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5/30/2007
10:15 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Rumors On Palm Device Not So Promising

Well, as to be expected, tech and gadget rumor sites are already running pieces on what Palm will be announcing today. The one rumor that looks more substantive than the others (because it's based on an errant Palm press release) speaks of a Linux-based UMPC-type device. Hmm. Is this a market

Well, as to be expected, tech and gadget rumor sites are already running pieces on what Palm will be announcing today. The one rumor that looks more substantive than the others (because it's based on an errant Palm press release) speaks of a Linux-based UMPC-type device. Hmm. Is this a market Palm really wants to enter?Here are the details via Engadget. The device, called the Palm Foleo the smartphone companion will sync with your mobile device (read: Treo). It gives you full qwerty keyboard capability and a bigger screen on which to edit documents and write e-mail. It doesn't have any wireless connectivity features of its own, relying on the Treo's wireless capabilities instead. For $500, users will get 5 hours of battery life, the Linux OS and instant on. I wasn't able to spot any pictures. There was also no word on what specifics the operating system is capable of.

So this UMPC-esque device is the "big news"?

The ultra-mobile personal computer is not exactly the hottest market segment these days. Does Palm expect this laptop-replacement device to salvage its history, to give it a new place in the annals of gadget-dom, to reignite the fires of success? Have sales of the Samsung, OQO, and other similar products really been that exciting? Are they having such trouble keeping devices in stock that demand for UMPCs is huge? Given that I've never seen any of these products out in the real world, I doubt it.

Let's hope this rumor is more fiction than fact. I'll be listening in on the Web cast and will report on what the full announcement is as close to real-time (2:30 - 3:00 pm EST) as possible.

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