Palm m500 and m505 Handhelds unveiled

SANTA CLARA, Calif., March 19

Palm today unveiled the Palm, m500 series handhelds. Two new models -- the Palm m500 monochrome handheld and the Palm m505 color handheld, with a 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.

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.

"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."

The SD format also supports input/output (SDIO) connectivity for future capabilities. With SDIO, manufacturers will be able to miniaturize their technologies to create SDIO modules for scanners, radios, modems, cameras and MP3 players. A number of manufacturers, including Toshiba and Panasonic, have already announced plans to create SDIO cards using technologies such as Bluetooth, a new wireless standard that will enable seamless collaboration among handhelds and other computing products.

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, 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.

Vibrant Color -- The m505 offers a crisp screen without sacrificing battery life. The m505 product's new color screen offers bright and easy readability, indoors and out. The reflective screen is designed to support more than 65,000 colors and color-rich 16-bit applications for clear viewing of games, photos and video clips.

The new Palm m500 series handhelds use a powerful new lithium polymer battery that easily handles the color screen demands of the m505 handheld. This small, light new technology provides three to four weeks of average use on a single charge.

The m500 series products come with the latest versions of Palm's popular desktop PIM software for Windows and Mac OS. The Palm Desktop software v4.0 for Windows includes enhanced functionality as well as conduit software for synchronizing with Microsoft Outlook's calendar, contacts, notes and tasks. The latest version of Palm Desktop software v2.6 for Mac OS and the USB HotSync cradle let Mac users get started out-of-the-box.

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.). 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).

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