Remembering Palm Foleo

You might remember that around 2007 there was announcet an interesting palm product – a Foleo mobile companion. Essentially a subnotebook with Linux which has designed as an add-n to the Palm Treo smartphones. The Foleo had a comfortable keyboard, a large screen (at least compared to the Treo’s screen) and worked as an extension of the phone. It has it’s own WWW browser (which most probably wasn’t dependent on the phone) and used e-email, calendar and office applications shared with the phone.

The main idea was that user should be able to works with it’s data, e-mails and documents or on the phone or on a larger but still very portable device. Tehere is a lot of places where laptop-style device can be used: in trains, in airports, hotels and so.

Palm Foleo from Wikipedia/Wikimedia

Well, the things went wrong as in the same time the netbook hype was started (do you remember the Eee stuff from ASUS? – after all, some of their netbooks were very nice – we still have Eee 901 at home and it still has some use). The netbooks has similar size and battery life but they were much more universal than a very specialised and phone-bound Foleo. Thus the Palm decided to kill the product.

Anyway, some of the machines got to the wild. On can find photos at Flickr or even auctions with never used Foleo.

Well, the Foleo is dead (and the Palm itself is dead, too) and it is irreversible. But is there a modern device with similar idea. Well, two of them: these Chromebooks have somevhat similar idea – they are WWW browser-centered devices. They are less bound to a phone, though.
But there is a something called Superbook which is pretty close – it’s a notebook-style device which is actually an extension of an Androuid phone. I’m a bit curious how it will be succesfull.

Remembering Palm Foleo

4 thoughts on “Remembering Palm Foleo

  1. logout says:

    The best (or worst) thing about cancelling Foleo is that they actually killed the product before Asus Eee went to market and before the whole netbook hype started.

    Palm Foleo announced: May 30, 2007
    Asus EeePC announced: June 5, 2007
    Palm Foleo canceled: September 4, 2007
    Asus EeePC released: October 16, 2007

    So it was not because EeePC were better – nobody could know that by the time. It was simply a bad decision by the management, because the whole concept was good – it had web browser, mail client, office suite and PDF viewer – about the same equipment as Psion netBook which was more than usable (I was using it daily in the 2007). It would have been quite usable even without the phone, not mentioning it was a linux computer and you can use linux computer in any way you want, if you have the skill and patience.

    I had Foleo as a subject of an essay in one of the courses on University of Economics back in the 2010 (the topic was “mismanagement” and we were supposed to find an example from recent past and explain it) and even there, in the class full of non-IT students were some people, who said that they waited for Foleo and were disappointed with the cancellation.

  2. Well, one of Palm directors in an interview declared that netbooks were one of main reasons to stop the Foleo – they thought that they will fail in the possible competition with something similarily looking but cheaper and “more compatible” (I’m not able to find the source now, unfortunately).

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