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Palm bows Bluetooth SD card

Monte Carlo, Monaco — Palm debuted today the first Bluetooth Secure Digital (SD) card for handheld PCs, giving a jumpstart for the long awaited Bluetooth wireless format.

The new Palm SD card, unveiled at a conference here, is about the size of a postage stamp and is expected to ship by the end of the year at a price of approximately $150. It will allow Palm’s m500 and m505 PDAs (and future Palm SD-based handhelds) to wirelessly communicate within 30 feet with other Bluetooth capable devices. Users will be able to connect to the Internet simply by being within range of a Bluetooth cellphone, as no line of sight pointing is required. PDAs are also expected to wirelessly “beam” to Bluetooth printers, laptops, network hubs and other PDAs.

Both Ericcson and Nokia offer Bluetooth products and Bluetooth PC cards are available for IBM and Toshiba laptops, said Palm. Ericcson has a Bluetooth adaptor and headset. Nokia has a connectivity for its 6210,

Palm will also offer support for Bluetooth in a new Palm OS upgrade by the end of the year, said the company.

Said consultant Larry Reich of Digital Age Communications, Westfield, N.J. “Palm will enable the market. There will be a reason now, to offer other Bluetooth devices.”

Bluetooth is an industry standard for RF communiciaiton supported by industry leaders including IBM, Intel, Ericsson, Nokia, and Toshiba.