Palm: Releasing a new pair of wireless headphones
Photo Credits: Palm/Promo
Palma will be releasing a new pair of wireless headphones. Anyone who has spent a significant amount of time in the consumer technology market knows how important the Palm brand is. Because of its popular Palm Pilot PDAs, the company exploded in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Palm finally moved out into the smartphone industry after years of success with them and was similarly successful (particularly with its successful smartphones equipped with webOS).
Unfortunately for Palm, its reign as one of the world's premier technology businesses was brief. Palm failed to keep up with the competition after the release of the iPhone and huge Android handsets. HP eventually bought the company in 2010, the legendary webOS platform was shut down in 2011, and Palm was sold to TCL in 2015.
The Palm Phone was released in 2018, three years after that acquisition. It was an ultra-compact Android phone intended to be less distracting than 'regular' phones, but the ultimate product was disappointing. The Palm Phone was prohibitively costly, had poor battery life, a subpar camera, and was a slap in the face to anyone who adored the original Palm.
Fast forward to 2021, Palm is gearing up to release its second gadget under TCL ownership – although it's not what anyone expected. On October 12, the Palm Twitter account tweeted, “Get ready #PalmCrew! We have something special we are working on for you.”
On the one hand, this announcement shouldn't come as a big surprise. Of any consumer technology device available right now, wireless headphones are one of the best niches to be in. They're popular, they're cheap to produce, and they can be incredibly profitable for businesses if done right. People know the name Palm and everyone is buying wireless headphones. Why not combine the two, right?
While it's likely a smart move by the TCL owner, it's also hard to understand the appeal of the Palm-branded headphones. Palm was best known for pioneering mobile communications. Palm Pilot PDAs revolutionized pocket computers. webOS introduced many of the smartphone features still present in today's devices. How will this translate to wireless headphones?
There's also the fact that the headphones niche is ridiculously competitive. AirPods are the go-to choice for iPhone users, Samsung's Galaxy Buds are shining stars for Galaxy smartphones, and the rest of the market is packed with options from Sony, OnePlus, Jabra, Anker, and countless others. That's not to say Palm is not successful here,
Unfortunately, this just seems like a last-ditch effort. TCL needs to cash in on its purchase, the Palm Phone was a total failure, and dealing with wireless headphones is a much safer bet. That's not to say Palm's headphones will be bad, but as someone who carried the Palm Pre as their first proper smartphone, seeing the brand go down that road doesn't exactly give this writer confidence. Stay tuned.