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Palm Unveils Tungsten and Zire Sub Brands

Tungsten LogoPalm Inc. announced today the creation of two distinct sub brands for its portfolio of handheld products -- the Tungsten and Zire families. No actual handhelds were announced, just two new lines of handhelds.

Tungsten will be the brand name for its high-end models aimed at mobile professionals and the enterprise work forces, while Zire will be its consumer brand.

Also today, in a separate press release, Palm announced the first product in its Palm Tungsten line, the Tungsten Mobile Information Management Solution. The Tungsten MIM Solution offers enterprises a complete and secure wireless email and groupware access solution.

The Tungsten MIM Solution was introduced as the Palm Wireless Messaging Solution. This re-branded product, which does have additional functionality, provides secure access to corporate email, calendars, contacts, notes and tasks from systems like MS Exchange and Lotus Domino. The solution also supports access to IMAP4 compliant email systems.

The first handhelds under the Tungsten and Zire names are expected to be available this fall. PIC sources indicate that the Zire, will be announced on October 7th, with the Tungsten T and Tungsten W handhelds expected October 28th.

Both of these were trademarked by Palm in May. At the same time, it trademarked the word Veld. At this point, it isn't known what use the company will make of Veld, if any. Speculation ranges from this being the name of a midrange line of handhelds to it being the new name of the company. It is possible this was going to be the brand name for Palm's wireless units but the company changed this in favor of including these in its Tungsten line.

News Editor, Ed Hardy contributed to this report.

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Tungsten MIM

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/23/2002 12:21:48 PM #
MIM sounds like a RIM lawsuite waiting to happen. Heck, even the name sounds like RIM.

I'd say good luck. If they don't get sued, and the product is solid, I may be able to convince my company to use it instead of RIM. As much as I love RIm for it's wireless email capabilities, you can't do very much beyond that. I always miss havign aPalm device (and DateBK5) around when I'm on a RIM device.

But no doubt, RIM is the benchmark for corporate wirless email connectivity.

RE: Tungsten MIM
asiayeah @ 9/23/2002 12:30:23 PM #
Yes, I also suspect some patent lawsuits may be happening between Palm and RIM soon.

Palm is now entering the "push" e-mails market. That's certainly interesting.

Tony

RE: Tungsten MIM
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/23/2002 3:19:31 PM #
There is nothing here that even remotely qualifies for a lawsuit. 'RIM' stands for 'research in motion' and 'MIM' stands for 'Mobile Information Management' and you can't sue somebody just because they have an acronym that also ends in 'IM'. As for the product itself - it does not infringe on RIM patents nor does it interact with RIM technology inj anyway. 'Good' is beinmg sued becuse there product directly replaces RIM products - interfacing with patented RIM technology. Thats not the case here.
RE: Tungsten MIM
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/23/2002 5:23:29 PM #
Newsflash: RIM is suing Handspring because it has a thumbtype keyboard. I'm betting a suit will be soon coming when Palm released the Tungsten W as well. You don't think they have a patent either granted or in the wings on the *concept* of syncing to a central server? That's a sucker bet with Lawsuits In Motion.
Palm MIM solution based on Thin Air Apps technology!?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/24/2002 3:39:37 AM #
I thought the New Palm MIM Solution was based on Thin Air Apps Technology?. But it's NOT a cross platform solution like the Thin Air Apps server or XTNDConnect Server? No Pocket PC, RIM or Epoc support as far as i know.....
http://www.palm.com/enterprise/products/mims/tungsten_mims_faq.pdf

A pity that Palm didn't merge with MIM/Bluetooth leader Extended Systems Inc. As you might know, Palm is offering/using XTND's IrDA technology, MIM Solution called XTNDConnect Server (XTNDConnect Server is being offered as a migration path for current Palm HotSync server customers) and Bluetooth Solution (Palms OS 5.x Bluetooth Stack is based upon the qualified “XTNDAccess Blue SDK” from Extended Systems.)

Palm's rebranded XTNDConnect Server Device support includes Palm, Pocket PC, Windows CE and EPOC operating systems (adding RIM and SyncML). Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Domino and any ODBC-compliant database servers are supported. Connectivity to XTNDConnect Server can be wired or wireless through Ethernet, infrared, analog or wireless modems.
http://www.palm.com/enterprise/products/xtndconnect.html

What's Palm New Strategy?

Time will tell.

Intro: Mobile devices are entering the corporate enterprise in two distinct ways. The first is through the traditional IT infrastructure in which IT managers standardize a device and distribute it to employees. However, because of the low costs generally associated with PDAs, many employees are buying their own devices, bringing them into the corporate infrastructure, and asking IT to support them. This second method of entry is an unnerving prospect for many IT managers because it makes implementing mobile device hardware standards difficult. In reality, even if IT selects a single PDA platform, employee demand will dictate that they'll have to support other devices too.

It looks like Palm is offering a "New" MIM Solution based on there own (single) OS only (like Microsoft is doing with there Microsoft Mobile Information Server 2002. More and more enterprises are using different PDA's from multiple vendors. So a MIM Solution that support PDAs from multiple vendors (Microsoft Windows CE/Pocket PC 2002, Palm OS, RIM Blackberry, Symbian OS devices.) would be the prefered choice imho (see xtndconnect server for example).

any PDA cost between $99 and $499??

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/23/2002 12:27:52 PM #
there seems to be a big gap. will m500/515 continue in the production line?
RE: any PDA cost between $99 and $499??
Ed @ 9/23/2002 1:51:36 PM #
This does not mean that Palm is phasing out any models. As new models get added, they will be part of one of these two brands.

---
News Editor
Tungsten and Zire, A Slight Clarification
Ed @ 9/23/2002 9:47:15 PM #
I don't think the press release Palm put out about this made something as clear as the analysts' conference call it held today. Tungsten is the brand for the enterprise and road warrior types and Zire is for consumers, not just entry level consumers. Don't get locked into the idea that Tungsten is Palm's high end and Zire is the low end. Price isn't the deciding factor. Products intended for consumers will be part of the Zire brand, while one intended for corporations and road warriors will have the Tungsten brand. The point is that while Tungsten handheld will generally be more expensive than Zire ones, this isn't a hard and fast rule. The example used during the conference call was that Palm might make an inexpensive handheld targeted at corporations, in which case it would be in the Tungsten brand, while it might make a high-end consumer model that would be branded a Zire.

Don't some of the PC companies do this? Have a line that is marketed to companies and another that is for consumers?

---
News Editor

Great post-
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/23/2002 11:42:24 PM #
There will be low and high end and low end models for both Zire and Tungsten. The separation will be in the features. I could see a Zire phone/pda that would cost more than a bare bones Tugsten. The features will determine the brand not price.
RE: any PDA cost between $99 and $499??
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/24/2002 11:35:23 PM #
Veld, Veld, Veld...

Veld is their mid-range, out in 1st Quarter.

Palm still stalling?

Scott R @ 9/23/2002 12:30:01 PM #
Gosh, what's taking so long? The OS came out months ago and today they announce the product lines with no details about the products themselves. Sounds an awful lot like a cheap ploy to prevent their stock from falling too far on the day they're going to announce their profits (or lack of).

Scott

RE: Palm still stalling?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/23/2002 12:32:18 PM #
This is definately an odd marketing ploy.
RE: Palm still stalling?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/23/2002 1:05:04 PM #
well, maybe the odd marketing ploy is to attract a buyout...we know they can be bought out since the 3com statute of limitations expired...so maybe tehy are trying a cheaper way to boost faith in the company and get bought/invested in before the new palms coem out...maybe they are worried they iwll lose money on the high-end market against sony's offerings.
just a thought.
RE: Palm still stalling?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/23/2002 2:17:48 PM #
I don't know, the release date is still Oct. 28. If anything, it's smart to get a little awareness just before launch.
RE: Palm still stalling?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/23/2002 2:22:37 PM #
Good things come to those who wait.
RE: Palm still stalling?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/23/2002 4:31:49 PM #
Palm is doomed! Sell! Sell!

K

RE: Palm still stalling?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/23/2002 6:45:09 PM #
> Palm is doomed! Sell! Sell!
>
> K

So how much PALM stock did you short before posting this?

RE: Palm still stalling?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/24/2002 11:43:51 AM #
You have got to wait a while to have a good product, not a flop like pocket pc!!

better 802.11b solutions please

asiayeah @ 9/23/2002 12:31:34 PM #
The m500 series handhelds with the Xircom 802.11b shed is very bulky. I certainly hope they are able to produce a 802.11b access card in SD card form soon.

Tony

RE: better 802.11b solutions please
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/23/2002 1:52:38 PM #
...which will drain the Palm's battery in hours instead of weeks.

I've got the Xircom sled and I love it---of course, I wish it were smaller but the size is mostly taken up by a huge rechargable battery. The 802.11b SDIO card (which will come out someday) will require too much power to be useful.


Crossroads for Palm

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/23/2002 12:22:57 PM #
I was very pleased to see the leaked information and pictures of the Zire and Tungsten T/W last week. Designwise, the Zire looks like a winner - perhaps not to the techno-geek who reads PIC, but to the less craving users like students and those of us who can't afford to shell out hundreds and hundreds of dollars or pounds, euros, whathaveyou. The Tungsten models, well, the pictures and information available to date don't really tell us enough to praise or dismiss them.

But, and this is for the crossroads, Palm and Palmsource have to watch Bill and his Pocket PC camp. There is some formidable hardware coming out running PPC, and it will be a great shame to see the Palm OS loosing out in the high end playing field.

Johnny Christoffersen - UK

Tungsten is a terrible name.

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/23/2002 12:29:24 PM #
I'm sorry. Maybe it will grow on me eventually but I just don't like it. Poor branding name in my opinion.
RE: Tungsten is a terrible name.
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/23/2002 12:41:30 PM #
I agree ! Molybdenum is much better [it can be used to strengthen Tungsten]. But, Beryllium is even better, it has more Star Wars sounding name & is corrosion resistant ! So.. i want a Beryllium handheld ! [of course it'll be a 320 x 480 color screen w/ virtual graffiti & have blue tooth & GSM/GPRS capabilities & come in fusion red Magnesium casing. ;-)]

:: dk ::

RE: Tungsten is a terrible name.
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/23/2002 1:10:51 PM #
I agree also. What exactly will the consumer be asking for at the store a Palm or a Tungsten? What is the name on the box and on the PDA.
RE: Tungsten is a terrible name.
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/23/2002 1:16:29 PM #
Yeah it is kinda like naming a great car with a bad name...can't think of any right now...hope that the same won't be like palm. because usually bad car names don't last...
RE: Tungsten is a terrible name.
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/23/2002 1:24:02 PM #
It will probably be like the Handspring's, "Can I see the Palm Tungsten T model?" Of course that doesn't roll of the tongue quite as nicely as "Handspring Visor Deluxe (or whatever they've got out now)" does... And I'm sure that's probably whats on the box too.

Regarding car names, they always try to mangle some good word into the name like the Integra. "Oh integrity?" "No integRA" So people think it's a good car. Of course Palm went with... well... you see what I'm saying.

RE: Tungsten is a terrible name.
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/23/2002 1:39:42 PM #
Whether or not it grows on you (or us) is irrelevant. It is a terrible name.
RE: Tungsten is a terrible name.
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/23/2002 1:40:09 PM #
"Edsel" comes to mind...
RE: Tungsten is a terrible name.
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/23/2002 1:49:20 PM #
Better to ask for a Clie' - it has the track record to provide the specs the first replier is asking for!
RE: Tungsten is a terrible name.
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/23/2002 1:54:00 PM #
Tungsten was a brand name of either a razor or a razor blade. Either Persona or Shick. Either way, it was a loser, just like Palm.
RE: Tungsten is a terrible name.
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/23/2002 3:19:31 PM #
Someone actually thinks that Visor, iPac and Clie are better tradenames?

The name "Pilot" was the best of the bunch. They should have just bought, broken up and taken that tradename from the pen company with their initial IPO windfall. Can't afford to now...

RE: Tungsten is a terrible name.
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/23/2002 3:28:58 PM #
Would have been an awesome name for a hardcase though.
RE: Tungsten is a terrible name.
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/23/2002 4:23:22 PM #
Examples of great tech product names: StarTac, Pentium, Dragonball, PalmPilot, V, Windows, Macintosh, Latitude, Dimension, ThinkPad...

As Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue once said "If you start with a successful sounding name you are already successful." (Courtesy of VH1 - "Behind the Music")

RE: Tungsten is a terrible name.
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/23/2002 5:38:55 PM #
One of the tests of a product name is the self-consciousness factor when using it. "Clie," is good enough, for example, that it might actually be used when referring to the product, but likely not good enough that you wouldn't consciously be aware of yourself calling it that. An example of a much better product name is "PowerBook," which is actually considerably more likely to be used by that product's owners than "notebook" or "laptop." "Palm" works this way (and especially Palm Pilot, which adds noun finality), but "Tungsten" fails on both counts: You would be unlikely to use it when referring to the product, and you would likely be self-conscious about the name if you did use it. (And if you said it to the pretty sales girl, you might even be slapped!)
RE: Tungsten is a terrible name.
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/23/2002 6:16:15 PM #
and you guys like 'Clie' better???

you must be the crowd that loves to order a 'grande frapachino latte'.

The first thing i thought of when I read the name Tungsten was a clean cut, cool grey metal (probably because of the platinum/tungsten rings...) an image that i'm sure palm is trying to convey. Clean cut, simple and cool....


you want to talk about sounding like an idiot at the store...i STILL don't call it a "Clie" for fear of sounding stupid...."Sony handheld" is just fine, thanks.

RE: Tungsten is a terrible name.
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/23/2002 6:41:31 PM #
>"Yeah it is kinda like naming a great car with a bad name...can't think of any right now...hope that the same won't be like palm. because usually bad car names don't last...
"<

Well, Chevy marketed the Nova in Mexico, with it's English name. Unfortunately, in Spanish, "No va" roughly means "it doesn't go".

RE: Tungsten is a terrible name.
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/23/2002 6:43:02 PM #
Tungsten is a very hard, strong metal, often used in place of depleted uranium for armor piercing rounds. Something like Tungsten would be good for armor as well, if it were affordable.

If you go to Palm's page, Tungsten isn't just about the handhelds. They seem to be positioning it as a full complement of corporate utilities. So the name Tungsten would convey the idea of strength and security.

Just my $0.02 =)

RE: Tungsten is a terrible name.
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/23/2002 8:09:19 PM #
If the Tungsten turns out to be a great product, no-one is going to care what its called. Only time will telll
RE: Tungsten is a terrible name.
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/23/2002 9:46:53 PM #
>"no-one is going to care what its called."

Never underestimate the power of GOOD Marketing/Brand.

RE: agree...bad name.
Cheetah @ 9/23/2002 10:59:08 PM #
I think the Visor, iPaq and Treo are all good names, but Tungsten is terrible.

I even like Razor better as a name, although I guess the scooter took that name after it was Palm V's code name.

I'm sure that names go through focus groups, but I think they blew it on this one.

Product/company names that I've liked have been Apple's Titanium, Acura, Intel's Xeon, Nikon's Coolpix.

Zire is ok, but Veld is also bad.

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