By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
EarthLink expanded the availability of its wireless Internet and email service to PDAs based on the Palm and PocketPC 2000 OSs for the first time following the company's acquisition of rival wireless ASP OmniSky.
The company also plans in April to launch wireless service for PocketPC 2002 PDAs.
Previously, EarthLink offered its services packaged with RIM BlackBerry devices and Motorola's T900 pager. Now, the company claims to provide wireless email and Internet access on more handheld devices than any other major consumer ISP. The PALM OS devices supported by EarthLink are Palm's Vx (OS 3.5 and higher), m500 and m505 (OS 4.0 and higher) and HandSpring's Visor Edge, Pro, Prism, Platinum, and Neo (OS 3.5 or higher). Service costs $39.95 per month for unlimited monthly access, or subscribers can pre-pay $399.95 for a full year of service. EarthLink offers Novatel Minstrel CDPD-network wireless modems for the devices.
EarthLink also supports such Pocket PC 2000 PDAs as Compaq's iPAQ H3600 series and the HP Jornada 520 and 540 series.
HP Jornada owners pay $39.95 per month for unlimited usage or pre-pay $399.95 for a year. iPAQ owners pay $59.95 per month with unlimited usage or pre-pay $649.95 for a year.
The Sierra Wireless AirCard is available for these devices.
For Palms, EarthLink took over Omnisky's platform but completely changed the interface to bring users a completely new experience, a spokeswoman said. The user interface for the PockPCs is the same, but for the Pocket PC 2002 platform, the interface and service will be completely changed.
For now, the Palm and PocketPC 2000 wireless modems are available direct through the company's web site (www.earthlink.omnisky.com) or at 800-860-5767, but the company plans distribution through retailers who sell its ISP service. The company already targets its BlackBerry and T900 devices through retailers.
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