A decade earlier than Steve Jobs launched the iPhone, a tiny crew of renegades imagined and tried to construct the fashionable smartphone. Practically forgotten by historical past, a bit of startup referred to as Handspring tried to make the long run earlier than it was prepared. In Springboard: the key historical past of the primary actual smartphone, The Verge’s Dieter Bohn talks to the visionaries at Handspring and dives into their early successes and eventual failures.

It’s a half-hour-long documentary that includes the important thing gamers at Palm and Handspring: Donna Dubinsky, Jeff Hawkins, Ed Colligan, and extra. It’s one in every of our most bold video initiatives to this point, and we will’t wait to point out it to you.

Handspring could now not be a family title, nevertheless it was briefly one of many quickest rising companies in American historical past, promoting Visor private digital assistants. However the firm had larger aspirations: it noticed a cell future and took the primary steps towards what would develop into the fashionable smartphone — even because it confronted skepticism from your entire business.

The dream of the Handspring Treo turned out to be too far forward of its time — earlier than both the expertise inside smartphones or the business that bought them was prepared for it. And numerous unhealthy inside selections and out of doors disasters would stall Handspring lengthy sufficient that Apple would go on to do what Handspring couldn’t.

Springboard can also be a have a look at an earlier time in tech — when the dot com bubble was bursting, however massive tech hadn’t coalesced into 5 or 6 titanic monoliths. It was a time when many futures appeared potential, even one the place a tiny startup may win the approaching smartphone wars.

Springboard premieres first on Monday, October twenty fifth, on The Verge’s new app on TV streaming gadgets: Roku, Amazon Fireplace TV, and Android TV (Apple TV coming quickly). Search for The Verge app in your streaming machine or learn to obtain right here.

If you wish to be the very first to see it, Springboard will even be screening in New York Metropolis on Saturday, October twenty third, and we’ll do a dwell Q&A session proper after. We hope you may make it! You will get tickets here.


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