Wireless Palm Goes Nationwide

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Palm Computing yesterday announced the nationwide rollout of the Palm VII, the company's first wireless organizer which has been sold exclusively in the New York metropolitan region in a test market, since May.

As of October 4, the Palm VII, at a reduced street price of $499, became available to all stores carrying the Palm family of organizers, said the company, marking a $100 price reduction from the NY trial price of $599.

In addition, Palm Computing announced availability of two limited edition Palm products and dropped the price on all current Palm models.

New consumer friendly features of the Palm VII include quick access to Amazon.com for wireless shopping and to Fidelity Investments for online stock trading. Additional Web sites (totaling close to 100) are also accessible by the Palm VII. The Palm VII requires that a Web site comply to a special abridged format for quick and easy accessibility by the handheld organizer. Some of the new participating sites include Bloomberg L.P., eBay, Excite, GoNetwork, Infoseek, mySimon, Prudential, Starbucks, and United Airlines.

Palm also introduced a new Internet access plan for heavy users of the Palm VII at $39.99. It allows approximately 480 transactions (300 kilobytes) which might include 180 e-mail messages, 120 stock quotes, 60 sports scores, 60 traffic reports and 60 weather updates, the company said. The two basic Internet access plans remain in the lineup at $9.99 per month for 80 transactions or $24.99 for 240 transactions.

The Palm VII is a wireless version of the Palm III organizer It uses the Palm.Net wireless service for Internet access, which covers more than 260 of the most populated areas in the United States with no additional roaming charges

Palm Computing also announced the availability of the Palm Vx, an 8 MB version of the slimline Palm V, designed for power users who require more memory, at an estimated street price of $449. A third product now shipping from Palm is a clear-case version of the Palm IIIe at an estimated street price of $179.

3Com also reduced prices for the full line of Palm Computing organizers. The street price of the Palm V product is now expected to be $369, down from $449. The Palm IIIx falls to $299, down from $369, and the Palm IIIe is now $179, down from $229.

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