Palm Bets Heavily on New Smartphone - InformationWeek

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1/12/2009
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Palm Bets Heavily on New Smartphone

Remember Palm, the company that was at the forefront of smarthphone developments? The company has lost a lot of luster recently as high profile vendors Apple and Google swooped into the smartphone market. Well, Palm is not about to exit the market quietly.

Remember Palm, the company that was at the forefront of smarthphone developments? The company has lost a lot of luster recently as high profile vendors Apple and Google swooped into the smartphone market. Well, Palm is not about to exit the market quietly.Palm has taken the wraps off of the Palm Pre smartphone, which features a touchscreen and a new operating system. The device features a ho-hum set of hardware features. Palm Pre has a 3.1-inch display with 320-by-480-pixel resolution, a 3.0 megapixel camera, built-in GPS, and 8G flash storage. The phone works with Sprint Nextel EV-DO Rev A, has built-in 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections, and features a micro USB port, USB mass storage support, and a 3.5 mm headphone jack.

Like others, Palm has focused on software to differentiate its device. The Palm webOS supports a bevy of Web software standards, including CSS, HTML, XHTML, and Javascript. The companys goal is to let developers build applications without having to learn a new mobile programming language.

Also, the company is trying to deliver a simpler experience for customers by layering software to integrate a user's phone experience with the Web. Palm Synergy is one example. The code creates a single, integrated means of tracking and organizing multiple calendars, contacts and messaging applications. If a user updates a contact on a Palm Pre, Synergy updates the same data on any online account.

Palm was once the leading smartphone supplier and many small and medium businesses still rely on its products. The company had been losing market share as marketing savants Apple and Google grabbed a lot of attention. Palm now has a new, possibly compelling story to tell with the Palm Pre. The company has paired up with Sprint which will be selling the smartphone later this year. How well that partnership works will play a significant role in whether or not Palm can regain some of its lost luster.

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