The older OS from Palm that preceeded webOS. Palm OS was one of the first smartphone platforms.
TCL Communications, the parent company of Alcatel OneTouch, today confirmed to Phone Scoop that it has acquired the Palm brand and plans to revive the failed tech company. "We are interested in the brand because we believe the brand has value," said TCL CEO George Guo. "It was once a very strong brand and there are many fans of this brand around the world, including people at TCL." TCL intends to resurrect Palm with new hardware, software, and services -- but not on its own. It will ask the community to contribute ideas for potential new devices, operating systems, and apps. It will commit engineers and its manufacturing resources to the project, but hopes much of the R&D will come from the tech community at large. TCL said it hasn't worked out the details of how this community-driven revival will function, but it is confident it can restore luster to the brand. "Palm was an original pioneer and we want to keep it that way. We want to attract the people who have ideas on how to revive the brand in a meaningful way." Guo shot down the idea of using webOS, which is owned by LG, and ran on the Palm Pre, Pixi, and other phones. "We are open to all ideas, but probably not webOS," said Guo. "Palm built by Palm fans is the intent." TCL expects to eventually offer both Alcatel- and Palm-branded products in the US. TCL said it couldn't comment on the terms of the acquisition. It will provide more details as they are developed.
Qualcomm announced that it has elected Jon Rubinstein to its board of directors. Prior to joining Qualcomm's board, Rubinstein served as CEO of Palm and helped develop webOS and products such as the Palm Pre, Pixi, and Veer. Before leading Palm, Rubinstein worked for Apple on its iPod products. He has extensive experience in the mobile device and wireless industries. "His experience in creating revolutionary consumer electronics and mobile products will provide added insight to Qualcomm's board as we continue to expand the scope and impact of wireless products and technology, improving and enhancing people's lives around the world," said Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs. Qualcomm makes processors, baseband radios, modems, and other components for smartphones, tablets, and wireless devices.
HP CEO Meg Whitman said that the company will return to the smartphone business, at some point. "We have to ultimately offer a smartphone because in many countries of the world that would be your first computing device," she said to FOX Business. "We are a computing company, we have to take advantage of that form factor." HP purchased Palm for its webOS smartphone platform in 2010, but effectively shuttered the Palm unit in August 2011. HP recently released a beta of open webOS operating system to the developer community. Whitman didn't provide a timeframe for when it might jump back into the smartphone business, not did she indicate what platform HP might use.
Jon Rubinstein, former CEO of Palm, has left HP, reports AllThingsD. Rubinstein spearheaded Palm's development of webOS and associated smartphones in its attempt to regain its lost status as a premiere smartphone purveyor. Rubinstein continued to lead the Palm unit within HP once the acquisition took place, but was eventually moved to other roles after HP decided to kill off its smartphone and tablet businesses. Rubinstein has completed a commitment to remain with the company for a specific amount of time. He has no immediate plans.
Sprint today issued a statement seeking to clarify statements made on Thursday by CEO Dan Hesse regarding mobile broadband use. Sprint insisted that it does not throttle the data speeds of its post-paid smartphone users when they are using its network. It explained, "Sprint does have terms and conditions which prohibit certain types of data use that may impair other customers' usage or harm or interfere with Sprint's network. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse was referring to Sprint’s right to terminate service of data abusers who violate Sprint’s terms and conditions. Customers who abuse our network by violating the terms and conditions will be contacted by Sprint in an effort to have the customer change their usage to comply with their subscriber agreement. Customers who do not change their usage and remain in violation of the terms and conditions may be subject to actions reserved by Sprint, including but not limited to termination. Consistent with our advertising, engaging in such uses will not result in throttling for customers on unlimited data-included plans for phones."
Sprint will not give LightSquared any more cash until the company's problems with the Federal Communications Commission are resolved, said Sprint CEO Dan Hesse today at an investor conference. LightSquared hopes to launch a Long Term Evolution 4G mobile broadband network across much of the U.S. using L-band satellite spectrum. It is still awaiting government approval, and tests have shown that its network interferes with nearby GPS signals. The company demanded the FCC allow it to commence operations, but the FCC has yet to make a decision. "The companies have agreed to realigning our deployment timeline to coincide with potential FCC actions," said spokesperson Scott Sloat in an e-mail sent to Bloomberg. Sprint has given LightSquared until the end of January to score FCC approval before it backs out of the network-leasing deal the companies struck in 2011.
MetroPCS today announced that it has partnered with Mobile Content Ventures in order to launch a live, local broadcast television service on MetroPCS mobile phones later this year. The service, called Dyle Mobile TV, will provide live TV content from 15 major broadcast groups, such as Cox, Gannett, Hearst, FOX, NBC, Univision, Telemundo, and others. MetroPCS expects the service to offer more than 72 stations in 32 markets covering more than 50% of the U.S. population. Samsung will provide the first device capable of accessing this service, which will be an Android smartphone equipped with ATSC-Mobile technology. The exact model hasn't been named or priced. The service will launch first in major markets such as New York City, Los Angeles, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Las Vegas, Boston, Miami, Philadelphia, Detroit, Atlanta, among others. MetroPCS didn't say when the Dyle mobile TV service will launch, nor how much it will cost.