I wanted to do this video precisely because no one was asking for it – and I think that’s kind of sad. Because the Palm Centro was part of a legacy that laid so much of the foundation for what became the modern smartphone … and at the same time, it was also the last of its kind.
We’ve talked about the Palm brand on this series before: PalmOS powered that Samsung SPH-i500 flip smartphone from 2003. And yes, someday we will talk about the company’s most tragically celebrated trailblazer, 2009’s ill-fated Palm Pre – a device so epic in ambition that its influence is still felt today.But in order to turn that corner, Palm needed to maintain market share (and, you know, money). So in 2007, it crammed its popular Treo smartphone into a much smaller casing, called it the Centro, and sold it for $99 on contract.
The result was a phone that sold a million units in less than half a year … and served as my final college smartphone just when I was trying to turn a corner of my own.
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[ABOUT WHEN PHONES WERE FUN – PALM CENTRO]
This is the fifteenth in a series of MrMobile videos exploring the mobile tech world’s most vibrant period in design and experimentation. In “When Phones Were Fun,” Michael Fisher re-reviews cellphones from the golden age of mobile, the decade-long span from the turn of the century to approximately 2009.
When Phones Were Fun: Episode 15 features an AT&T-branded Palm Centro purchased by MrMobile / Future plc. Filmed on location in MrMobile’s college town of Norfolk, VA, both on and off the campus of Old Dominion University. No company paid a fee or otherwise offered compensation in exchange for this coverage (nor did it preview or approve this content before publication).
Palm Centro Commercial [The Phone Commercials Classic]:
PalmDB (a community effort to preserve the work and history of Palm OS and its developers):
Palm Sells Its One-Millionth Centro [Palm Infocenter]:
Six Apart to support Palm Foleo [The Blog Herald]:
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