Palm Eyes Enterprise With New Handhelds

Palm's Tungsten twosome targets business customers.

With eyes on the enterprise, Palm Inc. on Monday introduced two new handheld computers aimed at business customers.

The Palm Tungsten T is the companys first device to run Palm OS version V and Texas Instruments Inc.s ARM-based OMAP (Open Media Application Protocol) 1510 processor, which is designed to handle data- and graphic-heavy multimedia applications.

It includes a 320-by-320 pixel high-resolution color screen and 16 MB of memory, a secure digital expansion slot and support for the Bluetooth short-range wireless protocol along with Palms classic organizer software.

The device has a "slider" design to make it more compact. The 5-way navigator (up, down, left, right and select) and application buttons reside on the slider, which opens to reveal a screen for users to input data using the Graffiti handwriting recognition language. Officials estimated that 90 percent of handheld computing activities did not require the Graffiti screen.

Available immediately, it has a retail price of $499.

The Palm Tungsten W is the companys first wireless device that includes support for the GSM(Global System for Mobility)/GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) networks.

It includes a built-in keyboard for one-handed navigation to make it easier to use the device as a phone. Although Palm officials have said in the past that its main focus for a GPRS device would be always-on e-mail access, the W includes a number of phone features such as speed dialing, caller ID, call forwarding, 5-way conference calling and call-history logs.

The W also includes integrated support for the Bluetooth short-range wireless protocol and a 320-by-320 pixel color screen.

Available in the United States in the first quarter of 2003, the Tungsten W will cost $549 without a carrier contract, but the carriers who offer the device are expected to subsidize the cost as they do with most cell phones today. Service pricing has yet to be determined.

AT&T Wireless has already agreed to offer the Tungsten W on its GPRS network in the States. Rogers AT&T Wireless will offer it in Canada, Vodafone will offer it in Europe and SingTel will offer it in Asia.

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