In the past several years, Wi-Fi wireless networking has become increasingly common on handhelds. It is essentially a requirement on high-end models at this point, and can even be found on many mid-range models.
The major hold-out in this area has been palmOne. It has released only a single model with built-in Wi-Fi, the Tungsten C, and that was almost two years ago.
However, this company does offer a Wi-Fi SD card, which works with many of its models. Still, palmOne has drawn criticism for not integrating this wireless networking standard into its most recent high-end device, the Tungsten T5.
If a recent leak is correct, palmOne may be taking a step to remedy this. According to an anonymous source, the company will soon begin bundling its Wi-Fi SD card with both the Tungsten T5 and Zire 72.
While bundling accessories with handhelds isn’t unusual, what makes this move significant is these bundles will be sold at the same prices as the handhelds themselves. In short, palmOne will be including the Wi-Fi SD card, which has a suggested price of $129, for free.
While it’s possible this is a sign that palmOne has finally realized that Wi-Fi is an important feature in handhelds, it isn’t the only way to interpret this move.
The Zire 72 is coming up on its first birthday, the point at which handhelds typically get a price reduction. Rather than cutting the price, palmOne may be planning to use the Wi-Fi SD card to re-invigorate interest in this model.
While the Tungsten T5 was only released a few months ago, many reviewers were quite critical of its lack of built-in Wi-Fi, especially as many of its competitors sell Wi-Fi enabled handhelds for less. If sales of this device are slow, palmOne may be hoping that bundling the Wi-Fi SD card will cause them to pick up.