Years ago, I used Palm devices. I owned over ten Palm OS organizers over the years (I didn't need to own so many, but kept on collecting!) and two Palm OS smartphone devices, the Tungsten W and later on the Treo 680. When Palm introduced Web OS, after trying the original Pre, then the Pre Plus, I settled on the lower model of the range, the Palm Pixi Plus. And I still have that device as it happens. Now the point of this article isn't so much about Palm, the sale of Web OS to HP and then the subsequent dumping off to LG, nor the news that Alcatel have bought the Palm brand, but to write about the new 2015 Alcatel OneTouch handset, the PIXI 3-series. However, whereas my Pixi Plus combines a keyboard with a touchscreen and of course Web OS 1.4, the Alcatel OneTouch PIXI is a different animal altogether. Firstly, there are four models in the series with different screen sizes, ranging from the entry level 3.5-inch through a 4.0, 4.5 and 5.0-inch model. The latter three come with 4G LTE whereas the 3.5-inch model is a 3G-only device.
At the moment we don't have so much information about the hardware of the PIXI 3-series apart from LTE coming on the top three models, but Alcatel have slipped the words, "OS-agnostic" in the press release. As I read this in the press release, I was fairly certain that LG hadn't released Web OS to Alcatel so we wouldn't be seeing a new Web OS device (I can hope, right?). However, looking through the detailing it does mean that the PIXI is available with Firefox, Windows Phone or Android operating systems. It's taken the industry years to realize that the underlying hardware of a smartphone can run any one of several different operating systems, subject to licensing. As regular readers will understand, I am not a fan of Microsoft Windows Phone for my personal device but for a corporate unit, I would not mind too much. There's no word if the PIXI 3 will be available with dual or triple boot options (I would suspect not, but we never know) to allow us to have work and play operating system (arguably a great way to firewall our professional and personal data). If the device has been truly designed to be operating system agnostic, perhaps we'll see developers porting different operating systems to the handset?
Unfortunately, this is all the information that we know from Alcatel OneTouch. We don't know the screen resolution, type, processor family, memory, storage or camera details. It's possible that not all markets will get all devices; perhaps the 3.5-inch entry level model will be reserved for the developing smartphone markets and some countries will only see the two larger models. Still, CES is right around the corner so we don't have long to wait. We'll keep you in the loop but meanwhile, how many of our readers used Palm devices in the past? Did you use the original Palm OS, the later Palm OS 5, or are you a Web OS fan? Let us know in the comments below.