The Palm PDA is essentially the same little unit it was when it was first introduced back in 1992 when it was called the Palm Pilot. There have been lots of improvements to the little device since then, and there is arguably more software written for the Palm PDA than any other PDA, but the device has resisted major changes for one reason: it works. Palm PDAs are a testament to excellent design and form following function, they are simple to use, easy to own, expandable, and dependable. Why mess with success?
Well, one good reason to diddle with the design of the Palm PDA is that the competition continues to gain market share. PocketPC devices are bulkier, have shorter battery life, and can be confusing to use, but they also sport faster processors, more memory, bigger brighter screens, and enough connectivity option to shame many desktop computers, making it increasingly harder for Palm to compete. All of that is about to change soon according to an article in ZDNet News titled Palm prepares XScale handhelds. From the article:
In the next few months Palm is due to switch away from its Motorola Dragonball designs to more advanced hardware running on processors with an ARM core, similar to those that already power Pocket PC devices from HP, Toshiba and others. Palm will begin mass production of the ARM-based devices with Taiwanese manufacturer Asustek in the first quarter of 2003, with a target of 200,000 for the quarter, according to a report from Taiwan high-tech industry news service Digitimes.
The devices will be based on Palmis OS 5 and the Intel XScale PXA250 processor, according to the report. The companies will begin sampling devices later this year, Digitimes said.
Stop by ZDNet for a look at the full article and go to Digitimes to peek at the article mentioned in the ZDNet piece.