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What's in a name?

Palm splits the brand to target consumers and businesses with different ranges

Handheld maker Palm plans to change the way it markets its PDAs (personal digital assistants), placing its future business products under the Tungsten brand and its consumer products under the Zire brand.

No current products will be renamed, said Todd Bradley, chief executive officer of the Palm Solutions Group. Mobile professionals and students expect different things out of their PDAs, and Palm's decision to offer the two brands is meant to make it easier for buyers to decide which type of PDA best suits their needs, Bradley said.

Tungsten products will be targeted at mobile workers and IT departments, and will emphasise security and reliability, while the Zire brand will focus on Palm's traditional customer base — consumers — with products that are user-friendly and less expensive.

The traditional Palm brand will not disappear. New consumer products will be called 'Palm Zire' and then include the model number as Palms currently do, such as the m125 (pictured) or the m500.

The company is looking to continue its run at the top of the PDA market with the new branding strategies. The first product to carry one of the brand names will probably be Palm's first product for the new version of sister company PalmSource's OS 5.0 PDA operating system. That device is due for launch in the US on 28 October according to Bradley.

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