Amazon Reveals Palm's HD Based PDA

Amazon.com on Thursday leaked details of PalmOne's rumored LifeDrive PDA that is expected to ship later this month. According to details on the Web page, the PDA is rumored to have a 4GB hard drive and color screen, as well as wireless connectivity.

According to sources, the retail price of the LifeDrive, slated for release on May 18, is expected to be around $500. The unit will have a 416MHz Intel XScale, the fastest processor in a Palm handheld to date, along with a 320x480 display resolution.

It is not clear, however, if the LifeDrive pictures listed on Amazon are legitimate, as they were not posted by Amazon nor PalmOne, but rather by a third party. Also, the dimensions posted have been brought into question based on the pictures shown.

According to a report by News.com, the LifeDrive will be compatible with the Real Rhapsody music store, possibly indicating that PalmOne would like the LifeDrive line to compete with Apple's iPod Photo players, which are similarly priced.

LifeDrive's existance would indicate a move by PalmOne towards more complex PDAs. Long known for their simplicity, the company's devices have, for the most part, fewer features than their Windows-based counterparts. However, the LifeDrive would put the company on more equal footing with those devices, and in terms of storage space, would put them ahead of the pack.

The new device would come at a crucial time for PalmOne. Data released within the past month indicates that overall, PDA shipments have fallen nearly a quarter, and the company has lost share of the smartphone market, falling below 10 percent in many surveys behind rivals Nokia and Symbian.

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