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Palm, Inc.
Type Public (NASDAQPALM)
Founded United States (1992)
Headquarters Sunnyvale, California, United States
Key people Jon Rubinstein, CEO
Jeff Hawkins, founder
Donna Dubinsky
Ed Colligan
Industry Computer hardware and software
Products PalmPilot, Z22, Tungsten E2, TX, Treo 650, Treo 700p, Treo 755p, Treo 680, Treo 700w, Treo 700wx, Treo 750, Centro, Treo Pro, Palm Pixi, Palm Pre, webOS, Palm App Catalog
Revenue US$736 million (FY2009)[1]
Operating income US$-301 million (FY2009)[1]
Net income US$-732 million (FY2009)[1]
Total assets US$643 million (FY2009)[2]
Employees 939 (FY2009)[2]

Palm, Inc. is a smartphone manufacturer headquartered in Sunnyvale, California that is responsible for products such as the Treo, Centro and Pre smartphones. Previous product lines include the Palm Pilot, Palm III, Palm V, Palm VII, Zire and Tungsten. While their older devices run Palm OS Garnet, four editions of the Treo run Windows Mobile. In early 2009 Palm announced a new operating system, webOS, replacing the original Palm OS Garnet in their newest devices.[3]



Palm Computing, Inc. was founded in 1992 by Jeff Hawkins, who sought out the help of Donna Dubinsky and Ed Colligan, all of whom guided Palm to the invention of the Palm Pilot. The company was started to create a PDA for consumers, called the Zoomer (1993). The devices were manufactured by Tandy and distributed by Casio, while Palm provided the PIM software. The operating system was provided by Geoworks. The Zoomer failed commercially, but Palm managed to survive through selling synchronization software for HP devices, and the Graffiti handwriting recognition software for the Apple Newton MessagePad.

The company was acquired by U.S. Robotics Corp. in 1995. In June 1997, Palm became a subsidiary of 3Com when U.S. Robotics was acquired by 3Com. In June 1998, the founders became unhappy at the direction in which 3Com was taking the company, and they left and founded Handspring.

3Com made the Palm subsidiary an independent, publicly traded company on March 1, 2000, and it traded on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol PALM. Palm Inc had its IPO during the dot com bubble and in its first day of trading the shares of the new company hit an all time high of US$95.06.[4] But competition and the end of the tech bubble caused Palm's shares to lose 90% of its value in just over a year. By June 2001 the company's shares were trading at US$6.50, making it the worst performing PDA manufacturer on the NASDAQ index at the time.[4]

In January 2002, Palm set up a wholly owned subsidiary to develop and license Palm OS,[5] which was named PalmSource in February.[6] PalmSource was then spun off from Palm as an independent company.

In August 2003, the hardware division of the company merged with Handspring, was renamed to palmOne, Inc. and traded under the ticker symbol PLMO. The Palm trademark was held by a jointly owned holding company.

In April 2005, palmOne purchased PalmSource's share in the 'Palm' trademark for US$30 million.[7] In July 2005, palmOne launched its new name and brand reverting back to Palm, Inc. and trading under the ticker symbol PALM once again.

In late 2005 ACCESS, which specializes in mobile and embedded web browser technologies, acquired PalmSource for US$324 million.

On January 4, 2006, Palm released the Palm Treo 700w, the first Windows Mobile-powered Treo in a partnership with Verizon Wireless and Microsoft.

In December 2006, Palm, Inc. paid US$44 million to ACCESS for the rights to the source code for Palm OS Garnet. With this arrangement, a single company is again developing Palm hardware and software. Palm can modify the licensed software as needed and it need not pay royalties to ACCESS over future years.

In June 2007 Palm formed a strategic relationship with the private-equity firm Elevation Partners who has purchased a 25% equity stake of the company for US$325 million – an investment that came after months of rumours about a possible Palm sale. Palm CEO Ed Colligan acknowledged that "We were approached by larger parties over the last six months," and "the reality is that we thought this was the best outcome for our business and our investors."[8]

On December 18, 2008, Palm CEO Ed Colligan announced that the company will no longer develop any new handheld PDAs.[9]

Palm announced a new operating system, webOS, and a new device, the Palm Pre at CES January 8, 2009 in Las Vegas.[10] The device was released on June 6, 2009, and will be exclusive to the launch carrier, Sprint, for an undisclosed period of time.[11]

See also


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