Palm Announces the Zire Handheld

Palm ZirePalm Inc has announced the new entry level, low cost, Zire Handheld. With a street price of $99, the Palm Zire handheld is designed for the first-time purchaser and is being billed as "The ultimate alternative to paper."

The Palm Zire handheld represents the first major introduction to mainstream consumers, a new Palm OS handheld model at the sub-$100 price point. It has a polished white face and silver back design reminiscent of an Apple iPod.

The Zire is the lightest-weight Palm handheld on the market at 3.8 ounces, with measurements of 4.4 x 2.9 x 0.6 in. (109 grams; 11.2 x 7.4 x 1.6 cm). It runs Palm OS 4.1 on a 16mhz Motorola Dragonball EZ processor with 2MB or memory. The display is a 160x160 pixel, monochrome screen and is powered by a rechargeable lithium ion battery. The package comes with USB Hotsync cable, cd, manual and a flip cover. The Zire does feature a IR port for beaming data, however does not have the Palm Universal Connector and lacks any form of memory card expansion.

The silkscreen "Calc" icon has been replaced by a star-shapped "favorite app" icon, which will be used for HotSync by default (There is no HotSync button since there is no included cradle). The model has only two application buttons, which are used to launch the Date Book and Address Book programs. It has seperate up/down buttons as well. The mini-USB and power charging ports are located on the top of the handheld.

Consumer-electronics outlets, major retail chains and online e-stores will carry Zire handhelds. The Palm Zire handheld is immediately available in most countries worldwide. In a first for Palm, the Zire will be targeted at impulse buyers and non-traditional pda users in new locations such a discount retail outlets and supermarket check out lines.

"The Palm Zire handheld symbolizes the beginning of a new generation of useful tools to simplify our lives," said Todd Bradley, president and chief executive officer of Palm Solutions. "Zire handhelds can replace or augment paper-based organization systems and deliver substantial savings in time and cost."

Palm ZireThe Zire ships with Palm Desktop software for Windows and Mac. Also, Pocket Mirror® by Chapura®, which synchronizes with Microsoft Outlook (Windows only). Applications include the stabdard Palm OS core programs including, Address Book, Date Book, Clock, To Do List, Memo Pad, Expense, Note Pad and Calculator. In another Palm first a few "classic" games are included; Mine Hunt, Puzzle, Giraffe, and Hardball.

Related Information:

Article Comments


The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. PalmInfocenter is not responsible for them in any way.
Please Login or register here to add your comments.

Comments Closed Comments Closed
This article is no longer accepting new comments.

Down View Full Comment Thread

Tungsten T

carr7 @ 10/7/2002 12:42:23 AM #
Hope the Tungsten is not far behind!!
RE: Tungsten T
Palmcicle @ 10/7/2002 12:51:59 AM #
Carr 7 are you looking at the new sony or are you set on the Tungsten? I really want to give Bluetooth a try buy I am concerned about the 'slider' wearing out.
RE: Tungsten T
M3wThr33 @ 10/7/2002 1:00:26 AM #
But you don't fear a twisty display or a bendy hinge or a wi-fi port collecting dust?

I don't think you understand the gravity of the situation. We're in space.
RE: Tungsten T
carr7 @ 10/7/2002 1:28:16 AM #
The siding mechanism is my only worry. It's flash upgradability and bluetooth are what I am really looking forward to.

I currently have a 10meg IIIx that I have upgraded several times. I am also guessing the Tungsten T will also be upgradable for years to come.

I also just bought a SonyEricsson T68i I can't wait to try out the bluetooth connection to.

IR port? Wasn't listed in the specs...

Palmcicle @ 10/7/2002 12:42:39 AM #
Palm just updated their site within the last hour. I noticed that there was no IR port listed in the specs. Does this thing have one?

With an intro. price of 99 bucks this thing will be sfuffing stockings at $59. Until Sony (or Dell) buys Palm out in February. I will probably grab a few just for kicks, it will make a great raffle item at the office party.

Phew! Whats that smell?!? Did someone Zire in here?

RE: IR port? Wasn't listed in the specs...
re_ality @ 10/7/2002 1:05:49 AM #
The Zire demo shows IR beaming (see "get started")

Zire? why not a Palm V or Vx?

dhchung @ 10/7/2002 12:50:52 AM #
At that price, I think I would choose a 2nd hand Palm V or Vx if I am the first time user.
Zire only has a newer os which can be flashed to V or Vx anyway.
Palm V looks more professtional, and it has more buttons.
Vx even has more MHz and more RAM.

RE: Zire? why not a Palm V or Vx?
Palmcicle @ 10/7/2002 12:54:15 AM #
There aren't any 'ebay displays' next to the checkout stand a wal-mart though. These will sell like hotcakes during Christmas then die.
RE: Zire? why not a Palm V or Vx?
djpedro @ 10/7/2002 9:03:57 AM #
A palm V or Vx also won't have a full warranty on them. When the price slides town to $50/60 I think these will be a hot commodity indeed.
This is the type of Palm that people on the "other" end have been waiting for, while the the top end is slowly but surely getting what they've been awaiting as well.

RE: Zire? why not a Palm V or Vx?
Wenda @ 10/7/2002 9:52:15 AM #
Palm Vx was suppossed to be a high end PDAs. It's discontinued anyway.

Nothing to kill or die for.
RE: Zire? why not a Palm V or Vx?
OzziePalmDieHard @ 10/7/2002 11:40:57 PM #
If you were a first time buyer, you wouldn't know what a Palm VX. FIrst time buyers still call them PalmPilots for goodness sake.

Even if the buyer saw a V or VX next to the Zire in the shop, they wouldn't see much difference apart from the outward appearance. These people are interested in uses, not specs.

People have a psychological sense that a used object is worth much less, however untouched it is.

That is why your car drops several thousand dollars in woth when you drive it out of the dealership, and that is why the Zire will sell.

Several Months Ago at Palm Headquarters;

"Hah! Those sony bastards think that they can beat us in stupid names. The Tungsten T is infinitely more ridiculous than "clie"....."

It's finally here!

robman @ 10/7/2002 1:00:16 AM #
As an educational researcher deploying handheld computers in the field, the Palm Zire is a godsend. We've been waiting for a machine that is inexpensive, maintains widescale software compatibility, and --- this is important -- comes standard with rechargable batteries.

I would strongly prefer that the Zire came with a Universal Connector over mini USB. While mini USB is a *physical standard*, meaning devices will be less expensive to construct, it's not an existing Palm peripheral standard, meaning that all the current Palm add-ons are incompatible with the Palm.

Palm Research at the University of Texas at Austin

RE: It's finally here!
asiayeah @ 10/7/2002 2:05:45 AM #
Hi robman,

Are you from the Palm Research at the University of Texas at Austin? I am interested in it, what does the division do? Can you show us a URL to it?


RE: It's finally here!
robman @ 10/7/2002 9:00:44 AM #
Hi Tony,

Our group information is at

Palm Research at the University of Texas at Austin

Wait a Second...

JFM3 @ 10/7/2002 1:45:13 AM #
Wait a second here, isn't the m105 also $99? Doesn't it have 8mb instead of 2mb? Doesn't it have a 20mhz Processor (maybe 33mhz, i forget) instead of a 16mhz Processor? Why would anyone buy the Zire? Am I looking at the right information or does it seem that the zire is overpriced or the m105 is underpriced? Comments Anyone? I can think of a lot more reasons why the m105 is a bargin for only $99 when compared to the Zire? Don't get me wrong, I'm a diehard Palm fan with my m505 but what's going on here?
RE: Wait a Second...
twizza @ 10/7/2002 2:00:42 AM #
well. at first i felt like the previous poster and said that this was a nutty attempt for Palm. But then i realized that one, this is designed to be sold for less than $100 before the end of its run. that 2) it is in a lot of respects better than the m100/m105. i ran a class where students had m105s and one of the things that they didnt like was that they had to replace batteries. they liked the idea of an internal rechargable batter better. they also liked the slimmer profile of the m515 compared to the m105. the Zire delievers on these fronts. the last means that i think that this is better is that u will not normally see the Zire in best buy or circuit city next to the m105. You will see the Zire in Walmart and Target, where they will get more 'oooh they sell Palms here too' reaction than what you would get with teh m105.

overall i think that this is a good start for Palm. i just hope that the market feels the same way.

RE: Wait a Second...
cbusch @ 10/7/2002 2:11:31 AM #
Shh! They're hoping no one will notice.

RE: Wait a Second...
hotpaw4 @ 10/7/2002 2:42:07 AM #
> Wait a second here, isn't the m105 also $99?

That's the before Christmas price. After the holiday shopping season, the Zire will probably be priced lower. The m105's seems to be priced low to clear out inventory... get 'em while you can.

RE: Wait a Second...
myname @ 10/7/2002 3:13:13 AM #
hmm should they just discontinue the m105 ??
it's so strange .. the m105 is more expandable, more memory, Palm really love to make strange decisions.

RE: Wait a Second...
alexp @ 10/7/2002 11:39:43 AM #
Remember, the m105 debuted at $250. $250! It's NOW down to about $100, if you can find it at all.

This unit is debuting at the m105's "bottom-out" price, and it'll only get lower over time. Don't be surprised if it's $60 in time for the holidays.

This isn't the Palm for me, obviously, but I can see why a number of people would buy it. There was a time when all of us would have gone nuts for a 2MB Palm for $100.

RE: Wait a Second...
hotpaw4 @ 10/7/2002 3:22:28 PM #
>hmm should they just discontinue the m105 ??
it's so strange .. the m105 is more expandable, more memory, Palm really love to make strange decisions.

What's so strange? If you could choose between producing and selling for $99, a product which cost *you* personally around $60 to manufacture, or a product which cost you less than $30 to manufacture, which would you choose? Don't forget to add up the interest costs on the huge amounts of money you have to borrow to make hundreds of thousands of units, and that you have to give the stores and distributors a healthy chunk of the retail price.

Sounds like an easy decision to me...

It's a classic

asiayeah @ 10/7/2002 1:58:42 AM #
The hardware spec looks similar to a Palm III device, but with USB and rechargable batteries. We could see it as a Palm classic manufactured with today's technologies and latest software.

However, I still wonder why there are only 2 hardware buttons, instead of 4. And wouldn't it be nicer for a single cable, instead of one hotsync and one power cable?

And why it is a 16Mhz CPU, instead of a 33Mhz?


RE: It's a classic
twizza @ 10/7/2002 2:11:12 AM #
i noticed that on the processor too. seems to me that it will suck for those people that get this around christmas. cause it seems like the kind of model that will drop in proce around mid-jan to about $70-75.

RE: It's a classic
Ricky @ 10/7/2002 2:13:43 AM #
The difference between the m105 and Zire is production cost. The 105, with it's relatively good stats, is more expensive to build than the Zire. Right now, it's at the end of it's life and close to being discontinued. My guess is that they are making very little in terms of profit margins right now on that thing. The Zire, however, is $100 on the day that it comes out, and they probably will drop the price a few times. As we all seem to have concluded, it is much cheaper to build, so they actually make some money off of it. I can see them officially discontinuing the m105 in the VERY near future now, as it does make the Zire rather bad.

btw, lists the Zire as only having a MONOCHROME screen, as opposed to grayscale.

RE: It's a classic
asiayeah @ 10/7/2002 3:00:33 AM #
I hope Palm can make some money out of the Zire products. It's also good for the consumers, so that Palm would have enough bullets to fight with the PPC camps.


RE: It's a classic
UZI4U182 @ 10/7/2002 12:10:37 PM #
>MONOCHROME screen, as opposed to grayscale.

I don't see what the difference between the two are.

--Devan-- | Email me:

Webmaster of
Palm OS apps, news, reviews and such
Check out the brand new forum!
Proud owner of a Palm m100, Sony CLIÉ PEG-S320, and Sony CLIÉ PEG-SJ30!

RE: It's a classic
cbulock @ 10/7/2002 12:51:33 PM #
Monochrome means black or white. Grayscale means black and white and all the shades in between.

RE: It's a classic
bcombee @ 10/7/2002 12:58:46 PM #
Actually, monochromw literally means "one color". Most monochrome displays can do different levels of that color, as as noted in Dan's review, this one does do 16 levels of gray with its monochrome screen.

Ben Combee, CodeWarrior for Palm OS technical lead
Programming help at
RE: It's a classic
hansh @ 10/7/2002 3:41:31 PM #
Stop wondering about the low-end specs of this device.

It is just a marketing strategy to offer a single very cheap bottom-end device. I think they deliberately put in so little memory and processing power, in order to win a large market share form first time buyers on the one hand, while on the other hand they don't spoil their marketshare for the more advanced users, who need more memory, processing power and expandability.

I am pretty confident that Palm will soon bring out 8MB 33Mhz and maybe even 16MB 66mhz (color?) versions of this handheld, at a higher price, to cater for the more advanced users who need a new (and definately better looking) alternative to the M1xx series.

just my 2 (euro)cents...

Hans H

RE: It's a classic
myname @ 10/9/2002 5:00:15 AM #
i am sure if it sells for 75 or 50 dollars there will be alot less complaints.

second hand Palms =better choice

serpico @ 10/7/2002 2:41:04 AM #
I think a second hand Palm from ebay or your local buy&sell papers is a better choice. I feel like we're going back to the beginning reading the specs on this! I know why they are bringing this out, but for most of us we would recommend to our friends and family a used Palm V/Vx or IIIc.

The look is different for Palm, but they needed something different than the m1xx series. Anyway, we're waiting for the big OS5 guns! Another 2 weeks I think for the Tungsten.

RE: second hand Palms =better choice
asiayeah @ 10/7/2002 2:58:44 AM #
That's true. We would probably just give our old Palm devices to our relatives or friends, when we buy the new Tungsten T at the end of this monht!

That's probaby why the Zire is released before the Tungsten T! ;-)

RE: second hand Palms =better choice
MikeInDM @ 10/7/2002 8:53:28 AM #
But it's not marked to people who already own Palms... or to their friends. We are talking about a blister pack at Wal-Mart. We are talking about stocking stuffers at Christmas. We are talking about the non-techie parents and grandparents who are spending less than $100 on a first time Palm user. Hopefully, this person will find their experience with Palm a good one and *want* to upgrade to a more expensive machine with "more buttons" :)

If E-bay had a way to physically pickup a used V or Vx while you were standing in line at Wal-Mart it might be an issue. They don't.


RE: second hand Palms =better choice
serpico @ 10/7/2002 4:05:43 PM #
Of course we know that is what Palm is trying to do, it's kinda like the little items near the cashier. They want you to pick up those things as impulse buys. I can see how this Zire can be that too for people who don't know anything about palms or no anyone who owns one. They are after a different market for sure.

Four reasons to buy Clie SL10 instead of Zire

achen @ 10/7/2002 3:10:24 AM #
By spending only $50 more, you get four upgrades:

RAM: 2MB -> 8MB
(After you own it for 1 week, you're going to regret because there is no more space to install software)

CPU: 16 MHz -> 33MHz
(Even palm IIIc has 20 MHz !)

Expantion slot: NO -> YES
(After you own it for 2 week, you're going to regret because there is no expansion slot to take advantage of Palm OS 4.1)

Resolution: 160x160 -> 320x320
(Well.. Palm fans say they don't need HiRes since Clie N series came out, however you only know how good it is after you actully see it and use it.)

Why get Palm when you can get a Clie?

RE: Four reasons to buy Clie SL10 instead of Zire
amike @ 10/7/2002 4:04:45 AM #

RAM: 2MB -> 8MB
why install software? Another PIM ? Too many features for most users, Games (color !)... Remember 80/20 rule !

CPU: 16 MHz -> 33MHz
better speed for what software ?

Expantion slot: NO -> YES
Will you buy APN for your Zire? Really?
And Zire is not e-book for "big" readers

Resolution: 160x160 -> 320x320
I find the clie-10 display very slow, and the use of greyness make it very ugly. So....

Why get Palm when you can get a Clie?

RE: Four reasons to buy Clie SL10 instead of Zire
myname @ 10/7/2002 4:27:01 AM #
One thing I think most peope would like to put on a PDA .... a DICTIONARY !!! that's not a game, that doesn't need any color screen.

As for the rest of your comment, I think it's a waste of my time to even respond to, you should know how wrong your really are.

RE: Four reasons to buy Clie SL10 instead of Zire
twkermit @ 10/7/2002 4:29:51 AM #
I agree with you. Also,
I think the customers are smart enough to reject the terrible Zire from their pockets.
In fact, Zire is a newly-named PDA with a 1997 Hardware spec. except the rechargable battery and the "new" OS.
Dear all, if you care about the weight get a Visor Edge, if you care the resolution, get SL10 .....
just not "Zire".
Don't spend one cent on a dummy machine.

RE: Four reasons to buy Clie SL10 instead of Zire
Strider_mt2k @ 10/7/2002 7:04:49 AM #
You guys are missing the point again.
If Sony hung the SL10 in Target, they would probably blow the Zire away in sales.

But they aren't.

RE: Four reasons to buy Clie SL10 instead of Zire
achen @ 10/7/2002 10:21:47 AM #

You might be right,
-- not everybody needs 8MB
-- not everybody can feel the difference between 16MHz and 33MHz
-- not everybody make use of the expansion slot
-- not eveybody wants HiRes

However, can you say those four upgrades does not worth $50?

Zire might be a good PDA at this price, however comparing to something which is only $50 more but having much more features (which should be treated as standard -- for a Plam OS 4.x model comes out in late 2002), I feel the Zire does not have a pretty low and terrible C/P ratio.

Why get Palm when you can get a Clie?

Top View Full Comment Thread
Achtung! Only the first 50 comments are displayed within the article.
    Click here for the full story discussion page...


Register Register | Login Log in