Palm Says Three New Models Coming Next Month

In June, Palm's CEO Eric Benhamou said his company would be releasing three new models this fall. Today, Todd Bradley, who is CEO of Palm's Solutions Group, said it would be launching all three of these next month, according to ZDnet. While Bradley did give launch dates and some brief descriptions for these models, he didn't reveal too many details.

For readers of this site, the most important day is probably October 28, when the company will launch worldwide two new high-end models: a Palm OS 5 model and a smartphone.

Bradley confirmed that the OS 5 model has a "totally new design" and has Bluetooth wireless networking built in. This new design almost certainly the one from the Oslo prototype, an image of which was leaked this Summer. It 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.

In an interesting side note, Bradley said designers who had previously worked for Sony had a hand in this model.

According to rumor, it will be named the Tungsten. It will use a Texas Instruments OMAP1510 processor, which combines into a single chip an ARM-compliant processor with a DSP for multimedia capabilities, and runs at 175 MHz. It will have 16 MB of RAM.

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

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.

Update: An image of this model has been leaked which confirms some of the rumors.

Surprisingly little is known about the smartphone, which is rumored to be called the Veld. Bradley said will feature GPRS wireless networking, which will give it high-speed, always-on, telephone and data connectivity.

"This will be very data-centric and is focused on the mobile professional," Bradley told ZDnet UK. "It will be voice capable but it will not be pushed as a voice-centric product."

It does not appear that this model will run Palm OS 5. Nothing is yet known about pricing, appearance, or much else about this model.

Update: Details and images of this new smartphone are now available.

Of course, these won't be the only models introduced by Palm next month. First off the mark will be its entry-level model, which will be launched worldwide on October 7. Bradley gave no other details, but he is clearly referring to the Zire, of which the first image was leaked earlier today.

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They are coming!!!

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 3:21:27 PM #
Finally!!! :o)

Good things are coming from palm!

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 3:24:27 PM #
I am so looking forward to October. Palm is going after three very different and distinct markets by aiming at the low end (Zire), High end (Tungsten), and the smartphone/blackberry arena (Veld).

The story mentions the fact that palm will try to sell the Zire at supermarkets and I assume that here in the US this means places like walmart and target.

And the Tungsten sounds very intriguing. I just hope the form factor is right.

The other interesting part of the story is that palm hired several Sony deisgners to work on these new models. Very cool!

RE: Good things are coming from palm!
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 4:10:06 PM #
From my limited trips into those stores as of late, I think Sony, Palm and Handspring have all tried their luck with the Walmart/Target stores, with little or no luck.

I saw, a few months ago, Visor Edge and Neo units being clearanced out at a Wal-Mart supercenter out in the sticks for *$50*! I picked up a few extra cradles/styli as really cheap gifts for family and coworkers. I think I paid 7 or 9 bucks for a Prism serial recharging cradle.

Just last week, I saw tons of m100's at Target, also on clerance. I think this was some sort of "grad pack" like they had for the m125 recently. It was blister packed, and included a CD with some e-books, a game, and a few other apps on it. It was $60, marked down from $100. Would make a far nicer gift for someone than the Zire, but that's not comparing apples to apples...

I also saw a Sony S360 at Target, still selling for $179.99 or some such. It was greatly overpriced compared to what Best Buy had been selling them for lately (about $150 with a $25 rebate on top of that).

I think that the crowd that frequents those stores are far more likely to purchase Royal, Sharp, and Casio electronic organizers with price points below $40.
What Palm DOES need to work on are their atrocious displays at most retail stores. At compusa, they had a m505 in the m515's spot, Office Depot and Office Max uses non-functional dummy models (that are usually broken). Best Buy's units usually work, but you can't get a good idea for the way the unit feels due to the cage around them. Costco actually does the best job of anyone ,since at my local store, the PDAs are usually functioning, fully charged and more or less in order.

RE: Good things are coming from palm!
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 4:27:49 PM #
Once again, the middle of the road market seems to be ignored. The Palm III series filled this area so well, right up to the demise of the IIIc. I think that Handspring picked up a lot of sales to old(er) folks or those with bad eyesight because of the nice big screens and the easy-to-handle buttons.

Someone looking at Palm's current lineup might not care for the m5xx formfactor, yet would hate the m1xx screens. That leave a glaring hole in the lineup that Handspring's remaining Visors and any number of Sony models can steal sales from.

Chances are, still, when you see an upper middle ageish businessman whip out his PDA, it'll be either a Visor or a III series Palm, and quite likely a color one.

RE: Good things are coming from palm!
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 4:31:57 PM #
> Someone looking at Palm's current lineup might not care for the m5xx formfactor,
> yet would hate the m1xx screens. That leave a glaring hole in the lineup

I don't think this qualifies as a hole in the lineup. They have mid-range products, just not ones you like. Plenty of people have bought tons of m130s and liked them plenty.

Keyboard and color?

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 3:30:20 PM #
Will the GPRS device have a keyboard (like Blackberry and Treo) and will it have color? Those features are essential.

RE: Keyboard and color?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 3:32:28 PM #
built in Keyboard...Palm mayb be worried after today's lawsuit filed by RIM against Handspring over some "Keyboard" patent.
RE: Keyboard and color?
Token User @ 9/19/2002 3:49:41 PM #
Wonder why RIM aren't also targetting ...

Seiko - for their thumbboard addon.
Sony - for the keyboard in a clamshell.
Silkyboard - for their overlays.
Motorola - for their "Timeport" pagers.
Cybiko - for their wireless "teen market" communicators.
Nokia - for their 9000 series cellphone/pda combo devices.
Sharp - for the Zaurus.

Gotta love a good patent infringement lawsuit. This patent is about as good as the "One click purchase" patent granted to Amazon ...

RE: Keyboard and color?
Ed @ 9/19/2002 4:17:43 PM #
Please keep in mind that RIM isn't suing Handspring for putting a keyboard on the Treos; the suit is over some details about the keyboard that RIM has a patent on.

Please continue the discussion about the RIM lawsuit here:

News Editor

RE: Keyboard and color?
Ed @ 9/19/2002 4:21:40 PM #
Palm could still surprise us. Back in June when he first laid out the plan to release three new models, Benhamou also said Palm will eventually release models with built-in keyboards, though he didn't say when.

News Editor
RE: Keyboard and color?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/20/2002 12:23:17 AM #
yes it does have a keyboard built on it,
but has other short comings including:
only can use an ear bud to talk into an hear;
second issue does not use os 5.0 third issue
uses the old 66mhz dragonball processor; forth
issue general packet radio for cell calls;
fifth issue only 16mb ram; but has an sd slot.
LOOKS like plastic crap........
RE: Keyboard and color?
Bartman007 @ 9/20/2002 1:26:16 AM #
Please excuse the comment, but, to the above poster:

Mr. Anony: WTF are you smoking?
Stupid I.M. Anony's trying to start flamewars...

RE: Keyboard and color?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/20/2002 2:50:10 AM #
IF it has a keyboard then I certainly wouldn't be buying it ! It's the main reason I never got a treo
RE: Keyboard and color?
quake97 @ 9/20/2002 12:31:00 PM #
Same here, I don't like keyboards on PDAs. I guess its because my fingers are too big, but I'm really good at Graffiti. I can easily do more words per minute using Graffiti versus the keyboard. I also don't write 18 page emails, so I don't need the "speed" of the keyboard. I never upgraded to the newer Treos because they only had keyboards. I have a T68i now.


RE: Keyboard and color?
Ed @ 9/20/2002 12:40:21 PM #
It has a keyboard and a hi-res color screen. Check it out:

News Editor

Why Tungsten is risky

sandbuck @ 9/19/2002 3:25:39 PM #
Here's three to start with:

1) Bad form factor. Business wants these features in a 500-series case. I'll bet they never put an ARM in that form factor.
2) Busy design. The slidng action makes it a novelty that I think will have a short shelf life. How's that Zarus doing after the $100 price cut?
3) Price point?? Outside of networking, this unit's featureset barely holds a candle to Sony's T-series. $450 tops, and that's only because of the wireless capability.

No thanks
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 3:39:45 PM #
16mb and 175MHz processor and an ugly look to top. Wasn't the m515 a better model for Palm? Stylish already, SD slot for bluetooth and a market already. I hope they lower the price on the m515 next month.
RE: Why Tungsten is risky
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 4:01:17 PM #
I don't trust that sliding mechanism for one moment, especially after having had a Vx and m505 for the past 2.5 years encased in a Palm hardcase.

All the "rest" of us really need/want is an m515 with a faster Dragonball, better battery life, and a backlit grafitti area. That would be my absolute dream machine. Heck, even 2 out of the above 3 would make me happy.

I have to admit that I'm rather surprised that no one has tried to make a limited edition niche-type Palm handheld, with a slightly overclocked (from the factory) Dragonball. I always thought that Handspring could have sold the Edge running at 43 mhz out of the box and created, if nothing else, some buzz around the launch. Sorta like how the makers of various Nvidia and ATI chipset video cards try to differentiate their products from one another.

Or like Falcon Northwest's limited run of overclocked Voodoo3's and TNT2 Ultra's, back a few years ago...

RE: Why Tungsten is risky
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 4:20:51 PM #
> Bad form factor. Business wants these features in a 500-series case. I'll bet they never put an ARM in that form factor.

You obviously have not seen the development boards for the OMAP processors. They are very small.

RE: Why Tungsten is risky
sandbuck @ 9/19/2002 4:26:22 PM #
> You obviously have not seen the development boards for the OMAP processors. They are very small.

Oh I'm sure its possible to fit an ARM in a 500-series, but Palm may now have the common sense to do it. The natural evoution of the 5 is a ARM model with at least high-res. I hope they realize this and put one out this year.

RE: Why Tungsten is risky
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 4:33:35 PM #
The sliding design on the Zaurus serves a purpose: the Zaurus would be too large with its big screen if the keyboard was permanently exposed.

Sales of the Zaurus aren't comparable to the Palm--it's a new platform, it's a big form factor, and it comes from one company only. Given all that, I think it's doing pretty well, and it's a great deal in terms of what you get for your money. But it's not a replacement for a Palm--they are different devices.

There is a Palm-like form-factor for the Zaurus for sale in Japan (very small and light; no CF or keyboard); I hope that wil make it here.

RE: Why Tungsten is risky
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 10:04:23 PM #
Nevermind sliding design, the bigger question is will Palm promise the Tungsten is upgradable to OS 6.0? with such meager memory it would be worth asking.
RE: Why Tungsten is risky
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 10:25:28 PM #
>2) Busy design. The slidng action makes it a novelty that I think will have a short shelf life. How's that Zarus doing after the $100 price cut?

How is any linux PDA doing?

>16mb and 175MHz processor and an ugly look to top. Wasn't the m515 a better model for Palm? Stylish already, SD slot for bluetooth and a market already.

Huh? 175mhz vs 33 mhz. 320x320 vs 160x160. OS 5 vs OS 4.1 (means: browser + true security/encryption throughout the OS). MP3 + headphone jack vs 'beep-beep'. D-Pad. Built in Bluetooth (last i checked - lots of PIC members have wanted this so they can actually connect to the net AND add memory). A built-in microphone.

What the heck are you guys complaining about? 'I bet the sliding thingy will break!' - why are you even reading this if you've made up your mind about something that you don't even know about it?

RE: Why Tungsten is risky
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/20/2002 12:17:16 AM #
>3) Price point?? Outside of networking, this unit's featureset barely holds a candle to Sony's T-series. $450 tops, and that's only because of the wireless capability.

No, No, No. Did you ever consider battery life?

Bluetooth: Palm and TI

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 3:28:51 PM #
Palm OS 5.x Bluetooth Stack is based upon the qualified “XTNDAccess Blue SDK” from Extended Systems and will use it with any Palm built-in device regardless of CPU or radio H/W (Silicon Wave, TI, Ericsson, Infineon, CSR). Extended Systems’ Bluetooth Software Development Kit Supports Texas Instruments Point-to-Multipoint Chipset

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 3:36:47 PM #
Cool. Bluetooth has a lot more functions then 802.11. Bluetooth is the way to go when it comes to mobility. 802.11 is for networking.

What we all been waiting for.

PDA /w Bluetooth + Cellphone /w BT or Cell/PDA Combo ...
Token User @ 9/19/2002 3:42:17 PM #
I was waiting for the Palm devices with builtin Bluetooth like a zealot. It was going to be the ideal companion to my T68, and replace my aging Visor.

BUT last weekend, my T68 suffered a fate worse than death - the "washing machine of doom".

On the bright side, this has opened up two options that will be available at about the same time.

1. Do I continue down the path of BT enlightenment and get a new T68 and a Tungsten ... or
2. Hold out for a decent combo device (the Kyocera 7135 has me VERY tempted), and if the Palm combo is coming out in a similar timeframe, thats another option.

Any constructive opinions?

RE: Bluetooth: Palm and TI
useybird @ 9/19/2002 4:20:28 PM #
Bluetooth is a basically useless dead technology that's only good if you have the expensive phones.

Crack-smash! Splatter: The sound of the MLB using Pocket PC's instead of Baseballs.
RE: Bluetooth: Palm and TI
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 4:23:17 PM #
Token User, I prefer having separate phone and handhelds.

* You to upgrade one without the other.

* One can break and you still have the other. This reduces the cost of buying replacements.

* you can buy the best phone available and the best handheld available. You don't have to settle for the best combo.

RE: Bluetooth: Palm and TI
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 4:26:40 PM #
I would get the two devices. The main issue being battery life. The other being from factor. I am happy with the m515 as the pda with a t68i connected by bluetoooth sd card. (Built in BT would be great but I am concerned about it hurting the palm battery life. I am already slightly disappointed in the m515 baterylife) This is better for my use than any of the combo devices I have seen. Besides I use two cell phones any way, the the t68 and a nokia that is in a car speakerphone mount.

RE: Bluetooth: Palm and TI
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 4:36:17 PM #
Your pretty ignorant to think that BT is DOA.

Bluetooth has two important advantages. It is useful at much lower power draw, so for a PDA that just needs close range networking support.. this is a big big bonus.

It also is relatively cheap to implement. Expect to see Bluetooth become common place in the near future.. Hell I expect my toaster to come bluetooth enabled before all is said and done.

The only threat to this vision is the currently in research phase low power consumption 802.11... that's still far from being a reality however.

RE: Bluetooth: Palm and TI
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 4:42:44 PM #
What are the practical disadvantages of the bluetooth combo. How does it actually work. For instance, if I'm using my PDA and my cell phone is on but in my briefcase or jacket pocket. Will I know when an e-mail comes in or do you have to do something to engage it. I used to have a 5x w/Omnisky, I now have a Clie 760 and I want to go back to wireless access without giving up screen size. Will bluetooth work?
Thanks for you comments.
What is Bluetooth? Some facts
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 5:40:37 PM #

-Eliminates wires and cables between both stationary and mobile devices
-Facilitates both data and voice communication
-Offers the possibility of ad hoc networks and delivers the ultimate synchronicity between all your personal devices
-No battery-sapping like 802.11: Bluetooth is Low power
-Robust wireless connection method with a small footprint that makes it very well suited for millions of handheld devices
(A Bluetooth chip, designed to communicate in the 10m range, consumes only 1mW of power, compared to an 802.11b chip, which consumes more than 1W. A single Bluetooth chipset is also fairly small, with a size of 8x8mm, compared to the smallest 802.11b at 30x14mm.)
-Chips will be cheap (volume)
-Bluetooth does not need a base radio station because every device can create a local network.
-Another advantage of Bluetooth as a cable replacement technology are the applications (*e.g ). Retail kiosks, pay phones, and other public access points will support proximity services.
-Bluetooth also holds an advantage concerning voice communication. Here, Bluetooth can be used in a cordless phone within a 10m range, in an office environment or home, without the need for handoffs. Other WLAN technologies need voice-over-IP to support voice communication

RE: Bluetooth: Palm and TI
dsm363 @ 9/19/2002 6:42:36 PM #
October is going to be a very expensive month for me: Sony T68i and the Tungsten model. That combined with iSync (when that comes out) on my iBook will be very cool. I hope they bother to update Palm Desktop too.


Bluetooth In America
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 11:02:53 PM #
Okay I'm bumed about one thing, several times I've heard about the great things in Europe that have Bluetooth but here in the States Bluetooth is almost nonexistent. Outside of 1 or 2 cell phones what can you do with it? There are no Bluetoothp printers around, no Bluethooth headphones readily available. All the stuff Bluetooth is suppose to excel at does not exist.

At least with 802.11 I can get on my network at home (great for getting instant updates on football Sunday's! ;-), Starbucks, even downtown Pittsburgh was getting "wired" for 802.11.

I'm not saying Bluetooth is a dud, but lets face it right now 802.11 is king, wheter or not you want to admit it.

On another note I can't believe the people commenting on the form factor when no one has seen it yet. How can you say it sucks when you never saw one, (and no the Oslo doesn't count, yet). Who knows if Palm is telling us the truth on what the thing looks like. Lets give them a break until we see "official" photos.


Bluetooth Products
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/20/2002 3:18:24 AM #
Ask yourself WHY Bluetooth is more a success in Europe then in the US?

There are still a lot of people outthere who DON'T know the differences between Bluetooth and 802.11.

Wi-Fi And Bluetooth As Complementary, Not Competing, Technologies

To give you an idea what's to come.....

Bluetooth Qualified Products/Components
Bluetooth Products Online

All the great smartphones of Nokia (7650, 8910 and soon 3650), Ericsson (P800) and Motorola (A820, in 2003 comes Paragon) have integrated Bluetooth.

Other integrated Bluetooth Phones are:

Nokia 6310(i)
Ericsson T68(i), R520m, T39m
Philips Fisio 820
Samsung Bluetooth PCS Phone SEC-X7700 and SEC-X2500
Motorola T280i, Timeport 270
NEC 606

Nokia LRW-1 Bluetooth Battery pack for 6210

Bluetooth telephones with DBA10 adaptor
Ericsson T28s/T29s, R320s/R380s, A2618s/A2628s, T20

BLUETOOTH IS SET to get easier to use with PCs this year as Microsoft and Apple Computer both integrate the short-range wireless technology into their client operating systems and vendors unveil a variety of new devices.

RE: Bluetooth: Palm and TI
quake97 @ 9/20/2002 12:27:36 PM #
I recently got a Sony Ericsson T68i just for the Bluetooth. Wireless is the future and its the only thing I go for these days. I'm so happy to hear that the Tungsten will have Bluetooth built-in. The add-on card for the Palm and Clie cost well over $100. So, knock $150 off the price of the Tungsten and I think its pretty darn good. Get a decent Clie/Palm and add $150 to it for the Bluetooth and it'll cost more then the Tungsten. Bluetooth is still new, so anything with it costs a lot of money. I paid $430 for the T68i. ;)

Its safe to say I'm excited.



I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 3:47:23 PM #
Did anyone catch this?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 4:11:22 PM #
"In an interesting side note, Bradley said designers from Sony worked on this model."

I wonder...

Sony helped to design it.
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 6:56:53 PM #
From the article: "Palm is understood to have hired designers from electronics giant Sony to work on the new Palm."

So does that mean it'll have a cool design and functions but the battery will only last 2 hours?

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