And Then Came Smart

By Jason Brooks  |  Posted 2006-03-24 Print this article Print

Phones"> The Palm IIIc added color at a hefty price tag, while the Palm m100 hit a $150 price point in a smaller, and not very usable, form-factor.

Smart phone pioneers and HandEra 330
While Palm threw spaghetti at the wall in 2000, competitors that had licensed the Palm OS readied products for 2001 that attacked the same niches and developed new ones.
Handspring and Kyocera both married the cellular phone with the Palm OS in clever ways. HandEra improved on the Palm with the HandEra 330s bigger screen and supported Secure Digital, CompactFlash and MultiMedia Card expansion cards.
Treo 180 and Palm i705
Once computer users became accustomed to all-the-time Internet access, we began expecting that sort of connectivity to follow us onto anything that calls itself a computing device. What does the future hold for Palm OS? Click here to read more. The Handspring Treo 180 and the Palm i705 took tentative steps in this direction, but we blame the slowdown weve seen in PDA sales on the fact that, connectivity-wise, weve seen rather little improvement since these units hit the market. Wireless carriers: Get used to the idea of unwalling your gardens and tossing out your by-the-minute meters, and subscribers will follow. Zire and Tungsten
Higher resolution displays, Bluetooth connectivity and a spiffy new 32-bit OS marked Palms Zire and Tungsten devices, which delivered better on the personal digital assistant duties in which fewer people seemed to be interested. Treos
The sweetest fruit born of Handsprings spin-off and subsequent reintegration with Palm has been the line of Treo smart phone devices, which, having shed their early flip-phone form factor, have grown into fairly mature and even cross-platform-connected digital assistants. The latest Treo, the 700w, is outshone by its Palm OS-powered 650 sibling, but the 700w offers choice by running the Windows Mobile 5.0 operating system. While Palm devices initially came in through the back door at most corporations, the platforms impact has been significant. Companies buy the latest Palm devices in bulk, bundling voice and data services that make it easier for mobile professionals to book orders and service customers without a notebook PC. We look forward to testing the next 10 years worth of Palm devices. Technical Analyst Michael Caton can be reached at; Senior Analyst Jason Brooks can be reached at Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on mobile and wireless computing.

As Editor in Chief of eWEEK Labs, Jason Brooks manages the Labs team and is responsible for eWEEK's print edition. Brooks joined eWEEK in 1999, and has covered wireless networking, office productivity suites, mobile devices, Windows, virtualization, and desktops and notebooks. JasonÔÇÖs coverage is currently focused on Linux and Unix operating systems, open-source software and licensing, cloud computing and Software as a Service. Follow Jason on Twitter at jasonbrooks, or reach him by email at

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