In the last few months, I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve read a post in the Brighthand forums along these lines: “It’s been a year since Palm last introduced a new handheld. Is Palm ever going to make something besides Treos again?”
I wish I had some absolutely definitive evidence that this company is going to put out some new PDAs in the near future, but Palm does everything it can to keep rumors of its upcoming devices from leaking out.
All Signs Say “Yes”
Nevertheless, I’ve seen some very good indications that Palm intends to release new traditional handhelds this fall. I haven’t published anything about this before because I don’t know any details and can’t reveal where I got the information from. That doesn’t make a very good article.
Still, it seems like a good time to reveal what I have, even if it’s only guesswork.
Like I said, I don’t have absolute knowledge what the new models will be, but I’m not expecting anything earth-shaking. Right now, the possibilities are greatly limited by the fact that any device will have to run Palm OS Garnet.
Until the new version of the Palm OS comes out, this company is in a holding pattern. Updated models with more built-in storage is about all I’m expecting.
I’ve got some good news for those who have lost hope: Palm, Inc. has scheduled a press conference on October 12 at the DigitalLife show. It’s possible that this will be the venue where Palm will announce its latest handhelds.
But even if it doesn’t happen there, I’m sure it will happen some time soon.
Why am I so certain? Because Palm still depends on handheld sales for a big percentage of its revenue. Despite the fact that the mobile industry is moving in the direction of smartphones, it will still be some time before things have completely moved in that direction.
In conference calls after the release of all its recent financial reports, Palm executives have made a special point to say that their company recognizes that handhelds are important to the bottom line.
That should make it clear that more handhelds are coming up.
What’s on the Docket?
I wish I had stronger evidence of exactly what is on transport ship sailing across the Pacific right now, but I’m still willing to go out on a limb and make some predictions on what the new Palm handhelds will be.
It seems like a no-brainer that this company will introduce a LifeDrive 2. This model will offer at least twice as big a built-in hard drive as the original, but will also not have the technical drawbacks that have driven users out of their minds.
There have been some rumors of a next-generation Palm TX. According to these, the internal storage of this device will be a gigabyte or so.
A new entry-level device might also be on the docket.
I wish I knew. But none of us will know for another few weeks.