Palm Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Palm Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Ten Years. One vision.

March 28, 2006

By: Christopher Meinck

From the Palm Pilot to the Treo smartphone, Palm celebrates their 10th anniversary.


Ten years ago, Palm, Inc. captured the imagination of road warriors everywhere with the first Pilot connected organizer, a mighty 5.7-ounce combination of calendar, contacts, to-do lists and notes. Today, having shipped more than 34 million mobile-computing products, the company continues to improve the lives of people and businesses the world over, staying true to one guiding vision: The future of personal computing is mobile computing.

The original Pilot organizer, which sold for $299, owed its success largely to two breakthrough features: Its ability to synchronize easily with a computer and its unprecedented ease of use — something often called the Palm experience. As time went on, Palm stayed true to its design philosophy while continuing to innovate, adding numerous new functions such as email and wireless and multimedia capabilities, from images to music. Today’s top-of-the-line product is the Treo(TM) smartphone, which combines the best of a handheld computer with a great phone and email experience on some of the world’s largest carrier networks.

Over the past decade, Palm(R) products have collected data in space, survived a Mount Everest climb, closed million-dollar deals, entertained young and old, and won the hearts of customers around the globe. From doctors and real estate agents to students, celebrities and CEOs, people have grown to rely on Palm products in work and play.

“The first Pilot organizer was such a runaway success, even we were a bit surprised,” said Ed Colligan, Palm president and chief executive officer. “But in one of my first conversations with Jeff Hawkins he convinced me that the future of personal computing — REAL personal computing — was going to be in these highly mobile devices. That’s why he designed the Pilot. And that vision still holds today. The Pilot and its many Palm successors have become an extension of millions of people’s lives — keeping them connected to their work and home, letting them do email and browse the web on the go, allowing them to keep all their favorite files, music, photos and videos with them. I’m enormously proud of what we’ve accomplished, and I’m even more excited about what’s yet to come.”

On today, Palm’s 10th Anniversary, here are some interesting facts along with a timeline featuring key milestones
in their history.

Palm 10th Anniversary Timeline

    • Palm’s early leaders remain involved in the company’s success. Jeff Hawkins helps guide Palm’s product roadmap. Donna Dubinsky is a board member. Colligan, now president and chief executive officer, was employee No. 20.
    • Palm sold 1 million Pilot organizers in the product’s first 18 months an adoption rate faster than the IBM PC, Macintosh and even the microwave oven.
    • The original Pilot was the first mobile device that worked as a companion to a PC, so customers could synchronize their information and take it with them.
    • The first Pilot was built on a processor similar to those used by standard traffic lights and was powered by two AAA batteries (which lasted three months).
    • Palm products have touched people’s lives, appearing in Broadway shows, major Hollywood movies, reality TV, New Yorker cartoons, and on the red carpet.
    • Palm broke new ground, creating many industry product firsts — including the industry’s first integrated wireless handheld to provide email and Internet access, and the first color handheld under $99.
    • A podcast with reflections from Palm’s founders, industry analysts, and long-time Palm employees is available at Palm.

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