Palm admits to mis-speaking (read: lying) about the quality of the m130 screen

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Palm made a little white lie in March when it released the popular m130. Palm claimed that the m130 could display 64,000 colors. We have learned today that in fact it can display “58,000 color combinations” instead.

Here’s the lowdown from CNet:

Palm gadget’s true colors fall short
By Ian Fried
Staff Writer, CNET
August 19, 2002, 10:14 AM PT

Handheld maker Palm admitted Monday that its low-end m130 handheld is not capable of displaying as many colors as the company had advertised.

When it released the m130 in March, Palm had advertised that the device’s screen could handle more than 64,000 colors, but it actually displays far fewer. By using blending techniques such as combining nearby pixels and turning pixels on and off, the gadget can display 58,000 “color combinations,” said spokeswoman Marlene Somsak.

The company is apologizing for the problem but is not planning to offer refunds, Somsak said. Palm will also change the packaging and advertising for the m130 to address the discrepancy.

“We’ve made an honest mistake, and we are trying to address it,” Somsak said. As for those who have already purchased the device, “We hope they will accept our apology for this well-intentioned error,” she said.

Hewlett-Packard had a similar issue two years ago with its Jornada handhelds running Microsoft’s Pocket PC operating system. The company offered refunds to its customers.

In March, Palm said it was offering free cradle replacements to owners of m500 series handhelds to solve a longstanding problem that prevented some devices from properly sharing data with a computer. Reports of the problem cropped up shortly after the gadgets were introduced in the spring of 2001, but it wasn’t until November that Palm confirmed there was a problem.

Regarding the m130, there has been discussion for some time on Palm message boards that the device might not be able to display as many colors as the company was claiming. However, Somsak said, Palm only recently went back to check and discovered that the device was indeed not performing as promised.

Somsak said the device was designed to offer 64,000 colors but that somehow in the implementation of the design the product did not function as planned.




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