Palm, Inc., a leading provider of handheld computers, today unveiled a new era in sleek, expandable handheld computing — the Palm(TM) m500 series handhelds. Two new models — the Palm m500 monochrome handheld and the Palm m505 color handheld, defined by its vibrant 16-bit color screen — pack the power of flexible dual, plug-and-play expansion and mobile Internet access capability into the next generation of the best-selling Palm V handheld product design. A Secure Digital (SD) and MultiMediaCard expansion slot about the size of a postage stamp, a new Universal Connector for hardware add-on modules, and Internet connectivity software make the m500 series handhelds the most wearable, expandable and wireless-capable handhelds on the market today.
Both handhelds feature a new Arctic Mist metallic silver color as well as a new, gentle curve for easier gripping at the products’ waistline. The m500 handheld, weighing just four ounces, is scheduled to be available in the United States in late April for an estimated street price (ESP) of $399 (U.S.).(1) International availability is expected in May. The m505 handheld, the lightest expandable color-screen handheld computing product ever designed, is scheduled to be available in the United States in May for $449 (ESP). International availability is expected in June. Outside the United States, users can choose from six languages for both models — English, French, Italian, Spanish, German and Japanese. Effective today, the popular Palm Vx handheld moves from $399 to $349 (ESP).
IBM intends to announce and ship new versions of its WorkPad, based on the m500 series handhelds, in the second quarter. Palm is an OEM for IBM WorkPads.
“We selected SD and MultiMediaCard technology for our expansion slot because its small size allows us to maintain the elegant, sleek form factor valued by our customers. Users can now easily carry additional memory, video clips, images, applications, games, backup capability and more,” said Byron Connell, vice president, Product Management and Planning, Palm, Inc. “Its adoption as a standard [by a broad variety of leading manufacturers], power efficiency, low cost, fast transfer rates and support for I/O make it the best choice for collaboration and sharing among Palm handhelds and other consumer electronics devices.”
In addition, Palm recognizes users want remote access to their corporate and personal data and has included Mobile Connectivity software with the m500 series handhelds. Using a compatible data-enabled mobile phone or modem, customers have wireless Internet access readily available for email and web content via their Internet Service Provider.
Dual Expansion Architecture The Palm m500 series handhelds introduce Palm’s dual expansion architecture, which includes an SD and MultiMediaCard expansion slot and a new Universal Connector, which supports add-on modules. These new expansion technologies will be common across future Palm handhelds. SD and MultiMediaCard — Small, Flexible and Cost-effective Palm’s postage-stamp-size expansion slot offers plug-and-play use of the industry’s smallest expansion formats:
SD and MultiMediaCard media. The expansion cards, which range from 8MB to 256MB(2), can be easily carried and inserted in the expansion slot for instant access to applications, content, data storage and backup, images, video clips and more. Because of the broad acceptance of SD and MultiMediaCard media, the cards can be shared among a variety of consumer electronics products as well, such as printers, digital cameras and MP3 players.