it is, Palm's mysterious new
device which was announced to set a "whole new category of devices" (which I
don't believe in after I've seen it) is just a kind of "Subnotebook" which is
announced as "Palm's first smartphone companion product". Running Linux (no
Windows Vista, no Windows Mobile, no Palm OS) it requires Windows Mobile- or
PALM OS-based Treos to get WWAN Internet access. The Foleo mobile companion has
a large screen and full-size keyboard with which to view and edit E-Mail 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 E-Mail, 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 E-Mail, 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 (hopefully Bluetooth 2.0+EDR
to make advantage of HSDPA) wireless technology and uses the smartphone's radio
or the Foleo's built-in WiFi 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 E-Mail, and we expect the Foleo to grow in features and
expand its capabilities as the platform grows."
Skyrocketing use of mobile E-Mail creates demand for a new way of mobile
computing. By the end of 2007, an estimated 24.2 million wireless E-Mail
accounts will be in use worldwide, and by 2010 wireless E-Mail 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 WiFi
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.
Primary Capabilities and Attributes of the Foleo Mobile Companion:
- One-button access to full-screen E-Mail
- Instant on, instant off
- Rapid access to various applications
- 10" screen and full-size keyboard
- Web search and browsing via Bluetooth or WiFi
- Editors for Word, Excel and PowerPoint, plus a PDF viewer
- Compact, stylish design that fits on an airline tray table
- Lightweight at 2.5 pounds
- Fast, simple and intuitive navigation
- 5-hour battery life
- Linux OS for easy application development
Drawing on Palm's world-class usability and responsiveness, the Foleo mobile
companion gives Palm OS and Windows Mobile based smartphone customers more power
and flexibility while retaining the most-loved features of the Treo smartphone.
For example, customers open the Foleo, press a button, and it turns on
instantly. There is never a delay or boot-up time. A dedicated button provides
access to E-Mail. All work is saved, so there is no need to close applications
or take actions in order to save files. When the Foleo is turned on again, it
resumes where the user left off.
New users follow a simple process to pair a Foleo with their smartphone. From
then on, E-Mail stays synchronized on both devices.
It is easy to view the web through built-in Bluetooth and WiFi radios, using
the Opera browser. Using Bluetooth, a Treo smartphone acts as a wireless modem
for the Foleo. Alternatively, customers can use the Foleo mobile companion's
built-in WiFi for fast web browsing anywhere WiFi is available, including more
than 50,000 hot spots open to the public in the United States.
The Foleo mobile companion also supports the most popular types of
attachments. As on the Treo smartphone, the mobile companion uses a version of
Documents To Go customized by DataViz. People can create and edit Word, Excel
and PowerPoint compatible documents. The Foleo also includes a Palm-developed
Mobile professionals will find that just as their smartphones are ideal for
use while on the move, the Foleo mobile companion is a perfect fit for use while
commuting by mass transit, in meetings or on business trips. The mobile
companion's size is ideal for working from an airplane seat, and its instant
on/off capability makes it easy to comply with flight restrictions on
The Foleo mobile companion's hardware design features elegantly clean lines
and forgoes excessive latches and connectors. An innovative scroll wheel, clever
forward and back buttons, and a convenient track point enable easy navigation
without requiring the user's hands leave the full-size keyboard.
By building the Foleo on an open Linux-based software platform, Palm hopes to
replicate earlier success with developers by drawing a large community to create
new applications that will extend the mobile companion's capabilities. Palm
already has partnered with DataViz and Opera Software, demonstrating the ease
with which exciting technology and applications can be ported to the Foleo
mobile companion. Palm also will produce tools to allow smartphone manufacturers
to make devices compatible with the Foleo mobile companion.
U.S. availability for the Palm Foleo mobile companion will begin this summer.
The price of the Foleo mobile companion is expected to be US$ 499 after an
introductory US$ 100 rebate.
Cheers ~ Arne