Did you know that Samsung used to make Palm OS devices?

Did you know that Samsung used to make Palm OS devices?
When people say Samsung smartphone, Android almost instantly comes to mind. Of course, Samsung is also making a few Windows Phone handsets per year, but their role in the company’s recent line-ups is insignificant. Symbian was a platform that Samsung fiddled with, too. However, before building Windows- and Symbian-based smartphones, Samsung developed several devices based on Palm OS - and not everyone knows this.

Just like Symbian, Palm OS is now a defunct platform, and some of today’s smartphone users may not remember it at all. But Samsung believed in it a long time ago, and, thus, it released its first Palm OS device, the SPH-i300, in 2001. This was the first PDA / smartphone with a color display (160 x 240 pixels) to be sold in the US, and only Sprint had it.

A successor to the SPH-i300 was launched by Sprint two years later. It was called Samsung SPH-i330 (pictured above) and, apart from a redesigned and thinner body (albeit still far from being thin for today’s standards), it wasn’t too different from its predecessor.

Samsung also had a Palm OS clamshell smartphone: the SPH-i500. Once again, this was sold only by Sprint (starting 2002). The SPH-i500 featured a 162 x 176 pixels internal display, GPS, and a secondary screen / input area for Graffiti - Palm’s handwriting recognition system.

Did you know that Samsung used to make Palm OS devices?
After the SPH-i500, Samsung wanted to manufacture a more advanced Palm OS-based clamshell. So it made the SPH-i550 (pictured on the right), which featured an internal display with 320 x 320 pixels, an external OLED screen with 128 x 96 pixels, and a 1MP camera. The SPH-i550 was supposed to be released by Sprint, but the carrier canceled its launch in 2005. This didn’t make Palm OS fans happy, so they signed an online petition asking Sprint to “make possible the release of the much anticipated SPH-i550 Palm multimedia clamshell phone.” According to fans, the handset offered “a ground-breaking design." They complained that "the Treo 650 is too bulky to carry in a pocket, does not have analog roaming, and does not provide the screen and keypad protection of a clamshell,” while “Windows Mobile and Symbian based phones are not adequate or acceptable for our needs.” See? Samsung was capable of winning hardcore fans even without Android.

In the end, not only that the SPH-i550 was irrevocably cancelled, but Samsung lost interest in Palm OS altogether, deciding instead to concentrate on Microsoft’s Pocket PC / Windows Mobile, and Symbian.

You can check out Samsung's Palm OS devices that we told you about in the slideshow below.


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32 Comments

1. wilsong17 unregistered

Sweet upgrade to the note 3 spen

14. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

Well this is what a smartphone before and inspiration for stylus .

22. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

Old skool days

32. cheetah2k

Posts: 2146; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

Looks like an iPhone. Nek Minit Apple sues for 100Bn in lost sales..

23. Ashoaib

Posts: 3243; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Sumsung was making touch screen phones even before apple was born... yet samsung is labled copy cat

26. Just.Saying

Posts: 132; Member since: Apr 04, 2013

Apple would not have been able to make a touch screen phone if it wasn't for samsung's touch screen technology at the time.

29. xperian

Posts: 416; Member since: Apr 10, 2014

HTC and others were making touchscreen phones before samsung

2. Duketytz

Posts: 534; Member since: Nov 28, 2013

Technology really has come a long way from 10 years ago...

3. engineer-1701d unregistered

sph-i300 is aug 200, iphone 1 is 2007 now how can people say iphone started the smart phone and the shape of the phones, looks to me like this sph-i300 was 6 years before apple. i know i made this into a apple vs battle but what else do we have to talk about on this article, the note 3 and 4 are just faster versions of this not much more. sad when you think 13 years and this is all we have to show for it.

6. Genza

Posts: 576; Member since: Mar 12, 2014

13. luxzy801

Posts: 140; Member since: Jun 16, 2010

Thats a PDA Brotha, which was actually stolen from a Psion concept in 90. First Smartphone:http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_Simon Everyone steals from everyone, dont defend anybody because you will just get burned.

15. nlbates66

Posts: 328; Member since: Aug 15, 2012

better yet, I believe the IBM Simon ran MS DOS underneath it's UI! :-)

25. MEeee

Posts: 383; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

GRidPad 1910 was made by Samsung in 1989, 4 years before Apple. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GRiDPadhttp://www.computinghistory.org.uk/det/6565/gridpad-1910/

16. dontneedtoknow

Posts: 158; Member since: Feb 17, 2014

Most consumers like me don't consider apple as the first smart phone bit iPhone started the revolution as that smartphone can be for regular people too not only business industry. It same with ford, it wasn't the first company to make the car but it started a revolution by creating assembly line thus making cars cheaper and accessible to larger population rather than just rich people.

17. makar

Posts: 7; Member since: Mar 11, 2014

i think iPhone isn't cheap. it's very expensive in here... .^_^.

19. dontneedtoknow

Posts: 158; Member since: Feb 17, 2014

Yeah it's pretty expensive in the US too but analogy was that, they didn't create it but it created a market where the demand for it was higher if that makes sense?

21. The13thKing

Posts: 849; Member since: Feb 26, 2014

yeah, it's very expensive, but it's OS and everything inside make it cheap

4. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

I've actually met people who think that modern Samsung phones like the Galaxy S4 use a "Samsung operating system." Makes me mad...

5. wilsong17 unregistered

Most Joe's doesn't know what android is or ios all they know is galaxy or iphone

7. andynaija

Posts: 1241; Member since: Sep 08, 2012

True.

12. Bioload25

Posts: 213; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

Actually nobody in the industry cares about what the people know,as long as it isnt more than a handful of specs,and they keep buying their products as if it's a necessity...

9. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Well Samsung has their territory marked all over their Galaxy phones.

8. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3055; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Even before Samsung, there were Kyocera PalmOS phones. I miss PalmOS and Treos, best keyboards ever.

10. luxzy801

Posts: 140; Member since: Jun 16, 2010

And before Kyocera there was Handspring and Palm. SPH-I500 was one of my favorites from Samsung as well as the i600, but the 600 was WinMo. I remember the crazyness around the Handpring 180 back in the day on sprint, 180 x 180 monochrome resolution with touch screen , PALM OS 4 i believe. Great phones.

31. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3055; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Some people are unaware that Sammy also made a Symbian phone (i8910) that had the first HD camera onboard. BTW, the Treo 650 was the first Palm device with NVFS. Everything before lost all data with battery drain.

11. tettech

Posts: 69; Member since: Dec 18, 2013

I enjoyed testing the Palm WebOS, it's too bad the company wasn't able to compete with the rest of the gang (iOS, Android, WinMo)

18. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3055; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

webOS and PalmOS were two very different OSes. As for the management side of things, it was HP who totally f****d that up. I am a firm believer that webOS was the best mobile OS ever created. So much of what they pioneered 5 years ago is finding its way into every OS today.

20. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

I didnt know this....

24. palmguy

Posts: 952; Member since: Mar 22, 2011

RIP webOS. :(

27. a_tumiwa

Posts: 393; Member since: Mar 16, 2012

this is Palm OS, not webOS .....

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