From Palm Pilot to Palm Pre: A brief history of Palm's handhelds

Will the Palm Pre be the last in a storied line of products, or will it mark the beginning of a new era for the once and former Palm, Inc.?

Enter the PalmPilots

Ecstatic media reception and good word-of-mouth made the first Palms a moderate success, and a year later the name Palm appeared as part of the second-generation products' name--the PalmPilot Personal and the PalmPilot Professional (shown above). The new models incorporated backlighting but not infrared. The $299 PalmPilot Personal had 512KB of memory; the $399 Pro had 1MB of memory and could hot-sync either through the included cradle or through an optional 14.4-kbps modem.

The design was a tad sleeker than that of the original Pilots, and Palm added an expense-tracking app to its basic organizer suite. By this time, 3Com had swallowed up U.S. Robotics and its Palm Computing subsidiary (the 3Com brand appears on the upper right).

Photo: Courtesy of Palm

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