RumorMill™: Upcoming palmOne Handhelds Appear on Web Stores

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In March, palmOne CEO Todd Bradley said his company is going to announce some New Handhelds this month. He didn’t give many details, but he did say that these models will “provide much more in terms of multimedia storage.”

Although palmOne has said nothing else about these, listings for them have begun to appear on the web site of various online retailers. Previously, rumors have spoken of four different models supposedly coming from palmOne; apparently only two of these are real: the Zire 72 and Zire 31.

A search of the Web with Google finds several mentions of these models. For example, DirectDial.com has the Zire 72 for $310, and the Zire 31 is listed for $168. A shop in the Netherlands called xoldes.nl offers the Zire 72 for 269.89 Euros (about $322) and the Zire 31 for 143.94 Euros (about $172).

Though none of these stores give any details of these models, much information about them has leaked out from another source.

More About these Models

A Brighthand reader has posted in the forums a page from a French catalog that shows these two new handhelds.

Although the Zire 72 is clearly intended to be the replacement for the Zire 71, apparently palmOne has made a number of significant modifications, including replacing the original model’s joystick with a D-pad. One of the hardware buttons is now dedicated to the MP3 player, instead of the traditional Note Pad. The general look of the device has been changed, as well.

The Zire 72 will include 32 MB of RAM, which is twice as much as the Zire 71, but not as much as had been earlier reported. It will have a 320-by-320-pixel screen.

Like its predecessor, this new model will have a built-in digital camera. On the Zire 72, though, this will be a 1.2 megapixel camera, allowing it to take much better pictures.

This will be the first Zire model to include Bluetooth short-range wireless networking.

This store is selling the Zire 72 for 269 Euros (about $321)

The catalog also has an entry for the Zire 31. It is not clear at this point if this will be a replacement for the Zire 21, or if both models will be sold at the same time.

This PDA is supposed to include a 160-by-160-pixel screen that is color, not monochrome like the Zire 21′s.

It will have 16 MB of RAM, twice as much as the Zire 21, and will include an SD/MMC slot, which the earlier model does not. It will almost certainly run Palm OS 5.2.

The Zire 31 will use the same general design as the Zire 21, including having only two hardware buttons and an Up/Down switch.

This store, the name of which is not known, will offer the Zire 31 for 129 Euros (about $154).

There has been no word of any upcoming palmOne model running the latest version of the Palm operating system, Palm OS Cobalt.

Thanks to T.W.G for the tip and labalbi for posting the image.

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