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Rumor: Pictures and Details of Palm's Upcoming Smartphone

Yesterday, Todd Bradley, CEO of Palm's Solutions Group, said his company would be launching a smartphone on October 28. Bradley said it would be data-centric and use GPRS wireless networks. However, he gave few details about it.

A very reliable anonymous source has supplied much more information about this model, including some images. This device will have a 320 by 320 color screen and a built-in keyboard. Also, it will have a 4-way directional pad (a D-pad) with a Select button in the middle.

Handheld
Palm has added support for the D-pad to the built-in applications. Users can navigate through the Launcher with it and open apps and use it to look up and dial a phone number.

The D-pad may become standard feature on future Palm models. It is rumored that the company's other high-end model will also have a D-pad.

This is not an OS 5 model. It will run Palm OS 4.1 on a 33 MHz Dragonball processor and have 16 MB of RAM.

As mentioned earlier, it has a hi-res screen. According to the source, Palm appears to have used the hi-res API from Palm OS 5 on this model, in the same way Acer used it on the s50 and s60 models, which are also OS 4.1. This means apps written in the future to take advantage of OS 5's hi-res screen will also run on this model.

It has an SD/MMC slot on its lower-right side. There is an infrared port on the top. It uses Palm's Universal Connector and comes with a USB cradle. It also has a flip cover similar to the one on the i705.

The images were taken with a digital camera from a mobile phone so the quality isn't high. However, they are sufficient to show many of the features of the new device and show that it will be comparable in size to a Handspring Treo.

It comes with the standard Palm apps, of course, but also with a copy of Documents to Go, a world clock, an image displaying app, and others.

Wireless Access
Yesterday, Bradley said this model will be data-centric. This means it is primarily intended to be used as a wireless handheld, not a mobile phone. Nevertheless, it can be used to make phone calls through a headset. A microphone and speaker are not built in.

This smartphone uses GPRS/GSM wireless networks. GPRS offers 144 Kbps connections, though only under ideal conditions. GPRS is widely deployed in Europe and other parts of the world but is just getting off the ground in the U.S.

It comes with a browser called WebPro, which is not the same one as PalmSource announced earlier this week. That one requires Palm OS 5.

It also comes with an application called Mobile that can be used to dial the phone.

Nomenclature
It was rumored that this device would be named Veld; however, this is not the case. According to this source, it will be called the Palm Tungsten W, with the W presumably standing for "wireless".

Apparently, Palm considered naming it the i710, as some of the software on the prototypes calls it that.

Related Information:

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Is that a sliding keyboard covering the Graffiti area?

ahecht @ 9/20/2002 11:44:52 AM #
Or did Palm finally abandon Graffiti too?

RE: Is that a sliding keyboard covering the Graffiti area?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/20/2002 11:47:42 AM #
It ALMOST looks like on the right hand side, it is un attached, while it is attached on the left (the two sides of the keyboard really look different). It's almost as though the entire keyboard will swing out sideways, like a door, hinged on the left, to reveal something beneath. Why, I don't know. If you were going to do that, you'd think you'd put a phone keypad on top, and either graffitti or a thumboard below. For that reason alone, I'm probably wrong, but do look closely at it, and see what you think.

Ken

RE: Is that a sliding keyboard covering the Graffiti area?
big_raji @ 9/20/2002 11:48:28 AM #
Good question. I couldn't find any mention in the article. Hopefully it doesn't. I'd like to see a "Graffiti" button that you hold so that you can input graffiti commands on the main screen.

I think it's very strange that a speaker/mic aren't built in.

Palm also better watchout for a lawsuit from RIM. Gee, they've got Oval Shaped keys on their keyboard.

---
What's Wrong With This Picture?
http://raj.phangureh.com/picture.html

Is that a sliding keyboard, or...
sundance_7 @ 9/20/2002 12:06:25 PM #
Or is it possible that the keyboard, D-pad etc are all on the front of the flip-up cover, which covers the grafiti area?

Hmmmm....
sundance

RE: Is that a sliding keyboard covering the Graffiti area?
IanJD @ 9/20/2002 12:10:21 PM #
I may be reaching here, but I interpret the dark ring around the d-pad as a gap so that when the keyboard flips out, the pad (and app buttons) stay(s) put and are accessible open and closed.

My main problem with this unit is that if you need to plug the headset in to talk, it's not going to be brilliantly useful for answering calls. Think I'll hold out for an OS5 machine with bluetooth built-in, and let it talk to my t68i.

No sliding keyboard
Ed @ 9/20/2002 12:11:40 PM #
The source has just confirmed that it does not have a sliding bottom and lacks a Graffiti area altogether.

---
News Editor
RE: Is that a sliding keyboard covering the Graffiti area?
ahecht @ 9/20/2002 12:58:24 PM #
That's too bad. If it had a flip down keyboard that also had a mic on the end, it could be a pretty descent flip phone.

RE: Is that a sliding keyboard covering the Graffiti area?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/20/2002 4:17:42 PM #
What is wrong with "Virtual Graffitti"? I mean, Handera and Sony have shone it to be very usable and when it echos your input, it's fantastic! I just don't understand Palm not implementing it.

Oh well, better luck next time...

RE: Is that a sliding keyboard covering the Graffiti area?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/21/2002 12:30:18 PM #
I hate those mini keyboards I'll stick with sony as I prefer graffiti.
RE: Is that a sliding keyboard covering the Graffiti area?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/21/2002 10:37:29 PM #
i also prefer graffiti

RE: Is that a sliding keyboard covering the Graffiti area?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/21/2002 10:37:57 PM #
same here, why does everyone dislike it? it's great!
RE: Is that a sliding keyboard covering the Graffiti area?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/23/2002 11:00:14 AM #
It's NOT that everyone hates grafitti. It's that *anyone* who's used an always-on email device (like a blackberry) knows that a mini keyboard is far superior for text entry for email.
RE: Is that a sliding keyboard covering the Graffiti area?
andrewholler @ 1/18/2003 6:43:26 PM #
I prefer a keyboard rather than graffiti and yes palm will always keep grafiti.

Blackberry Killer?

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/20/2002 11:48:19 AM #
This looks like it will be released in Europe first, but when it gets around to the US this could be the end of Blackberry. I know that RIM has a good thing going but there is a LOT more Palm OS software out there than Blackberry software.

Of course,looking at the keyboard, I am sure that RIM will be suing Palm about next Tuesday. <G>

RE: Blackberry Killer?
Phil @ 9/20/2002 11:59:07 AM #
I don´t know who will be suing whom. The new Blackberry looks almost exactly like the new Palm: www.geek.com/news/geeknews/2002Sep/bpd20020920016422.htm .

Phil

RE: Blackberry Killer?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/20/2002 1:16:38 PM #
Oct. 28th release for the Palm in the U.S. not Eurpoe 1st...fool.
RE: Blackberry Killer?
Beastmaster @ 9/20/2002 1:19:52 PM #
Being that I'm a Palm m505 and a Blackberry 5810 user, I can definitely say that the Blackberry Enterprise Server software is light years ahead of anything that Palm or it's software partners offer in the Enterprise space.

Blackberry's software seamlessly interacts with Exchange, and the end users where I work at cannot tell whether I sent my email from my Blackberry, or if I sent it from my desk.

That's about where Blackberry's advantages end. Calendaring is about equal, with the edge going to the Palm world. Address book, notes, and tasks are way ahead of anything that the Blackberry could put out, and the Intellisync version that comes with the Blackberry is horrid.

Unless Palm comes out with something that works as good or better than the Blackberry Enterprise Server, the Tungsten W will never be a "Blackberry Killer"....

Will it replace my Blackberry?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/20/2002 2:36:03 PM #
I carry a Palm m505, a Blackberry 957 and a cell(without Bluetooth). I love my Palm because of all the great apps it can run that the BB cannot, I like my BB because I can send emails instantly and reieve them in real-time without having to manually connect or schedule a connection.
My question ... will this smartphone be always-on like a BB and get email in real-time, will it HotSync wirelessly or just send mail and surf? Should I wait and get a Kyocera 7135 which is designed as a better phone but has a smaller screen. More devices are not making it easier, instead of combining everything I want, they come out with combinations that always leave out something.
RE: Will it replace my Blackberry?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/20/2002 2:48:31 PM #
If it works wirelessly the same way the Blackberry 957 does, no 'going to get your mail, like the Treo', then it will kill the Blackberry if the price is right. If you use your phone often, then I think it may be better to stick with a regular cell phone, but if once and awhile, you get a call or need to place a call, then get this Palm. I sure hope you can get a data service package from Rogers without a voice service. Depending on if you need a bigger screen to read email or ebooks, otherwise maybe the smaller screen on the 7135 will be better. If you need a palm but want a better phone, get the 7135, but hey, that's just my 3 cents (2 cents + tax).
RE: Blackberry Killer?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/20/2002 3:19:09 PM #
well, if you were in europe you would definitely go for this palm.
because of the gprs you can be connected 24/7. you just pay for the ammount of data, it varies from country to country and from operator to operator but it's like 50 to 1.5 euro/usd a MB ...
so for emails, wap and a little browsing it's okey ...
the speed is like dial-up ...

p.s. i personaly preffer having two different devices ... one palm and one cellphone ...

RE: Blackberry Killer?
bcombee @ 9/20/2002 3:53:43 PM #
Palm already offers the ThinAir Apps server which integrates full Exchange groupware access to the Palm VII/VIIx/i705 devices, and the i705 ships with an email redirector that can hook into whatever mail system you have on your desktop and redirect it to the target device.

--
Ben Combee, CodeWarrior for Palm OS technical lead
Programming help at www.palmoswerks.com
RE: Blackberry Killer?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/20/2002 11:33:29 PM #
"Blackberry's software seamlessly interacts with Exchange, and the end users where I work at cannot tell whether I sent my email from my Blackberry, or if I sent it from my desk."

Interfacing with Exchange is indeed hard. If you are stuck with Exchange, my condolences--you have a white elephant and you are paying dearly for it, whether you know it or not. One of the indications of that is the fact that you think that a handheld needs to do something extra-special to talk to your mailer.

Unlike interfacing with a proprietary PC program like Exchange, interfacing with a real standards-compliant enterprise mail server is not a hard problem.

RE: Blackberry Killer?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/21/2002 1:10:26 AM #
Server solutions like those belonging to Synchrologic and Wireless Knowledge will soon (think three or four months) bring RIM-like push to GPRS and 1xRTT Palm OS devices. In fact, they will make RIM look downright primitive. Wireless Knowledge will have a push redirector in that timeframe too. They have not made developing these always-on push solutions a priority because of the sporadic GPRS rollout in the U.S., but now that 1xRTT is here they have a solid network to deploy on. These guys are working closely with Handspring in particular because of their recent success with the Treo 300 (great reviews and being virtually sold out across Sprint’s stores ever since they launched).

I think the recent spat of RIM suits are desperate corporate death spasms. [Disclaimer: I know, I know… People LOVE their RIMs and they will continue to use them for years to come]. They had an awesome solution and a three-year lead, but they didn’t take it anywhere. In fact, they almost *couldn’t* take it anywhere. They were stymied by the Mobitex network’s limitations and GPRS in the U.S. does not have the coverage to make a practical solution for those who travel (i.e., RIM’s prime customers). RIM should have developed towards 1xRTT initially rather than focusing on GPRS (maybe there is some practical reason for this, but I have not heard it). By the time either the GPRS networks come up to a usable level, or they get their 1xRTT solution going the field will be way too crowded. They’ve had a hard time maintaining a business on the 300k units they’ve sold to date, now imagine Good, Palm and Handspring picking off customers during a time when growth is not really taking off (stupid recession!). Alas, the clock is ticking for RIM unless they have something big up their sleeve.

RE: Blackberry Killer?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/25/2002 2:48:47 PM #
Wow. Commenting on a few things, 1) the "new" RIM pager (with the external Antenna) doesn't look so much like the new Palm. Also, it runs on iDEN, not GSM/GPRS, so it is a completely different product. 2) RIM's worldband device (67xx) which is coming out this quarter is a lot "nicer" than the 5810/5820, as it has an internal speaker and mic and can be used more comfortably as a cellphone. 3) as for RIM and 1xRTT, they are supposedly coming out with a device for that (long delayed... they were supposed to release a CDMA/1xRTT device alongside the 5810/5820) this or next quarter. 4) as for other companies inteding to simulate the "push" email technology, expect them to either a) be licensing the stuff from RIM or b) getting their asses sued, as RIM's _extensive_ patent portfolio includes basically everything they've ever done, including the push-email technology. 5) speaking of RIM suing people, while they might like to, they couldn't support a lawsuit agains Palm as clearly the keyboard isn't split in half, or mirrored along the middle (to promote "ease of thumb use"), which is a clear point in RIM's patent that everyone seems so bitter about. Finally, 6) the comment "Unless RIM has something up their sleeve", I say: "Haa Ha Ha Ha! you have no idea...."
-cheers from Canada

Bluetooth Headset

Doo @ 9/20/2002 12:01:12 PM #
If it's Bluetooth head set capable my V60 cell phone and 760 are doomed.

Ed. Has the SD/MMC slot SDIO support?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/20/2002 2:07:35 PM #
To add Bluetooth with the GPRS support would be 2 costly i think. A SD/MMC slot (if it has SDIO support?) is a nice solution although it won't be that handy as built-in Bluetooth.

Does one of your sources still stands with the info that maybe "every Palm would have integrated Bluetooth" in the future Ed?

A (GPRS-)Bluetooth-802.11 dual mode would be THE solution imho. Companies like Silicon Wave/Intersil (Blue802), Mobilian and others are working on it.

The sooner the better.

RE: Bluetooth Headset
twizza @ 9/21/2002 4:40:37 PM #
it would only add to the W if Palm would add BT to this. According to some mis-placed points over @ Buzz and other previous discussion here, Palm has the BT Stack already done for OS4.1 therefore to add it to this model would be almost obvious. I would like to know how the usually battery centric Palm will keep this model's battery life acceptable. Maybe it will add that i705 liek radio [which i hear lends itself to a very good battry life with the i705].

Sony Designers

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/20/2002 12:04:04 PM #
OK, all the pic are out and I just have one question.
What were the Sony designers used for?

Brick

RE: Sony Designers
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/20/2002 12:42:21 PM #
The whole Sony designer thing is absolute FUD.
RE: Sony Designers
jjsoh @ 9/20/2002 1:14:56 PM #
First Comment:
> OK, all the pic are out and I just have one question.
> What were the Sony designers used for?

I don't think this was the model that Sony designers helped work on. I believe it was the new ARM/OS5 Palm that you're referring to.

Second comment:
> The whole Sony designer thing is absolute FUD.

Uhm.. can you clarify? How could references to Sony designers who helped work on a Palm model be considered FUD?

Do you even know what FUD is?

Jim

RE: Sony Designers
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/20/2002 1:40:29 PM #
To be fair there does seem to be signficant evidence that Sony's designers were NOT involved with this model:
1, It looks terrible
2, The keys look bad but I bet they work great (a D-pad! Alright!)
3, It looks like it was copied straight from the Treo blueprints.

In short, looks like RIM and Handspring will be suing Palm within days...

RE: Sony Designers
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/20/2002 8:09:29 PM #
The term "Sony designers" is nonsense - it contains an internal contradiction. "Sony copiers" would be more accurate.

IT'S A PHONEY

RE: Sony Designers
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/20/2002 9:27:25 PM #
Maybe the Sony designers are tanking the competition on purpose...
RE: Sony Designers
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/21/2002 3:50:27 AM #
I believe they hired Handspring designers on this one ..... is it just me or it look exactly like a treo just a little bit more ugly ??
RE: Sony Designers
andrewholler @ 1/18/2003 6:44:20 PM #
Sony Designers, probalby just one guy and keep making up crappy ideas.

What's Up With OS 4.1??

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/20/2002 12:08:44 PM #
What's the point in putting out 4.1 devices? I don't understand why they would try to promote a "new" Palm with the old OS.

FWIW

DLM

RE: What's Up With OS 4.1??
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/20/2002 12:11:15 PM #
Palm has already said that OS 4 is not going away any time soon and that 4 and 5 are at two totally different markets. 4 will be used on lowend handhelds and smartphones for quite some time.
Don't forget Palm hardware and Palm OS are now two totally seperate companies, so Palm the company can use whatever OS it deems necessary as it is no longer developing the OS.
RE: What's Up With OS 4.1??
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/20/2002 12:18:58 PM #
I get the feeling that Palm is holding back on OS5. One device…that does not show strength. I guess they are not comfortable with it yet! Also why would you confuse consumers by giving it the same Tungsten brand if this only runs OS4.1?
RE: What's Up With OS 4.1??
james_sorenson @ 9/20/2002 1:37:41 PM #
I'm eager for OS 5 devices. I would really love to have an Arm Palm in my hand right now. But, let's get realistic:

It is already going to be a real trial to get the first Arm Palm devices glitch-free with reasonable battery-life. Adding integrated phone and network hardware only multiplies the problem. Battery-life in today's Smart-Phones already stink, so adding an Arm processor would be a real mistake.

I'm glad to see they thought this one through and stuck with a stable and energy-efficient processor for this phone. It would kill Palm if they tried to release something buggy with a short battery life.

Now, let's see. This is basically the Treo, but with a larger, high-resolution screen and built-in memory expansion. Perfect! Sign me up!

-------
James Sorenson

RE: What's Up With OS 4.1??
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/20/2002 1:56:51 PM #
Do you really think that the people who are actually going to USE this wireless device really give a crap whether it has OS5 or OS4. I don't think so. They care that it gives them wireless access to email combined with a voice capability when needed as well as all the other features that come with a palm device (including 13000 apps).
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