain’s registrant is British Virgin Islands-based Wide Progress Global Limited.
At least two sites list “Wide Progress Global Limited” as a British Virgin Islands shelf company registered in Hong Kong on January 13, 2014.
Shelf companies, I just learned, are companies preregistered by providers and are sold to clients who need to quickly setup a new company.
Wide Progress Limited is listed as the new owner of the Palm trademarks, while Wide Progress Global Limited is mynewpalm.com’s registrant.
TCL Communications, meanwhile, is a China-based company publicly listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. It designs, manufactures and markets its portfolio of products under two brand names: TCL and Alcatel One Touch.
In its explanation of its brand platform, Alcatel One Touch declared, “We are Simple, not complicated.” Being simple and easy to use are the same features that made Palm products very popular. Palm and Alcatel, it seems, are not incompatible.
If Palm will indeed return, I hope webOS—the most user-friendly mobile OS I ever used—will again find its way back to its old home. I would be really nice to use a Palm webOS phone with LG’s webOS TV.
HP killed Palm in the United States, but Palm’s resurrection may be a possibility in areas where Alcatel is expanding, such as the mobile-crazy emerging markets including my country, the Philippines. There are already more cellphones than people here, yet the mobile phone stores are still among the most crowded shops on weekends.