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PalmOne offers Wi-Fi SD Card

Next month PalmOne will ship the much anticipated Wi-Fi SD card for Palm OS based PDA devices. The card will offer WLAN access for many Zire 72 and Tungsten T3 users, other Palm devices unfortunately are not supported. PalmOne has not yet said why the card will not work in other handhelds, but Sandisk, the card designer claims the reason is due to issues with the Palm operating system itself and older SD IO interfaces.

The card comes bundled with VPN software for secure enterprise connections and WEP security. It will sell for $129 and ship from retailers on September 3rd.

See press release below.

palmOne Expands Reach of Bluetooth Technology-enabled Handhelds With Wi-Fi Connectivity

First Wi-Fi Card From palmOne Provides Tungsten T3 and Zire 72 Handheld Users With Second Level of Wireless Connectivity

palmOne, Inc. is providing a second level of wireless connectivity for Tungsten T3 and Zire 72 handheld users with the introduction of its first Wi-Fi card. Developed specifically for handheld owners who want to complement the integrated Bluetooth technology solutions of the Zire 72 and Tungsten T3 handhelds, the Wi-Fi card contains a built-in 802.11b radio that lets users set up and quickly connect to the Internet anytime they are within range of a Wi-Fi access point or hotspot.

Today, people who need continuous connectivity get it through multiple network solutions, depending on where they are and what they’re trying to do. While Bluetooth technology can wirelessly link devices within 30 feet of each other, Wi-Fi can provide faster, reliable and secure wireless access to business, personal or public networks within 100-300 feet of a wireless access point.

Wi-Fi access points, or hotspots, are quickly becoming commonplace. What started out as a technology for large businesses and business travelers is increasingly available in coffee houses, libraries and parks. Today, there are more than 10,000 public hotspots in the United States alone; that number is likely to increase to 65,000 by 2008, according to IDC, a research firm in Framingham, Mass.

“With the expansion of hotspots and Wi-Fi networks in homes and in businesses, we felt it was important to offer our mobile handheld users another compelling Wi-Fi solution,” said Jim Schwabe, general manager of palmOne accessories. “Our accessories business looks for opportunities to enable our users with new, innovative solutions that will make a difference at work and at home.”

For customers requiring built-in Wi-Fi capabilities, palmOne offers the Tungsten C handheld. This powerful PDA, designed to manage data-intensive applications, incorporates a built-in keyboard and a 320 x 320 transflective TFT display.

Four Easy Steps for Setting Up Wi-Fi on Tungsten T3 and Zire 72 Handhelds

The Wi-Fi card from palmOne makes connecting to the Internet easy by allowing users to access a nearby Wi-Fi access point in four easy steps:

— Insert the card into the SDIO slot of a Tungsten T3 or Zire 72 handheld.

— Tap on the “Wi-Fi setup” icon on the home page.

— The Wi-Fi setup application will search for available networks and display the options it finds.

— The user selects the network, and the device makes the connection. (NOTE: If the network that the user wants doesn’t appear on the list of available networks, secure Wi-Fi networks also can be accessed by tapping “Other” and entering the network name and encryption code, if necessary.)

Pricing and Availability

The $129 (estimated U.S. street price) Wi-Fi card from palmOne is scheduled to be available from palmOne’s online store (http://store.palmone.com) and in retail stores in most countries worldwide in early September.

About Fabrizio Pilato

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