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February 22nd, 2000

[12:30 PM] Palm Releases New Color Palm Organizer Hand Held Computer
by Staff

Palm Inc. has released the highly anticipated Palm IIIc. The Palm IIIc is the first color handheld unit from Palm, though Sony is expected to release their own color Palm unit soon. Apple too has long been rumored to be bringing a Palm based hand held to market. The Palm IIIc is an extension of the Palm III family, as its name implies, and not only adds a color Active Matrix screen, but also adds 8 MB of RAM to the III family. According to Palm, Inc.:

Palm, Inc. today extended its award-winning product line with its first color-display device. The Palm IIIc™ handheld computer is the first and only color device based on the industry-leading Palm Computing® platform. Palm, Inc. believes the new Palm IIIc product is also the lightest (6.8 ounces) and smallest full-function color handheld currently on the market today.

The Palm IIIc product opens up a new world of possibilities for customers through the exceptional clarity and brightness of its color screen and enriched user interface. With the Palm IIIc product, customers do not have to trade high-quality color for wearability and long battery life. The Palm IIIc device features a long-lasting (approximately two weeks), memory-free battery that recharges like a cellular phone in its included desktop cradle.

The new Palm IIIc product, with 8MB of memory, easily holds years of appointments and thousands of addresses with plenty of room left over for running any of the growing list of nearly 5,000 Palm OS® software-based applications available today. The product provides software-upgradable flash-ROM memory for compatibility with future versions of the Palm OS® software. Because its design was based on the classic Palm III™ product, the new, dark-slate encased Palm IIIc handheld computer maintains compatibility with hundreds of snap-on accessories ranging from digital cameras and GPS systems to leather carrying cases. International versions are now available in German and English; a French language version will be available later this spring.

A New Level of Readability
The Palm IIIc product uses an active matrix thin film transistor (TFT) display to produce an exceptionally clear screen and deliver new levels of viewing comfort and readability. The Palm IIIc product is ideal for users to whom readability is a key factor as well as those who place a high value on the ability to use color to categorize information, create images or play graphics-intensive games. The 256-color display provides an experience that is as comfortable and unobtrusive to the eye as reading from a sheet of white paper. In addition, the color screen's clarity and brightness allows for a more intuitive user interface. For example, schedule conflicts in the datebook are highlighted in red, instantly notifying the user.

Color Applications Ship on the Product
As the first product to take advantage of color for Palm OS software, the Palm IIIc product has inspired a new category of add-on applications developed by third parties. As a preview of what users can expect to see in the coming months, several new applications that specifically support color are included with the Palm IIIc product:

  1. Album To Go, a digital photo viewer from Club Photo, allows users to download JPEG photos to the device with a simple drag and drop.
  2. powerOne®, an enhanced color calculator from Infinity Softworks, Inc., includes business and scientific functionality.
  3. Chroma Gammon, the first full-color backgammon game for Palm handhelds from www.WhitehorseGames.com, allows users to challenge a friend or play against the neural-network computer opponent.
  4. Free Interactive Internet Service from AvantGo, Inc. allows users to browse interactive and personalized Web content from leading media providers on more than 350 optimized channels.

The unit is retailing for US$449. and is available now. The company has also added a whole slew of new accessories, including a full size collapsible keyboard, another long anticipated product. In addition, Palm has unveiled unlimited access pricing at US$44.99 per month for their wireless Palm VII. Lastly, the company has introduced the Palm IIIxe which is similar to previous Palm III units, but has 8 MB of RAM. You can find more information on all of these products and services at Palm's web site.

The Mac Observer Spin: For those who do not know, a Palm executive was trotted on stage by Steve Jobs during his Keynote at MACWORLD Expo San Francisco. Mr. Jobs introduced him by saying that Apple had been spending lots of time with Palm recently. This has added a lot of legitimacy to the long standing rumors that Apple will be releasing their own Apple branded Palm unit. We can now all hope that it will be a color unit. It is our opinion that this will in fact happen at some point.

That said, the big question is when that will be? It won't be before Apple and iCEO Steve Jobs are ready, that's for sure, and it may not ever happen. Another question, and perhaps more immediate one, is when will Palm release a color version of their sexier Palm V family or the wireless Palm VII. This will likely not occur until the Palm IIIc has run its course in the market.

Does all this talk of future products make you waver on whether to buy now? Palm units hold their value remarkably well, at least on eBay and the other Internet auction sites. If you need a unit, don't wait forever. Current offerings from Palm and Visor offer a lot of value.

Palm, Inc.



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