Summary Box: Smartphone pioneer Palm largely dead

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PALM’S LAST STAND: It looked like the smartphone pioneer’s last chance when Hewlett-Packard Co. bought it last year.

HP’S HOPES: HP itself needed a boost in the mobile technology market.

WHAT HAPPENED: Devices running the Palm webOS system, though well-reviewed, simply couldn’t compete with Apple’s iPhones and phones with Google’s Android software.

THE FUTURE: HP will discontinue products using the Palm system. HP is studying options for the software itself, but the decision sounds largely like a death knell that comes after nearly 20 years of mobile technology innovation, ownership changes and failed efforts to become a leader in the handheld market.