Palm To Pump Up Tungsten, Zire Lines

Palm is expected to release three new handhelds this
week, the Tungsten T3, Tungsten E, and Zire 21 internetnews.com has
learned.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based handheld computer maker declined to comment
on any of the details saying it would not respond to information posted on
what it calls “rumor sites.”

According to sources familiar with the devices however, the high-end T3
will be marketed to Palm’s professional base and command a $399 price point
with the low-end Tungsten E priced at $199. In Palm’s consumer focused line,
the Zire 21 will replace the company’s ultra-popular entry-level Zire.

The Tungsten T3 will feature the sliding mechanism familiar to users of
the Tungsten T and T2 with a 320×480 color screen, enabling a wider viewing
area. The device will run on an updated version of Palm OS 5 over Intel’s
400MHz XScale processor. It also features 64MB RAM and
integrated Bluetooth wireless for connecting with phones,
PCs or other handhelds. Palm’s other Tungsten release — the T2 — ran on a
Texas Instruments OMAP processor and allowed for MP3, video
playback, and photo software for listening to music files, playing movie
trailers, and storing photos.

The Tungsten E will similarly run an updated version of Palm OS over an
OMAP chip and will feature 32MB RAM. The device will feature a 320×320 pixel
screen (higher resolution than the standard 240×320 on Pocket PCs). As with
most handhelds today, the E will feature a Secure Digital expansion slot.
The device is expected to replace the Palm V series and will be the first
sub-$200 model in Palm’s business class lineup of Tungsten handhelds pitting
it against similar devices like the Dell Axim X3 and the
HP iPaq 1935.

Other Tungsten offerings include the original Tungsten T, the GSM/GPRS
functional Tungsten W, and the Wi-Fi enabled Tungsten C.

In the consumer space, the Zire 21 features the same form factor as the
original and will be offered at the same $99 price point. The device
features 8MB of RAM (a 4x improvement over the original Zire’s 2MB) and a
faster processor. The device is still a monochrome device with a plastic
case. Palm found the $99 Zire to be a tremendous success with first time
buyers. The company has noted its Zire 71 with internal digital camera also
as being a hot seller.

Palm has said in the past that it has not officially begun to phase out
the older Palm m515 and Palm m130 models but going forward has decided to
pursue its Tungsten and Zire brands as well as its Treo products, which it
is acquiring from Handspring .

In an announcement Monday, Palm said it has scheduled a proxy vote at its
annual meeting of stockholders on Oct. 28, 2003 to approve a three-way deal
to change its corporate name to PalmOne; acquire the assets of Handspring;
and split off its PalmSource software division as a separate publicly traded
company.

The company said its stockholders at the close of business on Sept. 23,
2003, would be entitled to vote on the proposal.

Palm also announced that the Securities and Exchange Commission on
Friday, Sept. 26, declared effective Palm’s registration statement on Form
S-4. That form includes the proxy statement that will be mailed to Palm
stockholders related to the annual meeting.

If the proposal is approved by shareholders, the “PALM” ticker symbol
would split into PalmSource’s “PSRC” and PalmOne’s “PLMO.”

News Around the Web