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The Palm Timeline 76

by Derek Kessler Thu, 28 Feb 2013 1:50 am EST

The Palm Timeline

Palm Computing > US Robotics > 3Com > HandSpring > Palm > palmOne > Palm > HP > LG

To say it's been a long and winding road for Palm and webOS would be an understatment. In the span of two decades the company has changed names and hands at least nine times, as well as been split in two three times (PalmSource, HP engineering, LG) and recombined itself one and a half times.

We've put together a timeline after the break that pulls together all of the epic highlights from twenty-one years of Palm history. Join us after the break for a very long walk down memory lane.

Click for fullsize (1100px × 7019px)

The Palm Timeline - click for larger

76 Comments

Great picure..I had all devices on the picture now.(Including palm family /handspring/sony clie/Treo family/pre family/touchpad family). 。。。。。。。。So sad right now.

Have there been other Palm licensees aside from Sony?

Edit: there were a lot - just had a look at WikiPedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Palm_OS_devices

I haven't been aware there were so many - did know only about Palm/Handspring/Sony.

Right. Also I had Garmin iQue family/Zodiac tapwave 1.2/IBM Workpad family/....But all are gone

Zodiac was pretty awesome... I got one for my nephew as a High School graduation present. Always wished I'd had one for me. :D

I had 5 zodiac 1. 2 devices and three spare screen and five spare batterys now...But screen show a big round in the center. Too old.....

Don't be sad. WebOS lives.

eblade: Indeed, it does! :-)

Hell yeah it does!! :D

Thank you, Derek, for this great overview. I thought that the TouchPad and Pre 3 were my first Palm devices, but now I can remember that I have bought (but not really used) a Handspring Visor when a German chain of coffee shops and cafes was selling it for a budget price.

Sadly enough this timeline was a large part of my life. Since the Tungsten E. Miss graffiti.
Miss the Palm days.

Oh, most DEFINITELY miss graffiti! Still much better than itsy-bitsy keyboards.
Thanks, Derek. Great infographic.
I remember when I went totally uncabled with my Tre0 650, Kinomo and player apps - don't need no stinking computer.
One more thing - the Lifedrive was AWESOME - way before it's time, like the Folio

I kinda sorta want to see if I can't possibly make a virtual keyboard for webOS that could quite potentially support Graffiti, in an unofficial capacity. :) (The question is, how to do this because of the patent. I don't have $$ to spend on patent licenses...)

I have started with Palm M105 already, then Tungsten E, TX, Pre, Pre3 and TP. Still using the last two of them.

Hah! Incredible post.

The only thing I'd add is: the history of the site you're reading right now!

It started with VisorCentral (unless there was something before?), a site with Handspring Visor news and discussion. (This is when I joined.)

At the time Handspring was experimenting with a GSM module that you could use to take phone calls and send SMS with the Visor. This turned into the Treo, and thus this site spawned TreoCentral. Fast forward through the merger with Palm, the "candybar" Treo 600 series, the Windows Mobile series, the Centro (I suggested "CentroCentral" but it didn't take off!)... and then webOS! And the site followed along with PreCentral, dedicated to the new Palm pre series.

And then the merger with Mobile Nations (or did this happen earlier?) and here we are today with webOS Nation. Still delivering news and fostering the community. We salute you!

One of the coolest post i've seen in a long while. LOVE IT!

A lot of memories over a time frame of 15 years are linked to this graph:
- Palm III
- Palm m105
- Palm Tungsten T
- Palm Tungsten T5
- Palm TX
- Palm Treo 680 (4x - had some quality issues)
- Palm Pre Plus
- HPalm Pre 3

and for my kids just bought:
- HPalm Pre 2
- HPalm Veer

PalmOS was second-to-none regarding PIM functionality. Even during the times, where there was no new PalmOS version for a long time.
I wished, Palm would have paid a little more attention to professional users (PIM functionality) when developing webOS. They still could have added nice media and social media fun stuff.
But for professional users depending on a good PIM, webOS was a step back. And I could imagine, that this didn't help for the success in the long term.
Even today, with some improved PIM support, adding some more Synergy Connectors (CalDAV + CardDAV, webDAV), it still is / would be the best mobile OS. (Beside the lack of app support.)

My (HP) Palm Pre 3 will still be the main device for a while.

And I still have some hope, that through some magic, some new webOS mobile devices (phones) will appear. ;-)

Hope is the last thing to die.

I have been on the same ride apparently:

- Palm III
- Palm m105
- Palm Tungsten T
- Palm TX
- Palm Treo 680 (2x - had a lake issue)
- Palm Pre Plus
- HPalm Pre 3

- 3 Touchpads

I'll use my Pre3 until it ceases to work, then...

If my Pre3 ceases to work, I can just un-box one of my spares. :P

I should post a list of all of the Palm devices that I own (PalmOS, webOS, Linux, and WinMo).. :)

Derek, you're the best.

Actually the IIIc had a rechargeable battery and 8mb of ram (my first palm :) ), you have the V as being the first one with a rechargeable battery: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palm_IIIc

The Palm V launched in February 1999. The IIIc didn’t come out until a year later.

That's what I get for looking at model numbers and not dates. Thanks for the information!

<3

Aww, thx. My ride with Palm: 650p, 755p, Centro, Pre, Pixi, Pre2, Pre3, 2 Touchpads.

I wish the image was hosted under the WebOS Nation domain instead of CrackBerry ;)

It is now!

wow...
let's see...
Palm Pilot Pro for my 30th birthday... (with LOTS of accessories)
Palm VII
WorkPad c505
Palm Tungeston T3
Treo 650
Treo 680
Palm Pre (came back after about 18 months on an OG iPhone)
Palm Touchpad (which I still own, and use with CM9 loaded)

I gave those guys a lot of my money. (Oh, and I invested in them, too at one point on the actual stock market)

Over the years, I've also had some Blackberry devices through work. I'm currently an Android user. I really wish HP could have kept Apokother from being a complete idiot with the Palm brand.
I'm sad that LG bought the WebOS with no real plans to use in a PHONE!

*3com spins OFF Palm after five years...

rather than, "3com spins of Palm..."

Does anything on this site ever get proofread?

Great post though, thanks for putting this together!

"Does anything on this site ever get proofread?"

No.

When you are your own author and editor it makes it very difficult. (I know first hand.)

Derek has done a phenomenal job with this graphic. Nit picking isn't necessary, IMHO.

I wasn't "nit picking" - Just pointing it out, so that it could be corrected.

Doesn't seem wise to ignore defects, just because the rest of the content is phenomenal...

Really? 20 years of history, and the thing you find to comment on is a missing letter?

It's what I'd do.

while we're picking on mistakes, I see a somewhat bigger one... the Pre Plus picture is actually a regular Pre.

I saw it and chose to ignore it.

I was pretty sure you'd catch it yourself on another swing through... ;)

Found another one: "(...) *isntead* using the older PalmOS 5/Garnet and Windows Mobile while building webOS."
isntead -> instead
But anyway, great work!

My journey with Palm:

Palm IIIxe
Tungsten E
Palm TX
Palm Pre

Now I'm on Android, I'm still sad to see such a great company go down the tubes so quickly.

Great timeline but forgot the line of smartphones before the Treos. Samsung came out with the SPH-i300 and the i330 in 2001 that had Palm OS on it. Also lets not forget the Kyocera 6035 and the 7135. My first smartphone was the Samsung SPH-i300 and I do believe that was the very first smartphone with the Palm OS operating system.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samsung_SPH-i300

the timeline is only supposed to show devices that are directly part of the history of PALM, not 3rd party licensees.

as to the first palmos smartphone, I think that title goes to the Kyocera 6035, but the two were competitors on the market at the same time.

Ah! This is true... I had made a comment below with that correction... but I realize this was Palm only. Though, before the 6035, there was the pdQ 800 and pdQ 1900. :)

nice article

Of course no love for my first wireless pda the Palm i705. May have been grayscale but the battery would last a month so I wouldn't complain. Still holds a charge and works like it's new to this day.

Visor
Visor Prism
Palm Tungsten C
Treo 650
Treo 700p
Pre
Touchpad

I also go back to the Visor Central days. When you look back, it's amazing Palm lasted as long as it did but that's a testament to the company's employees and customers.

Everyone knew of the Palm Pilot. I boght one for two girlfriends. And I bought the Palm Tungsten W for myself, which I believe was the first real Smartphone. It was big, clunky and had a sh***y ear piece for the phone. But I loved it. Upgraded to the Treo 600, then the 650. And I got the Palm Pre the day it came out.

Here we are, 4 years later, and maybe Android's OS is just as good or even a bit better. But still, multi tasking and wireless charging and Synergy-they were so far ahead of their time. The other companies (Google, Blackberry) are just catching up now. That 'other' company (Apple) still can't figure it out.

Where would Palm be with Apple's marketing?

Palm, a true, innovative tech company. Tech geniuses that never knew how to run a company.

Somewhere I still have a Palm VII, though I'm really not sure where it is. I had to give up my Kyocera 7135 (PalmOS 4.1 smart phone) for a warranty claim, which yielded my Palm 700p which I also still have. Beyond that, I have the usual stuff for people around here: VZW Pre+, GSM Pre3, touchpads...

I owned the original Pilot 1000 which I upgraded with the hardware kit. None of the Palm hardware was very good. From creaky battery doors, sticking buttons, faulty headphone jacks, etc. each model had significant flaws. The Sony Clie hardware was much more reliable.

I was also a developer of paid medical apps. When Palm failed to respond to the iPhone, they left a lot of Palm OS developers in the cold working on an antiquated and dying platform. That's why I was pretty certain that most of the Palm OS developers wouldn't automatically move to webOS because most had moved on long before the Pre was launched or they weren't in business anymore.

If you're old enough to remember the TRGpro and soldering to upgrade memory...

.. you're old. And a true Palm veteran.

And the rumored color Handera device!

I remember I used to be glued to PalmInfocenter and Brighthand for leaks and rumors. So much fun!

I'll hop in with my device history. I remember seeing a Pilot 1000 when they had just come out. I was absolutely FLOORED! I couldn't believe all the functionality in a tiny package. I admired from a distance before hopping in with both feet with an M505. From there a Tungsten C, Tungsten W, Tungsten T, Tungsten T3, Tungsten T|X, a pair of Centros, a launch day Sprint Pre, 3 Pre 2's, 5 Touchpads, and a Pre 3.

I will ride my Touchpad and Pre 3 until they die. Then I will have to decide which platform to 'settle' for. The only thing that even comes close is Ubuntu's vision for their seamless phone / tablet / desktop OS.

Damn, Palm has had a lot of twists and turns. How can a company really survive when it goes through as much change as all of that?

Awesome post, Derek!
Thanks for this...
I sure miss the good old heady days of PalmOS.... (not to mention the excitement and optimism everyone had during the dot-com era) ;)

My life with PalmOS:
Pilot 1000/PalmPilot Pro/IBM Workpad (Palm III)/Palm IIIc/Handera 330/Palm VII/VIIx/IBM Workpad c3/Workpad C505/Sony ClieNX73V/Sony Clie UX50/Palm Lifedrive/Tapwave Zodiac 2/Tungsten T/T2/T3/Pre 2/Pre 3

Sigh... at the time Palm was developing OS6, they were miles ahead of anyone else. So sad...

My life w/ PalmOS/WebOS: iiie/M505/Tungsten C/Zodianc 2/Treo 680/Treo Pro/Pre 3. First device I ever touched was a IIIe. Still remembered the wow feeling. Treo 680 is the most expensive device I ever bought and my favor. I will probably be still using it if it has a WIFI.

Except they bit off far more than they could chew with Cobalt. And then iPhone OS just blew everything out of the water.

True. Looking back, spinning off palmsource was the biggest mistake and eventually lead to the demise of Palm. If Palm was in charge of it's own OS, OS6 would most definitely has a shot.

wait a sec! is that a stingray to the lower right???

Nope, that's a Galaxy Nexus.

The Palm Vx was the start in our family.

What was the device on far right? Nevermind

Small amendment: The Handspring Treo 180 was in fact, NOT the first smartphone. Qualcomm had released a PalmOS 3 based pdQ in 1999: http://pdadb.net/index.php?m=specs&id=1151&c=qualcomm_pdq_1900

Another tid-bit: There had been talk between PalmSource and LG for LG to license PalmOS and create a smartphone: http://www.brighthand.com/default.asp?newsID=2582

EDIT: Correction.... The list is for Palm (or Handspring) devices. The pdQ phones were the first PalmOS smartphones, but the Treo 180 was the first full on smartphone by Handspring (the VisorPhone did exist before). The Tungsten W was the first phone by Palm (in Feb 2003). And the Treo 600 was branded by pa1mOne 9 months later in November.

Very nice pic, brings back a lot of great memories and makes me enjoy my current devices even more!

Wow! It wasn't until I saw this article that I realized how much of my money went to Palm. Great work Derek, typos and all! My list? Treo 650, 680, 750, 700p, 700wx, 755p. Centro, Treo Pro, Pre +, Pre 2, Pre 3 (current). M105, T3, T5, T/X, LifeDrive and of course, TouchPad. I currently own a Celio Redfly and I would kill to have had a Foleo.

Eager to put my list.

Tungsten E
Palm T|X
Palm Pre
Palm Pre Plus
Palm Pre2
Touchpad (of course)

I can´t imagine my life without Palm, just I can not.

LONG LIVE WEBOS!!!

I still think the simple, one handed operation of the Palm OS Treo 600 through the 755P (including the Centro) was brilliant. The ease of changing font size on incoming texts (2 choices) made it easy to read and use. Great device for it's time.

Real workhorses.

don´t forget that HP bought 3com a few years ago... so in other words...

one of the former owners of palm, 3com, sold palm just to be bought by the current former owner of the webOS GBU formerly known as Palm, wich now is called GRAM. hahahaha... weird how the world Works...

and imagine if where Leo Apotheker Works now makes an Alliance with LG.... that would be ever weirder hahaahah....

RQ

The Treo 680 is missing and the Zire 21 on the list '.)

I don't see my first Palm on here - the Palm Fossil watch!

Zire 21! who had one of those !

I see the Treo has the Timeline image on the screen.

Does someone still have service on a Treo still or is that just an image off the mini sd card?

- The Best Palm Hand-writing Recognition software ever
- Pioneer in PDA Assistant
- The Legendary Treo Series

I have Zire, Tungsten and All Treo Series including Veer

Great overview... but I miss the Zire line...
my history:
Palm Zire
Palm Zire 21
Palm Zire 31 (with GPS-package... jiha!)
Palm TX
Palm Pre
HPalm Pre 3
HPalm Veer
HPalm Touchpad 32GB

Let´s hope, LG or any other company brings the beloved webOS back to public life with new phone and tablet hardware!

My history:
PalmPilot Professinal (still have)
Palm IIIx (w/ AxxPac Module) (still have)
Palm Vx (sold on EBay)
Palm IIIxe (supplied through my work)
Palm IIIc (sold as used)
Palm VIIx (sold on EBay)
Handspring Visor Neo (still have)
Sony Clie PEG-T615C (sold on EBay)
Palm m500 (gift to my sister)
Sony Clie PEG-T665C (sold on EBay)
Palm m515 (sold on EBay)
Palm Zire - m150 (still have)
Palm Tungsten T2 (gift to my daughter)
Palm Tungsten E (still have)
Palm Zire 21 (still have)
Palm Tungsten T3 (still have)
Paln Zire 31 (sold on EBay)
Palm LifeDrive (sold on EBay)
Palm Tungsten TX (still have 4 of these)
Palm Tungsten E2 (sold on EBay)
Palm Treo 650 (sold on EBay)
Palm Tungsten C (sold on EBay)
Palm Centro (sold on EBay)
Palm Treo 755 (still have)
Palm Pre Plus (still have)
HP Pre3 (currently using)
HP TouchPad, 32GB (one for me and one for my wife!)

PHEW!

My history:
Palm M515
Palm Tungsten E
Palm Tungsten W
Palm Zire 72
Palm Tungsten TX
Palm Tungsten E2
Treo 600
Treo 650
Treo 550v
HP Veer
HP Pre3 [in service]
HP Touchpad 4G [in service]

As a previously long-time Palm device user, I am saddened to see this sort of ending for what is arguably the successful pioneer of handheld computing. I started with a Palm Pilot Pro back in 1998 to help me get organized in searching for a new job. Later I upgraded to a Palm IIIc and then a Tungsten E2. Lastly I ended with a Treo 650. What Palm could do so well, that no other device has been able to do for me since is manage my tasks. While my Blackberry can get me my emails from HO securely and manage my calls and calendar, the management of tasks has always lagged. I haven't followed Palm for the past three years as I migrated over to the black side (I'm pleasantly amazed with my Z10, BTW).

Here's to you, Palm. Thank you for a good run!

PDAs / phones:
Visor Pro - with Sprint Digital Link [ http://www.brighthand.com/default.asp?newsID=214 ], making it a smartphone way ahead of its time. Sprint canceled a planned 3G firmware upgrade to the Digital Link [ http://www.visorcentral.com/content/Stories/1493-1.htm ].
Treo 650 - x4 - the stupid headphone jack kept breaking. Glad I paid for the no-fault insurance.
T|X - purchased by employer, who at the time was trying to do a deal with Palm. I had it simultaneously with my Treo 650 and really only used it for WiFi.
Pre - bought a few months after release. Kept until...
Pre2 - one of the very rare Sprint Pre2s (which turned out to be a custom-built device [ like http://www.webosnation.com/c40-sprint-palm-pre-2-never-was ]). Kept that one for another year until I switched to Android for my personal phone.
Pre2 - ATT line for work.
Veer - switched from the Pre2 on the ATT line.
Pre3 - switched from the Veer on the ATT line. This is about to go away with the new employer, unfortunately.

Tablets:
Two and a half TouchPads - "half" because one of them is a pre-release model that won't take anything later than 3.0.2. The two release models now run CM9 and eventually CM10 when I get around to it.
Two TouchPad GOs aka Opals. Would really like to get CM-something on these as well.

Your "half" touchpad can upgrade to 3.0.5. Also your two touchpadgo can upgrade to ATT 3.0.5 too.....I did it.

First thing... the link to the larger version of the timeline is broken...

Second thing... Here's my list (as I can recall):

1984-2000 : Casio Databank watches because they could store phone numbers!
2000 : m100 because I could finally afford a PDA! (I was only 23 and NOT a businessman)
2001 : Kyocera QCP 6035 because I was already on Sprint and now my cell phone WAS my PDA!!
2003 : Samsung i500 because now I could have color and a MUCH smaller device!
2005 : PalmOne Treo 650 for that qwerty keyboard!
2006 : I really can't remember if I had a Treo 700 or not..
2007 : Palm Treo 755p, no nubby antenna and I still use it almost every day for pTunes and Sudoku!!
2009 : Snuck into the Private Room at CES to see the Palm Pre, had one pre-ordered (still on Sprint after all these years) and was up and running within two days of the release! Burned out two cellular radios (FreeTether?)... After the second one...
2012 : Activated (on AT&T) one of two Palm Pre3's I bought on eBay... still going strong!!
Also have 2 Touchpads, one dual booting into CM9....