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Palm VII to be launched on Monday

Public trials to begin in New York

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3Com subsidiary Palm Computing has confirmed it will debut the wireless comms-oriented Palm VII in New York next Monday. The company itself would only say it will be presenting a "sneak peek" to "the people of New York", but insiders cited on US newswires reckon Palm will launch both the handheld and its companion Internet access service, Palm.net, and announce the device is shipping. That said, it's unlikely the roll-out will take in the whole of the US or even international territories. Monday's event will begin public trials of the Palm VII's wireless technology and pared-down Internet access to test users' willingness to pay $9.95 a month for connection to Palm.net and 30 cents per kilobyte for sending and receiving data through the service when they bust the built-in 50KB limit. That pricing plan, based on cellphone tariffs, drew harsh criticism from Palm users when it was announced during April's Spring Internet World show in Los Angeles. Instead, users want an ISP-style flat-fee pricing model. However, reports also suggest Palm has cut the price of the Palm VII from the $799 it announced last December at the Palm Developers Conference to $599. Like Palm.net's pricing, the handheld's cost could change, depending on how buyers react to it. ®

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