Rumor: New Zire and Tungsten Models
PIC has received multiple reports on possible new models from the Palm Solutions Group. The new rumors confirm some information from previous sources and reveal additional specs.
Historically, Palm SG has announced new models in the spring and fall. During their Q3 Conference call last week, Palms CFO Judy Bruner confirmed a (product) launch will be in the second half of the quarter. Our sources have indicated a probable April 24th release date.
The Tungsten C is said to resemble form factor of the Tungsten W, with a built in thumb keyboard and integrated WiFi (802.11b) instead of a GSM/GPRS radio. It will run Palm OS 5.2 and use an 400mhz Intel processor. It will have at least 32MB of ram and will retail around $499 USD. It will most likely use the same 16 bit 320x320 screen found on the T & W models.
A digtimes article from last summer claimed Palm would release an OS 5 handheld running a Intel PXA250 microprocessor sometime early in 2003. Staples inventory system recently had a listing for the Tungsten C, which was later removed and Amazon.com lists a Tungsten C at $499 without any other information.
New Zire Model
Rumors about a Palm OS 5 Zire branded handheld have also surfaced. Multiple reports have indicated it will run Palm OS 5.2, have a color screen and an integrated camera that can capture images at up to 640x480 resolution. It will run a TI OMAP ARM processor and could retail for $299.
When Palm SG announced the Tungsten and Zire brands, it indicated that the Tungsten line of devices would be aimed towards mobile professionals and enterprise work forces. The Zire brand is intended for products designed for consumers, not just entry level handhelds.
Both models are said to run Palm OS 5.2, which includes the new Graffiti 2 handwriting recognition engine. Graffiti 2 is a new character recognition engine that replaces the Graffiti engine that had been used in the past. PalmSource licensed and enhanced Jot from CIC. Graffiti 2 was added to make learning data input on the palm os easier for new and inexperienced users.
UPDATE: Additional rumored details are available on the Zire 71.
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