Thursday, February 26, 2009

Palm Halts Production of Handhelds

I just received word that Palm has officially closed down production of their three remaining classic handheld PDAs. By March 1, 2009 Palm will no longer be manufacturing the Palm Z22, the Tungsten E2, or the Palm TX.

While some will find this news difficult to accept, these three icons from Palm's original mobile computing business have had a long service life. The Tungsten E2, the oldest of the trio (not "Treo"), was released in April of 2005. I am not aware of any other Palm device that enjoyed a 4 year service life. Not even the wildly popular Tungsten C had a shelf life of that long. The remaining two PDAs, the Z22 and the Palm TX (sometimes referred to as the "Tungsten T7 or Tungsten X) where both released in October 2005.

Palm executives have been sending out warnings that the traditional PDA business was coming to an end. During quarterly conference calls, Palm President and CEO Ed Colligan likened the PDA business to a passenger jet coming in for a smooth landing. Today we learned that the plane has touched down, taxied to the gate, and the engines have been powered down.

You will still be able to purchase Palm's handheld PDAs from the Palm online store and other retailers until inventories are fully depleted. If you are interesting in purchasing the last flagship handheld, the Palm TX, Palm is currently selling the PDA for $199 (regularly $299) at their online store. Palm's online store also has the Z22 on sale for $99 (no discount). It appears that the Tungsten E2 is completely sold out at the Palm online store.

I have been using Palm's handhelds since 1999. The last 10 years have been lots of fun learning about, using, and supporting Palm's products on Brighthand, 1SRC, and Palm's own community help forums. Palm's PDAs may soon be gone from store shelves, but I still have my Tungsten T5, TX, and LifeDrive on my computer desk.
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