While Apple is often credited with kicking off the modern smartphone era, serious tech enthusiasts hopped on the smartphone bandwagon long before the iPhone arrived in 2007. For many, their first smartphone came from Palm in the form of a Treo.

Once Apple, Google and a host of others joined the mix, however, Palm struggled to keep pace with phones like the Pre failing to excite buyers. Things continued to go downhill and in mid-2010, HP acquired the handset maker for $1.2 billion.

HP was prepared to take the world by storm with its Touchpad tablet running webOS but that ultimately turned into a colossal failure that led HP to sell the webOS code and patents to LG in early 2013.

Palm fans now have reason for cautious optimism as Chinese consumer electronics company TCL has acquired the rights to the Palm brand from HP.

TCL plans to resurrect the once-dominant Palm in Silicon Valley and according to TCL CEO George Guo, it'll be rebuilt as a collaborative effort with input from Palm fans that'll go down as the largest crowd-sourced project in the industry.

While commendable, it won't exactly be an easy task considering the ultra competitive landscape of the smartphone market in the US. As for what OS the new Palm will be running, it's anyone's guess at this point. WebOS is obviously out as it now belongs to LG but TCL currently sells phones running Android, Firefox OS and Windows Phone so any of those could be a possibility.