RealTime IT News

Palm, Others Kill Wireless Portals

Wireless portals, which were the next big thing a year ago, are starting to fail as three such portals were curtailed this week.

The most visible of the wireless portal failures was Palm's MyPalm personalizable site at which users can synchronize personal data with their handhelds and access a variety of other content. The company has given users until January 10 to remove or lose their data from the site.

Palm cited a lack of revenue from the portal. The company has been under considerable pressure in the last two quarters as revenues and unit sales have plummeted.

Separately, London-based Iobox, which is a unit of Spanish wireless operator Terra Mobile, said it would close wireless portals in Finland and Sweden next month. The site provides Web-based e-mail and applications that can be downloaded to wireless phones. That service will be closed by the end of the year, the company said.

Wireless portals were touted a year ago as a key differentiator between wireless operators and service providers and they sprouted up rapidly throughout the world. However, consumers have been slow to adopt wireless devices for data.

Besides being beset by financial difficulties and eroding market share, Palm recently announced that it would delay the release of its next-generation wireless handheld. It provided no release date for the device.