Executing on its commitment to deliver wireless solutions to mobile professionals and businesses, Palm, Inc. (Nasdaq: PALM) today launched the Palm(TM) i705 handheld. It is the only wireless solution in the marketplace that delivers
all of the following benefits:
-- always-on(1) "push" email from up to eight email accounts;
-- secure, end-to-end, behind-the-firewall email for corporate users;
-- web browsing via Google search or URL entry; plus
-- classic Palm Personal Information Management (PIM) features, such as Date Book and Address Book, combined in a sleek silver one-piece package.
In a separate news release, Palm today announced that AOL's popular AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) service and a host of other AOL services also are on the new Palm i705 wireless handheld.
Palm also today announced an enterprise-class, end-to-end, behind-the-firewall, wireless messaging solution, based on the new Palm i705
handheld, for large deployments. The Palm i705 Wireless Messaging Solution directly addresses the manageability, support and security concerns of IT managers who are deploying handhelds to large numbers of mobile workers.
"The Palm i705 is a compelling offering that addresses the need for an always-on mobile information management and email solution that serves the needs of mobile individuals as well as integrates into corporate infrastructure," said Kevin Burden, an analyst at IDC, the worldwide market research firm based in Framingham, Mass. "We believe strong demand exists for
an end-to-end wireless solution that enterprises can procure from a single vendor."
Growing Mobile Work Force Demands Flexibility and Contol
"People today are more mobile than ever, and the Palm i705 handheld was conceived, designed and made especially for mobile business users and corporate IT -- a first for Palm," said Todd Bradley, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Palm's Solutions Group. "The freedom to travel while remaining connected to email and messaging is a key competitive
advantage for people and companies. Just as important is the ability to manage and filter incoming information from multiple messaging accounts, and our i705 handheld delivers personal control like no other product on the market today."
The Palm i705 handheld provides the following benefits:
-- the ability to consolidate incoming email from as many as eight accounts;
-- notification of new email by LED, sound or vibration;
-- on-the-fly filtering of mail from different sources;
-- multiple forms of data entry, including an optional Palm Mini Keyboard, introduced today, that slips over the bottom of the i705 and provides for "thumb typing;" and
-- powerful complementary business software valued at more than $100. Included inbox is DataViz' Documents To Go 4.0 Professional Edition, providing unparalleled ability to read, create and edit Word and Excel documents while preserving formatting. It also permits viewing of PowerPoint presentations sized for the handheld's screen.
Two software programs are at the heart of the desktop-to-handheld collaboration. On the Palm i705 handheld, email management is made possible by the Palm MultiMail(R) Deluxe application, which supports a business account,an included webmail account at Palm.com, and support for the most widely used email accounts, such as Yahoo!, Earthlink, Mindspring, and other leading
Internet email services.
On the desktop, MultiMail Deluxe Desktop Link -- a Microsoft Windows application that works with Microsoft Outlook and runs continuously in the
background -- securely encrypts and decrypts email, and redirects messages to users' Palm i705 handhelds.
Studies Confirm Mobility Trend
Studies show that U.S. workers are increasingly mobile and inclined to use email and Personal Information Management (PIM), namely calendar, address, to-do, and note functions. For example,
-- IDC researchers expect the number of mobile and remote workers to increase by nearly 20 percent by 2004, to 55 million, from today's 46 million.
-- Jupiter Media Metrix indicates that the U.S. firms it surveyed that plan to deploy mobile programs chose email and PIM as the top two mobile applications, at 83 percent and 70 percent respectively.
(Palm's purchase of ThinAirApps, Inc. in December 2001 helps Palm address enterprise's needs by owning key intellectual property for
"pushing" information wirelessly.)
-- Yankee Group found that Palm handhelds are the preferred wireless device for U.S. workers, after notebooks, in the next three years.
Classic Palm Benefits, Rich Accessories, Wireless Service
As with other Palm branded handhelds, owners of Palm i705 handhelds have access to more than 13,000 software applications currently commercially available (see Palm's Software Connection website at http://software.palm.com . Plus, it can be expanded easily and in two ways,
just like other calendar 2001 entries to the Palm family of handhelds. Internal expansion is provided by Palm's Expansion Card Slot, which can
accommodate memory, application and input/output devices via SD Cards and MultiMediaCard media. External expansion is delivered via the Palm Universal Connector, which allows handhelds to be augmented with collapsible keyboards, digital cameras and other hardware.
The Palm i705 handheld is based on the Palm OS(R) v4.1 platform. It features 8MB RAM and 4MB Flash ROM, a 33MHz Motorola Dragonball VZ processor,
a rechargeable lithium polymer battery and HotSync(R) USB cradle. It weighs 5.9 ounces, including the battery, and measures 4.65 inches x 3.06 inches x 0.61 inches.
The Palm.Net(R) service for the new handheld is provided via Cingular Wireless' nationwide Mobitex-based packet data network, which lets users roam 260 U.S. metropolitan areas without additional charges. This service is widely
used and recognized as being the most accessible service available. Various plans are available, including unlimited use of all functions for as little as $35/month. Access to the Internet is made easier through the completely redesigned MyPalm(TM) mobile portal, which offers a range of new services. One-touch access to the Internet, with no dial-up, is provided by pressing one
of four "quick access" buttons on the bottom of the Palm i705. (Various MyPalm portal applications and features are outlined in the software section of this document.)
Pricing and Availability
Palm believes the Palm i705 handheld is the most competitively priced handheld in its class, considering purchase price, activation fee, and monthly service rate. The product is available this week in U.S. retail stores for an
estimated U.S. street price of $449; a Palm.Net service subscription is required to activate the wireless functionality.
FranklinCovey, one of Palm's top resellers in the United States, is the first Palm OEM to sell the Palm i705 solution through its nationwide retail
stores, website and catalog. Based in Salt Lake City, FranklinCovey sells Palm handheld computers bundled with its planning and time-management software and tools.
The Palm Mini Keyboard, 3.25 inches x 2.75 inches, is also available this week at retail stores and online at The Palm Store (http://store.palm.com ) for $59.95.
Multiple Palm.Net wireless service plans are available:
-- Associate -- $19.99/100kb per month
-- Executive Unlimited -- $39.99/month, unlimited usage
-- Executive Unlimited Annual -- 34.99/month, unlimited usage (allows users to save money with a one-year commitment)
There are never any roaming charges -- the same rates apply in all coverage areas, and there are no extra charges for peak-hour usage. All plans require a one-time setup charge of $9.99.
In addition to the award-winning PIM applications and the industry's leading handheld OS platform, Palm is supplying free business software with
the Palm i705:
-- DataViz' Documents To Go 4.0 Professional Edition -- lets users read, create and edit Microsoft Word and Excel documents, and read and share Microsoft PowerPoint documents;
-- MGI PhotoSuite Mobile Edition v2.23 -- lets users view images and video clips; and
-- Palm Reader(TM) -- the leading eBook reader for Palm Powered(TM)devices; lets users read eBooks and view text files.
In addition, the all-new version of the MyPalm wireless portal provides a set of mobile services for the Palm i705 handheld that is updated
automatically through the HotSync operation:
-- Full web browsing -- Users can access any URL and conduct web searches powered by Google.
-- Directory -- Users can navigate through nearly 50 of the best sites and services on the web, optimized for wireless access (including AOL, Fidelity, E*Trade, BusinessWeek, ABC News, CNN, USA Today, Travelocity,OAG, Fodors, Weather.com, ESPN, CBS Sportsline, Moviefone, eBay and The Palm Store).
-- Customizable MyPage -- Users can set up a personal page of weather, stock quotes, news, email and more.