I have to say that early spring and early winter make for some of the most fun viewing of PDA news. This spring we continue the ever-loving story of palmOne and their love/hate relationship with their customers. As you know, last fall the entrances of the T5 and Treo650 were met with half happiness and have “what the heck are you doing?” Many people truly felt that the reign of the PalmOS PDA was over and we had nothing but smartphones to look forward to. Enter this spring and new rumors of palmOne devices that seem to very well be the answer to the prayers of palmOne’s co-stars (the customers).
While many felt that the T5 was more of an upgrade to the TE than it was the next step from the T3, palmOne intends to bring out an evolved form of the TE, most likely called the TE2, that is supposed to have better battery life, the non-volatile memory found in the Treo650 and T5, and the inclusion of Bluetooth wireless networking. The chances of this being release are pretty likely given the age of the TE. I would guess that the price would be around $225 and release would happen in late April.
T6/Tungsten 2005/Life Drive
Possibly the most intriguing of twists in this episode are the many rumors clamoring about the successor to the T5. Already given a number of names and configurations, one thing is known, that palmOne is planning a big splash of a device. Specs of this device have ranged from Bluetooth and WiFi, to having 4GB of RAM and a VGA screen. What ever is coming, like the TE2, we will not know until late April. Here is a picture released at the Thai PDA website, MrPalm. Though this seems more like a upgrade to the BlackBerry. There is a Blackberry client being made for the PalmOS, so if this is the T6/Tungsten 2005/Life Drive, it seems to be just about what everyone is looking for from palmOne.
Late last year the co-stars of this palmOne soap opera (the customers and fans) caught wind that palmOne was possibly looking to release a Treo running Windows Mobile. As reported here last week, the model pictures circulated are real pictures. The question is if whether they are pictures of a development model of the 650 or really the 670. In the writer’s opinion, one of those pictures did show what looked to be the Windows Mobile operating system carefully shadowed and placed into very bad lighting. I would think that if palmOne was going to release this, that they would look to release it around the same time that Windows Mobile 2005 would be announced for release, roughly late May or early June.
So there you have it. This episode of the Rumor Mill Churns will return later in the season with more tidbits. Hopefully, the prime time action of palmOne will measure up to the hype created by these previews.