Palm's Smartphones Will Be Data-Centric
Smartphones combine a mobile phone and a handheld into one unit. However, developers can choose to emphasize one of these over the other. Some companies make a mobile phone with a handheld built in, while others make a handheld with mobile phone capabilities. At a speech today, a Palm Inc. executive said his company will emphasize wireless data capabilities over voice in its future devices.
Ken Wirt, Palm senior vice president of Marketing and Product Management, said, "To date, smart phones on the market are built for both voice and data, but do not optimize either function. They are too big as phones and too small as PDAs. Palm is focusing on data-centric solutions, and we see voice as an added application."
According to Mr. Wirt, it made this decision because it believes that large companies need handhelds capable of handling complex corporate applications. "Enterprise applications require wireless, data-centric devices to handle functionality such as customer relationship management and sales force automation," said Mr. Wirt.
Palm already makes the i705, a very data-centric wireless handheld with no voice capabilities at all. It also makes the Palm Bluetooth SD card, which allows most of its current handhelds to wirelessly use a mobile phone as a modem.
Recently, Palm interim CEO Eric Benhamou said his company would release a genuine smartphone this fall with voice capabilities.
Mr. Wirt was speaking at the Yankee Group Conference in New York.
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