Palm and Motorola plan to develop mobile phones that include Palm software and functionality, a move which raises doubt about the future of the Symbian platform.
A tri-band GSM wireless smart phone featuring Palm OS software and a colour display is expected from the venture in 2002. The device, which will be distributed by Motorola, will also be compatible with high-speed GPRS (general packet radio service) networks. A spokesman said it will "almost certainly" feature Bluetooth connectivity technology.
Motorola is an investor in Symbian, a mobile operating system vendor seen as a rival to Palm. This announcement places further doubt on Motorola's commitment to Symbian. Motorola also took a minority stake in Palm in December. However, the company said today it is still interested in developing products based on Symbian software.
In a statement, Motorola said that it "remains committed as a shareholder, active participant and licensee of Symbian. Motorola also confirms its commitment to the joint development programme with Psion scheduled to deliver phone-pad products in 2001."
Nokia, another Symbian investor, last year announced plans to develop smart phones running Palm software. Nokia planned to use Symbian's Epoc32 kernel with the Palm operating system running on top. The first product is due next year.
Palm has also announced that users of its Palm V devices will be able to make and receive phone calls, email and SMS using a new snap-on attachment. RealVision's snap-on product provides dual-band GSM connectivity to Palm V series handhelds.
The RealVision GSM attachment, which will also be available in Europe at the start of next year, will include Palm web-clipping applications and SMS messaging. It is expected to cost less than $300 (£205).
Handspring, which licensed the Palm OS and now makes rival devices, also plans to sell a GSM mobile phone attachment in Europe in early 2001.
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