About 13 years ago I got my first Palm Pilot and it was magical. It could recognize my shorthand thanks to Graffiti, keep my contacts organized and schedule appointments. There was a seemingly endless supply of third party apps that could do things like turn my Palm Pilot into a universal remote control. I could beam my contacts and data to other Palm Pilot users. When my internship wrapped up and my boss gave me a Palm Pilot V I was in heaven.
My first real smartphone was the Palm Treo 650, which was ahead of its time. It had a Web browser, email, color display, SD card slot and a video camera. I took part of the day off of work to go to the Sprint store to get it the day it launched.
Palm fell on hard times as WebOS and the Palm Pre failed to catch on in a big way in the wake of the iPhone. And today, the Palm party appears to be officially over.
When HP acquired the struggling Palm Inc. last year, it was pretty clear it was after WebOS and not its brand equity. I was happy to see the Palm logo plastered on the side of HP’s IndyCar when I spent a weekend with the team. You see, Palm brings a long history of ultra-mobility credibility to HP.
With today’s unveiling of the HP TouchPad, it appears that the Palm brand is finally riding off into the sunset. While us geeks might appreciate having the Palm name emblazoned on WebOS products, most people probably dont have any emotional attachment to the brand. Many people were expecting HP’s slate to be named something like the PalmPad.
Visiting Palm.com now leads to a completely HP branded site. Palm is only mentioned in tiny links at the bottom of the page. I’m guessing that we won’t see the Palm logo on any future gadgets, much less the HP IndyCar ever again. Thanks for the memories.