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PalmOne May Challenge IPod

David Utter
Expert Author
Published: 2005-05-10

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No formal announcement of the LifeDrive Mobile Manager yet, but Amazon.com says it will cost $500 USD.

And that's a lot of money for a music player, even if it can do all the things PalmOne has teased. The Milpitas-based company sort-of announced the new product on Monday.

One question the marketplace will quickly ask is if the device supports wireless e-mail, and if so consumers will look for the ubiquitous thumb keyboard. Without the keyboard, PalmOne could find the product a hard sell.

The new device will be part of a new product line, which will allow users to manage the usual documents, contacts, and messages. But the inclusion of a hard drive for storing content, like songs, photos, or videos.

The posting on Amazon.com, which displayed a May 18 release date, has been called "accidental." No photos of the device were shown.

PalmOne has seen its PDA fortunes fade, as e-mail devices like the BlackBerry from Research In Motion have taken more market share. However, the company has seen growth driven by its Treo line, which combine a cellular phone with a PDA.

At a $500 price point, its difficult to tell if the obviously affluent target market will respond to the device. Potential customers may already have an iPod and a BlackBerry. Both of those products have enjoyed tremendous customer loyalty.

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About the Author:
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

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