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HP buys Palm for $1.2 billion

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HP has announced it is to buy Palm for a total value of $1.2 billion (or $5.70 per share). Rumours that Palm was struggling financially have been flying for quite some time but no one had predicted that HP was in the frame to buy the tech company outright.

According to the press release, 'the combination of HP's global scale and financial strength with Palm's unparalleled webOS platform will enhance HP's ability to participate more aggressively in the fast-growing, highly profitable smartphone and connected mobile device markets. ' Which kind of makes sense in a way - although with so many players out there I can't help wondering whether they are just too late to compete. And $1.2 billion does sound like a surprisingly large amount of money to me.

Says Todd Bradley, executive vice president, Personal Systems Group, HP. "Palm's innovative operating system provides an ideal platform to expand HP's mobility strategy " He adds:"And, Palm possesses significant IP assets and has a highly skilled team. The smartphone market is large, profitable and rapidly growing, and companies that can provide an integrated device and experience command a higher share. Advances in mobility are offering significant opportunities, and HP intends to be a leader in this market."

"We're thrilled by HP's vote of confidence in Palm's technological leadership, which delivered Palm webOS and iconic products such as the Palm Pre. HP's longstanding culture of innovation, scale and global operating resources make it the perfect partner to rapidly accelerate the growth of webOS," said Jon Rubinstein, chairman and chief executive officer, Palm. "We look forward to working with HP to continue to deliver industry-leading mobile experiences to our customers and business partners."

The transaction is expected to close during HP's third fiscal quarter ending July 31, 2010.
Palm's current chairman and CEO, Jon Rubinstein, is expected to remain with the company.

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rugged-getac-pda.jpgDo you work in a field where you need rugged equipment? Perhaps you're a field engineer, a geologist, or maybe even a stuntman? Well, then the Getac PS535F is right up your alley. It's a super-rugged PDA for use in tough environments.

It comes equipped with a GPS, 3.5" VGA touchscreen, 3-megapixel camera, altimeter, electronic compass and Windows Mobile 6.1. There's no modem, annoyingly, but it does have Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi. There's 2GB of onboard memory.

The device weighs 300g, has battery for 8 hours and in keeping with its rugged design, it's resistant to drops, water, dust and extreme temperatures. I've got an email in to Getac asking how much it'll cost and when it'll be available, so I'll update this post when I know more.

palm-pre-ces.jpgThe rumours were true. Palm's got a brand new device to go with its spangly new Nova operating system. All we knew previously was that it had a portrait touchscreen and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, but now there's a bit more info to go with it.

That touchscreen measures 3.1" diagonally, at 480x320 resolution. The slide-out keyboard doesn't come straight out - it sorta curves. There's oodles of connectivity - Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and EVDO. There's a removable battery, 8GB of storage, microUSB connector, 3-megapixel camera, a nifty-looking wireless charger and - YAY! - a 3.5mm headphone jack.

It's running the new Nova OS, but more about that in another post. It'll be available in the "first half" of 2009. In the meantime, for more CES coverage, click here.

EDIT: Palm's launched a website for the device and OS.

(via Gizmodo's liveblog)

ipaq-smartphone.jpgFollowing Apple's lead in the "laptop companies starting to make phones" stakes, the Wall Street Journal are reporting that HP are going to launch a Windows Mobile 6.1-powered smartphone in Europe within the next two months.

The phone will be the latest iteration of HP's iPAQ PDA devices. These have normally been targeted at business users in the past, like the pictured 910c Business Messenger, but the new model will apparently be targeted at consumers. It'll feature a touchscreen, and a slide-out qwerty keypad.

No more info just yet, but given that it's due for a release so soon, I wouldn't be surprised if we don't hear more about this very shortly. We'll keep you updated.

HP iPAQ (via Wall Street Journal)

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palm-front.jpgFurther to my post the other day about the leaked Palm Pro, here's the full specs of the device:

samsung_smartphones.jpgThe Korean market has seen two new smartphone launches from Samsung - the Ultra Messaging II (SCH-M480) and Multi Touch II (SPH-M4655).

The Ultra Messaging II is a Windows Mobile 6 device, offering Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a 2.6-inch touchscreen, BlackBerry-style keypad, 2MP camera, media player and SD slot. The Multi Touch II (above) also uses WM6 and has a 2.8-inch screen, 2MP camera, Bluetooth and a microSD slot.

No news of a UK launch as yet - we'll keep you posted.


Related posts: Toshiba Portégé G810 smartphone launched in Japan | Samsung i900 smartphone gets official launch

laptop-email-text-phone-on-holiday.jpgWe are a nation of WORKAHOLICS that are heading for an EARLY GRAVE thanks to technology. Those are the findings of a report by data protection agency Credant Technologies. It didn't mention early graves, but I can assure you it would've if it could've.

The shock statistic is that the days of relaxing holidays are long gone, with 65% of us checking in with the office via email, phone or text message while we're on our hols - no doubt panicking that we'll be replaced should word get out about how little we actually contribute when in the office.

A quarter of holidayers will at least check their email while away, with a third lugging their laptops through the EasyJet luggage system to stay in touch. Job security paranoia or unstoppable internet addiction?

(Via Reuters)

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tosh_g810.jpgToshiba has a new smartphone on the market - the Toshiba Portégé G810.

Available in Japan from Juse 20th, it offers a Windows Mobile 6.1 operating system, HSDPA and HSUPA support, 2.83-inch QVGA (320 x 240) touch screen, 3MP camera, Bluetooth 2.0, USB 2.0, Wi-Fi, FM radio with RDS, GPS and A-GPS, and up to 4GB of memory (via microSD).

No news of this heading to Europe as yet.

Toshiba (via Akihabara News)

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samsung_i900.jpgThe first of the week, although the Samsung i900 might not be the last smartphone launch we'll see in the coming days.

But let's focus on the phone in hand (so to speak), which packs in HSDPA connectivity, 5MP camera with auto focus (as well as face detection and auto-panorama), W-Fi, FM tuner, Bluetooth, USB connectivity, 3.2-inch touchscreen and GPS.

An 8GB and 16GB version in Europe from July.

Samsung (via GSM Arena)

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htc_touch_pro.jpgIf the lack of a keyboard on the HTC Touch Diamond was an issue, you'll be pleased to know that the newly-launched HTC Touch Pro is packing one.

It's a QWERTY sliding keyboard, should you need to write a novel on the move. Other features include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a 2.8-inch VGA display, Windows Mobile 6.1 with HTC's TouchFLO 3D interface, a 3.2MP camera, a half gig of ROM and 288MB of RAM.

It's heading to Europe first, later in the summer, with the rest of the world to follow.

HTC (via Engadget)

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blackberry_curve_red.jpgWhile we all wait impatiently for the BlackBerry Bold, O2 is squeezing the last drops out of the current models, specifically with the GPS-enabled BlackBerry Curve 8310, now available in red.

Features are as they were, with built-in GPS, an enhanced media player, full QWERTY keyboard, Bluetooth, microSD slot, instant messaging and of course, all the email you can push.

It's available on O2's Unlimited BlackBerry Enterprise Server and BlackBerry Internet Service tariffs, price dependent on your choice of contract.


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gsmart_uk.jpgA couple of months back, we featured the GSmart MS808 handset range, which was unveiled in the far east but (we thought) unlikely to make it to Europe. Well, that's not the case - you can now buy both the GSmart MW700 and MS800 range in the UK.

For your money, the GSmart MW700 offers a 2.8-inch QVGA touch screen, A 2MP camera with autofocus, Bluetooth2.0, Wi-Fi, microSD Card slot, 256MB of RAM, Windows Mobile and the Marvell PXA 270 520MHz CPU. There's even GPS powered by a SiRF III receiver, but no digital TV for the UK.

The MW700 is an EDGE supporting device, with the MS800 stepping things up with HSDPA. Expect to pay between£279 - £299 for the MW700, with the MS800 selling for £359 - £379.

Product page (via Akihabara News)

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blackberry9500.jpgBoy Genius Report seems to be the place for fact-based BlackBerry gossip - so if the site claims a touchscreen device is heading our way, it's probably true.

Apparently that device will be called the BlackBerry Thunder and it's set to launch in the third quarter of this year. The Thunder is a full touchscreen BlackBerry -- no slide out keyboard -- with only 4 physical keys. And apparently it will launch with a worldwide lifetime exclusive for Verizon and Vodafone.

The image above is a mock up, so expect things to change a little bit when it does launch. Still fancy that Bold as much as you did yesterday?

RIM (via Boy Genius Report)

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blacberry_9000.jpgWell, we've been banging on about it for a few weeks now, even showing you an unofficial video on the handset in action - but now the BlackBerry 9000 has gone official, with PC Mag getting the RIM-sponsored scoop.

The new 4.6 OS will actually appear in a range of devices, looking not unlike the 8800, Curve and Pearl - the 9000 specifically will look like a slimline 8800. Specs include connectivity up to HSDPA, a 480 x 320 display, 624-Mhz Marvell Tavor PXA930 processor, Wi-Fi, GPS, 1GB of on-bard storage, support for up to 16GB microSD cards, Bluetooth, 480 x 320 video recording, photo geotagging and web browsing which may 'support rich media' in the future. No touch screen either, should you think it's an essential in 2008.

The BlackBerry Bold 9000 should be available this summer, though the price has not yet been made known.

BlackBerry (via PC Mag)

Related posts: gets hands-on with the unreleased BlackBerry 9000 | Will RIM delay the BlackBerry 9000?

blackberry_auction.jpgNow you see it, now you don't - that was the case with the BlackBerry 9000 auction.

It was pulled before the official end time, but was up long enough for the sharp-eyed to glean some information. We already knew some basic facts, but the unlocked /ready to ship one on eBay also promised 3G, EDGE, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, as well as an August launch date (it actually said August 2007, but we'll put that down to a typo).

Finished units floating round could point to an official launch in the coming weeks - here's hoping.

RIM (via Engadget)

Related posts: RIM gets scared by oncoming 3G iPhone, potentially delays 3G BlackBerry 8900 | First photos of the BlackBerry 9000 smartphone with HSDPA and Wi-Fi debut on the internet

getac_ps535e.jpgGetac has the PDA for anyone working in harsh environments (or the plain clumsy) - the PS535E.

Aside from the usual protection from water, rain, dust, debris and drop, the PS535E has a 3.5-inch TFT-LCD touchscreen, 400MHz Samsung 2440 processor, Windows Mobile 5.0 operating system, 2GB of on-board storage, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and an embedded GPS receiver. Battery life is up to eight hours.

No news on a price or shelf date.


Related posts: Palm Centro now available in the UK | E-TEN launches Glofiish M810 and V900 pocket PC phones

Palm Centro now available in the UK

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palm_centro.jpgAfter much hype and forewarning, the Palm Centro has gone on sale in the UK.

You might be able to hunt round for a free version (with contract), otherwise it's over to the Palm website to pay the £199.99 asking price. For your money, you get all the phone functionality you would expect, along with a full keyboard, a touch screen, various messaging options (including separate work and personal email), web browsing, media player (audio and video), a 1.3MP camera, 64Mb of storage, microSD expansion and Palm OS to run things.

Follow the link below to get your order in.

Palm Centro

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Asus launches Lamborghini ZX1 handset

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asus_lamb_handset.jpgOver at CeBIT, Asus has launched the next best thing for wannabe Lamborghini owners - the Asus Lamborghini ZX1 handset.

This quand-band handset has HSDPA connectivity and is powered by Windows Mobile 6.1, throwing in a 3 megapixel camera with auto-focus, VGA camera for your video calls, 256MB ROM, 128MB RAM, microSD memory card slot, GPS navigation, Wi-Fi connectivity and a QVGA display.

Oh yes - and all that Lamborghini branding. Which is probably why the price is a hefty $1500 (around £750). If you're feeling flush, you can grab one from May.

Asus (via New Launches)

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Looking to impress at the next board meeting? The gold and diamond BlackBerry Pearl range from Amosu should do the trick.

There are three models to choose from - the Amosu BlackBerry Pearl Gold Edition (in solid white gold, yellow gold or platinum), the Amosu BlackBerry Pearlific (made from solid gold with diamonds) and the limited edition Amosu BlackBerry Pearl Diamond, modelled in solid gold and hand cut diamonds. Obviously there's nothing technically different to a standard BlackBerry Pearl.

Each one is made to order and if your handset goes out of date, Amosu will even recycle your diamonds to your new handset. Prices start at a whopping £12,000, but that does include membership to a bespoke concierge service, with Amosu promising you everything from front row seats to fashion shows to a fully chartered private yacht at the press of a button. Although neither of those things will be free.

Amosu (via Switched On Set)

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Palm launches Centro smartphone in Europe

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We were pretty underwhelmed at first glance, but if the Palm Centro does things for you, you'll be pleased to it is coming to Europe this month.

It's the smallest/lightest Palm smartphone to date, designed for the average man/woman in the street 'looking to manage their busy lives'. That means Microsoft email, web, contact lists and calendar, along with Wi-Fi, 1.3MP camera, media player, Bluetooth, microSD slot, a full-colour touch screen and full keyboard and your traditional phone/text functionality.

It retails for £199 - which doesn't compare favourably to the $99.99 price in the US.


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