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WEBFI-TECH-Springboard: the secret history of the first real smartphone (Full Documentary)



A decade before Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone, a tiny team of renegades imagined and tried to build the modern smartphone. Nearly forgotten by history, a little startup called Handspring tried to make the future before it was ready. This is the story of the Treo.

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31 Comments

  • The Verge on December 7, 2021

    What was your first smartphone?

  • yo i had one of the blue pdas back in the day and felt like a boss.

  • The Slogan on December 24, 2021

    iPhone 3G

  • Buttermaker on December 24, 2021

    At this time I could just aford a Palm Zire and a Nokia Cellphone. But I thought already, how cool it will be to have all of this functions in one device like the Palm Zire together. I don't remember, that the Handspring Visor ever reached Europe. It could really revolutionize the market, if it was better promoted and sold around the world.

  • Zach Zhang on December 24, 2021

    more of this please!!

  • Daniel Kintigh on December 24, 2021

    Steve Jobs believed them, he just kept quiet so he could do it himself

  • Onestop Funstop on December 24, 2021

    The Palm Pilot was a smart phone.
    It had everything including an app store

  • schr4nz on December 24, 2021

    Cool, I know of Jeff Hawkins … he's an AI/Neuroscience researcher who's book I read 'On Intelligence' I read on my daily commute in the mid 2000s. I remember that he co-invented the palm pilot

  • Joel Avrunin on December 24, 2021

    I bought the original Handspring Visor off their website and waited patiently. I loved the device when I got it, but the only Springboard module I got was the backup module. I really wanted that MP3 player, but it cost more than my Diamond Rio (the first MP3 player) and was about the same size! I figured I'd just stick with my Diamond Rio.

  • Hector Fontanez on December 24, 2021

    I had a Mindspring way back in the day. BUT, I don't believe it was the first smartphone. I think the Nokia Communicator preceded handheld devices.

  • Kareem Moye on December 24, 2021

    Nintendo deserves props of some kind because the Game Boy lead to the creation of a device we can't live without today! Oh yeah, I had a regular and a color Game Boy😁

  • palmshoot on December 24, 2021

    And the Android OS was originally designed for cameras.

  • Kipkemoi Kiptum on December 24, 2021

    Dear algorithm, well done.

  • tambulee on December 24, 2021

    Pretty cool 😎

  • Eddie G. on December 24, 2021

    What about the Blackberry

  • macpowercorp on December 24, 2021

    I still charge up my Treo 650 from time to time. Too bad I can't sync it with anything anymore. I even customized it with a black paint job.

  • Eric Schuetz on December 24, 2021

    I loved my Palm devices. My favorite was the Sony Clie with that elegant folding keyboard. I do believe that we all have that "one" Palm device that we look back on and say "Oh, yeah. This iteration was my favorite.", or "Oh, yeah! I wanted one of those kinds." Palm was just as much as a social status indicator as the iPhone is today. I won't lie. I so miss the the Palm devices, but I fully realize that my missing them is purely for nostalgic reasons. I know that today, the old design and functionality would not stand a chance today.

  • Nelson Teixeira Photography on December 24, 2021

    This makes me think of Bitcoin and the blockchain technology…

  • SoCalFreelance on December 24, 2021

    I still use my original Hotmail email from 1997

  • Dat Meme on December 24, 2021

    I believed them and used their handsets.

  • Brian Goode on December 24, 2021

    What? No mention of the Palm Prē and Pixi? I had both, and loved them. I sill love the way the pre (after a big software update) could group, or stack cards that spawned from individual web page tabs or messaging threads. You could swipe them all away to end them, or un-group them and manage them individually.

  • Fada Te on December 24, 2021

    Since then it is stupid to have a physical keyboard ? Spoiled brats…

  • VegasCoin.Vegas on December 24, 2021

    Hello. In Dayton, Ohio in 1991 was a truck with an alarm. It went off constantly in our apartment complex. One morning we found it beaten to scrap. Nobody noticed.

    Riding a bike is like a video game where you only get one life. I am so totally stealing that one.

  • Erik The Viking on December 24, 2021

    I had one of the Handspring devices. 3Com were clueless and didn't know what they had. Handspring was a lot better, and they developed a device that was just incredible, easy to use and the phone connectivity worked reasonably well for the time. The Graffiti handwriting was also great and easier than typing. The expansion models were really cool for the time.

  • npw913 on December 24, 2021

    don't forget Palm pilot

  • the likes of us on December 24, 2021

    Excellent documentary, brings back fun memories of using palm devices. Would have been interesting for you to include how early Blackberry products influenced their potential market.

  • npw913 on December 24, 2021

    Nokia E51. 3G, Wifi with 2MP camera & most of all VoIP (SIP based). I remember using it as a second number & I carry it wherever I have Wifi connection meaning no long distance charges. I carry my 416 area code anywhere I have Wifi internet connection 🙂

  • Bobby Salvin on December 24, 2021

    I had a Trio in the mid aughts.

  • WELCOME TO HORRORVILLE. on December 24, 2021

    So ahead of their time !! Mind blowing I love this

  • Mahmoud Nasser on December 24, 2021

    My first phone was technically the SonyEricsson Vivaz, but it ran Symbian OS, and the app store for it was Nokia-devices exclusive, so in practice it was at least as "d*mb" as a normal feature phone!

    And the touch screen was a horrible resistive touchscreen (nowadays all touch screens are capacitive touch, but resistive screens worked best with styluses/pens – or else you needed to apply much pressure when using the fingers to register a touch).

    My first "true" Smartphone I got just year after, it was the Samsung Galaxy S2!

  • Brian Daniels on December 24, 2021

    I loved my treo.

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