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Palm Lives! New Android Phone Could Launch This Year

If you're nostalgic about the old days when Palm was one of the companies in the smartphone market, you might soon have a chance to get your hands on another Palm-branded handset.

Credit: Palm

(Image credit: Palm)

TCL, the company that has licensed the Palm brand for future releases, will launch a Palm-branded smartphone at some point in the second half of the year, Android Police is reporting, citing people who claim to have knowledge of the company's plans. Not much is known about the smartphone right now, but it's expected to be available exclusively on Verizon's network.

Palm has a long and storied history. The company was once one of the top smartphone makers in the world, with the Treo line helping to define the category. But as time went on, Palm stuck to QWERTY keyboards while companies like Apple and others delivered touchscreens. The Palm Pre seemed like a step in the right direction in 2009, but it suffered from short battery life and sluggish performance.

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HP ultimately look over Palm in hopes of reviving the brand. But by then, it was too late and Palm was officially shuttered. TCL, which also licenses the BlackBerry brand for smartphones, acquired the rights to the Palm name in 2015.

TCL's decision to release a Palm-branded smartphone this year isn't too much of a surprise. In August, one of the company's executives said that it was planning to launch Palm smartphones in 2018. At the time, however, the executive didn't say exactly when those handsets might hit store shelves.

It's hard to say now what TCL might have planned for the Palm handsets. It's telling, however, that Verizon is playing a role. In previous Palm handsets, Verizon was the exclusive carrier partner with Palm and had hoped to get the Palm Pre and Palm Pre 2 off the ground. It didn't work.

Although details are scant, Android Police believes the Palm handset will run on Android. It's unknown, however, which version of Google's operating system it'll employ.