May 17, 2005 9:01 PM PDT

PalmOne looks to LifeDrive for lifeline

PalmOne is hoping that the addition of a hard drive to the handheld computer will help breathe new life into a product that has lost a significant amount of its "cool factor" in recent years.

The company is formally announcing its LifeDrive product, a $499 handheld that includes a 4GB hard drive along with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi wireless abilities. As previously reported, the move is an effort to expand the handheld into a repository for all manner of digital media, including photos, videos and music, while maintaining its abilities as a digital organizer.

But in many ways, this wide variety of abilities could be the biggest challenge for a device that must compete with Apple's iPod, Sony's PSP and other targeted gadgets.

PalmOne Life Drive

"It is definitely a marketing challenge to communicate that it can do all of these things really well," said Stephane Maes, PalmOne's director of product management for handhelds.

Maes likens the LifeDrive, the company's first handheld with a hard drive, to another successful electronics device that can do many things--the personal computer. In some instances, Maes said, the LifeDrive can even replace the laptop for business travelers, thanks to its ability to handle Microsoft Office documents, connect to corporate Exchange e-mail servers and access the Web through Wi-Fi.

But gadget buyers have historically tended to prefer mobile devices that do one thing well. Maes said that PalmOne may be able to sway some would-be buyers of such devices.

"We certainly see that some people who might buy an iPod would buy this," he said. "I wouldn't say that's the bulk of people that are going to buy it."

Initially, Maes said the company is largely expecting sales to come from the traditional market for PalmOne devices. Many people have not upgraded their Palm III or Palm V devices because they haven't seen a compelling reason to do so, Maes said. The company also hopes to gain from the market that Sony helped build with its Clie devices, which added multimedia features on top of the PalmOS. With Sony out of that sector, it is now available to PalmOne, Maes said.

In recent years, PalmOne has focused much of its energy on its Treo line and the growing market for more capable cell phones. Although the company has added new handheld models, that market has remained stagnant. If all goes well, Maes said PalmOne hopes to create a whole family of devices based on the LifeDrive.

"This is just the first in a new genre of products," he said.

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Find out more about the features...
Want to find out a little bit more about the features of the LifeDrive? In a series of articles, davespda.com talks about some of the new like drive functions, like the 4GB hard drive and folder and camera sync options.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.davespda.com/special/lifedrive/index.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.davespda.com/special/lifedrive/index.htm</a>
Posted by davespda (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Specs
Shouldn't it be 4000 MB RAM and 32 MB ROM? I could be wrong, but it would seem unusual for a PDA OS to take 4 GB when Windows XP takes around 1 GB.
Posted by aabcdefghij987654321 (1721 comments )
Link Flag
Find out more about the features...
Want to find out a little bit more about the features of the LifeDrive? In a series of articles, davespda.com talks about some of the new like drive functions, like the 4GB hard drive and folder and camera sync options.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.davespda.com/special/lifedrive/index.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.davespda.com/special/lifedrive/index.htm</a>
Posted by davespda (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Specs
Shouldn't it be 4000 MB RAM and 32 MB ROM? I could be wrong, but it would seem unusual for a PDA OS to take 4 GB when Windows XP takes around 1 GB.
Posted by aabcdefghij987654321 (1721 comments )
Link Flag
PalmOne is Palm Zero in my book
I have no plans to evere buy another Palm PDA I had a zire71 and the batterie died in it palm wants 129.00 to replace a battery!

If thats not a scam I dont know what is?!

I tried to get a replacement bat. and install it myself but the old bat. is sodered to the MB,

I bought the Dell X50V pocket PC it's 5 times the PDA a Palm could ever be and the bat. are just 49$ and pop right in....

Plus the Windows Mobil OS is 10 times better than the Palm OS...

Dump your Palm get a Pocket PC!

migraine@knology.net
Posted by Migraine (95 comments )
Reply Link Flag
And you...
base that of one bad experience. I have know a dozen or more people who have thrown away PocketPC devices because they were crap. I bought one myself and haven't really been that happy with it. On the other hand I got the chance to use an older Palm that one of my friends replaced and I liked it better than mine. Of course they replaced it with an iPaq and have since went back to Palm because they didn't like the Windows Mobile OS.

To be fair though I also know quite a few people that love their PocketPC's and don't like Palm's either. Personally I don't really see a need for one any more so I don't use one at all. I think Palm would be better off to market this as an external storage device with a bonus pda. They would probably have better luck selling it that way. I don't think people are going to go out and buy one because it is a PDA with a lot of storage.
Posted by System Tyrant (1453 comments )
Link Flag
PalmOne is Palm Zero in my book
I have no plans to evere buy another Palm PDA I had a zire71 and the batterie died in it palm wants 129.00 to replace a battery!

If thats not a scam I dont know what is?!

I tried to get a replacement bat. and install it myself but the old bat. is sodered to the MB,

I bought the Dell X50V pocket PC it's 5 times the PDA a Palm could ever be and the bat. are just 49$ and pop right in....

Plus the Windows Mobil OS is 10 times better than the Palm OS...

Dump your Palm get a Pocket PC!

migraine@knology.net
Posted by Migraine (95 comments )
Reply Link Flag
And you...
base that of one bad experience. I have know a dozen or more people who have thrown away PocketPC devices because they were crap. I bought one myself and haven't really been that happy with it. On the other hand I got the chance to use an older Palm that one of my friends replaced and I liked it better than mine. Of course they replaced it with an iPaq and have since went back to Palm because they didn't like the Windows Mobile OS.

To be fair though I also know quite a few people that love their PocketPC's and don't like Palm's either. Personally I don't really see a need for one any more so I don't use one at all. I think Palm would be better off to market this as an external storage device with a bonus pda. They would probably have better luck selling it that way. I don't think people are going to go out and buy one because it is a PDA with a lot of storage.
Posted by System Tyrant (1453 comments )
Link Flag
 

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