Rumor: Palm to Release New Mid-Range Model

According to The Register, Palm is currently working on a mid-range model between the m100 and m500 series. They cite "industry sources who've been briefed by Palm on its plans" as their source. They apparently didn't have many details or specifications on the model, or even its name. However, it has long been rumored that Palm would release an m300 series, which would be their new mid-range. This model could be it.

The most surprising thing about this rumored model is that it will use the V series connector. Palm promised that all future models would use the Universal Connector that is on the m500 series, which is incompatible with the V series.

To make speculation on the m300's feature set more difficult, Alan Kessler, Palm's chief operating officer for platforms and products, said back in February that all future Palm models would include an SD slot. If this is true, differentiating this new model from the m500 might be difficult.

It is possible that Palm has simply changed its collective mind and is going to release a model without the SD slot or Universal Connector. Or some of the details in the Register article could be incorrect.

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new palm model using Vx connector...

Snubolis @ 6/21/2001 6:18:03 PM #
what kind of crack are these "industry sources" smoking?

and where can i get some? heh =)

But seriously, throwing in both a Vx connector and an SD slot, well, thats basically an m5xx with a different connector. I highly doubt they're gonna go back to the 20mhz processor, and the green screen of the V series.

This is by far and beyond ridiculous... Microsoft cancelling Windows NT and going back to using OS/2 is more believable...

RE: rumored "mid-range" Palm...
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/21/2001 6:42:20 PM #
Why a mid-range? Less expensive, smaller form factor (thinner), metal case (cracking plastic is UGLY), faster, color?, and perhaps wireless?

If I could have a fast, expandable, color V for less than $200... sign me up.

RE: new palm model using Vx connector...
mondo @ 6/21/2001 6:50:57 PM #
Lets just hope they stick to their word on the Universal Connector. A mid range without SD would be okay, but is it really filling a need?

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mondo
Sydney, Australia
RE: new palm model using Vx connector...
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/21/2001 7:46:23 PM #
yeah, i think it is a necessity. my palm IIIxe is reaching the end of its days, i can't afford to spend the money on the m50x series, and the m10x series are highly unattractive, particularly due to the smaller screen. i'd like something nicer than the low end, but not excessive. Expandability isn't really a priority for me, either (which is why I haven't sacrificed style for expandability and bought a visor).

Business market

Cheetah @ 6/21/2001 8:39:45 PM #
The m300 might be targeted at the business market. Companies would never consider the m100, so they would choose between the m500, or perhaps the new mid-level device. I heard that the IIIxe is still a big seller, mostly to businesses.

So why do businesses like the IIIxe?
- Probably because small size is not important (III size Palm is fine for them),
- they may prefer to have AA batteries over rechargable (where do mobile professionals plug the cradle into?)
- Don't need color
- Cost is right ($250 x 1000 field engineers = $250k, which is almost half the cost of outfitting them with m505 or iPaq)

So why doesn't Palm just keep selling the IIIxe?
- Businesses want the expansion option so they can add custom developed applications, and databases
- probably want to have the universal connector
- the new design might be able to be manufactured more cheapely now.

I could be way off, but I think several others are looking at it as an individual buying a Palm for personal use.

Why do I have the above opinion? Because I am making PDA decisions for my company right now, and these are the factors we've discussed.



RE: Business market
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/22/2001 8:36:18 AM #
why dont you just look @ the HandEra 330?


RE: Business market
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/22/2001 10:54:57 AM #
The HandEra "Big 'N Ugly" 330? What idiot designed the case for this thing? Ever heard of plain black plastic?

Journalism 101

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/21/2001 9:03:59 PM #
"They site 'industry sources ....' ."

Do you mean, "They cite....."

RE: Keepin' our sense of humor
Ed @ 6/21/2001 9:07:30 PM #
If we're going to get all technical, it is in English 101 where we should have learned the difference between "site" and "cite", not Journalism 101.



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An educated guess

CarlJ @ 6/21/2001 11:24:41 PM #

Part of the appeal of the III series (after they were no longer top-of-the-line), was that they were reasonably capable, reasonably indestructible, and reasonably cheap, so that it would do what you needed, and if it got broken/lost, you could get a new one and simply hotsync it back into being your trusty friend, without shedding a lot of tears. The demise of the III series does, indeed leave a void. If they ever do release a m30x series to fill that void, I'm guessing it'd look something like this:


  • $250-$300 price point
  • Industrial strength all-plastic case
  • 160x160 grayscale screen
  • DragonBall CPU: 20Mhz? 33Mhz? (dunno, could go either way)
  • 8Mb ram, 2Mb flash
  • SD slot
  • The new universal connector
  • 2xAAA batteries

It's better than an m10x because it has flash rom and the SD slot and new connector (an m10x may get the universal connector but I doubt they'll ever get SD); it's cheaper than the m505 because it has a less complex plastic case and a mono screen, and skips the rechargeable battery (and the charger), and it's a bit larger (III sized, more elbow room inside means it can use larger, less expensive parts). Probably no built in vibrator, either :-)


It'd probably be an appealing machine to sell into corporations. CEO's might buy m505's (or m70x's) for themselves, but they'd buy m30x's for their workforce.


And no, I don't have any inside info, and I'm not trying to troll. But I've been watching the Palm scene for the past few years, and I think this would fill a definite niche between the m10x and m50x series devices.



RE: An educated guess
mondo @ 6/22/2001 4:08:27 AM #
I hope the folks at Palm read this - it seems like quite a nifty little machine, and one which could fill an important price point.

There would probably have to be an m305 with colour to fill the IIIc usage.

-----
mondo
Sydney, Australia

m3xx is right

Agagooga @ 6/22/2001 2:08:05 AM #
Seeing that they've released m1xx and m5xx, m3xx makes a lot of sense. I'm on IIIc now and colour's great. Grayscale's ugh. I don't need (and am not willing to pay for) the m5xx's size.

What it's look like?

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/22/2001 3:46:00 AM #
It's proably look like Palm III, or around same size. 33 mhz cpu, 8 meg ram, blah blah. retail price would be around $250 or $200 and it's going to compete directly to Handspring deluxe.

I hope it have TWO sd slot

RE: What it's look like?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/22/2001 4:49:42 AM #
me thdinks its gonna be an m1xx internally, uses the smaller screen, and keeps the changable face plates, difference though will be the addition of an SD slot. Me dunst know bout the connect9r problee serial to keep m5xx users feelin superior... Best I could hope in this compromise machine is a louder speaker.v
Oh tha m305 version will have color like tha m505, remember though I predict the m305 havin smaller screen like da m1xx series.
Peace yall.

RE: What it's look like?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/22/2001 5:37:35 AM #
yeah, it's gonna be like a m500, only bigger.
Bigger is cheaper, that's the main difference between m3xx & m5xx.

RE: What it's look like?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/22/2001 8:39:01 AM #
just go for the HanEra 330 with a D Slot & CF Slot :)

RE: What it's look like?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/22/2001 10:50:19 AM #
> just go for the HanEra 330 with a D Slot & CF Slot :)

And a big, ugly, heavy case, and no color screen. ;-)
I don't think so...


RE: What it's look like?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/24/2001 12:36:04 AM #
well that's what the author of this post wanted, a device in III form factor, with TWO SD slots etc

in fact the HandEra is Lighter than the II series by more than an oz.

RE: What it's look like?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/24/2001 12:59:38 AM #
> in fact the HandEra is Lighter than the II series by more than an oz.


That's not true. You really can't believe *anything* you read on boards like this!

RE: What it's look like?
Ed @ 6/24/2001 9:53:19 AM #
The 330 weighs 5.9 ounces with the AAA batteries and 5.4 ounces with the li-ion pack. The III series weighs 6 oz.

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m300 & m305

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/22/2001 5:39:57 AM #
I think this is exactly what the new device will be:
Similar case design to the M100/M105, possibly bigger
Larger screens than M100/M105 - same screen size as IIIxe
Colour option - to replace outgoing IIIc - M305 ?
Colour screen will be similar technology to M505
SD slot will definitely be incorporated
Rechargable battery an option
OS 4.0
Universal Connector not V/Vx connector

But maybe they might surprise us all and include bluetooth or something else we are all missing

The Equaliser

RE: m300 & m305
mondo @ 6/24/2001 8:52:56 PM #
This looks pretty close to what it should be, based on the various discussions and ideas, and the need to keep price down (to make it a real mid range model).

My only question relates to the battery - it will need to be AAA or something to kee price down.

-----
mondo
Sydney, Australia

Midrange where?

altema @ 6/22/2001 8:08:19 AM #
It would need to fit between the Vx and the M50x, but where? Take out the SD slot and make it with 16Meg and 33Mhz? Add the SD to the Vx? I'd be happy if they just added an SD slot to the IIIc, or at least gave it 16Meg under OS4.

[ No Subject ]

NILOC @ 6/22/2001 11:02:05 AM #
Why palm must have different connectors for different models? There are 4 different types of connectors already (m10x, III series, V series, and m50x). Look at Clie! They use the same connector for S-300, S-500C, N700C, and N710C. There is no doubt to use existing peripherals when I change my Sony Clie. That's the way to do business, especially when new models with additional features are released quite frequently. It may help a palm owner consider upgrade their palm because they can use all their existing peripherals. How nice it would be!

What's the point?

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/22/2001 11:02:05 AM #
In the olden days, when somebody upgrade his III series to V series, all his peripherals (e.g. modem) has to be changed due to connector incompatibility. In the future, when somebody upgrade from m300 series to m500 series, the same odd thing happens...

Vx connector? Are they *&^%$#@ nuts!!??

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/22/2001 10:50:41 AM #
If there is any one thing about Palm that stifles 3rd-party accessories development, it's their now-extreme schizophrenia about that connector.

Is accommodation of non-Palm manufactured accessories important? You bet it is! For a long time, it was an important distinction from the PPC world. To change the connector again - albeit to one with legacy - would no doubt leave outside suppliers throwing up their hands and, frankly, contemplating thoughts of exiting the market as too fractured to make any money with.

If this rumor (and it *is* a rumor) has any merit, I certainly hope that it is wrong about the connector. The V-series connector was the poorest-supported of the two older styles. What would be Palm's motivation for doing this?

Is this midrange model going to have contrast control???????

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/22/2001 12:36:29 PM #
.

Why not get a HandEra? is the wrong question...

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/22/2001 1:46:56 PM #
For all you who keep saying "Why not get a HandEra?", remember that HandEra != Palm. The TRGpro ($250) and HandEra 330 ($350) are squarely in Palm's current market gap. Palm's *current* lineup has the m100 ($129?) and m105 ($200), and the m500 ($400) and m505 ($450); all the units they're trying to sell in the $200-400 range are older models (models Palm found out nobody wants). HandEra and Handspring have been doing quite well in this middle market, and Palm wants (needs) a bigger a piece of pie, assuming the rumor is true.

Episode V: The III Series Strikes Back!

Quik_Fix @ 6/22/2001 1:50:54 PM #
It's thought-provoking to hear everyone's take on what an m30x would be like. I'm entertained to hear that most believe it'd be a lot like the III series of yeserday, er, today.... whatever. I haven't found a good reason to get rid of my workhorse IIIc that I've had for some time now. The power button's kinda goin' out on me, but I just assigned an Easylaunch button to turn Ol' Rickety off. The little guy just keeps humming. I've dropped Ol' Rickety at LEAST a dozen times and it still keeps tickin. It gives weight to the old adage that they don't make 'em like they used to!
My perspective is this: It seems that the readers here perhaps reflect the majorities in the belief that, though the m50X are fine additions to the Palm line, they do perhaps leave a space for the middle class to fall in. It would be like having to choose between a IIIe and a Vx... with no in-between.
So Palm finds itself having to take a step back and look at the III series and what it's meant to so many. It is without dispute, the most expandable PDA on the market. Perhaps it was not such a wise strategy to sign the death warrant of the reigning Palm...

When Ol' Rickety meets it's demise, I'll probably replace it with another IIIc. 8megs still not used... call me frugal. But I bet I'm not alone when I say that, as much as I support Palm, they will only get my business if I buy more toys for my IIIc.

Brian Hazard

Other Handhelds

Jonathan F. @ 6/22/2001 9:21:13 PM #
Palm shouldn't even bother trying to make a mid-range series. Just look at the HandEra 330. No matter what Palm tries to do, another company is going to make something more appealing to customers (and more affordable).
RE: Other Handhelds
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/29/2001 12:22:05 PM #
Gawd, most people will never even HEAR of HandEra, let alone buy anything from them. So how does it makes sense that Palm shouldn't bother because they'd be competing with HandEra...? Get real. I'm sure the last company in the world Palm is worried about is HandEra.

make a color Palm V

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/23/2001 3:39:53 PM #
Why don't they make a Color Palm V with mp3 support with NORMAL speakers and a headphone jack like the Clié (that would be nice), 1 gigIBM micro drive so I will have plenty of memory for mp3's without lots of 'easy to lose' MMC's or memory sticks, and also throw in a built in wireless modem. Hey if they make a Palm like that i will buy it
RE: make a color Palm V
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/23/2001 4:42:11 PM #
> Why don't they make a Color Palm V with mp3 support with NORMAL speakers and a headphone jack like the Clié (that would be nice),

You mean why don't the rebadge a CLIE N710C and borrow TRG's speaker? Palm doesn't have the ability to engineer this by themselves. They are now primarily a marketing company.

> 1 gigIBM micro drive so I will have plenty of memory for mp3's without lots of 'easy to lose' MMC's or memory sticks,

MicroDrive requires CompactFlash - which Palm chose not to support. CompactFlash seems to make more sense - we didn't need another "standard" (CompactFlash, SmartMedia, Memory Stick, MMC, SD). Have you priced MicroDrives recently? And do you know anything about their power requirements?

> and also throw in a built in wireless modem.

How much do you think that would cost?

> Hey if they make a Palm like that i will buy it

But not many other people would. Palm is going to soon start trying to compete with PocketPC in terms of features (MP3, video, voice recording, good color screens, processor speed) but right now they don't have the hardware. And once the Palm hardware improves, the cost of buying a Palm PDA will be the same as high end PocketPCs.

RE: make a color Palm V
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/22/2001 1:01:09 AM #
I would pay Pocket PC price for a Palm with Stereo headphone output. Why can't that be done?

Confused,

RE: make a color Palm V
Ed @ 9/22/2001 10:00:34 AM #
It sounds like you would be interested in the Sony N760C. It runs Palm OS 4.1 and has a built-in MP3 player with Stereo output:
http://www.palminfocenter.com/view_Story.asp?ID=2334&MODE=FLAT


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