Palm, Inc., a 3Com company (Nasdaq:COMS), today extended its award-winning product line with its first color-display device. The Palm IIIc(TM) handheld computer is the first and only color device based on the industry-leading Palm Computing(R) 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(R) software-based applications available today. The product provides software-upgradable flash-ROM memory for compatibility with future versions of the Palm OS(R) software. Because its design was based on the classic Palm III(TM) 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. The Palm IIIc product is available immediately for an estimated retail price of U.S. $449. International versions are now available in German and English; a French language version will be available later this spring.
"The Palm IIIc delivers the clearest, brightest and most readable color display available today among handheld computers," said Byron Connell, vice president consumer markets for Palm, Inc. "With this product, we've combined the industry's leading display technology with an enhanced version of our operating system. We expect that the addition of a color product to our line will ignite the imaginations of our software and hardware developers to produce thousands of innovative new solutions."
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.
Because the Palm IIIc product is one of the first to feature the new 3.5 release of the Palm OS software, it offers users many new convenience, viewing and data entry features. These include: Agenda view, which allows users to see their appointments and their To Do items for the day together in one screen; access to menu views by simply tapping at the top of the screen; context-sensitive command stroke options at the bottom of each screen in an icon form; security that allows users to "mask" and password-protect private and personal entries; quick duplication of their address records; faster HotSync(R) speeds; support for infrared HotSync function; and a convenient alarm "snooze button." More details about the latest release of the Palm OS software can be found at www.palm.com.
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(TM), 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.
Additional software applications for the Palm IIIc product will soon be available from third-party developers. For example, Rand McNally & Company today announced that StreetFinder Deluxe 2000, a mapping navigation software solution, now supports the Palm IIIc product. The software allows users to download color maps and directions. Once this information is transferred to the Palm device via a HotSync operation, the user can customize the maps, and search and find for business addresses by name, address or category. The color application of StreetFinder Deluxe 2000 is expected be available May 1, 2000. Rand McNally also intends to introduce a GPS clip-on device designed specifically for the Palm IIIc product this summer.
To keep Palm IIIc customers charged up wherever they are, Palm, Inc. has developed two specialized charging accessories optimized for the new Palm IIIc handheld computer. The Palm IIIc Auto/Air Recharger Kit is the first Palm Computing accessory that allows users to charge their devices in a car or on an airplane. The kit works by plugging into the cigarette lighter adapter in a car or the power outlet located on passenger seats in the first- and business-class sections of most major airlines. The Palm IIIc Recharger Kit plugs into any standard U.S. electrical outlet and comes equipped with snap-on adapters for the United Kingdom, Europe and Australia. Both the electrical outlet Recharger Kit and the Auto/Air Recharger Kit are immediately available, each for $39.95.
The company also introduced two new carrying cases for Palm IIIc product users. The Slim Leather Case ($24.95) and the Snap-On Leather Case ($29.95) each offer high-quality, stylish, protective options for the Palm IIIc handheld computer.
In a separate release, Palm, Inc. also announced today the shipment of the highly anticipated Palm(TM) Portable Keyboard for an estimated retail price of U.S. $99. For the ultimate in portability, the Palm Portable Keyboard allows all Palm handheld computer users to compose email, draft articles or take notes from a full-size, collapsible keyboard. When folded, the keyboard measures a mere 3.6"x5.1"x 0.8" and weighs 7.9 ounces, just slightly larger than the Palm IIIc product itself. It unfolds to a 100% QWERTY keyboard, with 19 mm key spacing, found on standard desktop keyboards, and 3 mm key travel, the same as premium notebook computers. Designed specifically for Palm devices, the keyboard also offers designated keys for one-touch access to all of the core applications -- Address Book, Datebook, Memo Pad and To Do -- and easily programmable shortcuts for all functions.
Two versions of the Palm Portable Keyboard are available, one for the Palm III and Palm VII(TM) series and one for the Palm V(TM) series of handheld computers. Both are available immediately at an estimated street price of U.S. $99.
These new accessories for the Palm IIIc product join the list of hardware snap-ons from more than 500 hardware developers. These accessories give Palm handheld computers the flexibility to serve as a wide variety of products, ranging from a global positioning system receiver to a complex scientific measurement instrument to a digital camera.
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