Palm Introduces Foleo

Palm Introduces Foleo

Foleo Mobile Companion Brings Large Screen
and Full-size Keyboard to Smartphones

May 30, 2007

By: Christopher Meinck

Building on its vision that the future of personal computing is mobile computing, Palm, Inc. today announced the Palm Foleo, its first smartphone companion product.

Palm Foleo
Palm Foleo

The Foleo mobile companion has a large screen and full-size keyboard with which to view and edit email and office documents residing on a smartphone. Edits made on Foleo automatically are reflected on its paired smartphone and vice versa. Foleo and its paired smartphone stay synchronized throughout the day or at the touch of a button. This powerful combination is for productivity-minded business people who want a more complete mobile solution for email, attachments and access to the web.

The Foleo mobile companion turns on and off instantly and features fast navigation, a compact and elegant design, and a battery that lasts up to 5 hours of use. Its applications include email, full-screen web browser, and editors or viewers for common business documents such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF files. The Foleo stays synchronized via Bluetooth wireless technology and uses the smartphone’s radio or the Foleo’s built-in Wi-Fi radio for general Internet connectivity.

"Foleo is the most exciting product I have ever worked on," said Jeff Hawkins, founder of Palm, Inc. and the visionary behind the Foleo’s concept and definition. "Smartphones will be the most prevalent personal computers on the planet, ultimately able to do everything that desktop computers can do. However, there are times when people need a large screen and full-size keyboard. As smartphones get smaller, this need increases. The Foleo completes the picture, creating a mobile-computing system that sets a new standard in simplicity."

Foleo mobile companions work with Palm’s Treo smartphones (Palm OS and Windows Mobile versions). However, Palm believes that most smartphones based on Windows Mobile should work with little or no modification. Smartphones based on operating systems from Research in Motion, Apple, and Symbian likely can be supported with a modest software effort. The Foleo’s synchronization architecture is open, and Palm expects to work with third-party developers to support as many smartphones as possible.

"As we did with the PalmPilot more than a decade ago, and more recently with the Treo smartphone, Palm is driving innovation and capitalizing on emerging opportunities in mobile computing, a market full of potential," said Ed Colligan, president and chief executive officer of Palm, Inc. "The Palm Foleo represents our first product in a new line of solutions that will redefine how people work while away from their desks. It starts today with a focus on wireless email, and we expect the Foleo to grow in features and expand its capabilities as the platform grows."

Skyrocketing use of mobile email creates demand for a new way of mobile computing. By the end of 2007, an estimated 24.2 million wireless email accounts will be in use worldwide, and by 2010 wireless email accounts will soar to 199 million. The rapid growth of smartphone sales, the faster speeds of wireless networks, and the increasing digitization of content make this the right time for the introduction of Palm’s first mobile companion product.

Although designed primarily as a companion to a mobile phone, Foleo is a powerful computer on its own. Its Linux-based operating system and built-in Wi-Fi radio make it easy for developers to create new applications that can be installed with a single click in the browser. The Foleo has a USB port, video-out port, headphone jack, and slots for SD and compact flash cards for memory expansion. This combination of capabilities in a low-cost design is new in the industry. Palm has opened its design and is actively supporting third-party software developers.

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