The highs and lows of a pre-Pre Palm

It's easy to forget that Palm revolutionised mobile computing

2002 Palm Inc. spins off its software business as a separate entity – PalmSource. It buys it back in 2005, after snapping up Jeff Hawkins and Handspring to get its hands on their Palm OS-powered Treo smartphones.

Treo 180

PHONE AND PDA: The Handspring Treo 180 – an uneasy combination of dual-band GSM phone and Palm PDA [Image:]

2002 Palm continued to develop its PDA line-up, producing the m100- and m500-series handhelds, the cheap-as-chips Zire range, and the stylish Tungsten models. But the increasing sophistication and convenience of mobile phones fast made standalone PDAs more redundant.

Tungsten t

MOBILE DOOM: Good-looking PDAs like the Tungsten T were being ignored in favour of mobile phones [Image:]

2002 So Palm put all but a few of its craziest eggs into the smartphone basket. Better (but not prettier) Treo phones followed, including: the Treo 270 (with a colour screen), the Treo 600 (in a candybar form factor), the Treo 650 (the first Treo with a camera), the Treo 700 (alternate versions of this model ran Windows Mobile) and the streamlined Palm Centro.

Palm centro

CENTRO LINE: The Palm Centro – like the Palm Treo handsets but smaller and prettier

2007 As for 'craziest eggs'... Palm boldly announced the Foleo in this year - an instant-on, Linux-powered subnotebook designed to be used with its Treo smartphones. Palm subsequently shelves development of the device – ironic considering the eventual popularity of the netbook market.

Palm foleo

FOLEO FAIL: The Palm Foleo could have kickstarted the netbook craze...

2008 Palm reports a second quarter net loss of $506.2 million and the share price tumbles off a cliff to $1.85. An injection of $100 million by private equity firm Elevation Partners keeps the company on life support.

2009 Palm drops a bombshell and takes this year's Consumer Electronics Show by storm with the announcement of the Palm Pre and webOS. Watch this space...


Liked this? Then check out How the Pre could revive Palm's fortunes

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