Hopes High for Next Week's TechXNY
Starting on Tuesday is TechXNY, which might be easier to recognize under its old name, PC Expo. Companies frequently take advantage of this large annual tradeshow to introduce their new products and make other announcements. This year will be no different as PalmSource, Palm, Sony, and Handspring are all expected to use TechXNY to get out the word about their products.
Probably the question on everyone's mind is, "Will any companies announce Palm OS 5 handhelds?" On Wednesday morning, David Nagel, President and CEO of PalmSource, will be putting on a keynote address where he'll be talking up the new version of its operating system, which was released to licensees earlier this month. This would certainly be spiced up with a demonstration of an actual handheld running it.
The best candidate for announcing an OS 5 device is Palm. It is the only one of the main licensees who isn't likely to announce a new OS 4 device at TechXNY. Announcing an OS 5 device will almost certainly cut heavily into sales of high-end OS 4 ones but Palm hasn't introduced a new OS 4 device since March. Also, the company said back in February that it would release a wireless OS 5 device by this fall. However, the company, mindful of the debacle which followed its too-early announcement of the m500 series, is unlikely to announce a new handheld unless it is going to release it in the next few weeks.
According to rumor, Sony is going to announce a U.S. version of the T650C at TechXNY. The T650C is an OS 4.1 model that is essentially a T615C with an MP3 player added that Sony released in Japan earlier this month.
It's possible that Handspring will announce the Treo 300 next week, though this is more of a long shot. At this point, Handspring doesn't appear to have received FCC approval for the 300, a necessary requirement for its release in the U.S. The Treo 300 is a CDMA version of the company's smartphone which will run on Sprint's 3G wireless network.
A dark-horse candidate is Garmin, who licenced the Palm OS early last year but has yet to release any products running it. However, PalmSource's Mike Mace hinted back in February that Garmin has plans to release a GPS device that runs the Palm OS sometime soon.
TechXNY won't be just about hardware, though. Expect a slew of software announcements, too.
I ought to warn you, I don't have a good track record at predicting what will be announced at tradeshows. Every one of my predictions for the Consumer Electronics Show in January was wrong. -Ed
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