Sprint PCS (NYSE:PCS), the fastest-growing wireless carrier in the United States, and Palm, Inc. (Nasdaq:PALM), a pioneer in the field of mobile and wireless Internet solutions and a leading provider of handheld computers, today announced an agreement to market and sell wireless solutions for handhelds using the Palm OS(R) platform, the leading handheld operating system.
This strategic alliance represents the first CDMA solution for Palm(TM) handheld computers that will enable access to real-time information on the nation's largest all-digital voice and data PCS network. The CDMA solution will ensure the fast, secure transfer of data and provide a richer wireless Internet browsing experience than currently available.
"As Palm's preferred partner, Sprint PCS has extended its leadership role in the wireless data space. By integrating the Internet and our wireless technology with the Palm OS platform, we are better positioned to respond to the needs of Sprint PCS business customers for clear, relevant wireless data services," said Charles Levine, chief operating officer for Sprint PCS. "Our strategic alliance with Palm will enable Sprint PCS to provide a valuable and versatile option for business customers to better manage workflow and be more productive while they are away from their desks. By offering a CDMA solution via the largest all-digital nationwide network, this alliance reinforces Sprint PCS as the clear choice for connectivity for real-time information."
The companies plan to offer a co-branded version of the MyPalm(TM) portal, which will include Palm wireless PIM services, access to personal and corporate e-mail(1), e-commerce purchase options, as well as access to personally relevant information on local and national events, such as movie listings and sporting event schedules. By extending the availability of the Sprint PCS network, customers will also have access to a rich suite of Internet content via the Sprint PCS Wireless Web on their Palm handhelds or Palm OS smartphones. Additionally, this deal will allow enterprise customers to access critical information, such as their corporate e-mail, sales tool applications and corporate directories, as part of the Sprint PCS Wireless Web for Business suite of products and services and Palm's wireless enterprise solutions.(1)
"As we aim to provide customers with effective Internet and other mission-critical information while on the go, wireless connectivity and location-based services are priorities for Palm," said Carl Yankowski, chief executive officer of Palm, Inc. "This relationship will ensure that our customers have a reliable option to wirelessly access the MyPalm portal, e-mail and other applications to get the information they want when they need it. It will help mobile professionals to further maximize the functionality and mobility of their Palm handhelds using the all-digital Sprint PCS CDMA network."
Multiple wireless connectivity options will be available --allowing millions of enterprise customers and Palm handheld users to wirelessly access valuable information, communicate with co-workers and clients, and perform transactions on their Palm handhelds or Palm OS smartphones that will enable them to be more productive in the mobile environment. The agreement will not only extend the breadth of Palm's wireless services in the United States, it will provide another wireless technology option for Palm handheld users and Sprint PCS customers.
Sprint PCS and Palm will work together to enable the growing Palm OS development community and participants in the Sprint PCS Application Developer's Program (www.developer.sprintpcs.com) to build CDMA wireless solutions. Applications and hardware devices that utilize the Sprint PCS wireless network will be introduced throughout 2001, providing added functionality and utility for Palm handheld users.
Initial solutions for the Palm series handhelds will be available in the form of a co-branded connectivity solution that will allow customers to connect their Palm handhelds to a Sprint PCS Internet-ready Phone. The kit will include a data cable, a Palm handheld adapter, a CD-ROM and a user's guide. It is expected to be available through Sprint PCS and online at The Palm Store (http://store.palm.com) in early 2001. Sprint also intends to distribute Palm OS based smartphones that integrate voice and data. Availability is expected in the first half of 2001. An additional solution -- a CDMA wireless modem for Palm handhelds -- is expected to be available mid-year in 2001.
Sprint PCS and Palm will host a joint, live online news conference today at 12 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) with Sprint PCS COO Charles Levine and Palm CEO Carl Yankowski to provide further details on the announcement. If you are interested in participating, please visit http://www.e-conference.com/sprint/palm/ for instructions on how to join.
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