Will the Pre be the last in Palm's line of products, or will it mark the beginning of a new era for company? Here's a quick look at the devices Palm has created over the years.
The first wireless Palm: Palm VII
At roughly the same time that the Palm V appeared - and before the first colour Palm appeared - Palm also shipped the Palm VII, its first PDA with built-in wireless capability.
Equipped with a flip-up antenna, the Palm VII ultimately flopped. Its Palm.net service relied on Bell South's Mobitext network, which at best could move data at 8kbps - slower than most conventional dial-up hookups.
At that speed, browsing standard web pages was out of the question, so Palm devised a scheme that involved accessing specially packaged web content using so-called web clipping applications from high-profile partners such as Travelocity and Yahoo.
The cost of Palm.net escalated, depending on usage. But Palm's tech-savvy customer base - by now accustomed to easy all-you-can-eat desktop access to a web that was growing by leaps and bounds - never took to the notion of limited, packaged content and metered pricing.
Photo: Courtesy of Palm
Palms get colourful: Palm IIIc
While the Palm V and the Palm VII were luring high-end customers, new iterations of the less expensive Palm III remained the company's bread-and-butter PDA - even after 3Com spun off its Palm Computing subsidiary in early 2000. Shortly thereafter, the newly independent Palm shipped its first colour model, the Palm IIIc.
Regrettably, at a time when devices running Microsoft's rival Windows CE were already appearing with dazzling 65,000-colour screens, the IIIc's disappointing colour display supported only 256 colors. The display also looked washed out and all but unreadable in sunlight.
Photo: Courtesy of Amazon.com
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