Photos: 10 years of Palm handhelds
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Believe it or not, it’s been 10 years since Palm launched its first handhelds. The company has come a long way since then, and it’s been an action-packed decade of operating-system and software developments, partnerships, speed bumps and, of course, product launches. rn
rnCNET News.com invites you to take a trip down memory lane to witness the gradual modernization of Palm’s PDAs over time. This group represents some of the company’s milestones and highlights–and heck, it’s fun to compare today’s sleek handhelds with old clunkers.
In this videocast, CNET’s Rafe Needleman and Bonnie Cha talk with Harry Fuller about the past, present and iffy future of Palm PDAs. See CNET’s full anniversary coverage.
The PalmPilot 1000 and 5000 debuted in 1996 with 128K of memory, a 16MHz DragonBall processor, the Palm OS 1.0 and a display with a resolution of 160 pixels by 160 pixels. Palm shipped 1 million PalmPilots within 18 months, but the “Pilot” moniker was eventually dropped from the device’s name for legal reasons.
The Palm V was released in February of 1999. Its design was sleek by those days’ standards, and the company aimed the new device at the high-end market. The Palm V’s slim design limited its features, and it offered only 2MB of memory.
The Palm Vx was announced in the fall of 1999. It had the same slim design of the Palm V but had expanded memory–8MB of RAM–and was offered in different colors.
At Comdex in 2000, Palm announced MyPalm, a revamped Palm.net portal that allowed users to connect their Palm VII and Palm VIIx handhelds to the Web.
Announced in early 2001, the Palm m500 and m505 replaced Palm V and Vx, respectively. They came loaded with Palm OS 4, 8MB of RAM, a 33MHz processor and an SD/MMC expansion slot.rnrn
Because Palm announced the m500 and m505 before the devices were available, demand for older units slowed and made worse an existing inventory problem.
The Palm m505 came with a color screen. It cost about $50 more than its sister handheld, the m500, which was still in monochrome.
The Tungsten T sported a new slider design and built-in Bluetooth. It was the first handheld to feature Palm OS 5. It also had a higher-resolution, 320×320 color display.rnrn
The Tungsten line was designed for the high-end handheld market and was aimed at businesses and the newly emerging mobile work force.
Announced at the same time as the Tungsten, the Zire was aimed at the mass market. It was Palm’s first $99 handheld, and it featured a new, lightweight design.
Handspring, eventually bought by Palm, debuted its first Treo smart phones in October 2001. The Treo 650, which Palm released three years later, sports a sharper screen, a faster processor and an improved camera than its Treo 600 predecessor.