Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) maker Palm Inc. unveiled the first two models in its new Tungsten line, products that are aimed at businesses and prosumers. The Tungsten T and Tungsten W devices offer leading edge styling and technology, two features often lacking in Palm's product line. But they also bring high prices--$500 for the Tungsten T, which is immediately available, and $550 for the W, which will ship early next year. But the products come at a time when competition from design leader Sony and the Pocket PC camp is at an all time high.
Both devices are designed to address specific corporate user needs. The Tungsten T is small, just 4 inches by 3 inches, and features a high resolution screen, a first for Palm. The W includes a built-in keyboard, another first for the company. But Sony and others have offered these features for several months, and it's unclear whether Palm can do much to maintain its 69.2 percent market share, which is slowly dropping each year.
Another problem for the company comes from Microsoft's suddenly surging Pocket PC. With a wide range of companies jumping into the Pocket PC market and dramatically falling prices, the Pocket PC is making inroads into Palm's low-end territory while maintaining the grip on the corporate market its always dominated. And Dell Computer, the world's largest PC maker, confirmed this week that it would be entering the PDA market. The company, which rose to dominance by undercutting the competition, will field a Pocket PC device.