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The Market According to PalmOne

Mon May 9, 2005 - 9:04 AM EDT - By James Hromadka

The LifeDrive is near

PalmOne announced today that it has noticed a trend in handheld usage that indicates certain users want to use their PDAs for organizing digital content such as music and video. The company is realigning its products to take advantage of this category of user and will be announcing its first "mobile manager" product later this month.

Here are the the three market segments that PalmOne has identified:

  • Mobile managers are designed for customers who are eager to take full advantage of the trend toward "digital everything" -- from documents and email to music, images and video, as standalone files or in organized folders
  • Handhelds attract customers whose first and foremost interest is in basic organization tools, such as calendar and contacts. These customers often incorporate additional applications and add music and images to their handhelds, but their central purchase driver is organization. palmOne's Zire(TM) branded handheld computers serve consumers, and Tungsten branded handhelds serve mobile professionals in this customer set
  • Smartphones attract customers whose primary interest is in a single converged device that is an outstanding phone that also delivers excellent email access and organization. The Treo(TM) smartphone from palmOne serves this customer set.
Based on recent rumors and reports, I would say that the mobile manager device will be the LifeDrive, since it is believed to have 4 GB of storage and better multimedia capabilities. You can see some pictures of it at this Amazon page. The company acknowledges that there is some overlap among the three product categories, so hopefully a future Treo will have better multimedia organization capabilities.

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