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Rumor: Picture of the Tungsten T

An anonymous source has given Geek.com an image of Palm Inc's upcoming high-end mode. The picture confirms that it is based on the Oslo prototype. This features a sliding bottom part which alternately covers and exposes the Graffiti area, allowing the handheld to be very small when closed or let user enter text when open.

The image also confirms that this model will be named the Tungsten T. All of Palm's high-end products will be part of the Tungsten line. Its new smartphone will be called the Tungsten W.

In addition, this image also confirms earlier reports that this model has an SD/MMC slot.

The image leaked to Geek.com appears to have been produced by a graphics company to be used by Palm in it advertising materials for this model. Similar leaks have happened in the past with previous models, including the Palm m505.

Yesterday, Todd Bradley, CEO of Palm's Solutions Group, said his company would be launching a handheld that runs Palm OS 5 on October 28. This appears to be the model he was referring to.

Bradley said that this high-end model will have Bluetooth wireless networking built in and use a Texas Instruments OMAP processor, which is based on designs from ARM Holdings. According to rumor, the Tungsten T will use the OMAP1510 processor, which combines into a single chip an ARM-compliant processor with a DSP for multimedia capabilities, and runs at 175 MHz. Sources familiar with this device say it will have 16 MB of RAM.

Both Palm OS 5 and the OMAP1510 chip have multimedia support built in and, according to anonymous sources, the Tungsten takes full advantage of it. It has a microphone, headphone jack, and a speaker.

It has a 320 by 320 screen, which PalmSource refers to as double density, rather than the more familiar description, hi-res. It uses Palm's Universal Connector.

According to a new source, the Tungsten T is thinner than earlier reports indicated. It is approximately 4 by 3 by .6 inches with the sliding part closed and 4.8 inches tall with it open. If this is correct, when closed this model will be slightly smaller than Sony's SJ series, which is 4.1 by 2.9 by .7 inches. This source says it weighs 5.6 ounces.

Update: Yesterday's ZDnet article on this model mentioned that Palm had hired some designers from Sony to help design this model. Some people have misinterpreted this to mean that Sony officially helped Palm design the Tungsten T, which is not the case. A Sony spokesperson confirmed that his company had nothing to do with the design. Palm did hire some designers away from it but Sony wasn't cooperating in any way.

This model already appears in the inventory system of a major electronics retailer, which says it will cost $500, though this isn't necessarily correct.

Despite the change to a new processor and operating system, developers will not have to rewrite their applications to run on this model. PalmSource, the subsidiary of Palm that developed OS 5, created the Palm Application Compatibility Environment (PACE), which interprets the instructions of existing applications designed for the Dragonball processor and makes them run on the ARM processor. There has been some concern in the Palm community that this would make OS 5 run slower than OS 4. According to developers, this isn't the case.

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