Palm To Release Wireless Handheld with GPRS

Palm Inc. will release a wireless handheld that uses the GPRS standard sometime near the end of this year. This comes from Daren Ng, sales director of South Asia/Australia and New Zealand, quoted in the Philippine website From Mr. Ng's brief description, it sounds like it won't have voice capabilities. "It will be a Palm-branded wireless data device," he said. This will make it a successor to the i705 and not a smartphone.

In an interview with Cnet this week, Palm's interim CEO, Eric Benhamou, said, "A year from now there will be at least two or three different, reasonable choices of GPRS wireless networks with good footprints. Therefore, you should expect that there will be several devices, many of them made by Palm, many others made by Palm licensees like the Treo, that will have GPRS capabilities."

This news doesn't come as much of a surprise because Palm's next generation of handhelds will use processors with built-in wireless support. Palm announced earlier this year that it would be using Texas Instruments's OMAP processors in its Palm OS 5 devices. These processors have built-in support for GSM, GPRS, UMTS, EDGE, WCDMA, and CDMA2000. Of course, the radio equipment must also be included in the handheld.

GPRS is the updated version of GSM and will allow data transfers at up to 114 Kbps, though real-world speeds will be lower. While GSM/GPRS is the dominant standard in most of the world, CDMA is what rules the roost in the U.S. If Palm releases only as GSM/GPRS model, its success in the U.S. market could be limited. However, because TI's processor also supports CDMA/CDMA2000, it's possible the company will release a different version of this handheld in the U.S.

A few months ago, Todd Bradley, who is now the head of Palm's Solutions Group, said Palm would introduce a Palm-branded, ARM-based product line with wireless capabilities by fall of 2002; however, he gave no other details. If Mr. Ng is correct and this GPRS model won't be available until near the end of this year, that leaves open the question of what Palm will release earlier.

These don't have to include the ability to connect to mobile phone networks of whatever type. The phrase "wireless capabilities" can have several meanings. Palm has also promised to release this year a handheld with Bluetooth wireless networking built into it. This would allow the handhelds to use to Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones as wireless modems.

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No Voice?

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/5/2002 10:52:59 AM #
No good.
RE: No Voice?
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/5/2002 11:19:44 AM #
How do you know? Pundits and geeks like us keep saying that voice must be added to handhelds but, if that was true, shouldn't the current crop of smartphones have a bigger percentage of the market? I think we are ahead of the curve. Being ahead of the curve is nice but if you are a company doing it, you have to be willing to spend a lot of money waiting for the market to catch up to your products

I think the Dot Com Bust showed us the being first to market doesn't automatically mean success. I think it would be better for Palm to release a smartphone when there is real demand for it. So far, I don't see much demand.

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/5/2002 8:08:50 PM #
It's all about convergence. Hawkins knows this. The race is on. People want ONE device which is Phone and PDA. Soon ALL cell phones will offer excellent PDA functionality - and Palm's PDA business will get back-doored by Nokia, Ericsson, et al. And most people will buy what's offered by their wireless carrier. If Palm was smart, they'd create a great Smartphone asap and cut a deal with AT&T or Verizon. I know it's easier said than done but this is why Benahomou and Co. get paid the big bucks.
RE: No Voice?
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/6/2002 2:13:10 AM #
I must not be "people" because I have no desire for a PDA/Phone combo. I would prefer that they remain separate, but able to communicate with each other (via bluetooth or some other way).
RE: No Voice? YES !!
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/6/2002 5:01:17 AM #
If you have no voice capabilities, you do not use your batteries for voice ...

If you have no voice in your Palm, you can take a phone call AND look up your address book, calendar etc...

If you have no voice, you also do not smear your screen all the time -)

VisorPhone and Treo are NOT the big hits Handspring and Hawkins would have liked, so Palm is very clever to find something else, more in the Zen of Palm !

RE: No Voice?
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/6/2002 11:16:09 AM #
You can already talk on a VisorPhone or Treo and look up something in your Date Book, MemoPad, Address Book, Quicksheet, etc.
RE: No Voice?
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/8/2002 1:46:03 AM #
It's all about screen size folks. The cute cell phones will always have limited screen size and you will always look ridiculous trying to talk to a PDA! So where does that leave us? ...the so called smartphones that are too big to be cute and too small to be a proper PDA.

I think there will always be a market for good PDAs that do data only. The cute cellphones can remain in thepocket and communicate via bluetooth or some other future standard.

But just to cover all angles, Palm would do well to release some combo (voice/data) models as well.


GPRS-Only Service?

big_raji @ 5/5/2002 10:53:45 AM #
This is a neat idea, except that I don't know of any providers that give GPRS-Only service today... You would be paying extra money for the phone connection that you won't even be using.

As far as I know, if you want GPRS, you also need GSM service and a phone number to pay for. If you already have a phone with GSM and GPRS, you would probably have to pay for a second GPRS connection for your Palm.

I suppose you could always swap SIM cards between your phone and your Palm, but that would really suck as well.

What's Wrong With This Picture?

RE: GPRS-Only Service?
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/5/2002 11:09:38 AM #
Telstra, Vodafone and Optus - all carrieres in south east asia are all doing GPRS now with wireless mobile data acquisition rates up to 40+kbps.
RE: GPRS-Only Service?
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/5/2002 11:25:31 AM #
I think you missed his point. There are plenty of carriers using GPRS around the world but can you get just data service from them? If you can't, you have to pay for phone service, even if you have a handheld that can't use it.
RE: GPRS-Only Service?
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/5/2002 11:30:57 AM #
Voivestream has a data ONLY plan for the Blackberry. It all about making deals. I am sure Palm will make deals with Voicestream, Cingular, and/or AT&T. The Voicestream Network is ALL GSM and ALL GPRS. Cingular and AT&T should be ready by the end og the year.
RE: GPRS-Only Service?
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/5/2002 11:46:44 AM #
GPRS Phone bills are by the Mb or by the minute (GSM voice). No voice costs.

RE: GPRS-Only Service?
Carlis @ 5/5/2002 2:56:31 PM #
In Sweden using Europolitan, now Vodafone I have a twin card. I can then use the phone with master card and the twin in the Palm .. twin works for outgoing Data/Phone.. Im sure gonna love the idea .. :)

Check with Ur provider if they have twin cards to ..


RE: GPRS-Only Service?
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/5/2002 6:56:03 PM #
D'uh. Just because he says it's not a smart phone doesn't mean it wont have voice. It *will* have voice, but only through an ear-jack and will only be available in non-US countries (ie those smart enough to have a decent standard of telecommunications infrastructure)

And Daren Ng is not from the Phillipines, he's from Singapore.

RE: GPRS-Only Service?
elbertc @ 5/5/2002 7:44:35 PM #
Correct, Daren is not from the Philippines (though some of his schooling was spent in Manila), but from Palm, Inc's Singapore office. He was in the Philippines to attend a Palm launch and enterprise event. The interview was done in Manila by a local newspaper, Philippine Daily Inquirer, and was posted on their website,

The Philippine Palm Users Group
RE: GPRS-Only Service?
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/5/2002 8:16:24 PM #
> Just because he says it's not a smart phone doesn't mean it wont have voice. It *will* have voice

The definition of a smartphone is a handheld with voice capabilities.

> And Daren Ng is not from the Phillipines, he's from Singapore.

If you read the article again, you'll see that it doesn't say Daren Ng is from the Phillipines, it says is a Philippine website.

RE: GPRS-Only Service?
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/5/2002 10:08:13 PM #
Fido, Canadian national GPRS provider, has data-only plans. You do not need to subscribe to voice plans - the only data plan you cannot subscribe without voice plan is pay-per-use GPRS data.

RE: GPRS-Only Service?
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/6/2002 6:22:46 AM #
In Mainland China, there are flat rate service plans of GRPS at about USD30... you get 43.2kbps in major cities with unlimited amount of data. I know somebody be online in office all the day using GPRS because the lease line of his office is 128kbps 'only'....
RE: GPRS-Only Service?
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/6/2002 2:27:35 PM #
i'm feeling a bit weird now. i'm used to things always being more expensive here :)

in Turkey, the flat rate is ~3USD (5.000.000 TL) for 'Telsim', and the GPRS service of 'Aria' is completely free :)

Ed, Correction

rsuplido @ 5/5/2002 12:22:58 PM #
"Philippian" should be "Philippine". Thanks.

RE: Ed, Correction
Ed @ 5/5/2002 12:26:43 PM #
Do you have any idea how hard it is to find out on a Sunday morning the correct way to refer to a native of the Philippines? I must have spent 20 minutes on that. Thanks.

News Editor
RE: Ed, Correction
big_raji @ 5/5/2002 12:35:13 PM #
Ummmm, a native of the philippines is Philipino.

What's Wrong With This Picture?
RE: Ed, Correction
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/5/2002 12:56:06 PM #
I was a University of the Philippines professor for several years: A Philippine native is a Filipino. "Philipino" is a commonly-seen misspelling. However, it is correct to use "Philippine" as a descriptive adjective.
Just FYI Ed
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/5/2002 12:57:07 PM #
Actually, just FYI, to be precise it is Filipina if your reffering to a female or a Filipino if your reffering to a male or a group. Why an "F" instead of a "ph"? I have no idea. But both "f" and "ph" are valid, I believe. But, in the Phillippines, I saw the "f" used.
RE: Ed, Correction
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/5/2002 3:21:30 PM #
I say Toe-may-toe he says Toe-mat-oh. Ed, I wouldn't worry about it... Close enough :)
Why F
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/5/2002 6:40:15 PM #
Probably due to the influence of Spanish. Anything spelled with a ph in other languages changes to f (i.e. farmacia for pharmacy).
RE: Ed, Correction
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/5/2002 7:48:18 PM #
The Philippines is named after the King Philip of Spain (in spanish Pilip). In Spain and official language of the Philippines (i.e. Pilipino), the Phils.(abbreviation) is referred as Pilipinas. Yes, the official language of the Phils. is Pilipino (this is the right spelling if you are referring to the Language). Yes, the native of the Phils. is Filipino. I think the Filipino spelling is influence by the Americans who gave us the name Philippines. It might right to say that "f" spelling introduce to get consistent pronounciation for "ph". Funny isn't it? BTW, the Yanks did not first introduce English to the Filipinos, it is the Poms as recorded in history.

How do I know this? I am Filipino myself.

RE: Ed, Correction
bobes @ 5/6/2002 12:37:12 PM #
wow I always thought the official language was tagalog (sp?)...
learn sth everyday

RE: Ed, Correction
mentalsrule @ 6/5/2002 10:48:12 PM #
why and how did this become and english lesson on something about an i705?

my teacher and a student did the same thing about sputnik... its really quite dumb and childish actually...

Where's the AnyKey?

Successor to the i705

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/5/2002 3:20:48 PM #
Let's hope this one has color. A slimmer form factor would really help, too, but I don't want to get greedy.
RE: Successor to the i705
4s @ 5/5/2002 4:15:02 PM #
When the 130 and 515 were released, I remember in one of those streaming video blurbs they have at hearing a Palm exec say they were planning on releasing a color version of the i705.

RE: Successor to the i705
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/5/2002 6:42:35 PM #
Makes sense--now that Palm knows there's the demand, and what with the delay for wireless... biggest challenge will be fitting in a long-lasting battery.
RE: Successor to the i705
4s @ 5/5/2002 9:44:47 PM #
I poked around for the video where the color wireless deive is mentioned and found it here:

It is video #5 and is called "New color Palms head to store shelves March 4, 2002"

Palm i725???

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/5/2002 10:35:35 PM #
Anybody know anything about the i725??? The i725 and the i705 were first rumored about in late August with the i725 being a color smartphone that looks like the siemens phone (translated that from an Italian site!). Ever since August theres been no talk about this. Now there are rumors on an arm-based OS 5 Palm with GPRS capabilities, but no smartphone! Looks like TREO will keep getting marketshare for people who want a smartphone. I've been holding out on smartphones until Palm comes out with one because I trust Palm the most. The other smartphones from Kyocera and Samsung don't look worthy, but then again, who knows if Palm is even coming out with a smartphone, nonetheless a good one! One last thing- just because an executive says something like there will be new color i705's and arm-based OS 5's or any other stuff, doesn't exactly mean there will be one! Don't you think they do that just to get people to stop looking at other products and start waiting for what Palm has in store???
Anybody know anything about the i725 smartphone???
RE: Palm i725???
Ed @ 5/5/2002 11:02:54 PM #
Do you remember the article from January that first broke the news of the m130 and m515? Those two new devices got most of the attention but at that same meeting a Palm rep said the i725, which had been slated for release this spring, had instead been cancelled.

The info in that article isn't 100% (it calls the i705 the i700) but pretty much everything else has proved to be correct.

p.s. It's just a side note but my original source of info last August on the i725 was someone who had seen a presentation on them put on by Palm, not an Italian site.

News Editor

RE: Palm i725???
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/5/2002 11:29:42 PM #
Thanks, that answers a lot of my questions.

One device

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/7/2002 3:26:42 AM #
One device + one charger + one set of earphones capable of connecting to corporate network, with reasonable equivalents to Excel & Word and able to entertain with games/music for when I just cannot think any more.

must not weigh as much as a brick
must not be as big as a brick
must be able to last 48 hours w/o recharge
must be able to turn off the wireless bit when on a plane

Thankyou. Dave



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