"According to Jean-Louis Gasse it almost happened in 1997.
In the Summer of 1997, Steve Jobs called Eric Benhamou, 3Com's CEO (the company owned Palm). Give me the Palm and come and join my Board of Directors. Only Apple can make Palm a true consumer brand. Nothing happened. Apple's foray into the product segment had to wait ten more years.
Now that would have been interesting. Palm devices from the 90s with an Apple twist. Of course with Jon Rubenstein now running the show at Palm, we might find out just what things might have looked like if Apple did acquire Palm."
Wow, I don't know what to make of that. I don't know if I'd say that Palm became a consumer brand, but it did become a household term. Palm, or the "Palm Pilot" became the "Scotch tape" and "Kleenex" of PDAs and later smartphones. At any rate, this is all water under the bridge.