Before iPhone and Android: The most important palms in IT history

Palm has significantly influenced the development of mini PCs, tablets and smartphones. We present the most important Palm models in IT history.

The virtual Mobile Phone Museum is due to go online in November 2021. This online museum is sure to show a number of Pam models as well. Because Palm is an indispensable part of the history of cell phones. Reason enough to look back at the history of the palms.

Palm is history long ago. In the spring of 2010, Hewlett-Packard took over Palm and finally let the once well-known brand fall asleep (LG bought the Web OS developed by Palm and continues to use this OS for smart TVs, among other things). Despite the decline of the Palm brand, this company has its place in the history of technology and the history of operating systems, namely with handhelds, for which Palm has long been a synonym and an almost indispensable status symbol for business people on top of that.

Our US sister publication PC-World has therefore put together a review of the most important Palm models, from the Palm Pilot to the Palm Pre. This compilation does not claim to be complete. Important: We do not use images so as not to infringe any image rights. That is regrettable, but unfortunately unavoidable in times of the warning madness and specialized law firms.

Our tip: In order to get a visual idea of ​​the respective device, enter the device name mentioned here in a web search engine such as Google and then select the “Pictures” tab from the hits.

Pilot 1000/5000 is the beginning

In March 1996, Palm Computing (which then belonged to US Robotics) started with two pilot models: the Pilot 1000 and the Pilot 5000. They had a handwriting recognition system similar to that of Apple’s rival Newton. Only they were significantly cheaper than the Apple model.

The Pilot 1000 had 129 KB of memory and cost 299 US dollars with this configuration, its bigger brother came with 512 KB and cost 369 dollars. Both had a 160×160-pixel green display that could show four different shades of gray. Calendar entries, contacts and other data with Windows 3.1 and Windows 95 as well as MacOS 7x could be exchanged via cable. Two AAA batteries were used as the power source and lasted for a relatively long time.

The Palm Pilots take the stage

Pilot 1000n and 5000 achieved solid market success. So Palm stepped up with the Palm Pilot Personal with 512 KB for 299 dollars and the Palm Pilot Professional with 1 MB of memory, which cost 399 dollars. They had backlighting and extensive software was on board. The data was synchronized with the Windows PC or Mac either by cable or via the optional 14.4 kbps modem. Incidentally, the Palm company was now part of 3Com.

The Palm III

The Palm III followed in 1998. It cost $ 400, had an infrared interface for the first time and provided two megabytes of EDO SD-RAM and two MB Flash-ROM. If you changed the batteries, the data remained on the device – a real step forward.

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