Dislike Android? The Pixi 3 comes in Windows and Firefox, too

Here’s an interesting new smartphone strategy from Alcatel: The company’s new line of Pixi phones will give consumers a choice between Firefox OS, Android, and Windows Phone.

alcatel-pixi3-press

Alcatel wants its Pixi brand to be the first major smartphone brand that is “platform agnostic.” Alcatel already makes various phones running the three operating systems, from the Firefox-running Fire to the Windows Phone-powered Alcatel One Touch View.

There will be four sizes of the Alcatel Pixi 3, ranging in screen size from 3.5-inches up to 5-inches. The smallest phone won’t support an LTE connection, but the others will. Specs aren’t available but I wouldn’t expect these “affordable” phones to be world-beaters. These devices will be optimized for cost and value, using a selection of low to mid-range components.

In 2014, HTC released its One M8 hardware in both Android and Windows Phone variants. So it’s not unheard of to sell the same phone in multiple operating system flavors. Alcatel’s Pixi 3 phones probably won’t triple-boot. It’s much more likely that a consumer can choose which operating system she prefers when purchasing the device.

alcatel-watch

[company]Alcatel[/company] also announced a smartwatch on Friday.  From the provided photos, the creatively-named Watch looks a lot like a Moto 360. Alcatel isn’t an officially announced Android Wear partner and the announcement doesn’t mention Google’s smartwatch OS. The company even has its own smartwatch OS. But it’s not out of the question that Alcatel’s “affordable smartwatch” runs Android Wear. The announcement says it connects specifically to Android phones.

Pixi used to be a Palm trademark when that company was making WebOS phones. Recently, a company chaired by Alcatel’s United States president bought the Palm brand and associated trademarks from HP. Alcatel has made Pixi-branded phones in the past, so the revival of the Palm sub-brand doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll be seeing an Alcatel Treo or Pre in the near future.

HP planning a new Android tablet? Good luck with that

Is HP about to attempt another comeback in the mobile market? Reports suggest that the company is working on an Android tablet. Sounds good but the Android market is a tough one to crack unless your name is Samsung.

Why many are unlikely to switch to Windows Phone or BlackBerry 10

Current Windows Phone 8 and upcoming BlackBerry 10 handsets look great, but will people switch? Not likely, and even first-time smartphone owners may balk. It’s a perfect example of old phrase, “timing is everything” as most smartphone innovation has already taken place.

Palm’s webOS lives on…. as an Android app

Do you miss webOS as much as I do? If so and you use Android today, you’ll be happy to see webOS running as an Android app. The project isn’t ready for prime-time use, but it’s making progress. Practical? No. Geeky and nostalgic? You bet!

Game of Phones: Open webOS proves “what is dead may never die”

After buying webOS and Palm for $1.2 billion, HP pulled the plug and open-sourced the platform. The first fruits of that labor are appearing as multiple devices are getting ports of the new Open webOS, keeping Palm’s excellent mobile operating system alive for many fans.

Ex-Nokian hired to accelerate HP’s global tablet strategy. (It has one?)

“Our new Mobility Global Business Unit initially will focus on consumer tablets and will expand to additional segments and categories where we believe we can offer differentiated value to our customers.”

HP’s(s hpq) Todd Bradley shared news of a new business unit in an internal memo tipped to The Verge. Alberto Torres, former EVP at Nokia(s nok) and once in charge of the company’s Meego platform, will head up the unit. His first initiative, according to Bradley: “accelerate our tablet strategy and begin to execute products against our consumer/SMB target.”

I’m almost dumbstruck on the timing of this. First: What global strategy does HP even have? It gave one up — along with $1.2 billion — when it bought Palm in 2010 only to produce one tablet that it soon cancelled in 2011. The company this year open-sourced Palm’s webOS platform. Bradley is likely talking about Microsoft Windows RT(s msft) and Windows 8 tablets, but HP isn’t even one of the first hardware partners for Windows RT.

Given HP’s history in the mobile market, all the way back from PDAs through smartphones, and later, tablets, this move reeks of desperation. And the sad thing is: the company that knew that the mobile market was important enough to invest $1.2 billion into it, only to see all of the “differentiated value” of the deal disintegrate like mid-morning fog over the San Francisco Bay.

WebOS lives! HP decides to open source the platform

After on-again, off-again news about the webOS mobile platform, HP has made a final decision: WebOS will be offered to the open source community. HP will still be involved to help platform progression, but it’s not clear if any HP hardware will ever run webOS again.