TCL decided to keep BlackBerry alive while ignoring Palm

Two years ago, TCL purchased the Palm name with the hopes of offering "absolute breakthrough innovations in Technology, Design, User Experience, Eco-system, Marketing, Supply Chain, and Business Models." The deal did not include webOS, which is currently owned by LG. But as they say, Man plans and God laughs. Over the following two years, TCL hasn't made one move to revive the Palm brand except to post a website. That site,, has just been shut down after two years.

At the same time, TCL appears to be focused on another project involving an iconic brand, BlackBerry. As you might know by now, TCL has agreed to design, produce, promote, sell and warehouse new BlackBerry phones. Already, TCL has re-branded the Alcatel Idol 4 as the BlackBerry DTEK50, and the TCL 950 as the BlackBerry DTEK60. The very last in-house phone designed by BlackBerry, the handset dubbed the BlackBerry 'Mercury', will be unveiled at MWC next month.

So it appears as though TCL has decided to bet on BlackBerry instead of Palm. BlackBerry, even with its small market share, is more relevant today than Palm is. Today's young smartphone buyer is still going to recognize the BlackBerry brand thanks to models like the Priv. But many of them wouldn't recognize the Palm logo if one fell on their head.

So is it the end of the line for Palm? It certainly appears that way. If TCL was planning on using the Palm brand for something, too much time has now elapsed.

source: (translated)



1. palmguy

Posts: 982; Member since: Mar 22, 2011


9. Mxyzptlk unregistered

I think they should have went with Palm first. I'll take webOS any day.


Posts: 769; Member since: Jul 28, 2016

What you think means nothing. All you doing is trolling.


Posts: 769; Member since: Jul 28, 2016

TCL also have Palm for 2 years before they make deal with BlackBerry and they do nothing with it. That say volumes right there. TCL cannot do anything with webOS even if they use Palm now. LG is owner of webOS, not TCL.

2. meanestgenius

Posts: 22084; Member since: May 28, 2014

Palm was a great brand. They had many great handsets, and when they introduced us to WebOS, it was flat out amazing. I still fondly remember using my Palm Pre. Such a great device. However, I think the obvious reason is the one stated in this very article: "BlackBerry, even with its small market share, is more relevant today than Palm is. Today's young smartphone buyer is still going to recognize the BlackBerry brand thanks to models like the Priv" I personally don't think the BlackBerry Brand will ever be as big as it once was in the smartphone space via hardware. I believe that the hardware that TCL is now producing will help the brand grow again in that space, but not to the heights they once achieved(but I still have hope!) I believe their software, services, security expertise, enterprise and IoT offerings is where it's at for them, which apparently is the right path for BlackBerry to take as evident by the growth they've been experiencing in software and their dominance in various other markets like automotive via BlackBerry QNX. Good luck, TCL! If the DTEK60 and upcoming Mercury are anything to go by, I think you'll find some success with the BlackBerry Brand.

3. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2375; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

I am still holding out wishing they somehow come up with a Palm/Blackberry device. I honestly think it would be iconic, and as niche as Blackberry is there is also a niche out there for previous Palm users that I think would be interested in such a device for nostalgia reasons alone. I wish there was a return of the Palm Pre with a Blackberry-style keyboard. Bring in the best of both worlds. But, then again, I also wish someone would pick up WebOS and return it to the phone world. It was honestly one of the smoothest operating OSes, right up there next to Blackberry 10.

4. Rafishant

Posts: 397; Member since: Oct 13, 2015

Palm was great.. It is true, but BlackBerry is way relevant nowadays. Right move from TCL.

10. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Really? They have released two flagships and the sales on them were pretty terrible. The price didn't help much.


Posts: 769; Member since: Jul 28, 2016

Apple price don't help sales of mac in pc market either but they still try even though they still keep failing.


Posts: 769; Member since: Jul 28, 2016

TCL make a smart move. BlackBerry name is more relevant than Palm now. Palm was good.

6. docdevices

Posts: 87; Member since: Oct 10, 2016

I must say, TCL has made the correct business decision. The BlackBerry name still holds relevance. I am most sad to say that the Palm name does not. The TCL-BlackBerry collaboration will most certainly bear fruit, but I agree with Meanestgenius in that I do not think that it will return BlackBerry to its former glory in the smartphone market that it had experienced during its heyday. Still, there is an obvious need for BlackBerry devices in the smartphone market, and with the global reach that TCL has being a top ten global smartphone vendor, I do believe that the BlackBerry brand will regain some of its former glory in the smartphone market.

7. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3137; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

I still use webOS to this day in the form of a Touchpad. Anybody who ever used webOS for more than a passing glance would fall in love with it. I switched to the PlayBook and subsequently BlackBerry OS10 because of the swipe gestures and sliding panels. How Palm didn't sue BB over the PlayBook is beyond me. Before discovering OS10 I was lured into Windows Phone 7 because of the similar pivots and the sweet contact integration. Not to knock BlackBerry or even Windows, but webOS was much better than either and was so lightweight. The largest app I ever installed was Smart Office and it was a whopping 9MB. On any of today's OSes, a font upgrade is 20MB. The King is dead, long live the King.

8. meanestgenius

Posts: 22084; Member since: May 28, 2014

BlackBerry and Palm had licensing agreements, like the one where BlackBerry licensed out its BlackBerry Connect technology so that Palm Treo's could use email and other communications on them. I'm sure that when the Playbook was being created, BlackBerry and Palm extended their agreements to cover that, unless BlackBerry already had parents on such technology or used it in a way as to not infringe on Palm's IP.

11. Mxyzptlk unregistered

I miss webOS. Such a good OS. The hardware it was on was terrible. But the OS was amazing. I'm surprised blackberry copied palm and got away with it.


Posts: 769; Member since: Jul 28, 2016

BlackBerry and Palm have patent deal, like Meanestgenius already say. That mean BlackBerry can use that patent, just like Palm use BlackBerry patent for email.

15. meanestgenius

Posts: 22084; Member since: May 28, 2014

Couldn't have said it better myself, MDCHO.

21. Mxyzptlk unregistered

You couldn't have said anything.

22. meanestgenius

Posts: 22084; Member since: May 28, 2014

Go away. The adults are talking.

28. epdm2be

Posts: 822; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

What do expect from a typical Chinese firm with no strategy, no vision and no mission except to fill their (CEO's & shareholders) pockets? The spend millions to take over Western household names in the hope that they are their ticket to take over the western market. They simply forget that a name is not enough! That these companies got big not only through their name but through their respective innovation at that time. Fools.

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