Will 2011 mark the end of the Palm brand?

When HP gobbled up Palm early this year, there was no shortage of speculation on how HP would manage the Palm brand. Now comes the official word from Richard Gerstein, HP’s Senior VP of Worldwide Strategy and Marketing for the Personal Systems Group on this very topic. We’ll say it’s odd to have someone invovled in branding decisions wielding a title that’s a paragraph in length. Job titles aside, an interview of Gerstein in Brandweek revealed some insight into HP’s plans and how they plan to brand webOS phones.

BW: Speaking of which, are you going to keep the Palm name?
RG: Clearly, what we’ve announced is that it will be branded HP. It will HP computers and phones (sic). We are still working through the role of the the Palm name after that.

There will be plenty of Palm breathren who won’t be pleased to hear that Palm branded phones will cease to exist. As someone who has used a Palm phone in some capacity since the early Palm Treo days, it will be sad to see the old brand go.

Let’s not forget that HP purchased Palm for webOS and not their hardware prowess. By releasing under the HP brand, this provides webOS with a reboot of sorts when they release their new ‘superphone’ next year. As for the role of the Palm name, that’s also unclear. Does it make sense to have a sub-brand under HP when referring to webOS? HP Superphone powered by Palm webOS? That sounds muddled. Palm will forever be associated with phones. As the company starts to utilize webOS on printers, appliances, etc., it wouldn’t make much sense to include a ‘Phone OS’. Perhaps they go that route in 2011 for continuity and then drop the ‘Palm’ name the following year.

Are you ok with the Palm branding going away? Do you simply not care as long as they deliver an incredible superphone running webOS? What’s your take? Let us know in the comments.

Brandweek via webOSroundup


  1. Palm is a LOVE brand!

  2. SirJamesJr says:

    I am a user of HP products from long ago. I also have used and lusted after Treos for quite some time. I love webOS and will continue to use these products even if they are referred to Man on the Moon marigolds. HP has the resources and Palm the technology. The only constant is change.

  3. DigitalYout says:

    It will be sad to see the Palm brand fade away. But at the end of the day as long as I know Palms’ webOS is powering my smartphone and or Tablet I think it will be ok. I have used mostly HP printers and computers since after my first NEC desktop in the early 90’s. My current laptop is a Toshiba 17″ but my desktop in my home office is an HP. HP is Palms’ new overlord so they can pretty much change the name or do away with the name of anything Palm if they so choose.

  4. Brand loyalty was pretty much the only reason I gave Pre a try. I’ve had /horrible/ hardware experience with HP computers. I won’t be buying a HP branded product, ever (well, except for printers — HP does make quality printers, I have to say).

  5. Patrickhorne says:

    Sad, but Palm certainly earned it over the past 8-9 years. HP is not making a smart decision here imo. They have zero phone name value. This is looking more and more like what I originally feared … iPaq v2.0. :-(
    If so, I expect HP to be out of the phone space in 2-3 years.

  6. I loved the Treos and waited what seemed like an eternity for Palm to bring out the next great smart phone but it never happened. I love their web OS. I use HP printers, Dell and Apple computers, iPhones and iPads. I just don’t see HP in the smart phone business. It is sad to see Palm fade off into history but you innovate or die.

  7. I think it is bad thing the palm system is great. HP company makes good computers but a phone wow it is like apple made iphone the elite phone if HP is to make phone then it can complete but apple is always going to be three steps ahead of making the best phone I just think palm was good at it but needs to listen to it’s people that love the phone it is a great phone but has more to offer for the webos to stay with the the elite phone

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