Palm Hints at Three New Handhelds
Palm Inc.'s interim CEO Eric Benhamou said yesterday that his company plans to introduce three new handhelds this fall, covering a range of prices and features, according to ZDnet.
One is a smartphone that runs the just completed Palm OS 5. It has long been rumored that Palm will release in the second half of this year a model capable of handling both wireless voice and data, though until now the company has only said it will release devices with wireless capabilities.
The company announced earlier this year that it would be using Texas Instruments's OMAP processors in its Palm OS 5 devices. These processors have built-in support for GSM, GPRS, UMTS, EDGE, WCDMA, and CDMA2000. Of course, the radio equipment must also be included in the handheld. Mr. Benhamou didn't say what wireless standard the smartphone would use.
Palm also intends to release an entry level model that costs less than $100, though it is likely to be just under that mark. This will, of course, be a basic model with minimal features but will appeal to very price conscious buyers. Palm believes this model will be appealing to a very large number of potential customers. Also, it could lead to future sales of more expensive handhelds. "First-time Palm users want to upgrade one year to 18 months later," Mr. Benhamou said.
No information is available on the third model.
Mr. Benhamou also said his company will eventually release models with built-in keyboards, though he didn't say when.
Palm's Chairman and interim CEO was speaking at the CIBC World Markets' communications conference.
Thanks to Zan Hecht for the tip. -Ed
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