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A New Palm That's a Phone

Techstination feature for Tuesday, February 18, 2003

A new Palm, that's a phone. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Palm calls it the Tungsten W. The first device made by Palm that doubles as a cell phone. The design, however, makes it more suitable for wireless data applications like email, messaging and Web browsing. To talk on the phone, you need an earbud plugged in... making the device awkward for answering calls. Gregor Bleiman is Palm's senior director of wireless product management...

"It's very much directed towards data centric usage. So it has a great high resolution screen,integrated keyboard. It has GSM capability, so you actually have integrated voice in the product."

Using AT&T Wireless services. Voice and data service plans are being sold separately. What does the Tungsten W have going for it? That large color screen, sleek design and long battery life. The claim is the device gets 10 hours of talk time and 200 hours of stand-by on a charge. Palm says it will have an audio phone flip cover available to eliminate that earbud phone answering problem in April. The 550 dollar price tag makes it a pretty pricey device that faces lots of competition. Palm is clearly aiming the Tungsten W at business users..

"It's really kind of the mobile professional. Someone who is very data centric in their lives. In other words they need access to email messages, they want to get on the Internet once in a while."

Palm did not include the faster processor and Palm OS 5..that are in the Tungsten T... in the Tungsten W. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.