Recently I was helping a client setup their phone for Google Apps' mail (Just GMail with a different face).
I had gone through some very helpful support articles which included instructions for phones running Android
Windows Mobile 5 and 6
, and the list goes on.
The client had told me they were running a Treo 700, which I assumed was running Windows Mobile 5 or 6.
After some research, I found that their version was actually a Treo 700p running Palm's OS, not the Treo 700w running Windows Mobile.
In looking for instructions for setting this up, help was scarce, even from Google's extensive mobile help knowledgebase
Considering their former prominence in the mobile market, one would think that legacy support for Palm's operating systems would still be strong.
Granted, I have not used a Palm in over 10 years, and back then it was a basic Palm Pilot PDA in black and white, but for many years they were the prevailing mobile device manufacturer.
In light of their market domination in handheld devices between 2000 and 2005, I became curious about how they disappeared so quickly.
In doing a little research, it seems that Palm just missed the boat on the smartphone industry.
They had an early competitive advantage in the market, but were late to market and slow to innovate in the smartphone revolution.
The idea of a PDA without a phone built-in is redundant these days, with the only exception being the iPod Touch.
Palm is all but dead in the phone market and smaller PDA market these days.
The strangest part about Palm's lingering PDA presence is their online Palm shop.
They still list three models of phone-less PDA's
but when viewing their availability, all three report that "This product is not currently available on the Palm Store".
In memory of Palm's former market presence, I reviewed our user agent logs to get an idea of what we've seen over the years.
Over the last 4 years, we have captured about 70 variations of Palm user agents
few of which ran Palm OS