Rumor: Picture of Palm Zire has been leaked a picture of the Palm Zire, the low-end model Palm Inc. is expected to announce next month. This confirms much of what has previously been leaked about this model, including that it has only two hardware application buttons, not the four that have always been standard on Palm OS models.

Update: Todd Bradley, CEO of Palm's Solutions Group, said his company's entry-level model will be launched October 7.

According to sources, this will be a bare bones model with only 2 MB of RAM and no SD/MMC slot. It won't use Palm's Universal Connector and won't come with a cradle. Instead, it will use a mini USB cable and separate charging cable that will connect directly to it. It will run Palm OS 4.1.

When Palm CEO Eric Benhamou first said in June that his company was introducing this model, he said it was designed for 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," Benhamou said at the time.

"Palm Zire" will probably not be the full name of this model. Instead, Zire will be the name of a family of handhelds from Palm, like the Visor line from Handspring.

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What a peice of Junk

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 1:25:39 PM #
2MB. Thats it. How about getting a M105 or something like that?

Another dud from Palm.

Another Opinion
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 1:29:23 PM #
> How about getting a M105 or something like that?

Because the Zire looks about 5000% better than the M105. The screen looks like it has much better contrast tho it could be too early to say what with the screen being simulated. It doesn't look like it has the reduced screen from the M105 either tho again it could be too early to say. So far, I give it a conditional thumbs up.

Hey, Come on.. Give us 8MB
peter167 @ 9/19/2002 1:43:50 PM #
A 2MB model? A 8MB one should not cost more than $5 (in terms of manufacturing costs, I think...).

2MB is out. Even Handspring does not sell models with 2 MB.

Lie is the future.

RE: What a peice of Junk
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 1:44:01 PM #
The key of this model is to create 1.)a palm model under $100 new, 2.) a consumer/student model 3.) something that in 6 mos. will most likely cost $75 and in a year can be sold for $50. A $50 palm! Imagine the new markets that opens up.
Most people I know who are looking and considering Palms and who don't own them only want the organizing functionality and one or two apps max. They don't care about anything else, they just want to organize their life. This model is aimed squarly at them.

RE: Hey, Come on.. Give us 8MB
terrysalmi @ 9/19/2002 1:47:06 PM #
When people buy this model, they will want to upgrade to an 8mb user IF they use the Palm OS to its full functionality.

Most people with Palms do not even install third-party software on it, and I doubt they have trouble fitting 2mbs of personal data onto the device.

If they decide 2mbs is not for them, they upgrade. Which means Palm gets a 2nd device bought...which means more $$$!

The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously.
-Hubert Humphrey

Good Strategy
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 1:51:31 PM #
Whether you realize it or not, the reason you think 2 MB isn't enough is it won't hold WordSmith, AvantGo, Bejewelled, TinySheet, and a dozen other apps. In short, it isn't right for YOU. Of course it isn't, but it is great for someone who wants an organizer and doesn't want to pay $150 or more for it.

Don't get too hung up on the $100 price. That is the early adopters tax. It was designed to sell below $80 and will be close to $50 before you know it.

This is the PDA for people who have been holding back because other PDAs are too expensive. They wil buy a Zire, love it, realize in 6 months it is too small, give it to their kid (or wife or brother-inlaw) and buy a better model.

RE: What a peice of Junk
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 1:53:19 PM #
If they want a basic Palm, they can get an old Handspring or older Palm for a lot cheaper than $100. It will have a real hotsync port, all the buttons needed for a couple of simple games, and will have 8mb.

Trying to reinvent the Palm market after the dramatic price drops. That's a good idea. This is going to really push the high end models up to $600 to $800, which is more expensive than a good (though inexpensive) desktop with monitor and printer. You can pretty much get an older, basic desktop computer for $100. With the coming of complete computers I can put in the palm of my hand for less than $1000, and dock them with a monitor and keyboard at will, I'm starting to think handhelds with less than full computing capabilities aren't worth the price.

Of course, for the majority of the US population, they'll buy them.

In anticipation of all the complaints about crashes, boot-up time, power consumption, etc. when you put a complete computer in the palm of your hand, I will simply say "Linux", "Hibernate", and "good enough" (when you compare to high-end Palms). I don't think there's that much that would need to be done to make a usable package for the average Joe.

Just curious
peter167 @ 9/19/2002 2:17:52 PM #
My question is: If Zire's functionality cannot expand beyond that of an organizer, how would one pay $100 when other organizers can do the same thing?

I really doubt that how many contacts/email/calendar could a 2 MB model be synced with one's Outlook.

My final word - $100 is way too expensive. It may look cool, and then what?

At least it cannot be used as an e-book reader because it will run out of memory. Does Palm think it itself is a company like Nike? To make beautiful sneakers?

We want more RAM, more processor power, more features, less weight, longer battery life, without the upswing in prices.

Lie is the future.

RE: What a peice of Junk
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 2:35:11 PM #
"Most people with Palms do not even install third-party software on it"

AAMOF, according to PalmSource in an article posted here, 67% of Palms have third-party software, and 82% of users are aware that they can install more software.

RE: What a piece of Junk
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 3:16:52 PM #
It might be true that a large number of Palms have third party software, but I think the point of the Zire is not to appeal to people who want to add a lot of apps, but to a new market of people who don't currently use Palm's. The people who don't have Palms now, and who would pay $80 for one, are the same people who don't want a handheld gaming machine or whatever. They just want phone numbers and the grocery list to take with them.
RE: Good Strategy
sford @ 9/19/2002 7:25:40 PM #
I agree completely! Now that I've been a Palm user for almost 8 years and currently own a Clie NR70V, I of course am not going to buy it. It's not meant for me, though. It's meant for a lot of people I know who like the idea but shudder when I tell them how much mine cost. I look at the PalmPilot Professional with which I started, and I wouldn't go buy that today either. But at the time, and being my first one, I though I'd been transported to the Enterprise. And, in line with the marketing strategy, I've owned 5-7 different Palms and now a Clie over the years. So, for use cronies, big whoop. But for the target market, it actually looks pretty cool. And when all the newbies start comparing their Zires with our m515s, etc, they'll be a-shoppin' again soon enough! :)

Maybe Palm's marketing and business planning folks *haven't* completely lost their minds after all.

RE: What a peice of Junk
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 10:36:01 PM #
Palm knows what it's doing on the low end junk PDA market -- they have it all locked up. This will do decently, especailly around grad. time and Christmas when people want to give cheap, but functional gifts.
RE: Good Strategy
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/20/2002 2:39:58 AM #
Over 25% of of handheld buyers never install software. This unit is also thinner than an m105, and in a currently more hip color. In the under $100 watch category, cool looks are a bigger selling point than features. This handheld is perfect for that budget market segment. With the after holiday price cut, this product will come down to a toy store and discount store price point. If they can get a fraction of the Gameboy market, they'll sell zillions.
RE: Good Strategy
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/20/2002 5:01:21 PM #
And, in addition, let´s just remember that potential consumers almost always prefer to buy brand new palms and show it to their friends when drinking with them. And I think older people who aren´t used even to something beyond M$ Office with their desktops would not be so much interested in hi-res+, wordsmith (they´ll have problems enough trying to figure out how to use grafitti), overclocking and stuff like that. First they need to give it a shy try, with the promise "keep your adressbook organized" and then some of then would start thinking o fsomething bigger. Others probably will stick to Zire on fear others seem-to-be-too-complicated handhelds.
RE: What a peice of Junk
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/21/2002 3:55:06 PM #
I am realy disapointed! This is a realy risky venture on Palm's part. It will either sell a ton, or none at all. With the price of color screens falling, they could have done a lot better with a color screen. My old Palm Pro is dying, and I was waiting to see the new line before I went out and replaced it. Now I will go out and get a Palm M105 -today! Much better value for the same price. I wont even wait until Monday to see the "offical" product. Sure, the M105 might be ugly, but it sure is a better unit for under $100 US($169 here in Canada).
RE: What a peice of Junk
ahecht @ 9/21/2002 4:04:49 PM #
peter167, for years I had a 2MB Palm V, and I had all my contacts synced with Outlook, bejewled and a few other games, 4 or 5 AvantGo channels, astronomy software, and an ebook (only room for one at a time). I'll admit that I actuallt had about 2.5MB using flashpro, but still I could do plenty with 2MB. I didn't see any need to upgrade it to 8MB until I wanted to also use Vindigo and some mapping software as well. You can do plenty with 2MB.

RE: What a peice of Junk
andrewholler @ 1/19/2003 2:10:04 PM #
What a piece of junk? I don't think you can call it a piece of junk. Although it isn't the best PDA out there, it still has a purpose and can be useful to some people.

Kind of cool-looking

Moosecat @ 9/19/2002 1:25:11 PM #
Without commenting on its functionality (e.g., the two-button layout), I think it's a pretty attractive-looking device. The whole flat-white finish thing is very popular now (e.g., Apple's recent releases). Might be pretty tempting to a first-time purchaser who walks by a nice, glitzy display.

RE: Kind of cool-looking
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 1:27:25 PM #
I agree, this looks really good. It should appeal to people browsing through electronics stores the way the m100 series never could.
RE: Kind of cool-looking
Midknyte @ 9/19/2002 1:29:12 PM #

RE: Kind of cool-looking
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 1:33:18 PM #
> PalmBoy!


RE: Kind of cool-looking
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 1:33:52 PM #
Not enough screen and too much rim!

Sorry, I think that that thing is hideous. So basic and plane, it does not look like a compelling consumer device to me. The white is cool but the device looks so blah!

Looks like a toy

it's great
huggy @ 9/19/2002 1:40:17 PM #
It's great. It looks wonderful.
It IS a cheap palm, but one I wouldn't care carrying with me to the beach or concerts, in my pants back pocket, when jogging, etc... Even I, owning a color Clié, would consider getting one of these at $70 or so when prices begin to go down, just to have a cheap plastic palm to have my data with me...

Also, with this plastic case and thin looks, I'd say this unit must be fairly lightweight...

And it has a rechargeale battery! (why else would it have a cable to recharge?!)...

-------------- huggy ---------------

RE: Kind of cool-looking
Fammy @ 9/19/2002 1:40:25 PM #
PalmBoy, as in GameBoy, I think. Needs about 4 more buttons for that one.

RE: Kind of cool-looking
ahecht @ 9/19/2002 1:42:40 PM #

RE: Kind of cool-looking
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 1:44:29 PM #
Let's hear some thought behind these opinions. What don't you like about it?

I'll start by saying why I like it. I like the white, makes it stand out and look very clean, much better than that all black M100. I like the simple shape, also very clean. The screen has good contrast, tho it is too early to say for sure.

OK, back up your opinion with some reasons.

RE: Kind of cool-looking
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 1:52:28 PM #
Ugly with capital UGLY. All that rim, and white? Looks cheap. Lets hope this isn't the real product.
RE: Kind of cool-looking
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 1:52:49 PM #
It's better looking than that weird-looking m1xx series. And it's better-looking than the new "Japanese-squatting-over-toilet" shrunken CLIEs (those SJ -- the J is for Junk!).
RE: Kind of cool-looking
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 1:55:58 PM #
Yes, better that the M1***, but the thick white rim is ugly and who knows what the screen really looks like. In my humble opinion it's just too plain. I guess good for the kids and as a backup palm. Nothing else!
Oh My God...
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 2:41:54 PM #
It looks like they ripped out the insides of an m100, encased them in rubber cement, and spraypainted it white. The day this is released will be a sad day for the PalmOS community...
RE: Kind of cool-looking
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 2:52:03 PM #
I agree that it is kinda good looking. As for all the arguments about not enough ram or buttons, clearly this is targeted at the low end consumer who wants a simple, functional, efficient and yes, fashionable way of keeping track of appointments, addresses and so on.

Bottomline is : Palm will sell tons of these mostly to people who never have and probably never will visit and/or participate on a site such as this.

RE: Kind of cool-looking
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 2:59:38 PM #
either the white frame makes the device really big
or the screen is really small ......

I think this palm has the biggest frame in the history of Palm device including the PalmPilot 1000/Pro series

UZI4U182 @ 9/19/2002 3:36:10 PM #
Wow, I never thought the Zire would be this ugly! I would much rather have the m100/m105! (i have a m100) I would even rather have an old Sharp organizer, lol. Like some other guy said (sorry i dont know who), another dud from Palm. Who could possibly think that the m100 is uglier than this?

Maximum price I would pay for the Zire: $5.00

--Devan-- | Email me:

Webmaster of
Palm OS apps, news, reviews and such
Proud owner of a Palm m100 and a Sony CLIÉ PEG-S320!

RE: Ugly
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 3:44:37 PM #
Notwithstanding how ugly/pretty it is, I am convinced that this Zire is better than your old Sharp stuff...
RE: Kind of cool-looking
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 3:51:07 PM #
RE: Kind of cool-looking
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 4:55:26 PM #
I speak to 10,000's of teens every year around the country. Our organization has 1,000+ chapters in the US. The white space look is IN. It will sell to teen youth. My guess is that is the intended market.
RE: Kind of cool-looking
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 5:02:44 PM #
White is a good color, but depending how you use it, if you just put a big freaking white frame there for no reason then it's a waste of space and it looks like an iPod-look wanna be, of course iPood is much smaller and with much less wasted non-functional space.
Are the faceplates interchangable??
Token User @ 9/19/2002 5:08:41 PM #
We are seeing this in white, but what if Palm keeps the changeable faceplate idea they used for the m1xx series? (OK, so it was borrowed from Nokia ... but the idea is good).

Interchangable faceplates, and translucent keypads that light up like "Simon". Bling, bling - instant youth market winner, and cross brand promotion opportunities.

RE: Kind of cool-looking
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 5:26:03 PM #
This will surely please its intended audience, mainly teenagers, college students (mainly female), and older people who seek simplicity and good looks above raw processing power and all the other goodies that we PIC readers are looking for.

I think this will do quite well.........

iPOD design?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 8:07:19 PM #
Looks like they inspired from the Apple's iPOD design. Not a successful one though! Sorry Palm, the design just too plain boring.
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