PDA News – New Palm release details, Earthlink to end CDPD service, More Palm equity

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New specs on upcoming Palms

Some new information on Palm’s upcoming October releases has been leaked to PalmInfoCenter. One of the reported upcoming releases is the Tungsten T3, the HighRes+ virtual Grafitti tablet first reported a couple of months ago. There is basically no new information on this, as everything leaked is consistent with prior reports. The T3 is expected to retail for $400.

Altogether, the Tungsten E’s specs look like a Tungsten T2 in a different case. It will have a 144 MHz ARM processor, OS 5.2, 32 MB RAM, and a HighRes color screen. No Bluetooth reported, and at this price point I’m not surprised. Also no thumb keyboard, which will probably please more people than it irritates. It’s described as looking like “a cross between the m515 and Zire 71.” If those are it’s parents, it’s got very good lineage. I think the TE will be a slam dunk. At an expected retail price of $200, it’s cheap. It’s got good hardware, and it will likely satisfy those remaining picky users who refuse to accept the Tungsten T line’s slider. It’s only apparent downside is that it will use a mini-USB cable for syncing, and a direct AC adapter plug for charging, so it will not be compatible with other Palm peripherals.

The Zire 21 is reported to use the same case and design as the original Zire, have 8 MB RAM, and run Palm OS 5.2 on a Texas Instruments ARM processor, speed unknown.

I must say, I can’t see what Palm is doing with the Zire 21. I would think that if they wanted to offer an upgraded Zire replacement, they would do better adding a memory card slot, or a color screen, or something more tangible. I doubt that the average low-end customer will apprecciate something as power-userish as OS 5, particularly since without color, HighRes, and audio it can’t play to it’s strengths. I also seriously doubt that a monochrome Zire 21, priced at $99, will compare favorably to the expected Axim X3 with wireless, color, audio, video, and the works at $149.

All in all, it looks like Palm has a solid Fall lineup. It will be interesting to see how well the individual models fare. I expect that the T3 will be a smash hit–it’s the Holy Grail of Palms, a wireless HighRes+ tablet. I also expect the TE to do well–for the price, it’s got superb specs. The Zire 21 is less certain, but I won’t count it out yet. Palm seems to know what they’re doing, even if I don’t.



Earthlink phasing out CDPD service, old Palms affected

Earthlink has notified it’s subscribers that it–or more properly, it’s partner AT&T–is phasing out CDPD (Cellular Digital Packet Data) service, effectively obsoleting older wireless Palm handhelds such as the VII and VIIx, and the Omnisky wireless modem. Since the new replacement technology, CDMA 1X, is significantly different from the old system, no upgrade options can be offered.


Palm issues 1.2 million more shares

Palm has again issued new shares of common stock, the second such move in a month. The new shares, worth about $19 million, were issued to institutional investors.



New 2.2 gigabyte Microdrives for $255

CompGeeks is selling brand new, 2.2 gigabyte (that is 2200 megabytes, for the typo paranoid) CompactFlash Microdrives for $254.50, which compared to at least $170 for a 1 GB Microdrive is an excellent price.




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