Palm OS Wi-Fi SD Card Delay Continues

SanDisk has again confirmed the delay of drivers for the SD Wi-Fi card for Palm OS 5. The company originally promised to release the 802.11b SDIO wireless card in the Spring.

SD Connect WiFi CardThe card was first announced in January and said it would become available in March. In late May, SanDisk pushed the release back until the fall. In August the company released the card, but only with drivers for Windows Mobile devices.

Palm OS 5 only
The card was also originally announced that it would be compatible with Palm OS 4 devices and higher. However, SanDisk discontinued plans to develop and OS 4 driver and announced they would only release drivers for Palm OS 5.

Now according to a company spokesman, the Palm OS drivers for the SD Wi-Fi card will not be available until December. The Wi-Fi (802.11b) SD Connect cards will have a suggested retail price of $99.95.

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acorntree @ 11/10/2003 12:45:54 PM #

Admin @ 11/10/2003 12:51:24 PM #
the spokesperson claimed, a longer development time for palm os and remarked "hopefully yes" that the December release date was firm!
Grump_man @ 11/10/2003 12:55:17 PM #
Answer: Money

OS5 means you have to buy a new device. OS5 also means development on only one platform.

Good for Palm, good for SanDisk.

abosco @ 11/10/2003 8:08:49 PM #
>>OS5 means you have to buy a new device. OS5 also means development on only one platform.

I don't think that's the case. OS 4 will continue to get less support until there are no new devices being announced with it. Even palmOne's $99 Zire 21 comes with OS 5 on an ARM processor, so it's not like you have to break the bank when it comes to ARM. $199 will get you a T|E with an SDIO slot that should be able to accept this card. You probably payed more for your current Palm than that.

>>the spokesperson claimed, a longer development time for palm os and remarked "hopefully yes" that the December release date was firm!

I'm curious as to exactly what they mean by 'longer development time' for Palm OS. Does it really take a full year to create a driver? It's probably an allusion to the real reason, whatever it may be. There's a conspiracy here!

NX80v + Wifi + BT + T616

losdrivare @ 11/10/2003 10:14:41 PM #
*conspiracy theory alert*

Sandisk are on the take from M$.

My cellphone has bluetooth, but my PDA doesn't.

bcombee @ 11/10/2003 10:32:40 PM #
To develop a network communications driver for Palm OS requires detailed knowledge of the OS along with help from PalmSource or a licensee, since driver creation information isn't published as part of the standard SDK.

Developing a driver for Windows CE is a bit easier, as the model is well-established and more open. This is one disadvantage of the current versions of Palm OS -- as a smaller operating system, extensibility wasn't a goal, and hooking into the network layer is more difficult.

Ben Combee, CodeWarrior for Palm OS technical lead
Programming help at

mikecane @ 11/15/2003 11:07:21 AM #
There is also this: All PPCs are basically the same thing underneath. However, a PalmOS 4 device is quite different than an OS5 device.

Making sense

Palm4u @ 11/10/2003 1:36:44 PM #
Huh? OS5? In about 3-4 months, OS6 devices are coming already.

I hear another delay announcement coming. $99 bucks...

Not to shine Sony's shoe, but the UX-50 sounds better and better each day.

PDAs rule the world !

RE: Making sense
bchiu @ 11/10/2003 8:40:35 PM #
Poor R&D as usual for SanDisk... (just like their Flashmemory)

Just force me to look for the UX50. I'm still waiting the TT3 to be released in Hong Kong (early-Dec). Hope the rumored UX80 is a real thing and I would jump back to Sony.

RE: Making sense
Palm4u @ 11/11/2003 11:54:00 AM #
I bet there is a UX-80 somewhere down the pipe.

Its most likely improved Camera, and perhaps Portrait mode. That will be enough to get many ppl who held off the UX-50 to get it.

Larger screen? Probably not, will drain batteries too much. Maybe they'll include the FONTS program to make the fonts bigger.

PDAs rule the world !

The full Q&A

mikecane @ 11/10/2003 1:44:46 PM #
Here is the entire email transcript between myself and the Sandisk rep:

Q: Is there any particular reason having to do with
PalmOS that required more development time? Or was
the dev team simply tasked with Pocket PC development
first? And is the December date firm?

A: Yes, yes and hopefully yes.

RE: The full Q&A
JonathanChoo @ 11/10/2003 2:51:38 PM #
Luckily I am not a big WiFi user. London has very few hotspots and most are pay as you go spots. For the price of some of these hotspots (T-Mobile/Starbucks) I am glad I have GPRS.

Psion 5/Motorola StarTac -> Palm Vx -> Palm m505 -> Sony N770C -> Sony T625C -> Sony NR70V/Ericsson T39m -> Toshiba e310 -> Palm Tungsten T/Ericsson T68m -> HP h2210 -> Palm Tungsten T3/Ericsson T610
RE: The full Q&A
mingkee @ 11/11/2003 8:48:17 PM #
I use this card only on my HP 1945...
since I have hotspot in my home...

Zodiac will be my second PDA
palm version realone sucks!!!
no streaming audio support...

Tick tick tick...

mikecane @ 11/10/2003 1:47:31 PM #
The clock winds down on Sandisk's potential market for this.

Let's see... the hp iPaq 4xxx now has WiFi included. One market gone.

If Palm releases a WiFied TT4, there goes another market.

And if hp does a WiFied successor to the 22xx, there goes another market.

I doubt that the remaining markets -- lower-end Palms and PPCs -- would put out the extra $$$ for this SD. They'd either buy the units with WiFi included to keep their one SD slot free -- or not want to have/not need WiFi at all. And existing owners would ebay their units to get the WiFied models.

RE: Tick tick tick...
rogerkang @ 11/10/2003 2:13:44 PM #
Oh well, sucks for them, huh? I'm with you on this, Mike.

Having waited...and add wi-fi to my T3 with a small SD card....and waited some more....

I think I'll just go with a Treo600 for my complete wireless solution.

this sucks.

RE: Tick tick tick...
Altema @ 11/10/2003 2:25:46 PM #
And the Sony market for Wi-Fi SD is already gone... ;)

RE: Tick tick tick...
pdouglas12 @ 11/10/2003 3:21:09 PM #
I am just so pissed. I sure wish there were someone to yell at at SD. Everyone else has Wi-Fi but us Palm users (suckers.)
Not including the overpriced "C".

But you're right on one thing. As time goes by, there'll be more and more products with Wi-Fi built in, so the market for the late-arriving SD device will continually shrink. Of course, if the good folks at SD figure this out, they will eventually decide to kill development of the device, since the market is too small. Like the Dodo bird which flew in ever decreasing circles until it flew up its own butt.

RE: Tick tick tick...
hkklife @ 11/10/2003 3:21:44 PM #
Also, unless they get the 128mb memory + Wi-Fi SD cards out, very few Palm users will buy them anyway, since with all of these lovely mp3/video-enabled OS5 units NEED a bunch of external storage space.

Having a card that merely enables Wi-Fi access on OS5 Palms won't be enough, especially when the reduced battery life and numerous delays are factored into the equation.

RE: Tick tick tick...
karrock @ 11/10/2003 3:33:23 PM #
For Sony?? Heh, it never existed! They're all hot on CompactFlash and much more so, their self-promoting, proprietary Memory Stick! But, maybe that was the point of your wink... ;)

RE: Tick tick tick...
Altema @ 11/10/2003 5:13:25 PM #

RE: Tick tick tick...
Altema @ 11/10/2003 5:15:14 PM #
"I think I'll just go with a Treo600 for my complete wireless solution."

The Treo600 is wonderful, but since you are not specifically looking for wi-fi (which the Treo does not have, AFAIK), you could just get a BT phone which would work very well with your current device.

RE: Tick tick tick...
losdrivare @ 11/10/2003 10:18:54 PM #
Also, as long as Sandisk keeps delaying the Wifi-card Tungsten owners are limited to Bluetooth and GPRS web browsing, meaning GPRS will be used more, pushing GPRS pricing down and making it more competitive.

Even now, you get a lot of MB on GPRS for $99.

Given the average upgrade time for a lot of Palm users and the strong possibility that the next Palm PDA will have integrated wifi, it's possible that Tungsten users won't even break even when comparing buying the SD-card to what it would cost to go wireless with GPRS.

My cellphone has bluetooth, but my PDA doesn't.

RE: Tick tick tick...
mikecane @ 11/15/2003 11:08:47 AM #
Well, as for OS5ed CLIEs, the Hagiwara WiFi MStick should be out within weeks. It'll be interesting to read the reviews of that. I'd also like to see a death-match comparison:

1) Enfora Wireless Portfolio


2) Sandisk WiFi SD


3) Hagiwara WiFi MStick.

Hello Ryan!

RE:The death match we ALL want to see:
Hippocrates @ 11/15/2003 2:15:16 PM #
I'd like to see a death-match comparison:

1) Enfora Wireless Portfolio


2) Sandisk WiFi SD


3) Hagiwara WiFi MStick.


4) Michelle Cane

I'll put $50 on the Hagiwara WiFi MStick to wipe the mat with the three underpowered "contenders" in 10 seconds or less. I'd pay to see a cage match with these tools.

RE: Tick tick tick...
mikecane @ 11/15/2003 4:03:56 PM #
Oh, you're such a wit. Not by half.


Mike Allwitt @ 11/10/2003 2:55:45 PM #
Why... This is the company that, why being a charter member of the SD Consortium, consistently uses the cheapest solutions and has the most problems with it's products (T# Toast anyone?). Every Sandisk card I've had has failed (though to give credit one did last 2 years). I finally wised up and went with Lexar, and the cards THEY make!.
Sandisk also has cancelled many of it's Palm Ideas after stringing everyone along for months. This situation is no different. I expect that "After meeting with Palmsource, we've decided to delay the release of our Wi-Fi SD Card for OS6, due to new driver changes" will be heard before the "hopefully yes" December Deadline.

Mike Allwitt
Logic X Design, Inc Database Consulting

- Yeh, it's cool. Was it supposed to do that?

RE: Supprised?
hkklife @ 11/10/2003 3:16:33 PM #
I predicted back in the spring that this card would be delayed indefinitely...based on my track record w/ Sandisk's faulty cards & USB SD readers and Sandisk/Palm incompatabilities starting with the very first SD-equipped Palms, the m5xx series. Folks, if you want to see a company currently making money despite itself, look no further than Sandisk! At leastt they have a fairly good customer service/returns department!

I mean, HOW hard can it be to constantly keep screwing up a company's bread & butter products (SD cards) on a platform (Palm OS) that has probably done more than any single digicam line to hasten the spread of SD? It's not like SanDisk has gazillions of products/variations out there....just a couple of different sizes in a couple of different formats. I predict we'll keep seeing these cards delayed...until right before...the successor/upgrade to the T|C is released by Palm0ne.

By the time these cards/drivers are out, people will probably have either forgotten about wi-fi enabling their Palms and/or be scared off by the delays and the potential of drastically reduced battery life.

RE: Supprised?
palmhiker @ 11/10/2003 3:28:32 PM #
Exactly. I just can't see myself laying down $150 (wi-fi + memory) for one of their products anyway.

If Palm would only produce a power to go unit with wi-fi built-in...

RE: Supprised?
Altema @ 11/10/2003 5:19:34 PM #
I like your idea, but does the Xircom wi-fi sled already have a battery? Still, it would be nice if palmOne came up with their own like you suggested.

RE: Supprised?
ozz @ 11/10/2003 6:10:08 PM #
How lucky you are! You double posted and didn't even know it! You wil the "One Click, Double Post" award for the day. :-D

Burned by outsourced development overseas

RhinoSteve @ 11/10/2003 6:31:34 PM #
SanDisk is a very, very cheap company. In my opinion, they may have tried to get the driver done on the cheap by outsourcing it overseas.

It didn't work or now, they have a working executable with someone overseas trying to "reinterpet" the terms to get an extra $100,000 out of the deal.

In the meantime, a local WiFi wiz sits there laughing and screaming "I told you so!!" and someone at SanDisk is not returning phone calls since their bid was $25,000 higher than the "bargan" overseas.

These execs know about "bait and switch" on the car lot but can't see it when it walks into their office with deal too good to be true.

Again, in my opinion, outsourcing overseas is good for establish product support but not for groundbreaking developments like a Palm OS SD WiFi card.

RE: Burned by outsourced development overseas
mikecane @ 11/12/2003 6:08:19 PM #
"Outsourcing"? Ha! I'm sure if Ambrose Bierce were alive today, his Devil's Dictionary defition would be something like:

OUTSOURCING: Putting your fellow citizens out of work, spinning into poverty, so they can't afford to buy the products foreigners are making for them at wages no American could ever survive on.

What's new?

ray00pal @ 11/10/2003 7:37:10 PM #
We all know Palm sucks, and this is just adding to it. Even if they deliever it on time, it will be full of bug anyway.

RE: What's new?
vincenzosi @ 11/10/2003 10:12:20 PM #
Hmmm... Who knew Palm was making the card...

Guess Palm is spelled S-A-N-D-I-S-K

Old news?

Patrick @ 11/10/2003 8:25:19 PM #
If you follow one of the "previous story" links, you'll find that SanDisk previously said drivers would be available in the Fall. Fall ends Dec 21 last I checked.

SanDisk...Those double-crossing bastards

vesther @ 11/10/2003 8:50:01 PM #
First SanDisk pronounced that they will not be supporting OS 4 whatsoever, and now this is what my poor Tungsten T-Series friends get?! I have to say that SanDisk is INDEED one double-crossing bastard...I can't trust them anymore for my Palm-Powered needs.

In a Desolate Forest, an enchanted Palm-Powered Handheld is waiting to possess a helpless soul in the wake--The Palm-Powered Handheld's name is EURENZANNIG.
RE: SanDisk...Those double-crossing bastards
Mister Groove @ 11/10/2003 11:10:22 PM #
SD R&D: "What's that burning? Are you cooking something?" "OH @&%# it's the T3 again"

No worries here.
RAMdŽd @ 11/10/2003 11:43:58 PM #
My update went just fine.

No problems at all.

An armed society is a polite society.

RE: SanDisk...Those double-crossing bastards
RhinoSteve @ 11/11/2003 12:36:57 AM #
My update went flawlessly too. Maybe some of you got your bad karma coming back now.

Any other Manufaturers?

s_teve @ 11/11/2003 3:07:44 AM #
Are Sandisk the omly company who make these sd Wi-fi cards. Hmmmmmmmmmm This could in fact open some kind of competition.

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