March 28, 2006 It may seem that the Palm Pilot has been with us forever but it’s actually just a decade since the 5.7-ounce combination of calendar, contacts, to-do lists and notes hit the market and captured the imagination of road warriors and early adopters everywhere. In that time, the company has shipped more than 34 million mobile-computing products.
Having witnessed the failure of the Apple Newton, Palm co-founderJeff Hawkins also recognised the enormous and devoted following Apple’s original mobile computing platform had developed and it went from there. There’s a great audio interview Palm President and CEO Ed Colligan, co-founders Jeff Hawkins and Donna Dubinsky, and others discussing the beginnings of the company and the Pilot at Palm's 10-year anniversary here and a PDF time-line for Palm enthusiasts!
The original Pilot organizer, which sold for US$299, owed its success largely to two breakthrough features: its ability to synchronize easily with a computer and its ease of use. As time went on, Palm stayed true to its design philosophy while continuing to innovate, adding numerous new functions such as email and wireless and multimedia capabilities, from images to music. Today's top-of-the-line product is the Treo smartphone, which combines the best of a handheld computer with a phone and email experience.