Hot off the Press Story
Tech-Edge staffNews report 10/28/02

Palm becomes “Enterprising”
Santa Clara , CA

The ever-tightening tech market, mostly computing products, has made many companies reassess the direction of their product impetus. Palm and the other PDA makers are no exception as the competition from within their own platform is making things interesting.

This morning Palm Inc. debuted two new Enterprise oriented PDA’s under it’s new brand name Tungsten, everything is metal these days, don’t sha know. Both devices, the Tungsten T and the Tungsten W feature built-in support for Wireless and Bluetooth technology. This marks a definitive separation between Consumer and Business product lines, something very new for Palm.

Apparently responding to slimmer offerings for competitors, the Tungsten T is far more compact than any previous Palm PDA. At 4 x 3 inches, it’s pretty darn small yet it can be telescoped open another 1 inch to expose the Graffiti Pad area. Palm reports that it is available immediately for $499, but we could find none at any major Los Angeles area outlets, which normally carry Palm.

For the more hip business dude with music on the mind besides just meetings and appointments, Palm also will be offering the Tungsten W at a hefty $549. New to any Palm device is a thumb or fingertip actuated keyboard. It also has GSM and GPRS, that’s Global System Mobile Communications and General Packet Radio Service for you cave dwellers, which allows you to make voice calls, send and receive emails. There was no information as to which wireless carrier will provide service. This interesting device will not be available until 1Qtr. 2003.

Common to both new PDA’s is a 320 x 320 pixel, 16-bit color display, 16MB RAM and a SD Drive and a new 5-way navigator with a dial wheel, much like an iPod. The Tungsten T will




be the first Palm to implement Palm OS 5 and uses an ARM chip architecture at 144MHz. The Tungsten W will stick with the long used DragonBall 33 MHz processor and OS 4.1.

So how is Palm doing in the currently though economic climate? According to Gartner Dataquest Inc., the third quarter 2002 worldwide PDA shipment totaled 2.6 million units, a 0.9 percent increase from the same period in 2001 and the first three quarters of 2002 were down 8.3 percent from the same three quarters in 2001.

58 percent of all PDA shipments worldwide in the third quarter of 2002 were from three heavy hitters: Palm, Hewlett-Packard, and Sony. Palm increased to a 30 percent market share also in that 3rd quarter. Sony, and surprisingly Toshiba, showed the strongest growth in the quarter with increases of 280 percent for the former and 1,705 for the latter, according to Gartner Group. HP had 14 percent of the market, Sony 13 percent, Toshiba 5.5 percent, and Handspring 3.8 percent.

For the first time, Microsoft licensees captured more than 30 percent of worldwide PDA shipments, up from 16.2 percent in the third quarter of 2001.

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